Somethings you just can’t get out of your blood and covering NAIA football in some shape or form is one of those things for me. I don’t have the time these days to follow every team in the NAIA like I used to back in the day but I still keep track of it enough to feel like I can make a few predictions heading into this weekend’s first round of the Championship Series.
Game 1 – Benedictine (Kan.) (9-2) at Saint Francis (Ind.) (10-0): Tough road trip for the Ravens. Two legendary coaches facing off in this one with Wilcox and Donley.
USF 42 Benedictine 14
Game 2 – Concordia (Mich.) (9-1) at Reinhardt (Ga.) (9-0): This is one of those match ups that still amazes me. 10 years ago had you told me both of these teams would have football and be in the postseason as two of the NAIA’s best I would have told you to lay off the pipe.
Reinhardt 49 Concordia 10
Game 3 – Sterling (Kan.) (9-2) at Morningside (Iowa) (11-0): KCAC in the first round of the postseason with two losses against an undefeated GPAC team. Doesn’t look good fellas.
Morningside 56 Sterling 7
Game 4 – Southeastern (Fla.) (8-1) at Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (10-0): Interesting game to say the least and could be a real testament to where football stands at the NAIA level in Florida.
Lindsey Wilson 35 Southeastern 21
Game 5 – Dickinson State (N.D.) (9-1) at Southern Oregon (10-0): Stop me if you heard this one before. The winner of the DAC errrrrr NSAA travels to the Frontier for the first round of the playoffs. No one saw that one coming. (Please note, this is sarcasm.)
SOU 28 Dickinson State 7
Game 6 – Georgetown (Ky.) (8-1) at Baker (Kan.) (10-1): Hell, I feel like I’m back in the 90’s with this match up. Let me dust off my Sony Discman with skip protection and fire up some White Zombie.
Baker 31 Georgetown 24
Game 7 – Northwestern (Iowa) (9-1) at Langston (Okla.) (10-0): I’ve always said Langston had the opportunity to be scary good as a program. This year they are undefeated and hosting a first round playoff game. They have an opportunity to establish themselves nationally this year.
Langston 24 Northwestern 14
Game 8 – Grand View (Iowa) (9-2) at Saint Xavier (Ill.) (9-1): Championship Game for the MSFA Midwest in the first round of the postseason? This seems odd that the NAIA would. . .oh they did. . .really. . .how long ago. . .oh. . .yeah I remember that now.
SXU 35 Grand View 31
If there is anything I’ve learned about the NAIA first round it’s to put your money on the home teams. My least confident picks are SXU, Langston and Baker. Otherwise put the others in a parlay and bring home the bacon.
As for the rest of the postseason. . .since the NAIA doesn’t bracket the Championship Series it’s tough to say who will line up best for a trip to Daytona. So without knowing any of the potential future match ups I’ll skip right ahead to who I think will win this whole thing and take home the TO Trophy.
My money rides on USF to win back to back titles. They’ve proven themselves again this year and have a ton of talent on this squad. If not USF, I’ll say Morningside will finally win their first NAIA football championship.
There you have it. Short and sweet. Happy footballing and good luck to whoever it is that has to figure out the travel accommodations next week over Thanksgiving.