The NAIA Football Weekly Report and Predictions by Jason Dannelly (9/12/15 Edition)

Craig Mullins will be honored this week as Georgetown College plays Lindsey Wilson College. Mullen passed away last May from cancer. (News-Graphic Photo)

Craig Mullins will be honored this week as Georgetown College plays Lindsey Wilson College. Mullen passed away last May from cancer. (News-Graphic Photo)

Last week seemed as though every game was either a knockdown drag-out fight to the end or a blowout. The top games in the NAIA proved to be just that while 13 other games ended with the losers scoring 8 points or less. The GPAC/KCAC challenge was that in name and not in substance as the GPAC went 8-1 against their opponents from the south with the lone KCAC win being Kansas Wesleyan over Midland.

Needless to say this week should be a lot different across the country as there are seven featured games.

Morningside answered any questions their might be about their offense not being able to function without newly named Carolina Panther Brandon Wegher by putting up 897 yards of total offense against Sterling. The Mustangs had two rushers over 100 yards in the win.

Carroll College topped Southern Oregon 26-20 and even though the Saints won the game I was impressed by the talent SOU has on roster. The Raiders have a lot of guys who haven’t played together and they will only get stronger throughout the season. Mac Roche threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. 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 Selects Winners of the First Round of the NAIA Football Championship Series

10339739_1703721843187182_1827114446610379474_nWe’ve been on the “road” for so many years that its odd for me to envision a “race” to the NAIA National Championship. Especially given the driving conditions I had cross country the last few years getting to Rome. Although two buses stranded on I-75 in Georgia and the stories from all those involved is still one of my favorite memories from 2010.

But this year the NAIA will embark on the first of three title games in Daytona Beach aptly title the “Race to Daytona.” Previous incarnations of the game saw us on the “Road to Savannah” and the “Road to Rome.” The racing moniker fits the host and also the attitude of several of the NAIA’s best who are definitely in the fast lane towards the NAIA title game. (See what I did there?)

It’s so tough for me to pick any major upsets in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series in any given year. Typically if you select the chalk, you are bound to get five or six of the eight games correct. Last year the only upset was Tabor defeating Benedictine in the first round (11 over an 8). In 2012 there were two upsets, same with 2011.

But that’s not to say the NAIA postseason doesn’t go without it’s occasional craziness. In 1998, five underdogs garnered victories in the NAIA’s opening round of the championship series seeing the No. 1, No. 2, No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7 teams in the county knocked off in game one of the postseason. This led to a national championship game where the No. 8 Azusa Pacific Cougars won their first national championship game over the No. 11 Olivet Nazarene Tigers. Continue reading