Montana Gets Eighth Seed – Receives First-Round Bye in FCS Playoff Bracket [AUDIO]
The Big Sky Conference got some big-time respect from the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) selection committee with a total of four teams in the 24 team playoff field, and the University of Montana Grizzlies gaining the No. 8 seed.
As a top-eight seed, the Grizzlies receive a bye and will rest a week before hosting the winner of the Coastal Carolina vs. Buthune-Cookman game, who will play on Saturday, November 30.
University of Montana head coach Mick Delaney joined his players for the selection show on Sunday, November 24 at The Press Box, and was relieved to get one of the top eight seeds.
"We've got to feel good because it's a bye, and now we'll get a home game," Delaney said. "The key thing is we got one of the top eight seeds, so we don't play this Saturday. That is really, really important."
Delaney said only one player is dealing with a significant injury, running back Joey Counts, who suffered a severely sprained ankle several weeks ago. Delaney said with two more weeks of rest, Counts may be back in the line-up.
"Joey's day-to-day right now, but we'll have to see how he's progressing," Delaney said. "We've got eight, nine, 10 days to rest, and we'll see what happens. I think he probably will be ready, if we don't have any setbacks."
Delaney said the team was able to get through Saturday's Grizzly-Bobcat game without any injuries, winning 28-14 in Bozeman.
"No, nothing yesterday," said Delaney regarding injuries. "Sure, a lot of guys are banged-up, but everybody is at this time, but you just ignore that and play through it."
The Grizzlies, who suffered through a disappointing 5-6 record last season amidst a host of off-the-field turmoil, turned that disappointment into determination, and ended the regular season with a 10-2 record.
The only possible negative that came from the selection show was that if Montana wins its second round game, they will probably have to travel to Fargo to play No. 1 seed North Dakota State.
The other teams from the Big Sky to make the field of 24 were conference champions Eastern Washington, who also received a first round bye. Northern Arizona will host South Dakota State on November 30, and Southern Utah will visit Sam Houston State.
UM Head Football Coach Mick Delaney