After two weeks of voting the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats, champions of Division II football, were picked by readers of Missourinet.com as the top Missouri sports story of 2009. Many are crying voter fraud…I say it’s a pretty compelling story.
Mel Tjeerdsma has more Division II football playoff wins than any other coach. He brought that program back from the dead in the 90’s by winning back to back championships in 1998 and 1999. However, national media has referred to him as “Marv” in reference to Marv Levy who took the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowls and lost each one. The Bearcats played in four straight D-II championship games and lost all four by a combined 19 points!
However, this year was different as Northwest came out on top on their fifth try beating Grand Valley State another perennial powerhouse in D-II football. The Bearcats picked up 52% of our votes, beating out the Missouri Tigers run for the Elite Eight which came in second place at 20%.
Maybe it was top of mind awareness or the fact that we’ve been spoiled by the success of the Cardinals and Albert Pujols, but they finished a distant fourth with just 9%. Just ahead of Pujols was the Zack Greike Cy Young season. I’m surprised. I really thought that would have scored higher. This was my personal pick. The job he did and the team he played for was extra special and it was good to see the Royals get some good publicity. Finishing off a distant fifth was Jeremy Maclin and Ziggy Hood being drafted in the first round of the NFL draft.
Happy New Year. Be safe and thank you for your support of the Missourinet. Here’s to a great 2010!