September 23rd, 2019 9:00am
Week 3 Review
1. Central Missouri
2. Northwest Missouri
3. Pittsburg State
4. Missouri Western
5. Central Oklahoma
7. Fort Hays
9. Emporia State
10. Missouri Southern
12. Northeastern State
Here is why.
The Mules have the best player and offense in the MIAA. This team is not perfect by any means, but they are the best team in the MIAA after three weeks. I believe if any MIAA team is going to make a deep playoff run, it will be the Mules.
The Bearcats are a good football team, I just do not think they are great. With the standard in Maryville being championship contender, I think this team falls short of that standard. There is no way a team wins a national championship with a secondary that is this bad. That being said, the Bearcats have a lot of talent and are a young team. This is the year before the championship run.
I like this Gorilla team. I would like them more if they played Mak Sexton over Brandon Mlekus. Maybe Pittsburg State is running veer early in the year to force teams like Central Missouri and Northwest Missouri to prepare for it. It will be interesting to see the snap split between Sexton and Mlekus this Saturday in Kearney. Plus I think the Gorillas might have the best defense in the MIAA.
I know the Griffons are 1-2, but they have played the toughest schedule in the conference through the first three weeks. Missouri Western outplayed Northwest Missouri in week one and nearly came back and beat Central Missouri in overtime on Saturday. Also, the Griffons went to Fort Hays in week two and absolutely dominated that game. This team is good. An 8-3 or 9-2 season could be in the works.
Outside of a bad first half against Pittsburg State, the Bronchos have played pretty well this year. Went on the road in week two and beat a solid Nebraska-Kearney team. I was super high on Central Oklahoma before the season started. But the Bronchos might free fall down the power rankings over the next month.Central Oklahoma next four games: at Northwest Missouri, vs Fort Hays, at Central Missouri and vs Missouri Western. That is a brutal stretch.
The Lopers won a huge game for the program last Saturday at Emporia State. The biggest improvement for Nebraska-Kearney is the defense. The Lopers are third in the conference in points allowed. You can win a lot of football games with a good running game, smart quarterback play and a solid defense.
The Tigers are the biggest disappointment of the year. Fort Hays has taken a huge stepback this year. I understand losing to Central Missouri in Warrensburg because Brook Bolles got hot in the fourth quarterback. But the Tigers were dominated at home by Missouri Western and barely survived a shootout in Topeka with Washburn. The defense is not as good as it has been over the last couple of seasons and the running game been mainly a non-factor this year. While the Tigers ran for 161 yards at Washburn, it was at only 3.7 yards per attempt. That being said, I do think Coach Brown is too good of a coach for the Tigers not to improve as the year goes on.
I thought Washburn looked pretty solid in person against Northwest Missouri in week two, but the Ichabods struggled with Lincoln in week one and lost in a shootout at home to Fort Hays. Mitch Schurig has turned the ball over way to much this season. Schurig has thrown six interceptions and lost one fumble. Hard to win games when your quarterback is turnover prone. That being said, it is obvious that Schurig can spin it, he just needs to be more careful with the ball.I would not be surprised to see Washburn pull off an upset or two this year if Schurig gets hot.
The Hornets only win of the year was at home against a terrible Northeastern State team. Emporia State did play Pittsburg State tough through three quarters in week two, but got boat raced in the fourth quarter. The Hornets needed to beat Nebraska-Kearney last week at home but could not hold homefield. The Hornets just have not been able to replace the offensive talent they lost to graduation.
I like Jacob Park. I like their big wide receivers. That is where it ends with the Lions. This team is much better than the 2018 version. Missouri Southern has an offense and can move the ball against good teams. The Lions have scored 99 points in three games. The Lions only scored 81 points all of last season. I believe the days of rolling over the Lions are on a temporary hold. Not saying the Lions are going to win three games or more, but they will not be an easy win for the middle class of conference.
The Blue Tigers are not a good football team, but they are better than Northeastern State.
This might be the worst MIAA team I have seen in a long time, and there have been some bad teams over the past decades.