D2 Football Home
D2 Football News
D2 Football News
D2 Football Video
D2 Football Columnists
D2 Football Scores
D2 Football Top 25 Poll
D2 Football Player Awards
D2 Football Regional Rankings
D2 Football Statistics
D2 Football All Americans
D2 Football Pro Hopefuls
D2 Football Information
D2 Football Teams
D2 Football Champions
D2 Football Championship Game
D2 Football Harlon Hill
D2 Football Stadiums
D2 Football Alumni
D2 Football Interactive
D2 Football Message Board
D2 Football Chat
D2 Football Coaches
D2 Football Coaching Vacancies
D2 Football Schedule Openings
D2 Football About Us
D2 Football Advertise
D2 Football Staff
D2 Football Contact Us



Can you name the D2 team with the longest current winning streak?

I will even give you a hint. Their school nickname is the Bearcats.

No, not those Bearcats. Northwest Missouri*s current win streak sits at five.

Give up yet? Having a hard time even thinking of another D2 team nicknamed the Bearcats?

Believe it or not, the current longest win streak in D2 stands at nine and is owned by none other than the McKendree Bearcats.

Never heard of them? I can*t say I blame you. This is just McKendree*s third year as an active member of D2. The GLVC school located just east of St. Louis came to D2 from the NAIA where the program reached the playoffs nine times. Obviously the Bearcats are intent upon continuing to be successful at the D2 level.

To push the win streak to ten, the Bearcats will have to knock off Indianapolis, a program that has lost just one GLVC game in its three plus years as a member of the GLVC. The Bearcats and Greyhounds have played each of the last three seasons, with Indy winning by scores of 52-7, 45-7 and 45-15.

The 52-7 drubbing McKendree suffered at the hands of Indy last year was the Bearcats* last loss. McKendree started last season 0-6 before completely turning it around in the second half of last season. This is a completely different Bearcat team than the one that was drubbed by Indy a year ago.

The catalyst of the McKendree offense is senior quarterback Isaac Fisher, who may soon find himself in the middle of the Harlon Hill conversation. Fisher has completed over 70% of his passes this season for 1379 yards with 14 touchdowns and no interceptions. He is also the team*s leading rusher with 279 yards and three touchdowns. He will be challenged this week by an Indianapolis defense that is the best in the league.

Games like this always interest me because they can serve as a turning point. Indianapolis is trying to maintain control of a conference they have owned since joining three years ago. McKendree is looking for a signature D2 win to elevate its program to the elite level in the GLVC. It should be a very interesting game Saturday in Lebanon, IL.

News and Notes from around the Country

-Maybe I need to devote a section of the column to each week*s best finish to a game. Last week it occurred in Central Washington*s 24-21 win over Azusa Pacific. On the final play of the game the CWU defense tackled APU running back Kurt Scoby at the one-yard line- after he had taken a desperation shovel pass and weaved his way through the Wildcat defense for 77 yards. You can see a video of the crazy play here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N5fjd-XziM

-In crazy finish number two, Shippensburg rallied from a 41-14 third quarter deficit to beat East Stroudsburg 69-67 in five overtimes. The Red Raiders were able to come back and get the win despite a 594 yard, nine touchdown passing performance by ESU*s Matt Soltes. Wow.

-Minnesota-Duluth (3-2) is playing the most front loaded schedule in D2 football. The combined record of the Bulldogs* first six opponents (including St. Cloud State this week) is 22-8. The combined record of UMD*s final five opponents is 3-19. If the Bulldogs can beat SCSU, they should finish the regular season 9-2.

-Wingate (5-0) has been doing it with defense so far this fall. The Bulldogs have yielded a total of just 28 points through five games and have posted three shutouts. They have needed the defense to be great because the WU offense has also been held to 17 points or fewer three different times. It will be interesting to see if the Bulldog D can hold up as they face some of the better offenses in the league over the second half of the year.

-When you look at where Tarleton State (0-4) stands today, it*s hard to believe this is the same program that won the LSC just two years ago. The Texans are simply awful on defense, allowing 595 yards and 53 points per game. They have forced just one turnover all year. TSU has played some good offensive teams, but these defensive numbers are not good.

-Midwestern State knocked off preseason LSC favorite Angelo State 29-20 to move to 5-0 on the season. The Mustangs have not had a losing season since Bill Maskill took over as the head coach in 2002 and they do it by running the football and playing solid defense. It*s not flashy, but still a very effective way to win.

-In just their third year of football, Florida Tech grabbed a signature win last week by knocking off sixth ranked Delta State 41-37. The Panthers (3-2) are going to be a program to watch over the next few years.

-The North Alabama Lions firmly inserted themselves in the middle of the national championship conversation with a dominating 34-12 win at Valdosta State. The Lions out-gained VSU 523-299 and converted on 11 of 15 third downs.

-Pittsburg State (4-1) rallied from a 20 point halftime deficit to defeat Missouri Western 31-27 in a game that could define the season for both teams. While the Gorillas are not the team they were a year ago, they have returned to their roots this season by running the football nearly 64% of the time this season.

-The Winston-Salem State freefall continues as the Rams (1-4) dropped a 27-24 decision to Chowan last Saturday. Chowan is the same team WSSU put up 77 points on last season. The Hawks, on the other hand, are headed in the right direction as their 4-1 start is the best in school history.

-The dud game of the week had to be Fairmount State*s 6-0 win at Urbana. The Falcons managed just the two field goals in the win, but they were light years more effective on offense than the Blue Knights. Urbana was held to -3 yards of total offense and ran just 38 plays. And this performance came on Urbana*s homecoming. Ouch.

Top Games this Week

New Haven (3-2) at Assumption (4-1)

These are two of the three teams (Stonehill is the other) tied atop the Northeast 10 standings with 3-1 conference records. UNH has the slightly better defense, but Assumption*s balanced offensive attack has given opponents fits all season.  Assumption 40 New Haven 35

Chowan (4-1) at Bowie State (4-1)

This is a big game in the CIAA*s North Division. These are the two top scoring teams in the conference but I give BSU a slight edge at home. Bowie State 31 Chowan 27

Shepherd (5-0) at Glenville State (4-1)

These two programs don*t like each other much, and although Shepherd has been the dominant program, GSC has had some success in this series over the years. The Pioneers have the nation*s second leading rusher in Rahmann Lee (817 rushing yards) but they will be going against the top defensive unit in the MEC. Shepherd 31 Glenville State 20

Kutztown (3-2) at West Chester (3-2)

WCU has looked good in winning three straight, but the victories have come against the bottom feeders in the PSAC. Neither of these teams has been impressive, but the winner will be in the driver*s seat in the PSAC East. West Chester 35 Kutztown 34

Ferris State (4-0) at Tiffin (4-1)

This game will feature two of the best dual threat quarterbacks in D2, one you have heard of (FSU*s Jason Vander Laan) and another who is just coming onto the scene (Tiffin*s Antonio Pipken). This game will be a real test for the Bulldog defense after they showed some signs of cracking in last week*s 42-39 win over Findlay. Ferris State 35 Tiffin 27

Indianapolis (4-1) at McKendree (4-0)

As I mentioned earlier, this is a very interesting game. Both teams have outstanding quarterback play with Isaac Harris for McKendree and Connor Barthel for Indy. I like the Bearcats because they are at home and have a bit more explosiveness on offense. McKendree 31 Indianapolis 28

St. Cloud State (3-2) at Minnesota-Duluth (3-2)

This game between these two rivals is likely for the NSIC North crown. I think this will be a very tight game. SCSU has turned the ball over just four times all season and they should be good enough defensively to hang in there against the UMD running game. Minnesota-Duluth 24 St. Cloud State 20

Fort Hays State (4-1) at Missouri Western (3-2)

How does MWSU respond after blowing a 20-point second half lead at Pittsburg State last week? Even more importantly, how do the Griffons deal with an explosive FHSU running game? Fort Hays State 27 Missouri Western 26

California (4-1) at Slippery Rock (4-1)

California has a very solid team, but SRU is just a little better in all facets of the game: SRU leads the PSAC in scoring offense (45 ppg) and is second in scoring defense (15 ppg). It*s hard to imagine the Vulcans winning this one on the road. Slippery Rock 35 California 25

Pittsburg State (4-1) at Emporia State (5-0)

ESU*s Brent Wilson (17 touchdown passes) is the best passer in the MIAA and he will present a challenge to a PSU defense that has been porous at times this season. The key to the game for the Gorillas will be to run the football effectively and keep Wilson off the field. Pittsburg State 31 Emporia State 30

Augustana (4-1) at Minnesota State (5-0)

Augustana has a very solid offense but the Vikings will be going against a dominant MSU defense that has taken the starch out of its opponents all year long. MSU has yet to get its passing game going but the Mavericks will have opportunities against an Augie defense that has been torched through the air. Minnesota State 27 Augustana 13

Valdosta State (3-1) at West Georgia (5-0)

VSU did not look good last week in the loss to North Alabama and it*s hard to envision the Blazers having a great shot against a UWG team that I feel is the best in Super Region One. However, this is a rivalry game and that should keep this one interesting. West Georgia 28 Valdosta State 19

Ouachita Baptist (4-1) at Arkansas Tech (4-1)

ATU has played better at home than on the road this season, and the Wonder Boys have a much better defense than does OBU. However, the Tigers really showed something in knocking off Harding last week, so I expect this to be a very entertaining game. Arkansas Tech 27 Ouachita Baptist 23

Henderson State (4-1) at Harding (4-1)

A year after losing standout quarterback Kevin Rodgers to graduation, the Reddies have turned to a salty defense to keep pace in the GAC. HSU leads the league in scoring defense and rush defense but they will of course be tested by the Harding option attack that averages 366 yards per game. I expect this to be a great game. Harding 23 Henderson State 20

Fort Lewis (4-1) at CSU-Pueblo (4-1)

If you think this will just be another ho-hum RMAC game for the defending national champs, think again. FLC upset the Thunderwolves last year, handing them their only loss on the season. And if that isn*t enough motivation for CSUP, the faction that the Skyhawks are unbeaten against D2 competition this year should be. I think FLC will stay in it, but at the end of the day Cameron McDondle- the nation*s leading rusher with 927 yards- will be too much too handle. CSU-Pueblo 27 Fort Lewis 17

Angelo State (4-1) at Texas A&M-Commerce (4-1)

These are two high scoring offenses and both appear to have improved some defensively this season so I expect this to be a great game. I really expect turnovers to be the difference; whoever wins the turnover battle should win the game. Texas A&M-Commerce 37 Angelo State 31


[Q] You mentioned the GSC is relatively untested, and I agree with you. The weaker schools have played some FCS schools (some have done relatively well), but those mean nothing. Everyone else has tried to play in region opponents, but our region is so weak. It seems to be an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. Do you think there*s any other way to make the region stronger? I know we will beat ourselves up through conference play but really.... top 5 teams in the region are from the same conference... Do you think there is a solution for this or just be happy we get rest before conference play?

[A] I do think that only have eight teams in the Gulf South is less than ideal because it forces each school to find three or four non-conference games. That*s not easy. For example, North Alabama is making the cross country trip to play Western Oregon this week. The league will be back to nine when West Florida gets its program going, but in my opinion the league needs to get back to ten teams so that each program only has to find 1-2 nonconference games each year.
But other than that, the GSC is in a very good place as far as their position in the region. It*s very hard to complain when 3-4 teams from an eight team league reach the playoffs each year. Especially when a pair of one loss teams in other regions were left out in 2014.

As far as the strength of the region goes, I don*t think it really matters much to the Gulf South because the competition is so good within the league. It*s actually probably a good thing for the GSC programs that the nonconference games aren*t the meat grinder that the league schedule is.


Feel free to contact me at with any comments or criticisms or if you have a question you would like answered in the Mailbag.

S1 Copyright © 2000-2012 D2Football.com. All rights reserved.