Pre-Season Football Coaches' Poll ranks CSFL teams
No Strangers to the limelight
How SAGU fared against top teams
By Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director
KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Football Coaches’ Spring Top 25 Poll was released from the NAIA headquarters and three perennial powers from the CSFL have earned a place in the pre-season rankings.
The poll, according to Chad Waller, the Director of Sports Information and Media Services, shows that Carroll College, of Helena, Montana, is again on top of the NAIA Nation. The Fighting Saints have won the national championship six times in the past nine years.
After finishing last season with a 10-7 triumph over the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) in the title game (Dec. 18), Carroll had completed their fourth unbeaten season in twelve years under head coach Mike Van Diest. The Sioux Falls Cougars had won the previous two national crowns. They will compete in the NCAA beginning this fall.
Trio of CSFL teams garner votes
The Central States Football League, of which Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a member, had three teams receiving votes in the spring coaches’ poll. They are familiar names in the NAIA rankings and are not strangers in the playoffs.
Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Alva, Ok) is at #13. The Rangers posted an 8-3 record in 2010. Keith Barefield is the head coach at NWOSU where they had the #5 rushing defense (87.8 yds allowed) and #13 rushing offense (211.2 ypg). The Rangers suffered a 33-14 setback at Sioux Falls in the opening round of the NAIA playoffs.
Southern Nazarene University (Bethany, Ok) is positioned at #18. The Crimson Storm, with the nation’s #7 scoring offense (41.3 ppg), went 7-4 under head coach Mike Cochran.
Langston University (Langston, Ok) was one of nine colleges receiving votes at #32. The Lions were 6-4 last season, finishing behind SNU. Under Greg Johnson, LU lost to the Rangers, 20-13, and to SNU, 30-27, on a 37-yd field goal as time expired.
The M.O. at Langston continues to be an aggressive defense. They were #8 in pass defense (148.8 ypg) and #10 in sacks (2.8 pg).
How SAGU fared against the CSFL’s Top Three
SAGU vs. NW Okla State
Southwestern shutout NW Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense in the first half, when the score was tied, 7-7. The Rangers capitalized on five Lions turnovers to win, 44-7, despite gaining only 273 yards.
SAGU held Nate Guillory, the 2010 national leader in rushing to 21 yards.
The Rangers scored a pair of TD’s on returns by their defense.
SAGU received a breakout performance by TE Dylan Moore, with seven catches for 100 yards. The Lions had to play without ace RB Eddie Bailey, Jr. Still, both teams played evenly, with each squad collecting just 13 first downs.
SAGU vs. Southern Naz
On the road against the Crimson Storm, SAGU held a 13-7 halftime lead before losing by a 35-21 count. Brady Wardlaw passed for 506 yards and four TD’s to rally the Storm, who outgained Southwestern in yards, 527 to 446. Wardlaw’s passing overcame five SNU turnovers.
The Lions, who made zero turnovers, were led by a pair of Bailey TD’s (15 carries, 74 yds) and QB Jeremy Fowler’s 388 yards (42 of 71). He completed nine passes to Anthony Morris, including a touchdown. Bailey caught eight for 103.
SAGU vs. Langston
Southwestern travelled to Langston, something they have done every time the two teams have met. SAGU built a 27-22 lead in the fourth quarter (8:31 to go) on four rushing touchdowns; three by Bailey, one by QB Jason Rice (13 attempts, 55 yds). Langston saved their homecoming with late scores to register a 41-27 victory.
Bailey ran 19 times for 143 yards and SAGU held a 16-14 edge in first downs. LU did own a 343-273 margin in total offense. Bailey scored on dashes on 21 and a 26 yard runs for a 13-7 advantage after one quarter.
SAGU players report to camp in 90 days
Southwestern’s returning players, recruits and newcomers report to training camp on August 15. Head Coach Jesse Godding and his veteran staff are gearing up for their season debut, September 3, at Lindsborg, Kansas, when they face Bethany College (4-6 in 2010).
SAGU’s home opener is against Howard Payne University (Tx) the following week, Sept. 10. The Yellow Jackets (2-8) are members of the NCAA’s Division III. Kickoff is set for 6:00pm at the expanding Lumpkins Stadium.
Lumpkins is currently undergoing a widespread building that will provide seating for 10,000 and a state of the art press box. An article detailing the plan will be posted here.
October 22 - Homecoming 2011
Homecoming 2011 is set for October 22, against Oklahoma Panhandle State University (NCAA Division II). The Aggies were 6-5 last year. SAGU is 0-2 against OPSU; 50-48 double overtime loss two years ago, and 35-31 in Goodwell, Ok last year. Kickoff is slated for 2:00pm (CST).
The entire NAIA poll, which is available on the NAIA website:
2011 NAIA Football Coaches’ Spring Top 25 Poll
|RANK||SCHOOL (LOCATION)||2010 RECORD|
|1||Carroll College (MT)||14-0|
|2||Saint Xavier University (IL)||13-1|
|3||MidAmerica Nazarene University (KS)||12-1|
|4||University of St Francis (IN)||10-2|
|5||Morningside University (IA)||10-2|
|6||Marian University (IN)||10-3|
|7||Dickinson State University (ND)||9-2|
|8||William Penn University (IA)||10-1|
|9||McPherson College (KS)||10-1|
|10||Ottawa University (KS)||9-2|
|11||Missouri Valley College||8-2|
|12||Georgetown College (KY)||8-3|
|13||Northwestern Oklahoma State University||8-3|
|14||Northwestern College (IA)||8-2|
|15||Azusa Pacific University (CA)||6-4|
|16||University of the Cumberlands (KY)||7-4|
|17||Midland University (NE)||8-3|
|18||Southern Nazarene University (OK)||7-4|
|19||Cumberland University (TN)||8-3|
|20||Kansas Wesleyan University||7-3|
|21||South Dakota Mines & Tech||7-3|
|22||Webber Int'l University (FL)||7-4|
|23||Baker University (KS)||7-4|
|23||Benedictine College (KS)||7-4|
|25||University of St. Francis (IL)||8-4|
|Others receiving votes: Walsh University (OH), Sterling College (KS), Union College (KY), Grand View University (IA), Campbellsville University (KY), Rocky Mountain College (MT), Langston University, (OK), Faulkner University (AL), Friends University (KS)|