2019 Rimington Award Winners for the Nation’s Top Center for FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA Announced

FCS 2019 Larsen Action 1

Southern Utah’s Zach Larsen Wins First Rimington Award in School History

New York, NY – Zach Larsen of Southern Utah headlines the 2019 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 17th time the top center of each respective level has received the award.

 

Larsen, a senior from Draper, Utah, has been one of the more decorated centers in recent FCS history. He is a three-time All-Big Sky Conference honoree, earning unanimous first team honors this season. In 2018 he was named an All-American by Phil Steele as well as by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. In 2017 he received All-American honors from STATS, Hero Sports and Phil Steele. Additionally, Larsen has been a fulltime starter at center for the Thunderbirds since his freshman year.  Zach is the first Thunderbird to ever receive the Rimington Award and the fourth winner from the Big Sky Conference. Continue reading

2017 Rimington Award Winners for the Nation’s Top Center for FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA Announced.

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South Dakota State’s Jacob Ohnesorge Wins First Rimington Award in School History

New York, NY – Jacob Ohnesorge of South Dakota State University headlines the 2017 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 15th time the top center of each respective level has received the award.

Ohnesorge, a senior from Waunakee, Wis. is a three-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree, earning first team honors in both his junior and senior seasons. Additionally, Ohnesorge excelled in the classroom being named to the MVFC Academic Honor Roll in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Jacob has started 53 consecutive games which ties a record for the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits and has already graduated with his degree in Mechanical Engineering.  After starting all four seasons, Ohnesorge was part of one of the best offenses in SDSU school history this year averaging 38.8 points per game.  Ohnesorge is the first Jackrabbit to ever receive the Rimington Award. Continue reading

My Top Five Reasons Why Nebraska Football Will Never Return To Glory Unless Something Changes Other Than The Head Coach.

gates copyI knew you were thinking it.

“I wonder what that guy who used to write about NAIA football all the time and sells farm equipment now thinks about the current state of the Nebraska football program?”

Well you’re in luck! It’s cold in North Dakota today, the Bison are on the road and Nebraska doesn’t play until later. So that gives me plenty of time to throw out a bunch of polarizing ideas that will have half of my friends blocking me on Facebook and the other half rolling with laughter. Keep in mind, I’ve done zero research before writing this article.

Plus I took the under in this Mississippi State/Arkansas game and that doesn’t look promising right now. Kinda like the future of Nebraska football unless something changes, other than the coaching situation. So here you go folks! Continue reading

Dale Carlson to Take Over the Lindenwood-Belleville Football Program

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Dale Carlson – Lindenwood Belleville

Belleville, Ill. — Lindenwood University – Belleville and Director of Athletics Scott Spinner have announced the hiring of Dale Carlson as head football coach. Carlson is the second head coach for the Lynx since the inception of the program in 2012 and will take over as Lindenwood-Belleville prepares for its first season in the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA).

Carlson comes to Lindenwood-Belleville after spending last season as the assistant head coach at North Park University. Prior to that, Carlson spent four years (2010-2013) at the helm of Valparaiso University.
As the Lynx continue to build on a young program, they bring in Carlson, who has started programs at both Trine University and Ohio Dominican.

From 1994-2003, Carlson was the first head coach at Trine and held a record of 47-35 before turning his focus to Ohio Dominican, starting that program and staying there until 2010. While at Ohio Dominican, Carlson amassed a record of 36-27. Continue reading

Jason Dannelly Previews the NAIA Football Quarterfinals

560204_10152799750429477_7500933386025271825_nI’m going to be completely honest. I hate round two of the NAIA Championship Series. I hate the way it’s put together, I hate when it’s played and I hate that after umpteen years no one has done anything to change it.

Some of my argument for change goes back to what I touched on last week via twitter and the need for the NAIA and its football coaches to consider a major rewrite of the NAIA Championship Series. Just like every other division of college football, things have changed. But the NAIA is the only organization that has not made a major change to its postseason qualification since it adopted its current form in 1997.

And there isn’t a person in the world that can convince me the state of NAIA football is the same now as it was in 1997. Continue reading

Jason Dannelly Predicts the 2014 NAIA Football Championship Series Qualifiers

Dustin Rinker

Carroll College RB Dustin Rinker. (Helena IR Photo)

Every year this moment in the season comes and every year it’s like my version of X-Mas. There’s nothing better in my world than seeing 16 NAIA football teams advance to the postseason and letting the craziness begin.

This year, the craziness might have started a week earlier than usual. Morningside, Southern Oregon and Georgetown College both all on the final day of the NAIA football regular season changing the perspective of the NAIA postseason immensely. That’s three of the NAIA’s top five teams falling, making the new No. 1 team in the NAIA Carroll College

Being rated in the Top 2 and Top 4 are probably the two biggest factors in making the NAIA Championship Game. Top 2 (as long as you put in the bids) guarantees you home field advantage through the semis. Top 4 obviously gives you the same advantage until the semifinals which many will argue is the most important. Given the Thanksgiving holiday, no one wants to be on the road that weekend and traditionally the home teams have had a much higher rate of success than the road teams during the Turkey Day weekend.

Before predicting anything we have to know the facts. Who won, who lost and who is a conference champion. Remember, all conference champions rated No. 20 or higher earn an automatic berth. Continue reading

Jason Dannelly: A Look at the Final Week of the NAIA Football Regular Season

10339739_1703721843187182_1827114446610379474_nEarlier this week I had intentions to write a conference by conference breakdown of who is in and who is out of the NAIA Football Championship Series. But as life would have it this week has been much busier than normal. Something about a trip to Minnesota, a snow storm and another job kind of got in the way.However, the NAIA wrote a great breakdown of the final week of the regular season. You can read that article here.

The number one thing everyone needs to remember is this: Conference champions rated #20 or better get automatic berths to the postseason. If you are a conference champ and rated #23 in the final poll, you are out of luck. If you are conference co-champs and you are rated #21 and the other team is #15, you are on the outside looking in.

The magic number to remember is 20.

So who am I talking about specifically? Langston, Reinhardt, Saint Francis (Ind.) and Webber International. All of these teams can either win or have part of a conference title by winning this weekend. However, they will all need the help of a lot of other people outside of their control if they are going to make it to the postseason. Continue reading

Jason Dannelly: Two Weeks Left Until the NAIA Football Regular Season Ends

Brandon Wegher of Morningside

Brandon Wegher of Morningside

My first year covering the NAIA as a true national journalist was 2002. I knew the teams and the conferences, kinda. And I knew who was good, sorta. But when this time of year came around I found myself scrambling to try to figure out what the heck was going on in each conference. I made bold predictions that made me look like an idiot and I guaranteed outcomes that I had no business commenting on.

12 years later . . . not much has changed!

The NAIA postseason is taking shape. If you want to be a part of it, don’t have three losses. It’s been nearly impossible through the years to make the postseason with three losses, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen.

Where we see the exception is typically in conferences where teams are forced to play a lot of games outside of their league schedule. The Central States Football League is the most notable in this department and unless Langston wins out they will be left without a postseason rep once again. The Lions are 5-3 and finish up against Bacone and SAGU, the next best teams in the league over the next two weeks. Continue reading

Kansas State and Michigan BWW Bowl Thoughts fro Jason Dannelly

Kansas State and Michigan are set to lock things up Saturday in Tempe, but lingering questions around the Wolverines has many wondering which team will show up.

The Wolverine’s football season reminds me of the Total Recall movie remake that should have never happened. There are points in this season where Michigan looked like old school Arnold Schwarzenegger, just dominating, killing people and feeding his “thing” blondes. Then at times, they looked like Colin Farrell…no further explanation needed.

It truly has been a tale of two seasons for Michigan with the facade starting to crack in weeks three and four. Sure the Wolverines got wins and eventually started the season 5-0, but they didn’t exactly dominate the powerhouses of Akron and U-Conn. (This is the part where Michigan fan points out North Dakota State… shaddup).

The point is that Michigan has been all over the road like Lindsay Lohan after a night at the club (oh, right she’s “sober”). The Wolverines looked like a Big 10 champion in their narrow loss to Ohio State and looked anemic in late losses to Iowa and Nebraska.

So which group of Wolverines will show up on Saturday? Will it be Devin Gardner, Jeremy Gallon and Fitzgerald Toussaint lighting up the Wildcats like they did against their early season opponents? Or will this be the offense that averaged 2.8 yards per play against Iowa and Nebraska?

A lot of those questions will be answered in the coming two days and hinge on whether or not Devin Gardner, ol’ numba 98, is healthy. His ailing toe kept him out of Christmas Day workouts and Michigan offensive coordinator said that if they had to play today, it would be freshman Shane Morris taking the snaps.

In reality, it might not matter who takes the snaps for Michigan. Gardner hasn’t exactly been the reincarnation of Dennard Robinson and a new signal caller might be what the Wolverines need to shake up their offense against a K-State defense that has never seen the freshman in action.

Long story short, don’t bust out that 50 pack of Asian Zing and Mango Habanero wings to celebrate quite yet. The Wolverines could quite possible be one of the most dangerous teams the Wildcats have faced this year or one of the most offensively inept teams they have faced this year. It all comes down to if they play like Arnold or Colin.

Photos from the NAIA Semifinals of Grand View vs Morningside by Jason Dannelly