Tony Adame looks Kansas’ MIAA teams in the coaches’ predicted order of finish.
1. Pittsburg State
Coach: Tim Beck, third season, 18-7 . 20 11: 13-1, 8-1 MIAA, national champion.
Outlook: The Gorillas won the NCAA Division II title in Beck’s second season and return the heart of the defense in junior linebacker Nate Dreiling, a consensus All-American, and All-America defensive end Gus Toca. Kansas transfer Keeston Terry, who started 10 of 11 games for the Jayhawks in 2011, transferred to Pittsburg State in August.
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|Thursday||at NE Oklahoma St.||6|
|Sept. 8||Central Oklahoma||6:05|
|Sept. 15||at SW Baptist||1|
|Oct. 6||Central Missouri||2|
|Oct. 13||at NW Missouri||2|
|Oct. 20||Missouri Western||2|
|Oct. 27||at Truman||1|
|Nov. 10||at Missouri Southern||2|
Coach: Craig Schurig, 11th season, 72-24. 2 011: 10-3, 7-2.
Outlook: The Ichabods are ranked No. 20 in the NCAA Division II preseason poll but will be hard-pressed to replace quarterback Dane Simoneau, who was the runnerup for the Harlon Hill Trophy, given to the nation’s best Division II player. Sophomore Mitch Buhler and junior Joel Piper, a Butler Community College transfer, will compete for the right to replace Simoneau and throw to junior Dajuan Beard, the MIAA’s top receiver last season with 1,029 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Linebackers Jahmil Taylor (112 tackles) and Bryce Atagi (101 tackles) are proven playmakers.
|Sept. 8||at Fort Hays St.||7|
|Sept. 15||NE Oklahoma St.||6|
|Sept. 22||at Central Oklahoma||2:30|
|Sept. 29||SW Baptist||1|
|Oct. 6||at Lincoln (Mo.)||2|
|Oct. 20||at Lindenwood||1:30|
|Oct. 27||NW Missouri||1|
|Nov. 3||Mo. Western||1:30|
|Nov. 10||Emporia St.||1|
7. Emporia State
Coach: Garin Higgins, fifth season, 14-29 . 2011 : 5-6, 4-6.
Outlook: All-America safety Derek Lohman is one of the nation’s best and led the MIAA with eight interceptions last year. Lohman, a 6-1, 209-pound senior from Alva, Okla., is tied for the Hornets’ career record with 14 interceptions. Three-year starting QB Tyler Eckenrode is the top returning passer in the MIAA with 2,580 yards and 18 touchdowns. Eckenrode’s top three receivers — Ray Ray Davis, Shjuan Richardson and RB Adam Schiltz — all return.
|Thursday||Fort Hays St.||7|
|Sept. 8||at Nebraska-Kearney||2|
|Sept. 15||Central Oklahoma||1|
|Sept. 22||at Northeastern St.||6|
|Sept. 29||Lincoln of Missouri||1|
|Oct. 6||at SW Baptist||1|
|Oct. 20||at Truman||2|
|Oct. 25||Missouri Western||6|
|Nov. 3||at NW Missouri||2|
|Nov. 10||at Washburn||1|
11. Fort Hays State
Coach: Chris Brown, second season, 4-7 . 2011 : 4-7, 3-6.
Outlook: The Tigers could build around their rushing game thanks to the return of running backs Andre Smith (973 rushing yards, five touchdowns) and Edward Smith (748 rushing yards, six touchdowns) behind three starters on the offensive line – second team All-MIAA center Hawk Rouse, left guard Josh Reese and right tackle Logan Jones. DE Kyle Perry started every game last season and led the team in sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (13).
|Thursday||at Emporia St.||7|
|Sept. 15||at NW Missouri||1|
|Sept. 22||Missouri Western||7|
|Sept. 29||at Truman||1|
|Oct. 13||at SW Baptist||2:30|
|Oct. 27||at S. Dakota Mines||1|
|Nov. 3||Central Missouri||2|
|Nov. 10||at Neb.-Kearney||2|