MISSOULA — Montana finished the regular season the No. 2-ranked team in the FCS.
The Grizzlies, who walloped rival Montana State 37-7 in their regular-season finale Saturday, have won seven consecutive games to gradually climb the rankings in the STATS Perform FCS Top 25 Poll. The latest edition was released Monday.
Only undefeated and reigning FCS national champion South Dakota State, which again received all 56 first-place votes, is ranked ahead of Montana.
Despite the loss to the Griz, Montana State is still ranked in the top five. The Bobcats slid from last week's No. 4 ranking to No. 5 this week, one spot behind fourth-ranked Idaho, which jumped from last week's No. 6 ranking.
South Dakota is the No. 3 team in the poll. Furman, which was ranked second last week, fell to the No. 7 ranking after suffering a 19-13 loss at Wofford.
Sacramento State and UC Davis are also ranked from the Big Sky Conference. The Aggies were unranked last week but defeated then-No. 8 Sac State 31-21 to finish the regular season. The Hornets tumbled to No. 15 in the rankings, while the Aggies are 25th.
Montana, Idaho, Montana State and Sac State all qualified for the FCS playoffs, while UC Davis was left out of the bracket. After securing the Big Sky Conference championship with their win over the Bobcats, the Griz are the No. 2 seed for the playoffs. Idaho is the fourth seed, and Montana State the No. 6 seed.
Sac State will play North Dakota, which is ranked 12th in the STATS Perform FCS Top 25 Poll, in a first-round game of the FCS playoffs.