We can’t say it with 100 percent certainty, so let’s stick with 99.9: All 12 of the University of Montana Grizzlies’ 2013 football games will be televised this fall.
Kent Haslam, Montana’s first-year athletic director, confirmed that a deal to get the last four games that hadn’t found television homes by the first of May was in place.
“It’s just a matter of working through some details but it looks like all 12 will be on TV,” Haslam said Thursday. “And it will be Max Media.”
Max Media, which includes KTMF-TV in Missoula (channel 23) and Kalispell (ch. 42), won the bid to televise UM’s Big Sky Conference games that weren’t picked up by ROOT Sports: Oct. 12 at UC Davis, Oct. 19 vs. Cal Poly, Nov. 2 at Sacramento State and Nov. 16 at home against Weber State.
That left four games uncovered, including the Aug. 31 opener against Appalachian State, as well as the home game against Oklahoma Panhandle State on Sept. 21 and road games at North Dakota Sept. 14 and South Dakota on Nov. 9.
ROOT is televising the Grizzlies’ games at Northern Arizona on Sept. 28, at home against Portland State on Oct. 5, a home game against Eastern Washington on Oct. 26 and the 113th Griz-Cat game in Bozeman on Nov. 23.
All the games seem to be 1 p.m. or noon starts save for Appalachian State. The Mountaineers and Grizzlies kicked off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time in Boone, N.C. last Sept. 1. App State won the game 35-27.
Appalachian State, which will move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Sun Belt Conference next season, went 8-4 last season. The Grizzlies went 5-6.
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Get ready for some all-time Big Sky Conference teams late this summer, as the league celebrates its 50 th year and 25 th with women’s athletics.
The current Big Sky, which has 11 members for all sports and 13 for football, has changed quite a bit from the one that opened in 1963 with charter members: Montana, Montana State, Idaho, Idaho State, Gonzaga and Weber State.
Plans are to name a team of the 50 male athletes and 25 female, spread out among the many sports the Big Sky has offered. Former and current league coaches, administrators and media members have been selected to receive ballots, though there are plans to have fans take part in the process through on-line voting.
“We’ve been gearing up for this celebralation for several years,” Big Sky commissioner Doug Fullerton said in a statement. “Remembering and honor our past student-athletes, teams, record-breaking performances and the coaches and administrators who guided them along the way will be fun.”
In addition to the student-athlete teams, the Big Sky will assemble a list of the league’s greatest moments, to be voted on as well. So, a lot of ground – or athletes – will be covered.
“They may not belong on the top 50 but they had moments that are associated with a school and the Big Sky Conference,” said Jon Kasper, the Big Sky’s assistant commissioner for media relations. “Next summer (2014) we plan on having a celebration where we bring in former athletes and coaches and administrators.”
The Big Sky will start its celebration with the release of its lists beginning in late August.
With offseason workouts underway around the NFL, there seems to be good news from Tennessee, where Griz great Marc Mariani continues to work back from the broken leg he suffered last preseason.
“I’m sure he feels limited, but he has been amazing,” Titans’ coach Mike Munchak told the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville on Tuesday. “I know he is not feeling 100 percent yet, but he is pushing through it.”
Mariani, a seventh-round draft pick out of Montana in 2010, went to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner following his rookie season in Tennessee. He caught a UM-record 29 touchdown passes for the Griz from 2007-09.