When the MIAA conference football schedule begins this weekend, five teams will be in the Division-II top 25 rankings. It’ll be the first time since the American Football Coaches Association took over the polls that the MIAA has had that many teams in at once.
Missouri Western comes in at No. 23, and hosts No. 7 Pittsburgh State this week. The Griffons aren’t any strangers to being ranked, they finished the 2005 season ranked 25th after winning the Mineral Water Bowl.
Both the Griffons and the Gorillas feature top-notch running backs. PSU’s Germaine Race recently set the conference career TD mark with 82 scores. Race went into the Oklahoma Panhandle State game two TDs shy of the record, but quickly broke the mark with scoring runs of 14, 2, and 1 yards. The previous record was held by Emporia State’s Brian Shay from 1995-98.
The Griffons boast a dynamic back of its own in Jeremiah White. The senior running back is a first team preseason All-American and the school’s single season rushing record holder after a 2005 campaign of 1,801 yards and 11 touchdowns. He rushed for a season-high 201 yards at home against Central Missouri State and was named MIAA Offensive Player of the Week.
PSU has dominated the Griffons recently winning the last five meetings.
19th ranked CMSU is the only Div-II school that hasn’t given up a point this season. The Mules host defending MIAA champion Washburn University. The Ichabods come into the game barely cracking the rankings at No. 25. Dating back to last season, WU has lost three of its last four games.
Topping all teams is National Runner-Up Northwest Missouri State. The Bearcats are ranked No. 2 and are coming off a 31-0 win over then 10th ranked Nebraska-Omaha. It’ll be the battle of the Old Hickory Stick when they face Truman State in Kirksville.