Sunday, April 26, 2015

Great West has lived up to its name

September 22, 2010 |

Enterprise staff writer

Watching a league foe pick up a big nonconference win Ñ such as Great West Football Conference member South Dakota beating Minnesota or Cal Poly downing Montana Ñ naturally brings mixed emotion for a team.

So while UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs or North DakotaÕs Chris Mussman are happy because those victories help boost the profile of the Great West, they also realize they still have to face the Coyotes and the Mustangs later in the season.

ÒI think itÕs awesome,Ó Biggs said during MondayÕs Great West teleconference. ÒAnytime you can beat a Big 10 team, thatÕs a tremendous accomplishment, and to beat Montana, thatÕs a great accomplishment. But on the flip side, you realize youÕre going to have to play those guys, too.Ó

Only three weeks into the year, the Great West already has no shortage of huge victories. The most impressive came when South Dakota traveled east and took down the Football Bowl Subdivision Golden Gophers, 41-38. The victory vaulted the Coyotes into the rankings for the first time and they currently sit at No. 21.

Cal Poly completed what it failed to do in 2009, defeating Montana Ñ which was the top-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision at the time Ñ 35-33 in San Luis Obispo.

ÒI was catching the South Dakota highlights against Minnesota on ESPN and was really impressed with the energy South Dakota played with, their tenacity and their quarterback play,Ó said Southern Utah head coach Ed Lamb, whose team looked pretty strong itself in a 32-3 win over San Diego. ÒI think they and Cal Poly have really sent messages about how good their football team is. For us, itÕs a real eye-opener to see that going on.Ó

But itÕs not just the wins that are impressive for the Great West. Southern Utah lost its two games against FBS competition by a combined 13 points.

The Thunderbirds made a valiant effort at a comeback against Wyoming Ñ a bowl team a year ago Ñ before succumbing, and San Jose State needed a touchdown in the last two minutes to prevent a SUU upset on Saturday.

Meanwhile, North Dakota lost to Northern Illinois, another FBS team, by just six points and had a couple of shots at the end zone from the opposing 27-yard line in the waning seconds.

Lamb said that one Great West team showing well doesnÕt just help that squad, but the conference as a whole.

ÒIf weÕre going to gain … national respect and be able to attract recruits, we have to show that we are a good team in a good conference that has access to the playoffs,Ó Lamb said. ÒIÕm glad those teams have got the signature wins that they have. I think all the teams in our conference have shown really well and are growing in national reputation.Ó

Some of the enthusiasm the Great West coaches have for their conference mates picking up impressive victories seems to be because of a perceived lack of national exposure Ñ outside of Cal Poly Ð that the league gets.

Of the five teams in the conference, South and North Dakota are both in the middle of a transition to Division I, while the Aggies are in just their fourth year as an FCS member. Southern Utah is only three years removed from an 0-11 season and went a combined 8-35 from 2005 to 2008.

ÒI think sometimes the Great West probably doesnÕt get the credit that it really deserves,Ó Biggs said. ÒWithin our conference and the teams that we play, people know that itÕs a solid conference from top to bottom.Ó

But the coaches know that while these games are good for the Great West now, itÕs only going to make conference play that much tougher. So far it looks like there will be no easy opponents on the league schedule.

ÒWeÕve got some good football teams in this league up and down,Ó Mussman said. ÒItÕs going to be a slugfest here as we get into conference play.Ó

Ñ Reach Conor Tekautz at [email protected] or (530) 747-8049. Comment on this story or check out The Enterprise sports blog at To view photo galleries and purchase prints of UCD football visit



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery



    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery





    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery



    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8



    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6



    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8