NUMBER ONE TAKES A FALL – NCAA Division 2’s top-ranked defending champs, the PITTSBURG (KS) STATE GORILLAS, faced conference rivals and perennial D2 football powers the (7) NORTHWEST MISSOURI BEARCATS (helmet at left) in the REAL Fall Classic yesterday. These two gridiron juggernauts always treat us to a hard-fought matchup at neutral Arrowhead Stadium and yesterday was no exception. The Bearcats emerged with a 31-21 victory, setting up a new number 1 in the next rankings.

THE BACONE WARRIORS RULE THE WORLD – For the 3rd college football season in a row Balladeer’s Blog has been chronicling the NAIA tradition of upsetting at least one NCAA Division 2 team per week. For newbies to these divisions that is like when a 1AA team upsets a 1A team.

For this week’s installment the NAIA’s BACONE WARRIORS (helmet at left) dismantled D2’s PANHANDLE STATE UNIVERSITY AGGIES by a score of 40-7.

NUMBER THREE TAKES A FALL – The 3rd ranked team in NCAA Division 2 also got toppled yesterday. In a Show Me State showdown the unranked MISSOURI SOUTHERN LIONS took it on the road and eked out a 31-30 victory over the MISSOURI WESTERN GRIFFONS in an undeniable Instant Classic. The number 2 CSU- PUEBLO THUNDER WOLVES are the presumptive new number 1 with their 35-21 road win over the COLORADO MINES OREDIGGERS.

TOP 25 UPSETS – NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) – The CONCORDIA (NE) BULLDOGS improved to 4-3 by rising up and defeating the visiting number 11 team, the NORTHWESTERN (IA) RED RAIDERS in a 17-16 game for the ages.   ###   The FAULKNER EAGLES unleashed their sound and fury on the 16th ranked CUMBERLAND UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS in a 42-14 thrashing.   ###   … And the unranked SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE MOUNDBUILDERS knocked the number 25 FRIENDS FALCONS out of the rankings in a 32-21 homestand.  

TOP 25 UPSETS – NCAA Division 2 – In addition to the number 1 and number 3 teams in D2 taking a tumble there were two more upsets in the rankings. The number 14 GRAND VALLEY STATE LAKERS got crushed on the road by the NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS  38-10.   ###   The UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA BRONCHOS (their spelling) played road warriors by bringing down the 23rd ranked CENTRAL MISSOURI MULES in a 10-6 defensive epic.   ###   The number 6 NEW HAVEN CHARGERS had a close call at the BENTLEY FALCONS but pulled out a 17-13 win in a real nailbiter.

TOP 25 UPSETS – NCAA Division 3 – The ALFRED UNIVERSITY SAXONS (helmet at left) welcomed their Empire 8 Conference rivals the 11th ranked ST JOHN FISHER CARDINALS and doubled up on them  26-13.   ###   The number 19 OSHKOSH TITANS upset the unlucky number 13 PLATTEVILLE PIONEERS in a 34-13 manhandling.   ###   The unranked TRINITY (TX) TIGERS defeated the (16) BIRMINGHAM- SOUTHERN PANTHERS 30-21 in their own house.   ###   … And the ELMHURST BLUE JAYS brought down the visiting number 20 team, the WHEATON THUNDER, in a 35-30 Instant Classic.

IN THE GAME 25-25 – A true rarity took place yesterday. In D3 there were two teams tied at number 25 in the rankings and they happened to be playing EACH OTHER. This was, in effect, a battle royal to avoid getting eliminated from the rankings completely. The HEIDELBERG STUDENT PRINCES tore apart the OTTERBEIN CARDINALS 21-0. And yes, their team name comes from the folk tale about the Student Prince of Old Heidelberg.

MIDAMERICA NAZARENE WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Yes, there have even been times when NAIA teams have upset NCAA Division ONE teams as further proof that they really know how to play football in the NAIA. Yesterday the MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY PIONEERS came within a hair of taking down Division One’s Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs in a 30-28 affair that aged the Gardner-Webb fans by 10 years at least.

THESE GAMES WERE REALLY RANK – Yesterday saw multiple clashes between ranked teams in the NAIA. The top-ranked MARIAN UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS won a tight 45-38 homestand against the number 7 ST FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS.   ###   At number 2 the GEORGETOWN (KY) TIGERS likewise survived a close call against the visiting 9th ranked UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS  41-35.   ###   The (3) MISSOURI VALLEY COLLEGE VIKINGS had a more comfortable 42-26 victory over the number 12 BENEDICTINE RAVENS.   ###   … And the 4th ranked MORNINGSIDE MUSTANGS dismembered the number 19 DAKOTA WESLEYAN TIGERS by a score of 63-7.

MARATHON GAME OF THE WEEK – We have a tie for this designation this week. The (4) MINNESOTA STATE MAVERICKS (helmet at left) went into Double Overtime with the SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA MUSTANGS before emerging with a 34-31 victory.   ###   And the COE KOHAWKS may have been a little complacent after last week’s mangling of the LORAS DUHAWKS and wound up needing 2 Overtime sessions themselves to defeat the homestanding DUBUQUE SPARTANS  41-38.

ROAD WARRIORS – Some teams yesterday really asserted themselves in their opponent’s home territory. The (6) ST XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS came off their bye week with a 45-7 pounding of the SIENA HEIGHTS SAINTS.   ###   The NEBRASKA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY PRAIRIE WOLVES kicked around the DORDT COLLEGE DEFENDERS  27-7.   ###   The WILLIAMSON MECHANICS fell at home 26-7 to the JERSEY COAST JAGUARS.   ###   The KENTUCKY CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS slashed the UVA-WISE HIGHLAND CAVALIERS by a score of 28-7.   ###   … And the STERLING WARRIORS crushed the BETHEL (KS) THRESHERS 49-0 at their own Fall Fest.

WE WENT TO A FOOTBALL GAME BUT A BASEBALL GAME BROKE OUT – Balladeer’s Blog presents this week’s game that won this distinction with some truly stellar play on the part of both defenses. The DICKINSON STATE UNIVERSITY BLUE HAWKS ruined Homecoming for the JAMESTOWN COLLEGE JIMMIES by handing them an 8-7 loss. With this win DSU Coach Hank Biesiot gains on St Francis (IN)’s Coach Kevin Donley, the all-time leader in wins in NAIA football.

OUR DIVISION CAN BEAT UP YOUR DIVISION – Balladeer’s Blog continues chronicling the intense gridiron rivalry between the NAIA and NCAA Division 3. Each division notched a win over the other this week. D3’s AUSTIN COLLEGE KANGAROOS edged the visiting WAYLAND BAPTIST UNIVERSITY PIONEERS, who are in their first year of intercollegiate football, by a score of 24-23. Meanwhile the NAIA’s VALLEY CITY STATE VIKINGS roughed up D3’s GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS GUSTIES  16-0. With Bacone upsetting an NCAA Division 2 team the edge once again goes to the NAIA.

UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – NAIA – The CAMPBELLSVILLE UNIVERSITY TIGERS won a tight 28-23 game with the LINDSEY WILSON COLLEGE BLUE RAIDERS on Fox College Sports.   ###   The LANGSTON LIONS won on the road against the TEXAS COLLEGE STEERS  14-7.   ###   The HASTINGS BRONCOS eked out a 3 point win over the MIDLAND UNIVERSITY WARRIORS in a 20-17 nailbiter.   ###   The GRACELAND YELLOW JACKETS took down the homestanding CENTRAL METHODIST EAGLES  17-14.   ###   … And the WEBBER INTERNATIONAL WARRIORS fell to the EDWARD WATERS TIGERS in a nerve-wracking 30-29 game.

UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – NCAA Division 2 – The SIOUX FALLS COUGARS tried getting back in the rankings with a 31-23 victory over the CONCORDIA (ST PAUL) GOLDEN BEARS.   ###   The ALBANY STATE GOLDEN RAMS took down the MOREHOUSE MAROON TIGERS in their own house by a score of 16-13.   ###   The TIFFIN DRAGONS took down the OTHER Notre Dame, as in the NOTRE DAME COLLEGE FALCONS, in a 27-22 homestand.   ###   The WEST LIBERTY HILLTOPPERS withstood a 17-16 invasion by the SHEPHERD UNIVERSITY RAMS.   ###   … And the CONCORD UNIVERSITY MOUNTAIN LIONS notched a road win over the SETON HILL GRIFFINS by a score of 29-26.

UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – NCAA Division 3 – The WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON PRESIDENTS toppled the WESTMINSTER (PA) TITANS in a 24-21 homestand.   ###   The SUL ROSS STATE LOBOS won a “defense is optional” shootout with the TEXAS LUTHERAN BULLDOGS by a score of 70-65.   ###   The GETTYSBURG COLLEGE BULLETS fell on the road 35-31 to the MUHLENBERG MULES.   ###   … And the WAYNESBURG YELLOW JACKETS stung the BETHANY BISON in a 23-21 nailbiter.

UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – NJCAA – The ITAWAMBA COLLEGE INDIANS survived a tight 31-28 home game with the COAHOMA TIGERS.   ###   The MONROE COLLEGE MUSTANGS fell to the visiting HUDSON VALLEY VIKINGS by a score of 18-17.   ###   The DEAN COLLEGE BULLDOGS eked out a 33-32 win over the ERIE KATS.   ###   The IOWA CENTRAL TRITONS fell at home to the ELLSWORTH PANTHERS  24-17   ###  … And in an anti-classic the TYLER APACHES obliterated the CISCO COLLEGE WRANGLERS by a score of 84-28 to mark Homecoming.

UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – CCCAA – The CHABOT COLLEGE GLADIATORS (love that name) won a 17-14 game for the ages against the visiting MERCED BLUE DEVILS.   ###   The GROSSMONT GRIFFINS notched a 26-23 road win over the GOLDEN WEST COLLEGE RUSTLERS.   ###   The COLLEGE OF THE REDWOODS CORSAIRS fell to the MENDOCINO COLLEGE EAGLES in an 18-16 affair.   ###   The SANTA ANA DONS managed an OT win on the road against the ORANGE COAST PIRATES by a score of 45-38.   ###   … And the SHASTA KNIGHTS were beaten by the LOS MEDANOS MUSTANGS  56-49.

Helmets courtesy of the Helmet Project.


Filed under college football


  1. Love all the out of the way teams u cover! It’s fun on Sunday morning to catch up on all these divisions at once!

  2. Pretty cool! I’d love for my son to play NAIA football.

  3. My brother said he wants to play for the Concordia Bulldogs now!

  4. Max

    really nice to find these other divisions I never knew about! I’ll follow them here!

  5. Donald


  6. Thanks for helping me follow my team even overseas! Love the retro helmets for Southern Missouri!

  7. Fantastic! I like seeing all of these divisions in one place! Beats skipping around to 6 different sites.

  8. NAIA foot ball kicks the butt of NCAA football!

  9. Wonderful to see NAIA football get more love!

  10. The Bacone Warriors totally rock!

  11. Way to go Moundbuilders! Great name, great team!

  12. Never heard of these teams or divisions til now!

  13. MidAmerica Nazarene will be back strong next year!

  14. The Alfred U Saxons r da bomb!

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