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Published on November 10th, 2017 | by Bear Tycoon

The biggest hissy fit in Missoula history

In this week’s email, we take a look at NAU QB Case Cookus’s infamous block and ejection against the Griz and outline the path for the Griz and Cats to make the playoffs (the path is clear for the Griz and muddy for the Bobcats.  Plus a lot more.

Also, subscribe to and download our podcast.  It is the only podcast in Montana worth listening to!

This Week’s Predictions

Montana State @ Northern Arizona
The line from Vegas: Cats +12.5

Montana State 14
Northern Arizona 27

Montana vs. Northern Colorado
The line from Vegas: Griz -16.5

Montana 45
Northern Colorado 27

NAU QB Update/Hissy Fit.  NAU star QB was ejected in the first quarter of the Griz game for a targeting call (more on that below).  He then threw the biggest hissy fit in the history of Washington Grizzly Stadium and possibly Missoula.  You can watch the hit here, and another angle here.   Here is part one of the hissy fit after his ejection and here is part two.

Griz QB Update.  Bob Stitt announced that Gresch Jensen is cleared to play this week against UNC.  Gresch sat out last week due to a concussion he received in the Weber State game.  Interestingly, Stitt said that Jensen, Caleb Hill, and Makena SImis will all get snaps in the game.  Simis led the Girz to victory this weekend despite no longer being a QB.  SImis told his hometown paper that he hadn’t practiced throwing in two years.

EWU QB Update.  EWU star QB Gage Gubrud was arrested over the weekend for being a college bro.  Gage’s friend was reasonably kicking down a railing at a local restaurant, when the police rudely started to arrest him.  EWU linebacker Kurt Calhoun heroically stepped in and “demanded to know what was going on with his ‘homie’” and told the police that he was “not leaving without his boy.”  He was then arrested. Gubrud then stepped in and refused to leave when asked the police.  He also told the police repeatedly that he was the QB for the Eagles and told the officers “they would be sorry for their actions.”  He was then arrested.  Gubrud and Calhoun will not be making the trip to North Dakota this week.  🙂

JLM’s Big Game.  Jerry Louis McGee had a monster game in the Griz win vs. NAU, including an electric punt return for a TD.  Nothing better than tiny guys dominating a big man game.

Justin Strong Returns(?).  Griz star defensive back Justin Strong returns from a two game suspension following an arrest over the Griz bye week.  Bob Stitt says he could see some playing time.  The Pullman police say they need two more weeks to complete the investigation into the incident.  That means charges could be brought right before the playoffs…

Griz Playoff Chances.  It’s simple.  They win out and they are (likely) in.  If they lose to UNC or MSU, they’re (very likely) out.

Bobcats Playoff Chances (by Hot Take Nate).  In 2012 the Big Sky Conference introduced four new schools to the, at the time, nine team conference. With the addition of North Dakota, Cal Poly, Southern Utah, and UC Davis, the Big Sky’s conference season went to hell. In the good ol’ days of eight and nine teams, everyone played everyone and it was known, without a doubt, who the best team in the Big Sky was and who was getting the auto-bid into the FCS Playoffs. In the current Big Sky, you could go 2 years without playing another member of the conference (MSU hasn’t played Cal Poly since 2015) and its a conference design that leaves a lot to question regarding who is really the best team when you look at strength of conference schedule. In two words: It sucks.

Due to the way the conference schedule is set up, determining the tie breaker for the Big Sky’s autobid into the FCS Playoffs can get a little crazy. If two teams tie, their head to head match up if they played that year determines the auto-bid (Note: No matter how many teams tie for the best record, all can call themselves Big Sky Conference Champs – even if they don’t make the playoffs). If the two teams did not play each other during the season, common opponents are used and the team with the best record versus common opponents gets the auto bid.

If three or more teams tie, the conference looks at the tied teams’ records against each other even if all the teams hadn’t played each other during the season. The team with the best record head to head only between the tied teams gets the autobid. It’s so odd.

Montana State’s playoff chances took a major hit last week with the loss to Kennesaw State but I’m here to tell you that they still have a chance! How, you ask? Here’s the scenario:

  • The Bobcats have to take care of business and win out versus Northern Arizona and Montana
  • Weber State has to lose their last two games against Portland State and Idaho State
  • Eastern Washington has to lose one of their last two games – either North Dakota or Portland State
  • Northern Arizona has to beat Southern Utah the last week of the season

This scenario would leave MSU, Southern Utah, and Northern Arizona tied with 6-2 conference records. MSU would have the best record head to head against the tied teams at 1-0 with their win over NAU and would get the auto bid into the FCS Playoffs! (SUU’s tiebreak record would be 0-1 and NAU’s would be 1-1)

Maybe we should start booking our trip to Frisco now, Cat fans, I have a good feeling about this.

Targeting.  Regardless of what Griz fans thought about this year’s targeting rule before the game, they are now ALL IN on player safety.  Cookus being ejected was a turning point and kept the Griz in a game they would have otherwise lost.  Cat and lumberjack fans are grumbling about the call being BS because Cookus didn’t lead with his helmet.  But the refs appear to have called it right.  SBNation has a nice rundown of what it actually means to target.

Power Rankings. 1-13 rankings from Brad Reed’s Big Sky Round Up.

  1. Southern Utah
    2. Weber State
    3. Montana
    4. Eastern Washington
    5. Northern Arizona
    6. UC-Davis
    7. Sacramento State
    8. Montana State
    9. Idaho State
    10. Northern Colorado
    11. North Dakota
    12. Cal Poly
    13. Portland State

Episode 11.  The latest episode of the Montana Mint Sports podcast can be accessed here.  Hot Take Nate and Bear Tycoon discuss the Cats’ loss to Kennesaw State and the Griz crazy win over NAU in our “First 10” and our “Hot/Not” segments (0:50-37:59).  Jasper Moonshot and Bear Tycoon have a solid Griz Chat and Jasper discusses his new scholarship-based advanced stat (38:05-53:20).  Montana Parlay joins Hot Take Nate for a Cat Chat and Parlay gives his gambling picks for the week (53:30-1:05:26).  Then the guys go around the Big Sky and close with our Josh Huestis and Brock Osweiler Watches (1:05:30-1:22:09).  Bit of an echo in some of the segments this week, so we apologize in advance…it’s our producer Gary’s fault.

The Montana Mint Sports Podcast can be found on Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play

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Bear Tycoon

The Richest Bear in the Woods.

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