OGDEN, Utah — Montana State produced its first winning football season in four years, and by virtue of that success the Bobcats found themselves ranked in two final FCS Top 25 polls for the 2018 campaign.
MSU (8-5, 5-3 Big Sky) is No. 17 in polls released Monday by STATS and the American Football Coaches Association. The Bobcats’ win total was their largest since 2014, and they won their first playoff game since 2012, a 35-14 victory over Incarnate Word on Nov. 24.
Montana State’s season ended with a 52-10 loss on the road to eventual national champion and top-ranked North Dakota State on Dec. 1.
Co-Big Sky Conference champion Eastern Washington (12-3, 7-1) lost to NDSU in the FCS title game on Saturday. The Eagles are ranked No. 2 in both polls, as they won 12 games for the fifth time in school history.
Weber State (10-3, 7-1) finished the 2018 campaign ranked No. 6 in both polls. The Wildcats advanced to the FCS quarterfinals after earning a first-round bye for the first time ever. The Wildcats finished with 10-plus wins for the second straight season and won a share of the Big Sky title in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history.
UC Davis (10-3, 7-1) was voted No. 8 in the FCS STATS poll and No. 8 in the AFCA poll after posting its best record in school history as an FCS competitor. The Aggies earned a share of the conference crown, advanced to the FCS playoffs for the first time and earned an at-large bid and a first-round bye.
UC Davis won its second-round playoff game to advance to the quarterfinals backed by Eddie Robinson Award-winning head coach Dan Hawkins.
Montana (6-5) received votes in the STATS FCS poll, while Idaho State (6-5) earned votes in the AFCA poll. Both teams entered the final week of the regular season with a chance at an at-large bid to the playoffs.
EWU (No. 2), Weber State (No. 6), UC Davis (No. 7) and Montana State (No. 16) all were slated in the final Athlon Sports Power Poll.