It’s Thanksgiving week and college football is as much associated with that holiday as pumpkin pie and leftovers. Yesterday the divisions of college football covered by Balladeer’s Blog played a variety of playoff games and Bowl games. Since my blog serves as a light introduction to these other divisions of college football let me emphasize that last statement for newbies: these divisions settle their seasons on the field.
Fans who forever moan and groan about the lack of a playoff in college football’s semi- professional division are seeing the light one person at a time and beginning to appreciate the post- season in the NAIA and the other divisions I cover. And now a look at yesterday’s results.
VICTORY BOWL – Yesterday saw the final event in the football season for the National Christian College Athletic Association. Because the two teams tied at the top of the NCCAA standings, Azusa Pacific and North Greenville, both made the playoffs in their respective divisions the Victory Bowl pitted the GREENVILLE COLLEGE PANTHERS against the CAMPBELLSVILLE TIGERS. Campbellsville notched an authoritative 21-7 win to close out their 2011 campaign.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE VIKINGS GONE? – Heading into the NAIA’s opening playoff round there were no less than 3 teams called VIKINGS in the mix. All of them were eliminated in one afternoon. The Top Seeded MARIAN KNIGHTS and the 2nd seeded CC FIGHTING SAINTS shut out their Viking opponents with the Knights routing GRAND VIEW 31-0 and the Fighting Saints crushing VALLEY CITY STATE by a score of 47-0. The 10th seeded ST FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS completed the Hat Trick of Viking elimination by doubling up on the 7 seeds of MISSOURI VALLEY COLLEGE 28-14.
ANOTHER SATURDAY, ANOTHER 4TH QUARTER RALLY – Yesterday marked the 3rd game in a row that the ST FRANCIS (IL) FIGHTING SAINTS, seeded at number 11, mounted a 4th quarter comeback to snag a win. This time they did it on the road against the 6 seeds, the MORNINGSIDE MUSTANGS in a 21-17 Instant Classic. Morningside just can’t escape USF teams ruining their season – in the past it was usually Sioux Falls, this time around it was St Francis.
NAZARENE NATION – The 4th seeded MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY PIONEERS, led by QB Sean “How Bad” Ransberg, roughed up the 13 seeds, the SOUTHERN NAZARENE UNIVERSITY CRIMSON STORM (love that name) by a score of 40-28.
CAT- FIGHT – The ST XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS spent the bulk of the 2011 season ranked at number 1, but their late season loss to then- number 2 Marian dropped them all the way down to a 5 seed in the playoff field. Coach Mike Feminis’ boys took out any annoyance they felt at all that on the visiting 12 seeds, the BETHEL (TN) WILDCATS in a 51-13 manhandling.
INSERT YOUR OWN “NEVERMORE” JOKE HERE – The BENEDICTINE RAVENS came into the playoffs as the 14 seed and saw their memorable season come to an end in a disappointing road loss to the 3rd seeded GEORGETOWN (KY) TIGERS. The final score in this contest where both defenses whaled the tar out of the offenses was 21-7.
COUGARS CLAW THE BRAVES – The 8-9 matchup turned out to be an uncharacteristic blowout. The 8th seeded AZUSA PACIFIC COUGARS made the most of their 1st home playoff game since 2005 by routing the OTTAWA (KS) BRAVES. The Braves’ 9 game winning streak came to an end with an inglorious 49-26 loss.
NCAA DIVISION 3 PLAYOFFS
PERFIDIOUS ALBION – My fellow Napoleon geeks will get that title. D3’s Top Seeded WHITEWATER WARHAWKS annihilated the ALBION BRITONS in a 59-0 blowout. The 3 other 1 seeds in their regions also won in thoroughly lopsided games – the MT UNION PURPLE RAIDERS made the BENEDICTINE EAGLES their prison brides in a 47-7 win (As a side note for newbies the Warhawks and the Purple Raiders have played each other in the D3 Championship Game for the past 6 years in a row, splitting 3 titles each) and the DELAWARE VALLEY AGGIES dismembered the NORWICH CADETS to the tune of 62-10. The MARY HARDIN- BAYLOR CRUSADERS won by the comparatively small margin of 34-13 over the REDLANDS BULLDOGS.
ON THE FLIP SIDE – The close games in the D3 playoffs: The LINFIELD WILDCATS maintained their stranglehold on the West Coast by sneaking past the CAL LUTHERAN KINGSMEN 30- 27 … The WESLEY WOLVERINES defeated the HOBART STATESMEN in a 35-28 nailbiter and the FRANKLIN GRIZZLIES won a 24- 21 Instant Classic over the THOMAS MORE SAINTS.
MARATHON GAME OF THE DAY – This week’s playoff edition of this award goes to the Triple Overtime matchup between the MONMOUTH SCOTS and the ILLINOIS WESLEYAN TITANS. The Scots pulled off the very tight upset by a final score of 33-27.
SAFETY FIRST – In a very odd playoff game the ST THOMAS TOMMIES defeated the ST SCHOLASTICA SAINTS by a score of 48-2 … And yes, the defense still gets a day off of practice when the offense gives up a safety as the only score of the game.
BLUE JAY BLUES – The JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY BLUE JAYS were knocked out of the Division Three post -season yesterday in an upset loss to the visiting ST JOHN FISHER COLLEGE CARDINALS. The final score in this stunner was 23- 12.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF RANKED TEAM – The CENTRE COLONELS, who were Balladeer’s Blogs pick for the most underrated team in D3 all season long, advanced to the 2nd round by defeating the HAMPDEN- SYDNEY TIGERS 51- 41, while the CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT CAPTAINS saw their season come to an end against the KEAN COUGARS in a 34 -10 loss.
ALL- NAME GAME OF THE WEEK – This playoff edition of that award goes to the game between the ILLINOIS COLLEGE BLUE BOYS and the WABASH LITTLE GIANTS. Wabash, a traditional D3 football power, advanced to the 2nd round with a 38-20 win over the Blue Boys. Now if only I could get Wabash to change their team’s name to the Cannonballs …
NCAA DIVISION 2 PLAYOFFS
TEAM OF DESTINY II? – The MINNESOTA- DULUTH BULLDOGS are the defending champions of D2 football and followers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember that last year’s overtime win against St Cloud State in the 2nd round of the playoffs got all that “Team of Destiny” talk going. This year the Bulldogs did not have a 1st round bye, but advanced to Round 2 with yesterday’s 30-27 overtime win against the SAGINAW VALLEY CARDINALS.
POST- TJEERDSMA MOJO – Legendary Head Coach Mel Tjeerdsma may be retired but the post -season mojo for the NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE BEARCATS continues. Yesterday they came back to stun the home standing MISSOURI WESTERN STATE GRIFFONS 35-29 despite trailing by double digits at one point.
CLOSE SHAVES – The WASHBURN ICHABODS moved on to Round 2 with a nailbiting 52- 49 shootout win over the visiting ABILENE CHRISTIAN WILDCATS and the CONCORD MOUNTAIN LIONS were knocked out on the road against the KUTZTOWN GOLDEN BEARS in a tight 17-14 contest.
BUTT- KICKINGS – The CALIFORNIA (PA) UNIVERSITY VULCANS blanked the ELIZABETH CITY STATE VIKINGS 44-0 and the NORTH GREENVILLE CRUSADERS crushed the usually formidable ALBANY (GA) STATE GOLDEN RAMS by an unbelievable score of 63- 14.
“AND THE REST … ” – The UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA LIONS, coached by THE Terry Bowden, went on the road and made their post- season experience count in a 43-27 victory over the WEST ALABAMA TIGERS and the WAYNE STATE WARRIORS likewise notched a road playoff win over the ST CLOUD STATE HUSKIES in a 48- 38 shocker.
DON’T MESS WITH “MOUNT SAC” – The MT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE MOUNTIES continue their defense of the SCFA and CCCAA titles, advancing to next week’s SCFA title game with a 34- 7 bashing of the visiting EL CAMINO WARRIORS. There’s no truth to the rumor that the Mounties were inspired to win by my post referring to their mascot Joe Mountie as “part American mountain man, part Canadian Mountie and all babe- magnet.”
FALCON CREST – The CERRITOS COLLEGE FALCONS came in and defeated the PALOMAR COLLEGE COMETS in their own house by a score of 45-28. The Falcons will now play in the SCFA Championship Game next week against the defending champs from Mt San Antonio College.
D3 BOWL GAMES
SOUTHEAST BOWL – The CORTLAND STATE RED DRAGONS, who were ranked much earlier in the season before self-destructing and toppling, ended the season on a high note with a 14- 0 Southeast Bowl win over the ALBRIGHT UNIVERSITY LIONS.
SOUTHWEST BOWL – Cool nickname magic shone through once again as the LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE FLYING DUTCHMEN defeated the SAINT VINCENT COLLEGE BEARCATS in a much closer 23- 15 result in this year’s edition of the Southwest Bowl.
NORTHEAST BOWL – As usual in recent years the ALFRED UNIVERSITY SAXONS play better when they’re not ranked. Yesterday in the Northeast Bowl the BRIDGEWATER STATE BEARS learned that the hard way as they fell to the might of the Saxons in a 41- 10 rout.
NORTH ATLANTIC BOWL – Remember the Balladeer’s Blog Law of More Unusual Team Nicknames? It proved relevant once again in the North Atlantic Bowl as the ENDICOTT COLLEGE GULLS came out on the winning end of a 31- 22 game against the MT IDA MUSTANGS.
BLOWOUT BOWLS – The South Atlantic Bowl saw the WIDENER UNIVERSITY PRIDE manhandle the WAYNESBURG UNIVERSITY YELLOW JACKETS 48- 27 while the SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY SEAHAWKS trounced the WORCESTER STATE LANCERS by a score of 26- 6 in the Northwest Bowl.
GRAPHIC EDGE BOWL – The only NJCAA Bowl game of this weekend will be this event, played today (Yes, Sunday) and featuring 2 matchups. The 1st will pit the IOWA CENTRAL TRITONS against the CENTRAL LAKES RAIDERS and Game 2 will be between the IOWA WESTERN REIVERS and the ROCHESTER (MN) TECH YELLOW JACKETS. I’ll update the results later today when the games are over. ****FINAL SCORES: TRITONS 42 RAIDERS 12 / REIVERS 62 YELLOW JACKETS 0
CENTRAL CHAMPIONSHIP BOWL – The GOLDEN WEST COLLEGE RUSTLERS, the Official College Football Team of Jo “Buckshot” Bryant and her blog Chronicles of Illusion, defeated the LONG BEACH VIKINGS in a rematch of their September 3rd regular season meeting. That 1st clash was a 42- 0 win for the Rustlers. Yesterday’s Bowl win for GWC was by a much closer score of 51- 36.
BEACH BOWL – The COLLEGE OF THE DESERT ROADRUNNERS came out on the losing end of a one-point Instant Classic of a game yesterday, falling to the VENTURA COLLEGE PIRATES by a final score of 17-16 in this year’s edition of the CCCAA’s Beach Bowl.
GOLDEN STATE BOWL – Not so long ago the SADDLEBACK GAUCHOS and the RIVERSIDE TIGERS took their turns at being ranked number 1 in the SCFA poll but had unexpected conclusions to their respective seasons. The Tigers dealt better with the disappointment of not playing for the SCFA title, notching an authoritative 31- 14 win over the Gauchos.
AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP BOWL – The SANTA MONICA COLLEGE CORSAIRS were the host team in the American Championship Bowl, but got smacked around a little by their guests, the EAST LOS ANGELES COLLEGE HUSKIES in a 42- 28 loss.
WESTERN STATE BOWL – The ALLAN HANCOCK COLLEGE BULLDOGS completely smoked the LOS ANGELES HARBOR COLLEGE SEAHAWKS in the CCCAA’s Western State Bowl for this year. Allan Hancock College ran away with it in a 56- 11 laugher.
SIERRA CENTRAL CREDIT UNION BOWL – The YUBA COLLEGE FORTY-NINERS won an intense, nailbiting gridiron classic against the MONTEREY PENINSULA COLLEGE LOBOS by a final score of 28-27. Memorable game, memorable outcome and most importantly, memorable team names.
CAPITAL CITY BOWL – The CHABOT COLLEGE GLADIATORS were overwhelmed by the AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE BEAVERS in an embarrassing 41- 18 smackdown that saw the Beavers thoroughly dam up the Gladiator offense. (See what I did there?)
GRAFFITI BOWL – The BUTTE COLLEGE ROADRUNNERS spray- painted little “beep beeps” all over the MODESTO COLLEGE PIRATES by a score of 48- 25. See, the roadrunner in the cartoons was always going “beep beep?” Oh, let’s just forget the whole thing.
TOGO’S DELTA BOWL – The SAN JOAQUIN DELTA MUSTANGS held serve on the Delta and decimated the DE ANZA DONS in a 63 -16 game the Dons faithful would like to forget.
LIVING BREATH FOUNDATION BOWL – The HARTNELL PANTHERS roughed up the SOLANO FALCONS 48- 22, while in the Bothman Bulldog Bowl the DIABLO VALLEY VIKINGS were embarrassed in a 62- 24 loss to the SAN MATEO BULLDOGS.
ODDS AND ENDS – The SOUTHERN VIRGINIA KNIGHTS made sure that the AVE MARIA GYRENES ended their 1st year of intercollegiate football without a win. The home standing Knights eked out a 27-24 victory in an under the radar gridiron classic … The QUINCY HAWKS fell on the road at one- time NAIA football power the MCKENDREE BEARCATS in a 44-20 whupping.
PAC- MAC CHALLENGE – The President’s Athletic Conference (PAC) team, the BETHANY BISON obliterated the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) team, the KING’S MONARCHS, by a score of 48-0.
THE LONGEST GAME IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY? – Well, in a figurative sense it was. Back in September the game between the LAKE FOREST FORESTERS and the CONCORDIA (IL) COUGARS was suspended with the Foresters leading by a score of 28-26. Lake Forest being Lake Forest, however, the final score of that game, which was at last resumed yesterday, wound up being Cougars 56 Foresters 28.