2018 Rimington Award Winners for the Nation’s Top Center for FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA Announced

North Dakota State’s Tanner Volson Wins Third Rimington Award in School History

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

NAIA Football 2017 Championship Series Predictions.

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 8.52.31 PMSomethings 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

The NAIA Takes a Stand. . .or a Knee?

naiaYesterday it was announced that the NAIA has decided to move the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Tournament from Branson, Mo. after 18 years. This comes after College of the Ozarks became upset that the national office wouldn’t require all student athletes to stand for the national anthem. (Full Story – pay no attention to my comment trolling in the section below the story, haha)

I’ll let you read the story for the full details. However, after 24 hours and seeing all the interactions I felt it was necessary to dust off my NAIA media credentials and comment. Continue reading

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

The NAIA Football Weekly Report and Predictions by Jason Dannelly (9/5/15 Edition)

SOU RB Melvin Mason. Photo Courtesy SOU SID.

SOU RB Melvin Mason. Photo Courtesy SOU SID.

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

Former NAIA Offensive Lineman Cameron Horton Passes Away.

635751014874176474-camringWhen you cover NAIA football, you definitely meet some characters. Every year it seemed like there was a new player on my radar because of they were reaching out to me or I met them randomly during one of my stops. Cameron Horton was an offensive lineman at the University of Sioux Falls from 2005-2007 and is easily one of the most memorable NAIA football players I was around.

He wasn’t an NFL prospect and he wasn’t some guy that coaches trotted out in front of the media to be a spokesperson for the team. Cam was Richie Incognito before people knew who Incognito was. The only difference being Cam was hilarious. I can’t tell you the amount of times I received Facebook messages from him randomly over the years that made my stomach hurt.

I’m not going to write a long memorial blog on Cam because one of the best writers I have ever met already did that. The link to Matt Zimmer’s article is below.

Also below is the link to the GoFundMe account that was set up by some of Cam’s former teammates to aid in the travel expenses for Cam’s family.

It’s always sad when a person as young as Cam goes before their time. But I’ve always believed that death should be a celebration of a person’s life and given Cam’s personality and our memories of him that shouldn’t be a problem. Please check out the following links.

GoFundMe

Remembering Cameron Horton by Matt Zimmer

Southern Oregon and Marian Tied at the Top of NAIA Coaches’ Poll to Start Season.

NAIA_logo_RevisedKANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the first time since the NAIA moved to one division in 1997, two teams enter the season tied atop the NAIA Football Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. Defending national champion Southern Oregon and national runner-up Marian (Ind.) share the post, with the Raiders grabbing eight first-place votes and 304 points, while the Knights collected five first-place votes and 304 points.

Southern Oregon enters the year looking to build off a historical 2014 campaign that concluded with the Raiders winning their first-ever NAIA national title. Prior to last season, Southern Oregon had never advanced past the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Series.

The Raiders return six starters on offense and seven on defense, highlighted by junior running back Melvin Mason and junior wide receiver Matt Retzlaff. Mason ran for 1,013 yards and 17 touchdowns last season with seven of those scores coming during the playoffs. Retzlaff was a key cog in Southern Oregon’s top-ranked passing attack with 56 catches for 785 yards and six touchdowns en route to Second Team All-Frontier Conference accolades in 2014. Continue reading

ESPN3 to Provide Live Stream of Morningside/Wisconsin-Whitewater Game

Morningside_IASioux City, Iowa – Morningside College’s (Iowa) football game against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Thursday, Sept. 24 at Elwood Olsen Stadium will be streamed live on ESPN3.

The contest, slated for a 6 p.m. kickoff, will pit two of the nation’s most prominent football programs in the NAIA and NCAA Division III ranks.

Morningside played in the 2012 Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship Game and has made 11 consecutive post-season appearances in the NAIA Championship Series for the longest active streak in the nation. Morningside, coming off an 11-2 finish in 2014, has won four consecutive Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) championships and has a 112-23 record for a .830 winning percentage since the start of the 2004 season. The Mustangs have advanced to at least the semifinals of the NAIA Championship Series each of the last three years. Continue reading

Ramblings of Jason Dannelly: Nebraska Wesleyan leaving the GPAC

If you follow small college athletics you have no doubt already heard the news that Nebraska Wesleyan is leaving the Great Plains athletic conference and going full-fledged into NCAA Division III.
To be honest I wasn’t sure how much I really wanted to write about this subject. It doesn’t particularly pertaining to NAIA football and it’s really more of a membership issue of the NAIA. But given the fact that the NAIA will be losing a football member I thought I should weigh in briefly on the subject.

My biggest issue with the entire situation is how things played out for the remaining members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. There is no doubt that Nebraska Wesleyan was always a little bit different animal with their dual affiliation in the NAIA and NCAA. In fact for the last 15 years of the Great Plains athletic members in the conference have wondered what Nebraska Wesleyan’s intention would be if they kept their dual affiliation. Continue reading

Dale Carlson to Take Over the Lindenwood-Belleville Football Program

Dale_Carlson

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