Ogden • Weber State hasn't reach the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs since 2009.
The Wildcats could return this year, however, if they win their final regular season game at Idaho State on Saturday afternoon.
Weber State is 6-4 overall and 5-2 in the Big Sky Conference. With a victory, the Wildcats will cement third place in the league. Presuming North Dakota (9-2, 8-0) and Eastern Washington (9-1, 7-0) have already clinched bids, one other Big Sky school will likely qualify the 24-team FCS playoffs. There are four possibilities: Weber State, Cal Poly, Northern Colorado and Montana.
Since Cal Poly (6-4, 4-3) and Northern Colorado (6-4, 4-3) play Saturday, one will add to its credentials and one will be eliminated. But Weber State seems to have an advantage over both teams. The Wildcats won their head-to-head game against Cal Poly, 22-15. They will also finish ahead of the Bears in the conference standings, if both win their final games.
That leaves Montana, which is 6-4 overall but only 3-4 in the Big Sky. It plays rival Montana State in their final game and should win, given how badly the Bobcats have struggled this season.
So the Big Sky's third bid could come down to Weber State or Montana. The teams did not play each other during the season. Weber will finish ahead of Montana in the Big Sky standings, but the Grizzlies are ranked 22nd in this week's FCS national poll. Montana also has tradition on its side, having reached the playoffs 21 times in the past 23 years.
Would a bracket without perennial power Montana be something the selection committee embraces? That might be the biggest question on Sunday, when the playoff bracket is announced at 9 a.m. MST on ESPNU.