Talk about a productive weekend.
Though the Great West Conference went 3-2 in weekend football action, two of the wins were significant upsets. First, South Dakota beat Minnesota 41-38 (have you heard?) and Cal Poly shocked No. 1 Montana 35-33.
Those were the two main stories in Monday’s weekly coaches teleconference. Here are some jottings and quotes from the call.
** USD’s win, without question the biggest in program history, vaulted the Coyotes to No. 25 in the latest Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 Poll. You can see the poll right here. It marks the first time since moving to the Division I level in 2008 that USD has been ranked nationally.
** The win for USD gave the program significant national exposure, including ESPN and the Big Ten Network. On ESPN’s College Gameday, quarterback Dante Warren was awarded a helmet sticker from Lou Holtz, but the network didn’t have a Coyote helmet. Head coach Ed Meierkort also appeared on ESPN Radio on Saturday and has since been a guest on Mike Leach and Tim Brando’s shows.
** Asked if his team was still on Cloud 9, Meierkort laughed and said, “We told them to stay on the cloud until Tuesday.”
** Cal Poly jumped from being unranked in last week’s FCS media poll to No. 17 this week, following the upset win at top-ranked Montana. Sophomore quarterback Doug Shumway replaced starter Tony Smith in the third quarter and threw a pair of TD passes. Asked if Shumway will start next Saturday, Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh said, “That’s the question of the day …. now it becomes a three-man battle, and may the best man win.”
** A late rally by North Dakota came up short in a 23-17 loss to FBS Northern Illinois on Saturday. Said UND head coach Chris Mussman, “We still made enough mistakes that if we clear some things up, we win that game.”