Big Sky Conference

American collegiate athletic conference

The Big Sky Conference is a NCAA conference that play in the NCAA Division I. The conference is headquartered in Ogden, Utah and features universities and colleges from the Western United States. In football, the league plays in the second-level Division I FCS.

Members change

As of the 2017–18 school year, the Big Sky has 12 full members, or schools that play almost all of their sports in the conference. Of these schools, only Idaho does not play football in the conference. Its team in that sport plays in the top-level Division I FBS as a single-sport member of the Sun Belt Conference.

After the full Sun Belt members decided not to renew their football membership contract with Idaho when it expired after the 2017 season, Idaho decided to downgrade its football program to the FCS level and return to Big Sky football in 2018.[1]

North Dakota left the non-football side of the Big Sky to join the Summit League, home to many of its traditional rivals, in 2018.[2] The school's football team will join the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020. It played the 2018 season as an FCS independent (not in a conference), and will do so again in 2019. However, North Dakota still plays a full Big Sky football schedule, and games against North Dakota count in the Big Sky standings for other conference members.[3]

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined
Big Sky
Eastern Washington University Cheney, Washington 1882 Public Eagles 1987
University of Idaho Moscow, Idaho 1889 Public Vandals 1963, 2014[a]
Idaho State University Pocatello, Idaho 1901 Public Bengals 1963
University of Montana Missoula, Montana 1893 Public Grizzlies[b] 1963
Montana State University Bozeman, Montana 1893 Public Bobcats 1963
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona 1899 Public Lumberjacks 1970
University of Northern Colorado Greeley, Colorado 1889 Public Bears 2006
Portland State University Portland, Oregon 1946 Public Vikings 1996
California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State) Sacramento, California 1947 Public Hornets 1996
Southern Utah University Cedar City, Utah 1897 Public Thunderbirds 2012
Weber State University Ogden, Utah 1889 Public Wildcats 1963
  1. Idaho left the Big Sky in 1996 and came back in 2014 as a non-football member, and rejoined Big Sky football in 2018.
  2. The Montana women's basketball team uses "Lady Griz" as its nickname. All other Montana women's teams use "Grizzlies".

Associate members change

The Big Sky has four "associate" members that play only one sport in the conference.

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined
Big Sky
Main Conference Big Sky
Binghamton University Vestal, New York 1946 Public Bearcats 2014 America East Men's golf
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) San Luis Obispo, California 1901 Public Mustangs 2012 Big West Football
University of Hartford West Hartford, Connecticut 1877 Private Hawks 2014 America East Men's golf
University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Davis, California 1905 Public Aggies 2012 Big West Football

References change

  • "Big Sky Conference". Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  1. Dodd, Dennis (April 27, 2016). "Idaho will become first team to drop from FBS to FCS in 2018". Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  2. "The Summit League Adds The University of North Dakota" (Press release). The Summit League. January 26, 2017. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  3. "UND to Join Missouri Valley Football Conference" (Press release). Missouri Valley Football Conference. January 26, 2017. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.