The Frontier Conference is one of the most unique conferences in the NAIA. All eight teams are located in Big Sky country – Idaho, Montana, and Oregon, so they’re isolated from most NAIA teams. The conference teams have home-and-home series with certain teams, so opportunities for revenge are sometimes in play. Entering the third to last week of the season, Montana Western holds the top spot. Rocky Mountain, who is currently tied for second, has the ability to tie for first with Montana Western, if they can beat them head to head. So let’s do a quick preview of the Frontier Conference Week 8 action.
Southern Oregon 4-3 @ Montana Tech 3-4
Southern Oregon is desperately trying to get back on the winning side. Last week, they dropped a winnable game to the College of Idaho, and total have lost three straight games. Poll inertia has kept them ranked in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll, and if they can win out, they would be in the playoffs.
Montana Tech has also lost three straight, and already lost to Southern Oregon this season. Their offense goes through running back Jeff Fike. He needs to have a huge game for Tech to win.
Montana Western 6-1 @. Rocky Mountain 6-2
This is easily the Game of the Week in the Frontier Conference. While most preseason pundits thought Southern Oregon would lead the Frontier Conference, Montana Western has been able to surprise many so far. Rocky Mountain is not far behind, and if the Battlin’ Bears were to win, it would temporarily create a three-way tie for first place in the conference.
Montana Western only allows 128 rushing yards/game, while Rocky Mountain rushes for 164 yards/game. Rocky Mountain quarterback Jeff Bakken will have to have a big day through the air.
Montana State-Northern 1-7 @ Carroll College 2-5
NAIA blue-blood Carroll College is not used to being in this position, and is very much looking forward to next year. This is a game of 2018 Frontier Conference Cellar Dwellers. Carroll College running back Major Ali is also suspended for this game.
Eastern Oregon 5-2 @ College of Idaho 3-5
Eastern Oregon may be paying attention to the “Frontier Game of the Week,” as it impacts their conference standings, but they need to pay attention to CoI. The “‘Yotes” in Idaho are winners of their last three games, after an 0-5 start. Eastern Oregon is #5 in the NAIA in passing offense, so this game should be an interesting one to watch.