(CSTB is pleased to report that no Missoula business has proposed anything similar for this week’s game against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.)
Having apparently picked up Denver, UT-San Antonio and
Southwest Texas State, the Western Athletic Conference is now waiting on FCS power the University of Montana.
The Missoulian’s Chelsi Moy reports the Griz have received special dispensation to continue playing annual games against in-state Big Sky rival Montana State, though it seems to me said rivalry will merely become a stage on which the lower-level school enjoys reflected glory and an every-ten-years upset, while doing nothing for the Griz’s strength-of-schedule (like, imagine if Oregon had an annual game with Portland State).
It would be exciting for the program, but would also change the local college sports experience. Right now the Griz and Cats are everything around these parts; most Saturdays Montana’s ABC and CBS affiliates pre-empt the likes of Texas-UCLA and Florida-Tennessee to show the in-state games. Montana’s history and success is as a national power at its level; I’m not sure going 7-4 against Louisiana Tech and Texas State while playing big games on a Friday night will have the same cache.
It’s ironic, really, that a bunch of teams are gonna leave behind the very thing that most people in college football claim to want (playoffs) so they can play in the uDrove Humanitarian or Kraft Fight Hunger bowl. On the other hand, what alumnus wouldn’t like a trip to Hawaii every other season?
(Update: Score one for the little guy: Montana’s staying in the FCS).