August 30th, 2022 7:00am
Football is back! To be specific, MIAA and Division II football are back this Thursday.
I am pumped for this season because of the parity I expect to witness in the MIAA this season. Let’s jump into my power rankings that I am sure will be completely wrong by Labor Day.
MIAA Week One Power Rankings
1. Northwest Missouri State
2. Nebraska Kearney
3. Pittsburg State
5. Emporia State
6. Fort Hays State
7. Central Oklahoma
8. Missouri Western
9. Missouri Southern
10. Central Missouri
11. Northeastern State
Last year: 52-20 (72.2%)
Game of the Week: Fort Hays State at #4 Northwest Missouri State 7pm
All-time series: Northwest Missouri State leads 21-14-1
Last Year: Northwest Missouri State won 15-7
Last year this was a painfully bad offensive football game. Old heads might call it a defensive gem but I call it ugly football. Chance Fuller will be able to move the ball a bit better this year against an inexperienced secondary for Northwest Missouri. The front seven should be stellar again for Northwest Missouri and will need to get quick pressure to help out the young secondary. On the other side of the ball, the biggest question mark is who is going to be the starting quarterback for Northwest Missouri. I am all in on the Mike Hohensee bandwagon. The offense looked and played better with him at the helm last year, more consistency. Braden Wright has a role to play with his legs and could offer a nice change of pace if needed. I am not a fan of the two quarterback system if both quarterbacks are running the same offense. It can work with a pass-first quarterback and a run-first quarterback to give opposing defenses a different look. The weapons for Northwest are unknown after losing Al McKeller and their top three wide receivers to graduation. In the end, I am trusting the Northwest Missouri defense to hold strong and grind out the win over a feisty Fort Hays team.
Northwest Missouri State 24 Fort Hays State 14
#13 Nebraska Kearney at Missouri Southern 7pm
All-time series: Nebraska Kearney leads 4-3
Last Year: Nebraska Kearney won 38-0
I like the direction Missouri Southern is trending, but Nebraska Kearney is a playoff caliber team that is looking to take the next step as a national champion contender. TJ Davis is the best player in the conference and I expect the defense to be more consistent this season. Nebraska Kearney cruises to a win.
Nebraska Kearney 31 Missouri Southern 10
Lincoln at #25 Washburn 6pm
All-time series: Washburn leads 8-0
Last Year: Washburn won 76-12
Washburn will likely stay in the Top 25 after this week. This is the perfect warm up game for Kellen Simoncic and his weapons to get in sync before playing Nebraska Kearney in two weeks. This is not even the Lincoln’s coaches or players fault, they are at a huge disadvantage in the scholarships and it rears its ugly head on the gridiron. Until Lincoln makes a commitment to fund a competitive football team, this will continue to happen.
Washburn 70 Lincoln 10
Central Oklahoma at Missouri Western 7pm
All-time series: Missouri Western leads 7-4
Last Year: Central Oklahoma won 24-20
This is the most intriguing game in the MIAA to start the year. I went back and forth on this game for the last week or so as I was getting ready for the season. Missouri Western has this game circled to welcome Adam Dorrel back to the MIAA with a loss. But I have seen the way Dorrel runs his program. He runs a tight ship and his team is going to be well coached at the line of scrimmage. Can Dorrel get Central Oklahoma where they need to be this early in the season? I have my doubts, but Central Oklahoma won this game last year and I think they will be better this year. Give me Central Oklahoma is the best game of the week.
Central Oklahoma 30 Missouri Western 27
Central Missouri at Pittsburg State 7pm
All-time series: Pittsburg State leads 44-12-2
Last Year: Pittsburg State won 35-16
As I said in the power rankings, I am high on Pittsburg State this year. If anyone has stock on the Gorillas for sale, I will buy it all. These two teams are headed in the opposite directions from where they were at this time last year. Josh Lamberson will need time to get Central Missouri back to where they were in 2019. The score of this game will look closer than the game actually was.
Pittsburg State 34 Central Missouri 17
Northeastern State at Emporia State 7pm
All-time series: Emporia State leads 10-5
Last Year: Emporia State won 38-7
If this game is even remotely close I will question my faith in Emporia State. Braden Gleason should be chilling on the sideline by the start of the fourth quarter. Northeastern just has a ways to go before they can be trusted to compete with the top half of the league. Northeastern will score a couple times late to get to 20 points.
Emporia State 56 Northeastern State 20