The Big Sky Conference Kickoff is moving into the future with live-streaming opportunities for the first time this year.
The Big Sky Kickoff, the annual media days for the conference's football programs held in Park City, Utah, will stream interviews live online from the two-day event July 18-19 at WatchBigSky.com.
Live streaming and broadening the conference's broadcast opportunities were among the early points of emphasis for new Big Sky commissioner Andrea Williams. The former Big Ten Conference associate commissioner took over as conference head July 1 for the retiring Doug Fullerton after his 20 years at the helm.
WatchBigSky.com will feature a series of short 9-minute interviews conducted by league communications director Jon Oglesby on both Monday and Tuesday morning. Monday's slate begins with an address from Williams at 9 a.m. with one player from each of the 13 Big Sky schools to follow.
Montana quarterback Brady Gustafson is scheduled to appear at 10:03 a.m. that day. Offensive lineman JP Flynn, Montana State's representative at the event, will go on at 9:36 a.m.
The 13 Big Sky head coaches will get their shot the following morning starting with North Dakota's Bubba Schweigert at 9 a.m. Bob Stitt, who is entering his second season leading the Grizzlies program, will appear at 9:54 a.m. First-year Bobcats coach Jeff Choate's interview will air at 9:27 a.m.
Along with interviews and season previews, the Big Sky will also release its preseason coaches' and media polls and preseason all-conference team. The all-conference list will be unveiled Monday morning while the polls are set to be released the following day.
Montana has already drawn some respect in additional FCS nationwide preseason polls this summer.
The Sporting News shows Montana at No. 15 in the country, third best among Big Sky schools behind No. 9 Eastern Washington and No. 13 Northern Arizona. Athlon Sports tabbed the Griz 16th behind No. 12 EWU and No. 15 North Dakota.
Montana's best positioning so far comes from Lindy's Sports, which expects the Grizzlies to be the eighth-best team in the nation. Eastern isn't far behind at No. 10 according to Lindy's projections.
The Griz were 14th in the final STATS FCS poll last year following an 8-5 season that saw UM make the second round of the FCS playoffs.
The 54th season of Big Sky football kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 1, with four non-conference games before Big Sky league contests begin on Sept. 24. Montana opens at home against Saint Francis on Sept. 3, a game set to kick off at 7 p.m. at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.