Thursday, October 18, 2012

Preseason Coaches and Media Poll Released

With the start of the season blissfully almost upon us, the preseason coaches and media poll were released. For those Big Sky fans among us starving for news and predictions before the season begins, there is a lot to look at. I'll give you the polls and then a few reactions.

Coaches Poll
1. Montana (8)
2. Weber State (3)
3. Northern Colorado
4. North Dakota
5. Portland State
6. Eastern Washington
7. Sacramento State
8. Montana State
9. Idaho State
10. Southern Utah
11. Northern Arizona

Media Poll
1. Montana (24)
2. Weber State (8)
3. Eastern Washington
4. Northern Colorado
5. Portland State
6. North Dakota
7. Montana State
8. Sacramento State
9. Idaho State
10. Southern Utah
11. Northern Arizona

Agreement at the top and bottom: As expected, both the coaches and media poll have Montana and Weber State at 1-2, with Montana getting about three times as many votes as Weber State. I am guessing Montana would have gotten even more of the vote if the polls had been taken a month ago, before the Will Cherry injury (sneak peek: that influenced my vote). These two teams look like the class of the conference once again. At the bottom, the 9-10-11 spots are the same for both polls. Almost everyone agree that these three teams will be at the bottom of the pecking order, but I've got the reverse order on my poll.

Biggest differences between the polls: The team with the biggest difference is Eastern Washington, who was ranked third in the media poll and sixth in the coaches poll. I tend to agree with the coaches poll on this one. Eastern Washington lost a bunch of talent, and will be particularly inexperienced up front. The other biggest difference is North Dakota, who the coaches have ranked fourth, and the media ranks sixth. I think there are two reasons for this: One, I am guessing much of the media doesn't really know all that much about North Dakota. Two, I have a feeling a lot of coaches are dreading the road trip to play to UND, which could be an underrated storyline heading into the season..

Most underrated: In both polls, Sacramento State looks a bit underrated to me. They are ranked seventh in the coaches poll and eigth in the media poll. On the surface, it is understandable. They haven't fielded a .500 team in years, and they finished 10-18 last year. On the other hand, they finished 5-3 in their last eight conference games last season, and return most of their key guys.Sac State fans think I am trying to jinx them, but I really do think they will be in the top half of the conference.

Most overrated: Portland State checks in fifth in each poll, but I think that's too high. Over the last couple of seasons, they have played a lot of offense and hardly any defense. However, they lost Charles Odum and Chehales Tapscott, who were two of the best and most efficient offensive players in the conference. I like Tyler Geving, and I like the guys they brought in, but I think their offense is bound to take a little step back, and I'm not sure their defense will be any better.

What are your reactions?

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  1. Jon, UND left me unimpressed last year out here in Sacramento. I may have greatly underrated them. I also agree Sacramento State is underrated. I had them fifth on my ballot, and we know Montana coach Wayne Tinkle thinks they can finish that high. I'm looking forward to November when we find out just how good everyone is.

  2. One the things too with UND is that they have struggled a lot on the road, but are going to be very tough at home. Last year against Big Sky teams, they lost to Sac State and Idaho State on the road, and beat Montana at home.

  3. I also was not overly impressed by UND last year at Sac. I think UND may have as much trouble getting used to all new arenas and travel schedule as well. I agree that Sac State is the most underrated as I think they can finish third or fourth. GO HORNETS!!!!!!

  4. I see NAU finishing in the middle of the pack. The tank is not as empty as people think.

  5. Great write up Jon, and no I don’t think Sac State fans think you are trying to jinx us, just me. ;)

    BTW I’ve been linking a lot of your stuff on my Sac Buzz posts. It looks like it is pushing some traffic your way. Keep up the good work.