So as we get ready for the men's basketball All-Big Sky team to get announced, it occurs to me that ISU probably won't have an individual winner on the men's side. However, I'm starting to think there will be one on the women's side, because I can't stop thinking that Seton Sobolewski is the Big Sky Coach of the Year. How can he not be? The award will be voted on by the coaches, and here is their preseason poll....
Team, (1st place votes) Total Points
1. Montana (8) 64
2. Portland State (1) 56
3. Montana State 50
4. Northern Colorado 41
5. Northern Arizona 35
6. Weber State 30
7. Idaho State 19
8. Sacramento State 18
9. Eastern Washington 11
First of all, there was a clear break between the six teams that folks thought would make it, and the three that wouldn't, and obviously, ISU fell into the "wouldn't make the tournament" category. Montana and Portland State are playing for first place on Saturday, and with it being Senior Day in Missoula, well, you would think Montana will win that one, but either way, those two teams are where they are. Right now MSU is third, but they are just 7-7, and probably will finish 8-8 since they play PSU, and yes, they beat PSU earlier this year, but still, MSU is right where they should be.
The one team that isn't is Idaho State. A win over Weber State and the women's team will be 8-8 this season. The last two years with Natalie Doma and Andrea Lightfoot, the team went 11-5 in 2007 and 12-4 in 2008. I don't see Nat or Lightfoot out there this year. Seton basically lost those two starters, and then lost Andrea Videbeck, Cara Lambert, Chelsea Pickering, Kayla Gromme, and Andrea Blodgett. The roster is currently seven scholarship players....three guards, four forwards/centers. The only backup guard is walk-on Kari Green, who has been great in filling in for a few minutes here and there.
Show me a better job in the conference? Eastern looked like a lock to make the tournament, but they have to win a game this weekend at the Montana schools, and that is a tough task. Maybe Sacramento State, but ISU swept them and will finish ahead of them in the standings.
I can see a vote for the league champion coach, who will almost assuredly go 15-1, but my argument is they were supposed to do that. It's not a shock....ISU in fourth, maybe at 8-8? Four conference road wins? ISU might get as many wins as players on the team, which is one thing when you have 15, but with eight? Case closed me thinks....
Sad Days in the Football Office
If you get the chance to meet ISU's new defensive line assistant coach Joe Cullen, welcome him to Pocatello, and then give the guy a hug. I'm sure most of you are aware that the Coast Guard has called off the search for the two missing NFL players. What most folks don't realize is Cullen spent the last three years coaching one of the missing men, Corey Smith, for the last three years with Detroit, and is pretty distraught. Our thoughts and prayers from ISU go out to all those affected by this terrible accident.
Clark Impresses at Pro Day
Of all the guys to do workouts at ISU's Pro Day on Monday (including Eddie Thompson, Evan Dietrich-Smith, and Trevor Messersmith, among others), the most impressive was D.J. Clark, at least according to Gil Brandt's official NFL blog, which has all the pertinent numbers.
Who is Matt Dunsmoor?
He apparently plays for Northern Colorado, and he started the last two games. If Will Figures and Devon Bietzel are both out, he might start again.
Yeah Pat Forde
ESPN's Pat Forde thinks ISU could be a sleeper. Yeah Pat!