Coming up this weekend, the Missouri Tigers are playing the Baylor Bears, the game will not be on TV…if you live in the northwest part of the state and you’re looking for good college football, I’m talking about some of the best in the country, think about Division II.
This is the final game of the regular season and three Missouri schools are fighting for a playoff spot. Northwest Missouri, Missouri Western, and Central Missouri.
All three schools are ranked nationally, but that doesn’t guarantee a playoff spot. The country is divided up into four regions. Each region send six teams to the playoff. The top two in each region have a first round playoff bye.
Let me set the stage. First for Missouri Western out of St. Josepeh, Missouri. The Griffons campus is where the Chiefs will hold their summer training camp next year. Jerry Partridge is the head coach and his team is ranked 5th in those regional rankings with an 8-2 record. They’re hosting Nebraska-Omaha, having somewhat of a down year, but they have a very solid program. Coach Partridge says there is a little bit of uneasiness in St. Joe with their fans.
If Missouri Western wins, they’re in the playoffs for the second time in team history and first since 2006. Partridge thinks he has the team to pull this final game off.
Good luck to the Griffons. The two other teams. Northwest Missouri State and Central Missouri will play each other at Bearcat Stadium in Maryville.
First, I’ll tell you about Northwest. The past four years they have played for the Division II national championship game and lost each time. However, head coach Mel Tjeerdsma has taken his team to the promise land and now at #2 in the region needs a win to almost assure a first round bye.
Central Missouri has the task of going up to Maryville where the Bearcats have won 36 regular season conference games. Mules head coach Willie Fritz has had a simple message to his players.
There is no doubt though, as number six in the region the Mules must win.
So, if Central Missouri pulls off the upset in Maryville and Missouri Western wins their home game, the state of Missouri will have three Division II schools in the playoffs.