Frontier Conference snapshot entering the bye-week
The conference-wide bye week arrives after a big weekend in the Frontier Conference. The string of heart-stopping games between the Orediggers and Yotes continued in Caldwell Saturday as the College of Idaho ran their winning streak over Montana Tech to 5 games. AND, The Raiders of Southern Oregon reminded people that they are still a serious contender in the conference fight, with a huge win over the Bulldogs of UM Western in Ashland.
So with 4 games left in the regular season, here is how the Frontier looks currently, and also the updated National rankings.
Frontier Conference bye week standings
#7 College of Idaho 6-0
#15 Rocky Mountain 5-1
#25 Montana Tech 4-2
#RV Carroll College 4-2
Southern Oregon 3-3
UM Western 2-4
MSU Northern 0-6
Eastern Oregon 0-6
So let’s look at the remaining 4 games for each program. A 2-loss team COULD still win the conference, it isn’t out of the equation yet, big games in Dillon, Helena, and Butte will tighten the focus after the 22nd.
The College of Idaho is at Western next week for their only meeting this year, followed by a home matchup with Southern Oct 29 (who they beat 42-24 in their first meeting). Back on the road at La Grande Nov 5, for round 2 with the Mounties ( Won 41-0 First game) The Yotes will finish the regular season at home Nov 12 against Carroll. (won at Carroll 31-20) The Yotes control their own destiny. Win out, and you will have home playoff game(s). And that’s the brass ring everyone is chasing.
Rocky Mountain College will come back from the break with a pair of big games. First, they will travel to Carroll for their lone meeting this year. Back home Oct 29th, for round 2 with Montana Tech (Rocky won in Butte 28-20). Nov 5th, finds the Bears on the road at Northern (won 56-0), and they will finish at Home Nov 12th, against Western (won 41-26). The Bears are sitting pretty in the conference and nationally, those first 2 games against Carroll and Tech are HUGE. And then the Western game. How many teams has Western removed from the playoff picture on the last game of the year? “What is A LOT Alex?”
To the Orediggers of Montana Tech. The Diggs had another classic in Caldwell. The last couple of games down there have just been incredible. With that loss, the Diggs are now in Playoff mode, period. They must win out for a shot at the playoffs. That run will start on the 22nd with Southern at home. Oct 29th sets up a huge game with the Bears of Rocky in Billings (Bears won 9/17 28-20) November 5th will bring the Bulldogs of Western to Butte (tech won 33-24 @ Dillon) The regular season finale will have the Diggs in Havre to play Northern, Nov 12th.(Tech won 73-0). Tech’s playoff life rests on W’s.
The Saints of Carroll College. Scroll up and read Montana Tech’s entry. Rinse and Repeat. Carroll (also 4-2) MUST win out to fight into the Conference, and playoff race. The only big difference between the Saints and the Diggs is Montana Tech has the tiebreaker which could play a factor down the line. Carroll will come back from the break with a big one, Rocky will come to Nelson 10/22. Carroll will then host Eastern on 10/29 (Carroll won 25-23 in LaGrande) The Saints will finish the season on the road, first in Ashland to take on Southern, 11/5 (won 26-14), then Caldwell 11/12 to take on the Yotes. (lost 31-20) Honestly, an ugly road ahead for the Saints, but if any program can hang it’s hat on clutch wins, the Saints are it.
Let’s all welcome the Raiders of Southern Oregon back to the party, after starting 1-3, they have won their last 2 to even their record at 3-3 and more importantly are playing really good football. A 3-loss team won’t win the conference, BUT they can throw some wrenches into other programs’ plans. That could start with an Oct 22nd matchup with Tech in Butte. They could then win the conference popularity contest with a win over the Yotes in Caldwell Oct 29th. They will then finish with a pair of games at home, Carroll College, on November 5, and Eastern Oregon, on November 12th.
The Bulldogs of UM Western will start their final run with a pair of home games on October 22nd, and the 29th. First to arrive in Dillon will be the College of Idaho, followed by the Lights of MSU Northern, and Coach Nourse will have them ready to roll. They will finish the season on the road, @ Tech Nov 5th, and @ Rocky Nov 12th.
Something will have to give in La Grande Oct 22nd, as the Mounties will host the Lights, both teams come in winless, and I just don’t expect EOU to stay there. Coach Camp always pulls out a big win every year, and I still expect him to get one this year. After the Northern game, EOU is at Carroll the 29th. They host the College of Idaho Nov 5, and finish the season at Southern Nov 12th.
Coach Souers at Northern is building. Everyone around the conference knew it was going to be a tough year, and it has been. The continued buy-in will be the foundation for his program moving forward, and hopefully he gets it. The Lights will travel to EOU Oct 22, and they will then be in Dillon to take on UM Western Oct 29. They will be at home for their final two games this year. Hosting Rocky Nov 5, and then close the year on Nov 12th taking on Montana Tech.
As of now, it’s looking good for the conference to get more than one team in the playoffs, but we have felt good about that in the past! The only thing we do know is the last month of games will be fantastic, and truly must-see football.