MIAA Week 11 Column

November 9th, 2022 9:00pm

MIAA Week 11 Column

We have made it to the last week of the regular season. Let’s take a look at the teams fighting for a playoff spot in Super Region Three. 


GAC (3): Ouachita Baptist (10-0), Harding (8-2) and Henderson State (8-2)

GLIAC (3): Grand Valley (10-0), Davenport (8-1) and Ferris State (8-1).

GLVC (2): Indianapolis (8-1) and Truman State (8-1).

MIAA (3): Pittsburg State (10-0), Emporia State (8-2) and Northwest Missouri (8-2).

*A couple things to note on the teams above. Grand Valley has a 9-0 Division II record, Davenport is 7-1, Ferris State is 7-1 and Indianapolis is 7-1.


That is 11 teams battling for seven spots. 


Here is a chart with the remaining schedule for the 11 teams still in playoff contention.



Week 11


Grand Valley (9-0)

at Davenport (9-0)


Pittsburg State (10-0) 

Fort Hays (3-7)


Ferris State (7-1)

at Wayne State (1-8)


Ouachita Baptist (10-0)

at Henderson State (8-2)


Davenport (7-1)

Grand Valley (10-0)


Truman State (8-1)

at Indianapolis (8-1)


Indianapolis (7-1)

Truman State (8-1)


Harding (8-2)

Arkansas Tech (5-5)


Emporia State (8-2)

Northwest Missouri (8-2)


Northwest Missouri (8-2)

at Emporia State (8-2)


Henderson State (8-2)

Ouachita Baptist (10-0)


As you can tell, there is going to be a lot of movement in this region after this week. We have four games where playoff contenders are facing off. Grand Valley should beat Davenport but I expect Davenport to still make the playoffs with two losses. The Panthers resume is strong enough to make them a near lock for the playoffs. Ouachita Baptist takes on Henderson State in one of the best rivalries in all of college football in the Battle of the Ravine. I believe Ouachita Baptist will win that game but weird things happen in rivalry games between two good teams. The other teams on the bubble should be pulling for Ouachita Baptist to knock Henderson State out of the playoffs, otherwise a 9-2 Henderson State with wins over Ouachita Baptist and Harding would probably be enough to get the Reddies into the playoffs. Ferris State and Pittsburg State are rooting for Henderson State to win so that they can stay off the four seed and avoid a second round game with Grand Valley. The winner of Indianapolis and Truman State will be in the playoffs and most likely be the five seed. The loser is on the bubble and I believe would be on the outside looking in. The winner of Emporia State and Northwest Missouri has the inside track to the final playoff spot in my opinion. I think Harding will get consideration but I do not see a way for the Bison to sneak into the playoffs. 

My prediction for the seven final playoff teams:

  1. Grand Valley

  2. Ferris State

  3. Pittsburg State

  4. Ouachita Baptist

  5. Indianapolis/Truman State winner

  6. Davenport

  7. Emporia State/Northwest Missouri winner


Week 10 Game Recaps

Pittsburg State 37 Washburn 23
James Letchner Jr is a stud for Washburn. The Ichabods opened up the scoring with an 84 yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Jared Taylor to Letchner. Pittsburg State outscored Washburn 30-7 the rest of the first half to roll to an outright conference championship. Give credit to the Gorillas defense, they have been great all year. The Pittsburg State defense forced four turnovers, held Washburn to 11 yards rushing and got a safety. Chad Dodson Jr threw three touchdowns but also three interceptions, two of which gave the Ichabods the ball in Gorillas territory. The Ichabods only scored three points off of those interceptions.


Nebraska-Kearney 20 Central Oklahoma 18
The Lopers jumped out to a 17-6 lead but then the offense disappeared at halftime. The Lopers first six drives of the second half end like this: fumble, punt, fumble, punt, interception and punt. This allowed Central Oklahoma to go on a 12-0 run to take a 18-17 lead in the fourth quarter. The Bronchos also missed a 45 yard field goal with about two minutes left. The Lopers then ran out the clock and won the game on a walkoff 28 yard field goal. A gritty win for Nebraska-Kearney but a much better showing from Central Oklahoma this week.


Northwest Missouri 27 Missouri Southern 5
Defense and running the football. If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I love passing the ball and scoring loads of points. The Bearcats cannot play that way. The Northwest Missouri offense is better when the run to pass ratio is 2:1 if not higher. The Bearcats ran for 206 yards and four touchdowns. The Lions offense did nothing against the stout Northwest Missouri defense. The Lions scored on a safety and a field goal on a short field due to a fumble. Missouri Southern also missed another field goal where they took possession near midfield. The Lions had two long drives in the second half (eight plays for 53 yards and 10 plays for 73 yards) but they ended on downs and on a missed field goal. 


Central Missouri 40 Missouri Western 37 2OT
The most exciting game of the weekend in the MIAA. This game had six lead changes and nearly 900 yards of total offense. Central Missouri scored a walk off touchdown in the second overtime to get the win on senior day. 


Fort Hays 27 Northeastern State 14
After a scoreless first quarter Fort Hays scored 20 unanswered points in the second and third quarter. The Tigers defense held Northeastern State to 208 total yards of offense and half of those yards came in the fourth quarter. 


Emporia State 35 Lincoln 24
Lincoln played their best game of the season and hung around the more talented Hornets. Braden Gleason threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions in the first half for Emporia State. Still Emporia State was up 35-10 going into the fourth quarter and cruised a win. Style points would not help the Hornets playoff case, but a healthy roster going into the regular season finale will. 


MIAA Week 11 Power Rankings

  1. Pittsburg State –

  2. Emporia State --

  3. Northwest Missouri --

  4. Nebraska-Kearney --

  5. Washburn --

  6. Missouri Western --

  7. Missouri Southern --

  8. Central Oklahoma --

  9. Fort Hays --

  10. Central Missouri --

  11. Northeastern State --

  12. Lincoln --


MIAA Picks

Last Week: 5-1 (83.3%)

Season: 45-15 (75%)


Week 11 Game Previews

It's the last week of the regular season. We have a potential playoff play-in game and teams trying to end the year on a positive note. Let's dive into the games.


Game of the Week: #11 Northwest Missouri (8-2) at #20 Emporia State (8-2)
Saturday, 1pm
All-time series: Northwest Missouri leads 35-2.
Last Year: Northwest Missouri won 35-7.


Northwest Missouri

Emporia State

Points Scored

29.0 (5th)

33.5 (1st)

Points Allowed

15.8 (2nd)

20.6 (T-3rd)

Total Offense

401.3 (4th)

454.8 (1st)

Total Defense

268.1 (1st)

326.8 (3rd)

Pass Yards

224.6 (6th)

300.7 (1st)

Pass Yards Allowed

214.3 (7th)

202.3 (5th)

Rush Yards

176.7 (3rd)

154.1 (5th)

Rush Yards Allowed

53.8 (1st)

124.5 (3rd)

I have been looking forward to this game for a few weeks now. Emporia State is on a six game winning streak since the Hornets’ 14-13 loss to Pittsburg State. These teams have identical resumes. Both have close losses to Pittsburg State and ugly losses at Central Oklahoma. Northwest Missouri has the better overall defense, run defense and run offense. Emporia State has the better overall offense, pass offense and pass defense. Northwest Missouri also has the advantage in the red zone. The Bearcats have only allowed nine touchdowns when teams reached the red zone but have scored 30 touchdowns in the red zone. The only team with more red zone touchdowns is Emporia State with 31 touchdowns. Emporia State has the best third down conversion rate in the MIAA at 50% while Northwest Missouri’s defense is first allowing a first down only 30% of the time. One big advantage Emporia State has going into this game is the turnover margin. The Hornets are +7 on the year while the Bearcats are -8 on the season.
After looking at the stats and the eye test, I am leaning towards the Hornets. However, history is definitely on the side of the Bearcats. Emporia State has not beaten Northwest Missouri in my lifetime (last win for Emporia State in the series came in 1994). That is 27 straight wins for the Bearcats over Emporia State. The Bearcats have also won 15 straight matchups in Emporia State. The Hornets have not beaten the Bearcats in Emporia since 1965 (my dad was not even born yet). Emporia State has never beaten a ranked Northwest Missouri team and is 0-8 vs the Bearcats when both teams are ranked. The combined score in those eight games was 355-119 (average score of 44.4-14.9).
That being said, I am taking Emporia State to make history and end the Bearcats 17 year playoff streak. In the end, I trust Braden Gleason and the Emporia State offense more than I do Northwest Missouri to pull out a tough road win. It is a toss game that goes in the Hornets favor. 

Emporia State 24 Northwest Missouri 23


Fort Hays (3-7) at #4 Pittsburg State (10-0)
Saturday, 2pm
All-time series: Pittsburg State won 47-23-9.
Last Year: Pittsburg State won 34-24.


Fort Hays

Pittsburg State

Points Scored

23.8 (8th)

33.3 (3rd)

Points Allowed

29.5 (10th)

15.2 (1st)

Total Offense

369.2 (8th)

398.8 (5th)

Total Defense

381.5 (9th)

273.9 (2nd)

Pass Yards

246.3 (4th)

244.9 (5th)

Pass Yards Allowed

235.74 (10th)

181.9 (1st)

Rush Yards

122.9 (10th)

153.9 (6th)

Rush Yards Allowed

145.8 (5th)

92.0 (2nd)

The Gorillas are playing for seeding in Super Region Three. Pittsburg State will be either the two, three or four seed going into the playoffs. This means the Gorillas will get at least one home game in the Jungle this year. I expect Ferris State to get the two seed based on their absurd strength of schedule but Pittsburg State should get the three seed with a win. I do not expect the Fort Hays defense to be able to slow down the Pittsburg State offense. This year has been a struggle for Fort Hays and I do not expect this game to be any different. 

Pittsburg State 34 Fort Hays 17


Washburn (6-4) at Missouri Southern (4-6)
Saturday, 2pm
All-time series: Washburn leads 27-21-1.
Last Year: Washburn won 38-28.



Missouri Southern

Points Scored

32.7 (3rd)

21.8 (10th)

Points Allowed

23.8 (7th)

23.6 (6th)

Total Offense

407.9 (2nd)

324.2 (10th)

Total Defense

376.3 (8th)

371.6 (6th)

Pass Yards

283.7 (2nd)

160.5 (10th)

Pass Yards Allowed

239.1 (11th)

196.4 (3rd)

Rush Yards

124.2 (8th)

163.7 (4th)

Rush Yards Allowed

137.2 (4th)

175.2 (10th)

Kellen Simoncic missed last week’s game for Washburn and if he is out again for the Ichabods then this game could be quite interesting. Missouri Southern has an improved defense and Washburn’s passing attack is not the same without Simoncic under center. Jared Taylor will need to have a good game against the third best pass defense in the MIAA. I do not think the Lions offense has enough firepower to beat Washburn though.

Washburn 28 Missouri Southern 17


Central Missouri (4-6) at Central Oklahoma (5-5)
Saturday, 2pm
All-time series: Central Missouri leads 7-2.
Last Year: Central Missouri won 30-29.


Central Missouri

Central Oklahoma

Points Scored

25.2 (6th)

23.4 (9th)

Points Allowed

27.5 (9th)

22.9 (5th)

Total Offense

373.9 (7th)

341.8 (9th)

Total Defense

392.4 (10th)

347.9 (5th)

Pass Yards

250.2 (3rd)

196.6 (7th)

Pass Yards Allowed

217.8 (9th)

201.2 (4th)

Rush Yards

123.7 (9th)

145.2 (7th)

Rush Yards Allowed

174.6 (9th)

146.7 (6th)

Central Missouri comes into the matchup with the better offense, but Central Oklahoma has the advantage on defense. This is especially evident in the passing game, it is strength vs strength and weakness vs weakness. I think the Bronchos muddy this game up and grind out the win. Central Missouri’s inability to run the ball will make them one dimensional and give Central Oklahoma the advantage. 

Central Oklahoma 24 Central Missouri 20


Nebraska-Kearney (7-3) at Northeastern State (1-9)
Saturday, 2pm
All-time series: Nebraska-Kearney leads 6-2.
Last Year: Nebraska-Kearney won 56-10.



Northeastern State

Points Scored

31.9 (4th)

15.1 (11th)

Points Allowed

20.6 (T-3rd)

32.8 (11th)

Total Offense

393.8 (6th)

235.0 (12th)

Total Defense

373.2 (7th)

406.2 (11th)

Pass Yards

138.9 (12th)

144.7 (11th)

Pass Yards Allowed

204.4 (6th)

214.5 (8th)

Rush Yards

254.9 (1st)

90.3 (11th)

Rush Yards Allowed

168.8 (8th)

191.7 (11th)

Northeastern State has played their best football at home this year. The Riverhawks nearly upset Missouri Western and Washburn in Tahlequah this year. However, Nebraska-Kearney’s style of play travels well. The Lopers go on the road and get the win to finish the season with an 8-3 record.

Nebraska-Kearney 35 Northeastern State 20


Lincoln (0-10) at Missouri Western (4-6)
Saturday, 1pm
All-time series: Missouri Western leads 5-0.
Last Year: Missouri Western won 41-12.



Missouri Western

Points Scored

12.9 (12th)

24.1 (7th)

Points Allowed

48.5 (12th)

25.9 (8th)

Total Offense

269.6 (11th)

404.1 (3rd)

Total Defense

509.3 (12th)

347.2 (4th)

Pass Yards

190.7 (9th)

194.3 (8th)

Pass Yards Allowed

282.5 (12th)

186.0 (2nd)

Rush Yards

78.9 (12th)209.8 (2nd)

Rush Yards Allowed

226.8 (12th)161.2 (7th)
This is a must win game for Missouri Western. The Griffons should have no trouble running the ball against Lincoln. Missouri Western rolls to a victory.

Missouri Western 35 Lincoln 10