Maybe I have just been around the Frontier Conference for too long, but it still takes me by surprise when the football preseason poll doesn’t just mirror how everyone finished a year ago.

Granted, the 2023 preseason coaches’ poll isn’t too far removed from last year's finish.

Here is a look at this year's preseason Frontier Coaches poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their team. A first-place vote was worth 8 points, second place 7 points, third place 6 points, and so on down to the eighth place which is worth 1 point. Number of first-place votes in ( ).

College of Idaho (5)                       57 points
Montana Tech (3)                           53 points
Carroll College (1)                          48 points
Western                                          46 points
Rocky                                             40 points
Arizona Christian                           31 points
Southern Oregon                           21 points
Eastern Oregon                             18 points
MSU-Northern                                8 points

Last year the College of Idaho was absolutely on fire to start the season, winning their first 6 games. They took their first loss in Dillon and then lost a huge game at home to Carroll to end the season. That final loss dropped them into a tie for the conference championship at 8-2 with Carroll College, and it also kept them out of the NAIA Playoffs.

Carroll on the other hand did not start strong. The Saints were 3-2 five weeks into the season and were forced to go into playoff mode really early. They responded in a big way, winning their last 5 regular season games to get a share of the Frontier crown, AND the Frontier’s lone Playoff spot.

There are a lot of things we could talk about (and will) for the coming year, like Tech returns a lot of talent, Western has a lot of spots to fill, BUT I think very highly of Coach Nourse and know he will be ready. Rocky is always going to be talented, Southern was a team you didn’t want to play at the end of last year, Eastern will be better, and Northern will be too, count on it.

Tech_Football4 photo courtesy _JonWick_5518Design

But, there is one HUGE piece of blackboard material in this poll, Arizona Christian is picked to finish 6th.

I mentioned earlier that Carroll was the lone Frontier school to make the playoffs, Arizona Christian was a top-25 team and also went to the playoffs, representing the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC). Last year they were co-SAC champs at 7-2, and this year they are picked to take sixth in the Frontier. You can guarantee they will be packing a grudge into their first Frontier Conference season.

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