SPOKANE, Wash. — The Eastern Washington University football team has been picked to finish third in the Big Sky Conference by both the coaches and media in polls released Monday (July 26) at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff in Spokane.
Only four-time defending Big Sky Champions Weber State plus Montana were selected ahead of the Eagles in both polls, with EWU finishing ahead of Montana State and Sacramento State.
After that, spots six through 11 were identical in both the coaches and media polls with UC Davis picked sixth followed by Northern Arizona, Idaho, Idaho State, Portland State, and Southern Utah. In the coaches poll, Cal Poly was selected 12th followed by Northern Colorado. The media selected Northern Colorado 13th and Cal Poly 12th.
Eastern received three first-place votes in the media poll and two in the coaches. Weber State had 14 votes in the media and seven in the coaches, while Montana had four first-place votes in the media poll to go with two in the coaches. Montana State (three in media, one in coaches) and Sacramento State (one in coaches) rounded out the first place votes.
Prior to the 2020 season, Eastern was picked No. 4 in both polls. In 2018 and 2019, they were selected No. 1 by both the coaches and media, which marked the third time since 2014 the Eagles have been picked No. 1 in both polls. In 2015 EWU was selected first by the media. In 2016 the Eagles were fourth by the coaches and third by the media, and in 2017 Eastern was second in both. In 2013, EWU was second in both as well.
Since winning the league and NCAA Division I titles in 2010, Eastern has won Big Sky championships in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018, giving the Eagles a total of 10 league titles. Eastern is expected to return all 22 starters on both sides of the ball plus three on special teams, and 67 total letterwinners from last year’s team. The traditional fall schedule was pushed to the spring of 2021, where Eastern Washington finished 5-2 overall and advanced to the First Round of the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs. In 2019, EWU finished 7-5 overall with a 6-2 league mark to finish in a tie for third.
Eastern Washington plays three of the top-five teams in the Big Sky preseason polls at home this season in No. 1 Weber State, No. 2 Montana and No. 4 Montana State. They are also slated to play No. 8 Idaho at Roos Field, and will go on the road to play No. 12/13 Northern Colorado, No. 6 UC Davis and No. 10 Portland State.