Nicholas Draney, Associated Press
The Weber State Wildcats.

PARK CITY — Weber State and Southern Utah were picked near the bottom of the Big Sky in the conference's preseason football polls released Monday, but their players, at least, are more optimistic.

Weber State was picked to finish 12th in the media poll and 11th in the coaches poll, while Southern Utah was picked to finish ninth in both polls in the 13-school conference.

Montana State, which has shared three straight Big Sky championships, was picked first in both polls, with Eastern Washington second and Montana third. Idaho State was picked last in both polls.

In the preseason all-conference teams, Weber State linebacker Anthony Morales was chosen for the first team on defense, while Southern Utah receiver Fatu Moala, guard Gavin Farr and placekicker Colton Cook were picked for the first team on offense.

Both Morales and Moala were on hand for the Big Sky media day Monday at the Marriott Hotel, along with players from every school in the conference. Both Morales and Moala expressed optimism about the upcoming season.

“We lost a good quarterback, but we’ve had a couple of quarterbacks step up and I feel our team is even better than last year,’’ said Moala, who played for Utah before transferring to SUU. “We been working really hard this summer and are more of a team. Last year we had a really good team, but there were more individuals.’’

“I have high expectations,’’ said Morales, a senior at Weber State. “We went 2-9 last year, but we’re a lot more familiar with our system and we have a new offense in place, so I’m not expecting anything less than a Big Sky championship.’’

Montana State will be looking for at least its fourth-straight share of a title, but the Bobcats have even higher expectations — an FCS national championship.

“That’s the goal, no doubt about it,’’ said Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee, the Big Sky's preseason offensive player of the year. “We focus on the little things in our games, so we can accomplish the big goal of winning it all.’’

Media Poll

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TeamFirst-Place VotesTotal Points
1. Montana State31596
2. Eastern Washington12566
3. Montana3492
4. Cal Poly1466
5. Northern Arizona0457
6. Sacramento State1374
7. North Dakota0309
8. Northern Colorado0239
9. Southern Utah0228
10. Portland State0212
11. UC Davis0191
12. Weber State0164
13. Idaho State074

Coaches' Poll

TeamFirst-Place VotesTotal Points
1. Montana State8140
2. Eastern Washington3130
3. Montana2111
4. Cal Poly0109
5. Northern Arizona0104
6. Sacramento State088
7. North Dakota066
8. Northern Colorado063
9. Southern Utah057
10. Portland State049
11. Weber State048
12. UC Davis037
13. Idaho State012