The Big Sky will begin the 2012 football campaign with three teams ranked in the Top 25. The Sports Network released its pre-season Top 25 today, and as might be expected, Montana State has landed in top five:
4. Montana State
12. Eastern Washington
The Bobcats garnered three first-place votes to land in the top five and will be led by talented quarterback DeNarius McGhee. The junior signal-caller finds himself on the Walter Payton Award Watch List (the FCS Heisman equivalent) after finishing as a finalist in the past two years. McGhee passed for 2,799 yards and 24 touchdowns last season to lead Montana State to the FCS Playoff semifinals in 2011.
Montana, a mainstay at the top of the FCS polls, definitely has a challenging road ahead. Amidst rape charges involving several Montana players, including now-suspended quarterback Jordan Johnson, head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day were both fired. Mick Delaney takes over the embattled Grizzlies program.
As for Eastern Washington, the Eagles are looking for another big year with a transfer at quarterback as former SMU quarterback Kyle Padron will take snaps in Cheney for the next two seasons. EWU won the 2010 FCS championship with Bo Levi Mitchell, also an SMU transfer, at quarterback.
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