New York, NY – December 2018: Tanner Volson of North Dakota State University headlines the 2018 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 16th time the top center of each respective level has received the award. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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
Well hey lookie there. . .the NAIA football has started and there has already been a round of upsets. But if you are like me, you start off initially shocked before talking yourself back into reality that it is essentially Week 0 and we don’t really know what anyone really has for a team.
I mean we can do some guess work and determine who some of the best teams in the country are but we don’t really know how they stack up. That’s the tough part but interesting part about NAIA football. Every team out there has some pretty good players, that goes without saying. But what do they have behind them and next to them are the real questions.
If you are going to be good at this level you have to have depth and you have to be able to sustain your success throughout the entire season. And to cap it off, you’d better be able to overcome some adversity. That’s ultimately why Marian University found themselves vying for a national title instead of missing the postseason. Continue reading
There is no doubt there is some correlation between having a great football team and a smart football team. Today, the NAIA announced it’s annual “Scholar Teams” list.
In order to make the list the cumulative GPA of a given team must be above a 3.0. Considering most rosters in the NAIA typically have somewhere between 80-100 players, it’s quite a feat when a football team makes the list.
This year SEVEN NAIA football teams garnered the academic award:
St. Ambrose (Iowa) – 3.27
Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) – 3.23
Carroll (Mont.) – 3.22
Taylor (Ind.) – 3.15
Northwestern (Iowa) – 3.10
St. Francis (Ill.) – 3.03
Hastings (Neb.) – 3.00
It should be noted that the MIssouri Baptist women’s tennis team held the highest GPA of all teams participating in NAIA athletics with a 3.94 GPA.
Here it is, THE ROAD TO THE CHIPPER!
First things first, thanks for checking out the web site. You are here because in some way you really enjoy NAIA football. It is still a work in progress but by the time the NAIA football season rolls around I hope to have all of the bells and whistles to this site up and going.
Backing up a little bit, I’m Jason Dannelly. For lack of a better way of putting it I’ve been a guru of sorts for NAIA football since 2002. That’s when I started what was then known as NAIAFOOTBALL.NET which eventually became the Victory Sports Network then the College Fanz Sports Network then BACK to the Victory Sports Network. (Did you catch all that?) Continue reading
Depending on what side of the fence you are looking, you’re either really excited or really disappointed in the NAIA Championship Series semifinal round. There aren’t many that would have predicted two weeks ago that we would be looking at SOU traveling to Saint Xavier and Marian traveling to Morningside to determine who would head to the national championship.
If you aren’t excited for the match ups then you obviously weren’t paying much attention from 2002 until about 2010. Every year the season would start and you could predict the top four teams in the NAIA and have a 50/50 shot at getting the national championship team correct. Continue reading
Is the current NAIA Championship Series setup for football out of date? This week I discuss that and offers an alternative plan for the NAIA football postseason in this week’s podcast. Click below to listen.
I’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
We’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