EVERYBODY IN? Just taking a look at Saturday’s games … and trying to wrap my head around the fact that, yes, Pittsburg State could be 0-4 in the MIAA come tomorrow evening. Also, there’s a game in Hutchinson … did you know that? Their student body is doing a whiteout, Penn State-style.
Here you go:
Fort Hays State (4-1 overall, 2-1 MIAA) at No. 17 Washburn (4-1, 2-1), 1 p.m. — This is the biggest game, by far, for the Tigers since joining the MIAA in 2006. Whoever wins will be tied for second place in the league and have an inside track for an NCAA Division II playoff spot. Fort Hays State running back James Walker leads the league in rushing (475 yards, five TDs), but the Ichabods lead the league in scoring at 46.6 points per game.
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Pittsburg State (0-3, 2-3) at Missouri Southern (1-3, 1-2), 2 p.m. — The unthinkable has already happened in Pittsburg, where the Gorillas have opened MIAA play with three straight losses, the program's first three-game losing streak since 1977. Today's game in Joplin, Mo., is a battle to stay out of last place in the league, a place Pittsburg State never envisioned itself after peaking at No. 4 in the national poll three weeks ago.
No. 6 Northwest Missouri (4-1, 3-0) at No. 12 Missouri Western (5-0, 3-0), 1:30 p.m. – Battle for first. Teams hate each other and are 36 miles apart.
Nebraska-Omaha (3-2, 2-1) at Emporia State (1-4, 0-3), 1 p.m. – Uh oh, Hornets. Could ESU go winless in the MIAA this year? I thought they’d be better.
Bethany (3-0, 2-0) at Kansas Wesleyan (3-0, 3-0), 5 p.m. — Bethany has been the surprise of the KCAC season so far, and gives Kansas Wesleyan a much-needed test as their first three wins have come against teams with a combined record of 1-9. The Coyotes won last week's game at Bethel 19-14 on a 45-yard Hail Mary from Doug Webster to Anthony Berry as time expired, the second straight game KWU has won on the final play. Salina Journal sports editor Bob Davidson dubbed the play to beat Bethany the “North Newton Miracle”, which is pretty cool.Sterling (2-1, 1-1) at McPherson (2-1, 1-1), 1:30 p.m. – Must-win for both teams to stay in KCAC race.
Peru State (1-3) at Tabor (0-3, 0-3), 2 p.m. — Can Tabor pick up its first win? Here’s a great shot.
Southwestern (0-3, 0-3) at Ottawa (4-0, 3-0), 7 p.m. — Could get ugly.
Friends (2-1, 2-1) at Bethel (0-3, 0-2), 7 p.m. – Threshers have had brutal start to season, and this doesn’t make it any easier. Game to decided KCAC title two of last three years.
No. 3 Fort Scott (4-0, 3-0) at Independence (2-2. 2-1), 1 p.m. — The Pirates and rookie coach Lamar James have been one of the surprises early in the Jayhawk season, but will have to contend with Fort Scott running back Jasmin Hopkins, who leads the league in rushing with 156.5 yards per game.Air Force Prep (3-2) at Highland (0-3, 0-4), 1 p.m. – Easy win for AFP.
No. 4 Butler (4-1, 3-0) at No. 13 Hutchinson (3-1, 2-1), 7 p.m. – What more can I say?
Garden City (2-3, 1-2) at Coffeyville (2-3, 1-2), 7 p.m. – Battle for fourth playoff spot in Jayhawk?