As we rapidly approach the end of September let’s take a look at the Top 3 teams in the polls.
1. SIOUX FALLS COUGARS – (4-0) As they prepare to leave the NAIA the Cougars are hoping to go out in style – as Threepeat Champions in football. All eyes are on the Cougars and sports historians are waiting to see how this season ends.
2. CARROLL (MT) FIGHTING SAINTS – (4-0) The Halos move up to the # 2 spot vacated by the Lindenwood Lions, who were upset by the MNU Pioneers. Having beaten their arch-rivals the Montana Tech Orediggers for the move up must be especially sweet.
3. SAINT XAVIER COUGARS – (5-0) Fun fact: In all sports in the NAIA approximately 19 teams in the Top 25 are called the Cougars! (I’m kidding!) SXU has reached the 3-spot for the 1st time since 2007 led by the superheroics of QB Anthony “Crop-Man” Kropp and WR Mike “M Squared” Maher who leads ALL divisions in scoring by the way! Want to see how famous these 2 have become? Google Anthony “Crop-Man” Kropp, and then Mike “M Squared” Maher!
1. UW-WHITEWATER WARHAWKS – (3-0) In D3 football our Top 2 teams have been sharing the National Championship for the past 5 years in a row. Yes, since 2005 the D3 title game has been played between the Warhawks and our # 2 team. Some love that fact, some hate it and others just say if the other teams don’t like it they can rise up and beat 1 of them in the playoffs.
2. MT UNION PURPLE RAIDERS – (3-0) Even before the Purple Raiders and the Warhawks started monopolizing the D3 Championship the Purple Raiders were an established dynasty and were practically a fixture in the title matchup. Will it be 6 in a row between our Top 2 teams? Stay tuned!
3. WESLEY WOLVERINES – (4-0) Watch out for these Wolverines (Team slogan: “100% Rich Rodriguez-Free!”) who have got to be sick of playing 3rd fiddle to the Warhawks and Purple Raiders. Wesley will be “sneaking around the chicken coop” as Lee Corso says and are many people’s pick to upset our Top 2 if anyone can.
1. MN-DULUTH BULLDOGS – (4-0) UMD won the 2008 D2 National Championship and are itching to wear the crown again. With the Grand Valley State Lakers out of the top spot the Bulldogs are riding high at least until the playoffs roll around. That’s right, fans of 1A football. In the divisions covered by Balladeer’s Blog they settle it on the field!
2. GVSU LAKERS – (4-0) Speak of the devils! Even before their Brian Kelly days the Lakers were perennial contenders in D2, piling up a slew of Championships. They’re likely to use their recent fall from the top spot as motivation to win big the rest of the way rather than simply fume over it.
3. NORTH ALABAMA LIONS – (4-0) They’ve had THE Terry Bowden coaching them for the last few years, they’ve got the coolest helmets out of the Top 3 teams in D2 and they play in the Gulf South Conference, which is often called “The SEC of D2 football”. Well, at least until the Arkansas teams bolt the conference after the end of this season.
1. FRESNO PACIFIC SUNBIRDS – (14-0) It’s not true that the Sunbirds haven’t lost a match since the Eisenhower Administration, it just seems that way. (It was really during Reagan’s 2nd term) These ladies are trying for 4 National Championships in a row! Will they make it? Will they actually LOSE a game at some point? Keep checking back to find out!
2. LEE FLAMES – (14-0) The Flames move up from the 3-spot last week. You almost wish the playoffs would start this week so that the Sunbirds and the Flames could meet each other with no losses, winner take all. You can bet the Flames will try to be the closest thing to a rival that Fresno Pacific has yet had!
3. BIOLA EAGLES – (12-4) The Eagles flew all the way up from #9 leapfrogging still-undefeated teams like the Red Raiders and the Scorpions. Like our #1 team Biola plays in the Golden State Athletic Conference, for my money the toughest volleyball conference in the NAIA. How tough? So tough that Biola is 4th in the conference race, yet 3rd in the national rankings!