CEDAR CITY, Utah, July 15 – Southern Utah’s football team has been slotted ninth in both the coaches’ and the media’s pre-season polls, the Big Sky Conference announced today.

The Thunderbirds – who were picked to come in eighth in both polls last year before finishing tied for fifth – received 57 points in the coaches’ poll to finish six points behind Northern Colorado and 228 points in the media poll to finish nine points behind UNC. SUU was eight points ahead of 10th place Portland State in the coaches’ poll and 16 ahead of the Vikings in the media poll.

Montana State was picked to finish first in both polls, getting 140 points and eight first-place votes in the coaches’ poll and 596 points and 31 first-place votes from the media.

The two polls agreed on picks 1-through-10, with Eastern Washington second, Montana third, Cal Poly fourth, Northern Arizona fifth and Sacramento State sixth, followed by North Dakota, UNC, SUU and PSU.

Eastern Washington had 130 points and three first-place votes in the coaches’ poll. Montana was the only other team to receive first-place votes from the coaches, with two, and the Griz wound up with 111 points, two more than Cal Poly’s 109. NAU wasn’t far behind, with 104 points, while Sac State had 88 and UND had 66. UNC was next with 63 points, followed by SUU with 57 and PSU with 49.

The coaches then had Weber State finishing 11th with 48 points (just one point behind Portland State), followed by UC Davis (37 points) and Idaho State (12).

In the media poll EWU had 12 first-place votes and 566 points, while Montana had three first-place nods and 492 points. Cal Poly was fourth with 466 points and a first-place vote, while NAU had 457 points and Sacramento State got the final first-place vote from the media to finish with 374 points. North Dakota had 309 points, followed by UNC with 239, SUU with 228 and PSU with 212.

The media then had UC Davis 11th with 191 points, followed by Weber State (164) and Idaho State (74).

Coaches Poll

1. Montana State (8)            140

2. Eastern Washingto (3)            130

3. Montana (2)            111

4. Cal Poly            109

5. Northern Arizona            104

6. Sacramento State            88

7. North Dakota            66

8. Northern Colorado            63

9. Southern Utah            57

10. Portland State            49

11. Weber State            48

12. UC Davis            37

13. Idaho State            12

Media Poll

1. Montana State (31)            596

2. Eastern Washington (12)            566

3. Montana (3)            492

4. Cal Poly (1)            466

5. Northern Arizona            457

6. Sacramento St. (1)            374

7. North Dakota            309

8. Northern Colorado            239

9. Southern Utah            228

10. Portland State            212

11. UC Davis            191

12. Weber State            164

13. Idaho State            74

(First-place votes in parenthesis)

-- SUU --