The Montana Grizzly football team was picked by both the media and coaches polls to finish third in the Big Sky Conference at their summer media gathering in Park City, Utah.

University of Montana Athletic Director Kent Haslam said in a telephone interview from Park City on Monday, that the third place choice, especially after last year's disappointing 5-6 season, was a sign of respect for Montana's program.

"I think being picked third in both the coaches and media preseason polls shows the respect that the conference has in our program," Haslam said. "Obviously, preseason polls are worth the paper they're written on to be honest, but I think they're a good barometer, and its exciting for the kids to get ready for August."

Montana State was chosen to finish number one, with Eastern Washington at number two, and Cal Poly at number four.

The Grizzlies open their season over the Labor day weekend by hosting perennial FCS power Appalachian State.

University of Montana Athletic Director Kent Haslam