CSFL: Bacone squeaked out a 41-28 victory over Oklahoma Baptist to up their record to 7-2 while Langston found themselves in the same boat defeating Oklahoma Panhandle State, 20-19. These two faceoff this weekend for what will essentially be the conference championship game. Langston has done themselves no favors by entering the late season now at 4-4. Raters just are not going to look favorably at your team even if they are a 6-4, conference champion. It will be a stretch for the CSFL to get their conference champion in if Langston wins out. The smart money is for Bacone to win out, get into the top 20 and make the postseason.
Today’s Prediction: Bacone
Frontier: Carroll College and Rocky Mountain face off this week basically for the conference title. If Carroll wins, they seemingly lock up the conference title as long as they win in the final week of the season against Dickinson State. If Rocky wins, the Bears won’t win the title, but will boost themselves in the ratings for a potential at-large berth into the postseason and Southern Oregon will be in the drivers season to win a conference title. Yes, even though SOU lost to Carroll last weekend the Raiders could win the conference due to the Saints early season loss to EOU. A loss to Rocky gives Carroll two conference losses and SOU’s only conference loss is now to Carroll due to the Rocky Mountain forfeit earlier this season. Long story short, there is a lot riding on the outcome of Carroll/Rocky this week.
Today’s Prediction: Carroll College as Champion. Rocky and Southern Oregon with a shot at an at-large.
GPAC: Nothing has changed here. Morningside is the only team that I think will make it in. Northwestern might have a shot, but they need help in the ratings and a three point win over Hastings this weekend is not going to be enough to impress the raters. Dakota Wesleyan is also 6-3, but losses to Northwestern and Morningside are going to keep raters from moving them into a position to make the postseason.
Today’s Prediction: Morningside.
HAAC: Missouri Valley beat Peru State to put them in control of what should be three teams from the HAAC in the postseason. Peru State can still win two more games and likely make the postseason, but that would involve defeating Baker who is one of the hottest teams in the NAIA. The Vikings and Benedictine College will face off this weekend in Marshall, Mo. for another huge game in the HAAC.
Today’s Prediction: Benedictine, Baker with Mo. Valley and Peru State battling for a third spot.
Independent: Mayville State is now 6-3. They are the only Independent with a shot at the postseason. Losses to Midland, Graceland and Jamestown are going to keep them from the Top 20. Side note, the Comets are guaranteed their first winning season since 1990.
Today’s Prediction: No Qualifier.
KCAC: Good luck predicting what will happen in this conference. Tabor’s loss to Bethany last weekend shook things up and has given play to Sterling, Friends, Ottawa and themselves to make the postseason. Literally this conference is going to have to wait until the final snap to determine who will make the postseason. Friends, Ottawa and Sterling all have one loss in the conference while all four teams are 7-2. This week’s game with Friends/Ottawa will give one team the edge on a conference title. Ottawa and Tabor face off on November 16th, giving the Braves the toughest road of the top four in the KCAC to make the postseason.
Today’s Prediction: Ottawa and Sterling.
MSC-East: No change from last week. The University of the Cumberlands remains in control with Lindsey Wilson and Georgetown College knocking on the door. If both teams take care of business the rest of the season, the winner of their game on November 16th will make it to the NAIA Championship Series.
Today’s Prediction: U-Cumberlands and winner of LWC/GT
MSC-West: Reinhardt and Campbellsville are still undefeated in conference play. But Campbellsville lost badly to U-Cumberlands in a crossover game last weekend which raters will not look too kindly upon, preventing them from getting to where they need to be in order to make the postseason. This week CU and Faulkner face off which is a must win for Faulkner if they are to make it into the postseason With a 7-2 record and the highest rating in the conference, the Eagles are the most likely team to still make it into the postseason. Reinhardt did not play this week and is still undefeated in the conference and has games left against Cumberland (Tenn.) and Campbellsville. If Reinhardt wins out, they win the conference and get the automatic berth into the postseason.
Today’s Prediction: Faulkner with Reinhardt still having a shot.
MSFA-Mideast: No changes in this conference. USF (Ind.) is still in control even though Marian and USF (Ill.) both have one loss in the conference. USF (Ill.) plays a tough game against MSFA Crossover opponent St. Ambrose this week while Marian and USF (Ind.) will faceoff the final week of the season.
Today’s Prediction: Saint Francis (Ind.).
MSFA-Midwest: Grand View is in control of this conference with a 9-0 record. Even if they lose to William Penn they have the tiebreaker over all other teams in the conference. Saint Ambrose’s win over Saint Xavier puts them into position to make the postseason as an at-large which also means SXU will struggle to make the field of 16. The Cougars have to win out to have a chance and even if that happens, it will be tough.
Today’s Prediction: Grand View, Saint Ambrose with Saint Xavier struggling to make it.
For those of you keeping score, my November 3rd prediction for the NAIA postseason looks like this:
- Central States Football League: Bacone College
- Frontier Conference: Carroll College and Rocky Mountain
- Great Plains Athletic Conference: Morningside College
- Heart of America Athletic Conference: Benedictine, Baker and Missouri Valley/Peru State.
- Independents: None
- Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference: Sterling College and Ottawa University
- Mid-South Conference East: Cumberlands and winner of LWC/GT
- Mid South Conference West: Faulkner University
- Mid States Football Association Mideast: Saint Francis (Ind.)
- Mid States Football Association Midwest: Grand View and Saint Ambrose
It looks like the final at large spots in the NAIA postseason will likely be fought over