State Colleges

Tony Adame looks at the KCAC

In coaches' predicted order of finish

1. OTTAWA

Coach: Kent Kessinger, 41-32 in seven seasons

2010: 9-2

Outlook: WR Clarence Anderson, a Southeast product, is coming off back-to-back All-America seasons of more than 2,000 yards of offense and is making a case as the greatest player in Braves history. QB Bobby Adamson returns after throwing for 2,502 yards in his first season as a starter.

2. MCPHERSON

Coach: Joe Bettasso, 10-1 in one season

2010: 10-1

Outlook: The Bulldogs, coming off the best season in school history and their second straight NAIA playoff berth, have perhaps the best receiver tandem in the nation in Joe Middleton (1,220 yards, 15 touchdowns) and Andy Skinner (1,192 yards, 13 touchdowns). A quarterback battle continues between Derby product Jake Snodgrass and junior-college transfer Matt Summers-Johnson to see who will throw to them.

3. KANSAS WESLEYAN

Coach: Dave Dallas, 79-61 in 14 seasons

2010: 7-3

Outlook: The Coyotes will have an incredible 135 players reporting to fall camp _ none more important than DB Ken Mitchell, an All-America candidate who returns after missing all of 2010 with a knee injury.

4. FRIENDS

Coach: Monty Lewis, 58-23 in six seasons

2010: 6-4

Outlook: The Falcons nose-dived out of league title and playoff contention at the end of 2010, including an embarrassing loss at Saint Mary. Jayme Bristow had a rough first year as starting quarterback (18 interceptions), and could be replaced by freshman Derek Racette.

5. STERLING

Coach: Andy Lambert, 45-25 in seven seasons

2010: 7-3

Outlook: Sterling returns a solid nucleus on both sides of the ball, with seven starters back on offense and nine back off the top-ranked defense in the league. All-America CB Michael Talton finished sixth in the nation with seven interceptions last season and led the KCAC with 20 pass breakups.

6. TABOR

Coach: Mike Gardner, 4-6 in one season

2010: 4-6

Outlook: Four of five starters return for the Bluejays on the offensive line, Tim Rozzell could step in at quarterback after starting at Friends in 2009.

7. BETHANY

Coach: Jamie Cruce, 16-24 in four seasons

2010: 4-6

Outlook: The Swedes should be fine offensively as long as preseason All-America RB Junior Allen can stay healthy. Allen led the KCAC with 1,432 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 2010.

8. SOUTHWESTERN

Coach: Ken Crandall, 10-30 in four seasons

2010: 2-8

Outlook: Make or break year for Crandall, who took a big step back last year. All-America LB and Wellington native Zak Tazkargy (119 tackles) could help him keep his job. Moundbuilders haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2003.

9. SAINT MARY

Coach: Lance Hinson, 21-38 in six seasons

2010: 2-8

Outlook: The Spires pulled a huge upset of Friends at the end of last season, and return QB Mike Keese, who Hinson thinks could be a special player, and second team All-KCAC CB Terrell Harper.

10. BETHEL

Coach: Travis Graber, 0-10 in one season

2010: 0-10

Outlook: Gone is top WR Lee Voth-Gaeddert, who decided to pursue a baseball career at Missouri S&T, and only four seniors return off last year's winless team. Could be another rough year in North Newton.

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