Can Missoula Handle a ‘Cat-Griz Rematch in the FCS Playoff?
If you thought Missoula came unhinged over the weekend when the Montana Grizzlies decisively beat the Montana State University Bobcats it will pale in comparison if the two teams face off again next month.
Is that possible?
Yes, it's not only possible, but one has to say the odds may favor a re-match in a later round of the FCS playoffs.
The Griz captured their first Big Sky Championship on Saturday, handing the Bobcats easily with a 37-7 victory in which MSU never really showed the strength that had given Bozeman fans a promising season.
Home-field is huge
It was the fourth year in a row that the home team in the series allowed Montana or MSU to notch a dominating win. But more importantly, it gives UM a home-field advantage should the two teams face off during the FCS playoffs.
Montana will start with a first-round bye this week and then face the winner of the first-round playoff game between Lafayette and Delaware with an evening game in Washington Grizzly Stadium on December 2nd.
The Bobcats are waiting for Drake and North Dakota State.
But wait, could there be a Brawl Part Deux?
Technically yes. But the FCS playoffs can be notoriously unpredictable. As my colleague Aaron Flint pointed out, both teams would have to survive not only the second-round games but the quarterfinals on December 8th and 9th.
And on paper, the heavy lifting looks to be up to MSU, which could have to face North Dakota State in the second-round game. Yeah, the Bisons. Who have won 9 championships between 2011 and 2021.
Montana would come un-glued
A UM-MSU re-match is still a fantasy at this point. But given how the "Brawl of the Wild" plays out, it's hard to imagine any work getting done the week before such a matchup. Talk to anyone in food service about how busy this past Saturday was and you'll quickly realize those poor folks, as well as anyone working at hotels, would be swamped. Everyone else would spend the week jawing over the game.
But the potential is something to keep an eye on, especially if you have friends coming in for the holidays, or you're in charge of catering the office Christmas party. Keep an eye on the scores and the calendar, or you could be making lots of little sandwiches in your kitchen!
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Gallery Credit: Will Gordon