The Frontier Conference had their annual media day Tuesday afternoon in Great Falls, and one of the major storylines-Montana Tech being voted first in the pre-season rankings, and even without the ranking, the Ore-Diggers have high hopes of building off last season's success.
"Of course we have big expectations, I think everybody in this room and every coach in this conference has big expectations, but the reality is you've got to take it one day at a time, and just focus on one game at a time." says Tech head coach Chuck Morrell.
While the expectations are high for Tech…over in Dillon, they've got a new head coach, who since taking the job, has nearly been too busy to comprehend what lies ahead.
"It's been fast, but it's been a good fast. You're so busy you don't have time to think about that stuff, like your expectations or should you be nervous, just because you're so busy trying to get the day to day things done," says new UM-Western head coach B. J. Robertson.
So how does Robertson plan on turning the Bulldogs into a winner?
"Energy, excitement, enthusiasm, and talking about team first. That's what we've been talking about, of course when you come in as a new coach, You're bringing in some new ideas, a new philosophy so change is always hard at first, but if every day I wake up and do what's best for the team, we'll be going in the right direction," says Robertson.
While Tech's win last year over the Fighting Saints certainly marked a potential shift in power as Carroll missed the NAIA playoffs for the first time in years…Coach Morrell won't be taking anyone lightly, especially the Saints.
"They're absolutely a threat, I think they've proven they are one of the best teams in the NAIA over the course of a long time, and I expect them to be great and back in the hunt this year, but I think it comes down to, for any team in our league, top to bottom, it's just a matter of finding a way to win those close ball games," says Morrell.
Here is how the conference rankings shook out: coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. First place was worth seven po0ints, second place worth six, third place worth five, fourth place worth four, fifth place worth three, sixth place worth two and seventh place worth one.
Montana Tech (4) 43 points
Carroll College (3) 43 points
Southern Oregon (1) 40 points
Rocky Mountain 34 points
MSU-Northern 22 points
Eastern Oregon 18 points
Montana Western 17 points
Dickinson State 7 points