I wasn’t lying went I said there were a lot of “trap games” in NAIA football. Not only did the No. 1 team in the country lose last weekend but a total of nine teams that were rated or receiving votes were upset by lower ranked or unranked teams.
Obviously the biggest shock was Grand View University losing to Marian. When I looked at all of the games last weekend this game didn’t even cause me to give it a second look. It had all the makings of another GV win, so kudos to Marian for upsetting the NAIA’s top team and causing a stir at the top of the rankings.
In the end, it makes the season a whole lot more fun when there are few different teams at the top of the rankings. Some of the best in the NAIA already have a notch in the loss column and I do not believe it discounts them as a team or takes them out of the running for a potential national title.
Carroll College defeated Rocky Mountain College and furthered my point that the Frontier Conference will be the toughest and most competitive conference in the NAIA this year. Southern Oregon is salty and Carroll knocked off the higher rated Rocky Mountain College last weekend. Also, Rocky has the type of team that will bounce back from this loss and still make a run at a conference title.
Saint Xavier is another example of a good football team that lost a tough game this weekend to Robert Morris (Ill.). SXU has a lot of talent and is a postseason contender if they can fight their way through a tough schedule.
And I’m not one to call out the raters. In fact in all the years I have done this I have probably spent more time explaining the reasoning for certain jumps or falls in the ratings that the coaches made week after week. It’s a thankless job.
With that said. . .Robert Morris should be rated higher. I know it’s a long season and the ratings have a way of working out in the end, but they are a really good team.
I have no idea who will win the Mid South Conference this year or if someone from the league can win a national championship. But I do know that if you want to watch some entertaining football it’s the place to be.
Last weekend Faulkner defeated Reinhardt 55-52 in overtime. That 97 total points, 1073 total yards and one scoreboard with all the lights burned out on it. Every week the MSC has some crazy, record breaking game that catches my eye. Keep it up guys . . .although every defensive coordinator in the league is probably on the verge of heart failure.
Jamestown College QB Beau Eriksson turned in the best single game offensive performance of the year last weekend by racking 501 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 40-20 win over Waldorf.
Nick Hill of Culver Stockton will need to get some ice for his hands after last weekend. In a 54-41 loss to Avila, Hill pulled in 16 receptions for 165 yards. It’s the highest single game total for receptions turned in by an NAIA wide receiver this season.
Chris Allen of Friends might not have had the season’s high in receptions but he turned in one of the most efficient performances of the season in a 36-33 loss to Sterling. Allen had seven catches for three touchdowns and 220 receiving yards on the day.
This Week’s Games:
There are five games in the NAIA that I will be keeping a close eye on this weekend and nearly all of them are conference match ups. This is one of those weeks where gaining momentum in the conference for the rest of the season is critical, especially if you are in one of the highly competitive conferences in the NAIA. I made a pretty high score prediction for Faulkner/LWC only because “Infinity to Infinity” probably wasn’t a proper prediction. USF (Ind.) I think has the edge on Grand View playing in Fort Wayne this weekend. Regardless of who wins, it’ll be a slobberknocker. Sterling will give No. 3 Tabor everything they can handle this week but I still think the Blue Jays are best in the KCAC. MoVal/Bene is a bit of a tossup and I won’t be surprised to see it go either way. SXU should have the edge on USF (Ill.)
Missouri Valley 24 Benedictine (Kan.) 17
Saint Xavier (Ill.) 31 St. Francis (Ill.) 21
Faulkner (Ala.) 49 Lindsey Wilson (Ky) 42
Saint Francis (Ind.) 28 Grand View (Iowa) 27
Tabor (Kan.) 31 Sterling (Kan.) 25
(A) 11 Missouri Valley @ (H) 14 Benedictine (Kan.)
(A) 12 St. Francis (Ill.) @ (H) 13 Saint Xavier (Ill.)
(A) 16 Northwestern (Iowa) @ (H) Nebraska Wesleyan
(A) 17 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) @ (H) 4 Faulkner (Ala.)
(A) 19 Robert Morris (Ill.) @ (H) Trinity International (Ill.)
(A) 21 Eastern Oregon @ (H) 10 Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
(A) 22 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) @ (H) Hastings (Neb.)
(A) 25 Ottawa (Kan.) @ (H) Bethel (Kan.)
(A) 7 Southern Oregon @ (H) Montana State-Northern
(A) 8 Grand View (Iowa) @ (H) 9 Saint Francis (Ind.)
(A) Briar Cliff (Iowa) @ (H) Dordt (Iowa)
(A) Buena Vista University @ (H) Waldorf (Iowa)
(A) Campbellsville (Ky.) @ (H) Belhaven (Miss.)
(A) Central Methodist (Mo.) @ (H) RV Avila (Mo.)
(A) Dakota State (S.D.) @ (H) RV Concordia (Neb.)
(A) Dickinson State (N.D.) @ (H) Mayville State (N.D.)
(A) Doane (Neb.) @ (H) Midland (Neb.)
(A) Evangel (Mo.) @ (H) Peru State (Neb.)
(A) Friends (Kan.) @ (H) Southwestern (Kan.)
(A) Graceland (Iowa) @ (H) 2 Baker (Kan.)
(A) Kansas Wesleyan @ (H) McPherson (Kan.)
(A) Louisiana College @ (H) RV Bacone (Okla.)
(A) Missouri Baptist @ (H) Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.)
(A) Montana Tech @ (H) College of Idaho
(A) Panhandle State University @ (H) Texas College
(A) Pikeville (Ky.) @ (H) 23 Cumberlands (Ky.)
(A) Reinhardt (Ga.) @ (H) Bethel (Tenn.)
(A) RV Langston (Okla.) @ (H) Hardin-Simmons University
(A) RV MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) @ (H) Culver-Stockton (Mo.)
(A) RV Sterling (Kan.) @ (H) 3 Tabor (Kan.)
(A) Saint Mary (Kan.) @ (H) Bethany (Kan.)
(A) Southwestern University @ (H) Oklahoma Baptist
(A) St. Ambrose (Iowa) @ (H) Concordia (Mich.)
(A) Taylor (Ind.) @ (H) 15 William Penn (Iowa)
(A) Texas Lutheran University @ (H) SAGU (Texas)
(A) Valley City State (N.D.) @ (H) Jamestown (N.D.)
(A) Warner (Fla.) @ (H) Ave Maria (Fla.)
(A) Wayland Baptist (Texas) @ (H) Sul Ross State University
(A) Webber International (Fla.) @ (H) Menlo (Calif.)
(N) Point (Ga.) vs. (N) Edward Waters (Fla.)