What is it with this college football season? Tonight will be the THIRD regular season clash between the number 1 and number 2 teams in the divisions covered by Balladeer’s Blog. A few weeks ago we had two such matchups in one afternoon as the NAIA’s Top 2 teams and the NJCAA’s Top 2 teams collided. This latest gridiron Armageddon takes place in Florence, AL as the Delta State Statesmen travel to face the North Alabama Lions. The Statesmen played in last December’s D2 Title game but lost to UMD and the Lions are coached by THE Terry Bowden, the only Bowden still active as a head coach. 

Adding to the drama is the long-time history of playoff clashes between these two teams. That’s right, the divisions I cover settle things on the field, and in the D2 playoffs it seems like every year Delta State and North Alabama take turns knocking each other out of the post- season. Back in the summer when I posted the schedules every D2 fan knew this would be a big game as usual, but the fact that the Statesmen and the Lions come in ranked 1 and 2 amps up the drama to the Nth Degree. That drama couldn’t come at a better time for the Gulf South Conference, previously known as the SEC of Division 2 football until the defection of six teams last year to form the new Great American Conference along with three teams bolting from the Lone Star Conference. The Gulf South Conference gets a nice spotlight to remind fans and potential recruits that they still play some of the best football in D2.

Though the GSC is down to just five football-playing institutions and nine overall, the future looks bright for the conference’s pigskin prospects. The West Florida Argonauts will be starting football in the next few years, plus the Florida Tech Panthers will be joining the GSC as a football-only member and the New Orleans Privateers are bringing football back in 2012. Throw in the fact that the NAIA’s Shorter Hawks look to move to D2 and the GSC for all sports and the league should have nine football schools, just two short of the number it had at its height. So enjoy the game tonight and soak in two of the coolest helmets in D2 football. (The Greek letter Delta and the word “State”. Get it?)  To follow tonight’s game live at 8pm ET click here:


Filed under college football


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  2. It’s great to read about more than the usual football teams.

  3. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  4. I am just starting to learn about all of this. Thanks!

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