NUMBER ONE TAKES A FALL – The NAIA’s 5th ranked defending champions, the SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS (helmet at left), hosted the number 1 MARIAN UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS, the only team to defeat them in last year’s regular season. Mike Feminis’ Cougars already avenged that loss by defeating Marian in the 2011 playoffs, but all that background tension and drama added to the anticipation of yesterday’s matchup between these two gridiron titans. SXU continued their magnificent defense of their crown with an authoritative 23-6 victory over the Knights, setting up a new number 1 in the next poll.
LIONS MAUL GORILLAS – The LINDENWOOD LIONS piled on the reeling PITTSBURG (KS) STATE GORILLAS, the defending champs of NCAA Division 2 football. The Gorillas were not only the defending champs but were also ranked number 1 in the polls before suffering a series of losses that knocked them down and down and down in the rankings. Lindenwood added to their troubles yesterday by handing PSU a 44-33 loss in their own house.
PLAYOFFS? YOU’RE TALKING PLAYOFFS? ARE YOU SERIOUS? – The NJCAA started its postseason with playoff games yesterday and today. Balladeer’s Blog will devote an entire section further down in this article about all the postseason results from Saturday and this afternoon. The HUTCHINSON COLLEGE BLUE DRAGONS (helmet at left) are hosting the COFFEYVILLE RED RAVENS in one of the Region 6 games today, with the GARDEN CITY COLLEGE BRONCBUSTERS traveling to face the storied BUTLER (KS) GRIZZLIES in the other Region 6 game of the afternoon.
TOP 25 UPSETS – NAIA – The number 11 SAINT AMBROSE UNIVERSITY FIGHTING BEES took it on the road and toppled the 10th ranked WILLIAM PENN UNIVERSITY STATESMEN in a 20-17 Instant Classic. This continued the late season pain for Statesmen fans who have come to dread the inevitable November stumble from their team. ### The ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BATTLIN’ BEARS added to what is already a nightmarish season for the 16th ranked CC FIGHTING SAINTS, the most storied dynasty in NAIA football. RMC handed the Fighting Saints their FOURTH loss of the season (more games than CC usually loses in 2 or 3 years combined) with a nailbiting 31-28 homestand. ### The VALLEY CITY STATE VIKINGS edged the number 22 ROBERT MORRIS (IL) EAGLES in a 21-20 epic. ### … And the 23rd ranked KANSAS WESLEYAN COYOTES fell at home to the unranked MCPHERSON BULLDOGS by a tight score of 28-24.
TOP 25 UPSETS – NCAA DIVISION 2 – The number 8 MIDWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS (helmet at left) upset the homestanding 5th ranked WEST TEXAS A&M BUFFALOES in a 52-48 shootout. ### The unlucky number 13 WEST ALABAMA TIGERS suffered a 22-16 road loss to the unranked ABILENE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY WILDCATS. ### The NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS upset the visiting number 17 team, the SAGINAW VALLEY CARDINALS, by a score of 33-28. ### The TUSKEGEE GOLDEN TIGERS toppled the 21st ranked MILES GOLDEN BEARS 27-17 in their own house. ### … And the number 22 CALIFORNIA (PA) VULCANS were dismembered on the road to the tune of 40-7 by the unranked MERCYHURST LAKERS.
TOP 25 UPSETS – NCAA DIVISION 3 – The unranked OBERLIN COLLEGE YEOMEN, (helmet at left), smacked down the 10th ranked – and homestanding – WABASH LITTLE GIANTS 31-16. ### The number 24 WHEATON THUNDER likewise played road warriors and toppled the 7th ranked NORTH CENTRAL CARDINALS by a score of 35-21. ### The ST OLAF OLES sent the number 12 BETHEL (MN) ROYALS packing with a 24-17 loss. ### The unranked FRANKLIN & MARSHALL DIPLOMATS negotiated a tight 14-12 home win over the 13th ranked JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY BLUE JAYS. ### … And the traveling BUFFALO STATE BENGALS, who earlier this season initiated Whitewater’s fall from grace, upset the number 25 ST JOHN FISHER CARDINALS 17-9.
HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON? – This week’s winner of the Marathon Game of the Week designation is the clash between the WASHINGTON & LEE GENERALS (helmet at left) and the HAMPDEN- SYDNEY TIGERS. These two bitter rivals in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tussled for an exhausting FOUR OVERTIME PERIODS before a winner emerged. The Generals defended their house with a 45-42 victory in this gridiron Armageddon in Lexington, VA.
WE WENT TO A FOOTBALL GAME BUT A BASEBALL GAME BROKE OUT – Yesterday’s game between the EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY GREYHOUNDS and the visiting TEXAS A&M- COMMERCE LIONS was a textbook example of stellar defensive play. The Greyhounds came out on top 7-3 over their Lone Star Conference rivals at Blackwater Draw. ENMU is now 3-6 with next week’s game against the Javelinas looming.
VAQUERO ON VAQUERO VIOLENCE – The CITY COLLEGE OF SANTA BARBARA VAQUEROS (helmet at left) were on the road against the GLENDALE (CA) VAQUEROS in a Pacific Conference donnybrook. Nobody’s really a loser if both teams have a cool name like Vaqueros, but in scoreboard terms the CCSB team doubled up on Glendale with the final score being 36-18.
CRANBERRY BOWL – The 34th Annual Cranberry Bowl was played yesterday afternoon. The MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME BUCCANEERS hosted the BRIDGEWATER STATE BEARS (helmet at left) in this New England gridiron tradition. The Bears triumphed 31-21 in a game that was much closer throughout than that 10 point difference in the final score would lead you to believe.
HOW ‘BOUT THEM LORDS? – Back on Week 2 of the 2012 season the KENYON COLLEGE LORDS faced off against the EARLHAM QUAKERS in a battle of teams with epic-length losing streaks. Not only did the Lords win that game but they’ve only lost two games since then and stand at 6-3 headed into next week’s homestand vs Denison. Yesterday Kenyon College logged a road victory over the WOOSTER SCOTS 21-17.
A DOUBLE SHOT OF THAT O.T. LOVE – The SIERRA COLLEGE WOLVERINES were one of the teams involved in Double Overtime affairs yesterday. Sierra defeated the SAN JOAQUIN DELTA MUSTANGS 45-38. ### The METHODIST UNIVERSITY MONARCHS likewise held serve by defeating the AVERETT COUGARS by a score of 33-27. ### … And the HARDIN- SIMMONS UNIVERSITY COWBOYS notched a road win in their 2OT game with a 65-58 shootout victory over the TEXAS LUTHERAN BULLDOGS.
UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – NAIA – The MAYVILLE STATE COMETS snuck by the homestanding DAKOTA STATE TROJANS by a score of 34-33. ### The GRACELAND YELLOW JACKETS celebrated Senior Day by defeating the AVILA EAGLES 26-20. ### … And the BETHANY COLLEGE SWEDES fell at home to the STERLING WARRIORS in a 17-10 game for the ages.
UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – D2 – The AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY COUGARS (helmet at left) were on the road against the DIXIE STATE RED STORM and walked away with a 23-21 win. ### The SIMON FRASER CLAN (as in Scottish clan) hosted the HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY LUMBERJACKS and won a tight 41-37 contest. ### The COLORADO MESA MAVERICKS came out on the right side of a 22-19 clash with the visiting WESTERN STATE MOUNTAINEERS. ### The NORTHWOOD TIMBERWOLVES notched a 38-33 road win over the FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS. ### … And the INDIANA UNIVERSITY- PENNSYLVANIA CRIMSON HAWKS topped the GANNON GOLDEN KNIGHTS by a final score of 38-35.
UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – D3 – The MILLSAPS MAJORS (helmet at left) played host to the AUSTIN COLLEGE KANGAROOS and won the tight 36-34 affair. ### The PACIFIC BOXERS fell at home to the WILLAMETTE BEARCATS by a score of 35-31. ### The RIPON RED HAWKS defeated the MONMOUTH SCOTS by in a 50-47 shootout. ### … And the KALAMAZOO HORNETS notched a road win over the ALMA SCOTS 17-13.
NJCAA- NON-PLAYOFF GAMES – Not all the games in the NJCAA this weekend are playoffs. Some teams are finishing up their regular seasons. The ALFRED STATE PIONEERS (helmet at left) sent the visiting ONONDAGA COLLEGE OGRES home nursing a 34-20 beating. ### The SCOTTSDALE FIGHTING ARTICHOKES fell at the GLENDALE (AZ) GAUCHOS 47-28. ### The DEAN COLLEGE BULLDOGS defeated the LACKAWANNA FALCONS by a score of 24-11. ### The ARIZONA WESTERN COLLEGE MATADORS gored the NEW MEXICO MILITARY INSTITUTE BRONCOS in a decisive 59-30 outcome. ### … And the SNOW COLLEGE BADGERS demolished the PHOENIX COLLEGE BEARS 45-0 in their own house. Playoff results will follow below.
UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – CCCAA – The SANTA MONICA COLLEGE CORSAIRS survived an invasion from the PIERCE COLLEGE BRAHMA BULLS by a score of 50-47. ### The MONTEREY PENINSULA LOBOS topped the SAN JOSE JAGUARS 27-24. ### The PALOMAR COLLEGE COMETS fell at home to the SANTA ANA DONS in a 34-31 game for the ages. ### … And the SAN DIEGO MESA COLLEGE OLYMPIANS likewise won on the road 14-10 against the CHAFFEY PANTHERS.
WORKIN’ OVERTIME – In Single Overtime games the COLBY WHITE MULES (helmet at left) played road warriors against the TUFTS JUMBOS and defeated them 21-14. ### The BETHANY BISON fell at home to the THOMAS MORE SAINTS by a score of 13-10. ### The MUHLENBERG MULES withstood the URSINUS BEARS 24-17. ### The MUSKINGUM MUSKIES beat the CAPITAL CRUSADERS in a 13-6 clash of bruising defenses. ### … And the SAN MATEO BULLDOGS fell on the road to the DE ANZA COLLEGE DONS 46-43.
ONE TEAM WAS PLAYING BASKETBALL – The UNIVERSITY OF ST MARY SPIRES lead off this category this week with their 86-6 evisceration of the BETHEL (KS) THRESHERS. ### The (2) GEORGETOWN (KY) TIGERS devoured the UNION (KY) BULLDOGS 77-0. ### The AUGUSTANA VIKINGS fell to the WINONA STATE WARRIORS in a 73-35 laugher. ### The NEBRASKA- KEARNEY LOPERS annihilated the SOUTH DAKOTA M&T HARDROCKERS by a score of 59-7. ### … And the SADDLEBACK GAUCHOS folded, spindled and mutilated the GROSSMONT COLLEGE GRIFFINS 66-42.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD – The COPIAH- LINCOLN COLLEGE WOLFPACK (helmet at left) knocked out the defending NJCAA national champions – the EAST MISSISSIPPI LIONS – in a 47-46 Instant Classic in the MAC semi-finals. ### The NORTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA A&M GOLDEN NORSEMEN edged the visiting TYLER APACHES by a score of 37-35 in the Southwest. ### In the other semifinals in those conferences the MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST BULLDOGS triumphed over the NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI RANGERS in a 43-17 manhandling, while the NAVARRO COLLEGE BULLDOGS put the bite on the other homestanding Rangers, the KILGORE COLLEGE RANGERS, 42-14. ### Meanwhile in the Midwest the IOWA WESTERN REIVERS decimated the NORTH DAKOTA STATE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE WILDCATS 65-0, and the IOWA CENTRAL TRITONS fell to the ELLSWORTH PANTHERS in a 42-10 smackdown.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH – The reigning Region 6 champions, the BUTLER (KS) GRIZZLIES (helmet at left), rolled in the first regional semifinal of the day. The Grizzlies overwhelmed the GARDEN CITY BRONCBUSTERS to the tune of 58-17. ### In the afternoon’s second Region 6 semifinal the HUTCHINSON BLUE DRAGONS and the COFFEYVILLE RED RAVENS faced off against each other in a rematch of one of last year’s semifinals. The Blue Dragons scorched the Red Ravens 52-28, so it will once again be Hutch versus Butler in the regional championship next Sunday.
Helmets courtesy of the Helmet Project.