Cat Griz 2022

Montana's Mitch Roberts is pursued  by MSU's Rylan Ortt near the end zone on Nov. 19 during the Brawl of the Wild in Bozeman.

BOZEMAN — After watching their team get routed by archrival Montana State on Saturday afternoon, Montana football fans were stuck having to wait 19 hours to find out the team's playoff fate.

FCS experts and many fans were pessimistic. The recency bias of Montana's blowout loss had them thinking that UM wouldn't make the field.

Instead, Montana lived to see another day, hearing its name called on the FCS Selection Show Sunday morning on ESPNU.

The Griz will host Ohio Valley Conference champion Southeast Missouri State at 8 p.m. Saturday. Not only are they in, they'll be on national television for the second time this season. ESPN2 has picked up their game and will be in Missoula for the first-round Thanksgiving weekend matchup.

Montana is the fifth Big Sky team to make the field this season along with Sacramento State, Montana State, Weber State and Idaho. UC-Davis, who ended the season at 6-5, was left on the outside looking in.

The committee takes into account many different factors when debating the playoffs — injuries, conference strength and "quality losses" versus "quality wins," among other things.

Despite some up-and-down moments, the Griz have been afforded a fresh start in a brand new season.

Lucas Semb is the Griz football beat writer for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @Lucas_Semb or email him at

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