Wednesday, October 31, 2007

West Texas & A&M-Commerce Women ranked #4 and #12 in pre-season Basketball poll

USA TODAY ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Preseason Poll: October 31, 2007

USA TODAY ESPN Division II Top 25 women's basketball poll, with first-place votes to the right, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th.

Rank Institution - First Place Votes

Last Year's
Final Rank

Last Year's
Final Record
Points
1 University of North Dakota - 12
5
32-4
651
2 Southern Connecticut State University - 12
1
34-2
628
3 Emporia State University (Kan.) - 1
18
22-8
551
4 West Texas A&M University
11
29-5
536
5 Delta State University - Cleveland (Miss.) - 2
7
30-4
496
6 Washburn University (Kan.)
8
28-4
491
7T Bentley College (Mass.)
19
23-8
467
7T Clayton State University (Ga.) -1
4
29-6
467
9 Drury University - Springfield (Mo.)
16
25-9
450
10 University of California - San Diego
3
27-5
340
11 Valdosta State University (Ga.)
15
24-8
321
12 Texas A&M University-Commerce
13
28-9
310
13 Shaw University - Raleigh (N.C.)
NR
18-10
283
14 University of Alaska Anchorage
NR
23-6
240
15 California State University, Chico
10
24-5
237
16 Indiana University of Pennsylvania
NR
24-9
205
17 Missouri Western State
9
30-4
162
18 Northern Kentucky University
NR
21-8
143
19 Grand Valley State University (Mich.)
NR
21-8
139
20 Gannon University (Pa.)
NR
25-6
132
21 Glenville State College (W. Va.)
6
33-3
128
22 Augustana College (S.D.)
20
25-7
122
23 Lewis University (Ill.)
12
28-3
121
24 Newberry College (S.C.)
NR
24-7
119
25 Florida Institute of Technology
NR
23-7
115

Others Receiving Votes: University of Nebraska - Kearney -105; Holy Family University (Pa.) - 97; Anderson University - (S.C.) 76; University of South Carolina Aiken - 75; Concordia University, St. Paul (Minn.) - 68; Rollins College (Fla.) - 68; Michigan Technological University - 65; Regis University (Colo.) - 63; Metropolitan State College of Denver (Colo.) - 62; Seattle Pacific University (Wash.) - 58; University of South Dakota - 46; Lander University (S.C.) - 43; California University of Pennsylvania - 33; Bellarmine University (Ky.) - 30; Ferris State University (Mich.) - 29; Concord University (W.Va.) - 28; Johnson C. Smith University (N.C.) - 27; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - 24; University of Tampa (Fla.) - 19; American International College (Mass.) - 18; University of Charleston (W. Va.) - 18; Minnesota State University, Moorhead - 17; Sonoma State University (Calif.) - 16; Stonehill College (Mass.) - 16; Arkansas Tech University - 15; Georgia College & State University - 14; University of Southern Indiana -10; Columbus State University (Ga.) - 8; Bowie State University (Md.) - 7; Northern Michigan University - 7; Fort Valley State University (Ga.) - 4; University of Pittsburgh Johnstown - (Pa.) 4; Carson-Newman College (Tenn.) - 3; Saint Andrews Presbyterian (N.C.) - 3; Fairmont State University (W.Va.) - 2; Pfeiffer University (N.C.) - 2; Barton College (N.C.) - 1; Elizabeth City State University (N.C.) - 1; West Liberty State College (W.Va.) - 1.

The Scoop is 1 Month Old!

Yesterday (10/30) marked the one month point in the LSC Scoop's existence. And it was our best day yet.

We reached the 100 hit mark (107) for the first time in any single day.

When we started the Scoop a month ago yesterday, we thought it would just be a small thing a few people from the D2football.com message boards would drop by every once in awhile and check in on.

Boy were we wrong.

In the first 30 days:
- we've had Sports Editors from the newspapers covering the LSC schools contact us wanting info/giving info
- we've been asked about Scoop T-shirts to wear to their team's games
- we are now linked to some of the biggest college football blogs on the internet
- we've been ripped by some and complimented by others
- actually had fans emailing their Athletic Departments trying to have us linked to their webpages
- reached 107 hits by 73 different visitors in a single day
- and last but not least, worked like crazy to make this the ultimate source for everything
Lone Star Conference

We realize we haven't been perfect, but we've tried as hard as we can to be as close to it as possible. We've said this before, and we will say it again. We're just normal, everyday fans like you, who figured instead of emailing things back and forth to each other we would throw it all out on a blog and see if it caught on.

And has it ever.

Thanks to everyone who checks in on the Scoop on a daily basis. If you haven't done it already, bookmark us and check in on us a few times a day. We are constantly changing/adding things throughout the day as things pop up.

We appreciate all the nice emails/comments/PM's on the D2 site you have sent to us. It always makes it easier to put forth the effort required to maintain something like the Scoop when you know there are alot of people out there who enjoy it and make it a constant visiting point.

We also appreciate Brandon for letting us have a voice in the D2Football.com message boards. That will always be "home" to us and all of our visitors. We are just glad he has given us the opportunity to have a "voice" there and let you guys know we are here, and for the same reasons the D2football/D2hoops sites exist...the love of our D2 schools.

Thanks again, and keep checking in on us.
The Scoop

PS - We'd also like to point out the same people who ripped us are probably the same 6% of idiots that didn't vote for WT making it into the playoffs in our poll.

;)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Predictions 11/3

Southeastern Oklahoma at Northeastern State
It's a battle of the renamed mascots, and the Savage Storm are the hotter team, winning 2 of 4 in October, while the Riverhawks lost all 3 of their October games. Common opponents were Texas A&M-Commerce and Soutwestern Oklahoma. SEO played Commerce close and beat SWO, while NSU was blown out by Commerce and lost to SWO in a wild finish. SEO should continue the trend, winning 28-21.

Texas A&M-Kingsville at Abilene Christian
Last years game was a surprising close 41-38 Wildcat victory, with ACU needing to drive 72 yards in the final minute for the game winning FG as time expired. Billy Malone is probably looking forward to the rematch, he threw for 404 yards and over 22 yds per completion. David Garza hopes he and the ACU defense play like last week (Garza 201.72 QB rating 5 TDs, ACU D allowed 63 pts, 600 yds). Probably somewhere in the middle, but Abilene wins 38-14.

Midwestern State at Eastern New Mexico
Last year's 29-19 MSU win is deceptive. They led 29-2 four minutes into the third quarter, and limited ENMU to 101 yds of offense to that point, scoring the final TD as time expired. This year in getting off to a surprising 4-0 start, the Greyhounds allowed only 10 pts per game - during their 5 game losing streak they are giving up almost 43. That's not good news with the Mustangs coming to town, averaging 43 points and 532 yds per game. They will be using this game to get ready for Abilene next week and will be in no mood to let off the gas. If Michael Benton plays, MSU 42-21, if not 49-7.

Central Oklahoma at West Texas A&M
UCO, still in position to win the LSC North, has won 3 of its last 4.....by a total of 7 points. Ben Birmingham is 112 yds shy of 1,000 yds rushing. Will Clewis, last weeks LSC North defensive player of the week, is in line for first-team all-LSC North accolades once again and will need to have a huge game this week. Keithon Flemming is just 5 yds short of the century mark (and an outside chance at 2,000 all-purpose) and Keith Null jus 186 short of 3,000. WT improves to 10-0 with a 35-10 victory.

East Central at Southwestern Oklahoma
The only toss-up game of the week (and yet the least interesting). SWO has dropped 4 of their last 5 (and barely escaped NSU), after starting the season 3-1. Steve Day has taken over at QB, but it has failed to ignite the offense. ECU has played better ball the last 4 weeks, but it has resulted in only one win. When Marcus Johnson is on his game, the Tigers have a chance. Interesting matchup - SWO running game (9th in LSC) vs. ECU run defense (last in LSC). No clue who will win, but since a pick has to be made, and SWO is at home, 28-24 win for the Bulldogs.

Tarleton State at Angelo State
The Texans could be ripe for an upset, following last weeks heartbreaking (and record setting) loss to ACU last week. The problem is that the Ram defense (12th in scoring, and rushing, 10th in passing, and last in total defense) probably won't have much more luck than the Wildcats last week (though they should keep Tarleton to less than 600 yds and 63 pts). Tarleton offense will control the clock and field position once again, and this week the score will reflect that 42-21.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Region Rankings and Playoff Odds (10/29)

  1. 100% Chadron - (9-0) - at Western State (1-8), host Adams State (2-8). Well I guess there's a one in a million (billion ?) chance that Chadron loses these two games. Otherwise they are in. May drop from the top spot as schedule takes a hit.
  2. 99% Northwest Missouri (7-1) - at Emporia (3-6), host Missouri Southern (5-4). Schedule softens a bit.
  3. 99% West Texas A&M (9-0) - host Central Oklahoma (4-4), at Tarleton State (8-1). UCO beat Abilene the opening weekend, so its unlikely that the Buffs will overlook them. Should be a #1 or #2 if they win out.
  4. 80% Missouri Western (7-2) - host Central Missouri (6-3), at Truman State (5-4). Should be in if they win out.
  5. 75% Pittsburg State (7-2) - at Washburn (6-3), host Emporia State (3-6). Must win out, could still fall if they do.
  6. 75% Abilene Christian (7-2) - host Texas A&M-Kingsville (2-7), at Midwestern State (7-2). Win them both and should be in.
  7. 45% Tarleton State (8-1) - at Angelo State (2-6), host West Texas A&M (9-0). Should jump back into top 6 if they win out. Easier said than done.
  8. 1% Mesa State (8-1) - host Colorado Mines (6-3), at New Mexico Highlands (4-4). If Pitt State loses, if Missouri Western loses, if Abilene Christian loses, if Tarleton State loses, then maybe a one loss Mesa State team gets in.
  9. 25% Midwestern State (7-2) - at Eastern New Mexico (4-5), host Abilene Christian (7-2). Need to win out and have MoWest and/or Pitt State lose.
  10. 0% Central Missouri (6-3) -at Missouri Western (7-2), host Fort Hays (3-6) - Too many 1 and 2 loss teams in front of the Mules.
  11. 1% Washburn (6-3) - host Pitt State (7-2), at Southwest Baptist (0-9). See Mesa State, and add if Mesa State loses.
  12. 0% Colorado Mines (6-3) - at Mesa State (8-1), host Western State (1-8). Not much of a schedule bump, but a win at Mesa should move up two or three spots.

LSC Coaches - Did you know?

So many times LSC Coaches are only seen in the little bubble they currently reside. We don't realize how long it's taken them to get where they are, what they went through, and the accomplishments they may have achieved before getting where they are today.

The following info is simply interesting information that can be found on each team's respective website. Some of it is fairly interesting

====================================================================

Bo Atterberry – TAMK

- Came to Kingsville after spending 3 years at SOSU as their Defensive Coordinator. Was hired by Keith Baxter at SOSU, and again at TAMK.

- Bo's father, Duke, was long-time head high school football coach in Oklahoma, served as tight ends coach at the University of North Texas and is now an assistant coach at Tyler John Tyler High School.

- In his first year as defensive coordinator in 2004, Southeastern led the Lone Star Conference and ranked 16th in the nation in total defense.

- During Atterberry's three years as defensive coordinator, the Savage Storm won or shared the Lone Star Conference North Division title three times. The Savage Storm posted a 13-2 league record during those three seasons.


Dale Carr – ASU

- Spent 9 years as the Head Coach at Tyler Junior College. During that time, TJC was 66-31 and appeared in 5 Bowl Games.

- Was a Grad Assistant at Stephen F Austin in 1989, when they appeared in the DIAA National Championship

- This isn’t his first time as a Ram. Carr played football as a Ram at Colorado State. During his time there, Carr was named 1st Team all WAC as a Linebacker, and was once named the Sports Illustrated National Defensive Player of the Week after a game against rival Colorado.

- Was a star player for Odessa Permian during their State Championship in 1980. Was All-State choice at Permian in 1981, and was chosen to play in the Texas High School All-Star game in 1982.

Don Carthel – WTAM

- Also coached at ENMU, UTEP, and University of Dubuque

- Graduate of ENMU, and played the odd combo of Center/Kicker for the Greyhounds

- Also threw discus for ENMU's 1974 national championship winning squad.

- At the age of 28, Carthel became the youngest head coach in the country when he took over the position at Lubbock Christian College

- Head Coach and General Manager of the Amarillo Dusters of the Arena League 2

- Is a member of the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame

- During brief retirement from coaching, was a volunteer assistant coach at ACU

Scotty Conley – TAMC

- Earned Bachelor and Masters Degrees from Texas A&M-Commerce in the 70’s (then ETSU)

- Won the JUCO National Championship in 1997 while Head Coach at Trinity Valley going 12-0

- In 1997 was named the NJCAA National Coach of the Year and American Football Quarterly Junior College Coach of the Year

- Has stops as an assistant at the following DI schools: Navy, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Rice, Tennessee, Kansas, Texas

- Coached 6 D1 Bowl Games including the Independence Bowl, Sun Bowl and Cotton Bowl

- Played football as a Freshman at Texas A&M

Ryan Held – SWOSU

- Prior to SWOSU, spent 3 years as Head Coach at Panhandle State

- Was a Head Coach at the age of 25 at Peru State

- Played at the University of Nebraska under Tom Osbourne from 1993-96. He stayed on as an Administrative Assistant after graduating.

- Held either played for or was part of three NCAA National Championship squads while at Nebraska (1994, 1995, 1997) .

- Was a Grad Assistant at Tennessee under Phil Fulmer in 1998. He worked two years with the Volunteers and was a part of the 1998 BCS National Champion team, his fourth such as a player or coach.

John Horner - NSU

- Before becoming Head Coach at NSU, he spent the prior 15 years as Defensive Coordinator there.

- His 1999 defense was ranked No. 1 in total defense and pass defense efficiency. In 2000 the Redmen were No. 3 in total defense and No. 1 in pass defense efficiency. When NSU won the 1994 NAIA national championship, Horner’s squad led the nation in rushing defense.

- Graduated from Arkansas in 1985

- Served as a Grad Assistant at Arkansas

- Also played at Arkansas, when they made it to the Gator, Bluebonnet and Liberty Bowls.

Chuck Langston - UCO

- Took over as Head Coach of UCO at the age of 30

- Spent 3 years as a Head Coach at Trinity Valley Community College.

- Coached under Texas A&M-Commerce Head Coach Scotty Conley while at TVCC

- Was a 3 year mainstay at Center for the Oklahoma Sooners.

- Was an Assistant Coach at Oklahoma for 3 years

- Played high school football at Westbrook High School in Beaumont

Bill Maskill – MSU

- This is Maskill’s 37th year in coaching

- Once had assistants by the names of Jon Gruden and Marty Mornhinweg.

- His father, Bill Sr., is considered one of the greatest high school football coaches in Michigan history. He amassed 274 wins, 18 league championships and four state titles, on his way to being inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches’ Hall of Fame.

- Played QB at Western Kentucky

- Had stops as an assistant at the following DI schools: Vanderbilt (twice), SMU, Wake Forest, Oregon, Tulane, Louisville, Arizona State, Bowling Green and Iowa.

Sam McElroy – Tarleton State

- Came to Tarleton after spending 2 seasons as an assistant at UNT.

- Coached in 2 consecutive New Orleans Bowls while at UNT

- Prior to his 2 years at UNT, McElroy was the Defensive Coordinator at Tarleton State.

- Also had coaching stints at Sam Houston, Navarro Junior College, Baylor, Texas State

- Won an LSC Championship while a Grad Assistant at Texas State (Then Southwest Texas) in 1983

- Graduate of Texas State

Kurt Nichols - ECU

- Came to ECU after serving at Cisco Junior College as Athletic Director and Football Coach.

- Also served as Head Coach at Ranger College, and was also the Track Coach.

- Was an assistant at: Tarleton, Arkansas State, Jacksonville State, Southwest Baptist, and Navarro Junior College.

- Played Center at University of Tulsa, where he started for 2 years. He was an All-Missouri Valley Conference selection in 1980 and was an all-conference and a United Press International (UPI) Third Team All-American in 1981 as well as being an Associated Press (AP) honorable mention All-American that same year.

- Earned Bachelor’s Degree from Jacksonville State and Bachelor’s from Southwest Baptist

Mark Ribaudo - ENMU

- Prior to taking over as Head Coach, was an Assistant at ENMU for 8 years, including 6 as Defensive Coordinator.

- Was an Assistant coach at West Texas A&M before coming to ENMU, and a Defensive Coordinator there in 1995 and 1996

- In college, Ribaudo played cornerback and running back at Hastings College (Neb.).

- Received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1988, and his Master’s Degree from LSC South foe Midwestern State.

- In 1991 and 1992, he was a graduate assistant at Midwestern State. MSU won the TIAA title and earned a #10 ranking in the NAIA Poll during his second year.

Ray Richards - SOSU

- Also a Head Coach at Southwest Baptist University

- Served as Defensive Coordinator at SOSU from 1989-98

- Played 2 years at Strong Safety for Adams State and Outside Linebacker at Northern Michigan

- Received Bachelor’s from Northern Michigan, and Master’s from Lousiana-Monroe, where he also served as a Graduate Assistant

- Was a Grad Assistant at Texas Tech in 1988

Chris Thomsen – ACU

- Came to ACU as an assistant from Central Arkansas

- Was a second team all-America selection at tight end for ACU in 1993 and was named to the school's all-decade team for the 1990s.

- Earned Bachelor’s from TCU, and Master’s from ACU

- Played football three seasons (1988-90) and baseball one season (all-America and all-Southwest Conference with 21 home runs and a .373 batting average) at TCU before playing minor league baseball for two seasons for the Oakland Athletics.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

10/27 Predictions Recap

Last Week (5-1)
Season (22-8)

Texas A&M Commerce 43 East Central 21 (Prediction 21-17)
The Lions won their fourth in a row. Nabile El-Amin led the way with 138 yds rushing and 3 TDs, Terry Mayo went 12-16 with a TD, and JaMichael Palmer had 6 receptions for 114 yds and a TD. ECU turned the ball over 5 times, the Lions converted 3 in the second quarter into TDs.

Midwestern State 41 Southeastern Oklahoma 19 (Prediction 42-21)
Daniel Polk become the single season and career leader in total offense for Midwestern State. With score tied at 13 with 5:33 in first quarter, MSU outscored the Savage Storm 28-0 to put the game comfortably out of reach.

Angelo State 17 West Texas A&M 38 (Prediction 45-21)
Taylor Harris threw for 314 yds and 4 TDs in his first collegiate start, and Keithon Flemming had 201 yds rushing on just 11 carries (including a 99 yarder). Jeremy Hill held to just 24 yards rushing for the Rams. Two late TDs make the score respectable.

Southwestern Oklahoma 7 Central Oklahoma 10 (Prediction 21-14)
Bronchos score just 10 points despite 400 yds of offense, just 2 of 6 inside the red zone. Ben Birmingham with 130 yds rushing, Will Clewis with 12 tackles and an interception.

Eastern New Mexico 35 Texas A&M-Kingsville 38 (Prediction 27-24)
Michael Benton returns and rushes for 193 yds and 4 TDs, Anthony Ramos 8-14, but only 66 yds. For the Javelinas, David Garza tosses 5 TD passes, and 310 yds. TE's Rony Perard and George Reyes each with 2 receptions, each with 2 TDs. Big play for TAMK was 43 yd TD pass as the first half expired. Mike Martinez led defense with 16 tackles.

Abilene 70 Tarleton State 63 (Prediction Tarleton 31-28)
Tarleton amassed 32 first downs, 602 yards of offense, and controlled the ball for almost 40 minutes. Scott Grantham threw for 6 TDs and 384 yds, Prentice and Guinn combined for 18 receptions, 312 yds and 3 TDs.....and they lost!!!! Abilene with their backs against the wall, put on an offensive clinic. 370 yds rushing, led of course by Bernard Scott with 283 on 29 carries and 6 TDs. 345 yds passing, with 5 receivers with at least 45 yards receiving. Edmund Gates with one reception and one carry.....and 139 combined yards. All around an incredible game, unless you played or coached defense.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Three great games to be webcast Saturday

http://www.cstv.com/ncaa/divii/

Noon - #2 North Alabama at #9 Valdosta State
Earned Access will likely rear its ugly head in the SE region. Valdosta let a win against Delta State slip away two weeks ago, while UNA beat them 28-17 last week.

1:00 - #21 Mesa State at #4 Chadron State
Undefeated teams face off in a game that will almost certainly decide the RMAC championship. Danny Woodhead is doubtful for the game. A one-loss Mesa State may fall out of playoff contention, while Chadron likely could weather a loss.

2:00 - #19 Abilene Christian at #10 Tarleton State
While this matchup lost a little luster with ACU's loss to WTAM last week, it certainly raised the stakes for the Wildcats. Simply put, they cannot afford another loss this season, and must close out the season against Midwestern State, which is in the same predicament. For Tarleton, the motivation is to stay unbeaten, improve its regional ranking and if they survive this week, square off against WTAM in the final week in a match of unbeatens.

Another game of interest, but not webcast is the Washburn at Northwest Missouri contest. A Washburn win would solidy their playoff chances and could drop NWMSU down several spots in the regional rankings. A win by NWMSU probably keeps them in the #2 spot (unless Mesa State wins, then they're #1), though they might get edged out if Chadron and WT/Tarleton winner is undefeated at season's end - also a NWMSU win almost certainly eliminates a 3 loss Ichabod squad. If you listen to this game, listen to the Washburn radio crew, they are good. Washburn Football Audio Link

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Predictions - October 27

Texas A&M Commerce at East Central
The Lions running game has been clicking the past few weeks with Nabil El-Amin garnering 3 straight games of 100+ yards rushing. The defense has found its groove too, keeping the last 4 opponents to under 300 yards of offense. Marcus Johnson continues to be the East Central offense and will try to use the passing game to maintain ball control and get an early lead again. Lions running game will continue to do well agains the LSC's worst rush defense. TAMC 21-17.

Midwestern State at Southeastern Oklahoma
SEO has won its last two to find themselves in the thick of the LSC North race. Kolby Williams has 7 TD passes in the last 3 games. However, in 3 previous games against the LSC South, SEO is 0-3, and was outscored 37-109. Midwestern State rebounded from 2 straight losses to give Texas A&M Kingsville their worst defeat in school history last week, 73-6. The Mustangs amassed 600 yards of offense, and converted 5 Javelina miscues into 35 points. Daniel Polk went over 7,000 yards of total offense during the game. They will continue their trend of beating up on lesser teams 42-21.

Angelo State at West Texas A&M
Daniel Thomas was enjoying a great season going into last week, but went down with an injury early, finishing with only 3 carries. Jeremy Hill came in and did a nice job with 103 yards and 2 TDs but had 2 costly fumbles (one returned for a TD, and the last with a minute to go inside the Commerce 10). West Texas is getting banged up and should try to use this game to get people healthy, or at least give the backups some more game experience. Buffs win this one going away 45-21.

Southwestern Oklahoma at Central Oklahoma
Just as the Bronchos thought they had the inside track to the LSC North title, they lose their 6th straight game to SEO. Ben Birmingham was shut down (42 yards), and Ryan O'Hara was ineffective. SWO has lost 3 of its last 4 games, and seems to have regressed this season. Steve Day three for 316 yds and 3 TDs against the Riverhawks last week. If the Bronchos don't try to pass much, they'll win 21-14.

Eastern New Mexico at Texas A&M-Kingsville
Both of these teams come into the game with four game losing streaks. Anthony Ramos got his first collegiate start last week, and led the Greyhounds with 83 yards rushing and had 110 yds and a TD passing. Tarleton held ENMU to 200 yards below their season average in rushing yards. The Javelinas will be looking to rebound from last week's disaster at Midwestern State. The loser of this game has the inside track to the LSC South cellar. TAMK 27-24.


Game of the Year #4 Abilene Christian at Tarleton State
In losing to West Texas A&M last week, the Wildcats now have their backs agains the wall, and another defeat will eliminate them from NCAA playoff consideration in all probability. Tarleton can lose at least one game, maybe two, and still get in. With WTAM the final week they don't want to push the issue. The key to this game could be the running game. Bernard Scott found the end zone 3 times last week, but was held to under 100 yards Tarleton may not have one back with Scott's numbers, but they have 3 really good backs, any of which can beat you. The ACU run defense may be wearing down like last year - the past 4 weeks teams have averaged 200 yds rushing. Meanwhile Tarleton is second in run defense. Advantage Tarleton. Abilene needs to come out of the gates fast and keep Tarleton from controlling the clock and field position. Anything less and their playoff hopes are gone. Tarleton wins 31-28 and keeps a possible showdown of 10-0 teams in the final week alive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Regional Rankings (with playoff odds)

1. 99% Chadron State (8-0) - Survived tough game with Nebraska-Kearney. Mesa State up next.
2. 85% Northwest Missouri (6-1)- Surprisingly close game vs. Fort Hays. Host Washburn this week.
3. 90% West Texas A&M (8-0) - Won on road at Abilene. Should win handily over Angelo State.
4. 80 % Tarleton State (8-0) - Beat ENMU comfortably. Host Abilene this week.
5. 75% Mesa State (8-0) - Beat Adams State. Travel to Chadron. Chance to prove they are worthy of regional ranking.
6. 50% Washburn (6-2) - Smoked Truman in tune-up for NW Missouri road trip. Must win to stay in.
7. 50% Missouri Western (6-2) - Beat Emporia by 30. Host Missouri Southern this week.
8. 35 % Pittsburg State (6-2) - Beat SBU as expected. Will Fort Hays give them a game?
9. 26% Midwestern State (6-2) - Demolished TAMK and dropped a spot? Southeastern OK up next.
10. 10% Abilene Christian (6-2) - Playoff chances took a huge blow w/ loss to WT. UCO loss will come back to bite them. Travel to Tarleton and must win out.
11. 0% Central Missouri (5-3) - Edged Missouri Southern. Face SBU this week. Too many teams to jump.
12. 0% Nebraska-Kearney (4-3) - Gave DW-less Chadron a scare. On the road to Colorado Mines this week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

10/20 Predictions Recap

Last Week (5-1)
Season (17-7)


Southwestern Oklahoma 31 at Northeastern State 24 (Prediction 24-17)
What a finish. Up 31-3 and at the NSU 13, the Bulldogs appear ready to strike again. Instead, the Riverhawks get an INT, and proceed to reel off 21 straight points and recover a second consecutive on-side kick with 46 seconds to go. They get to the Bulldog 38 yard line with 23 seconds to go, but then their luck runs out, with 3 consecutive incomplete passes. Steve Day threw for 316 yards and 3 TDs for the Bulldogs, while Josh Lewis ran for 139 yds and a TD for the Riverhawks.

Central Oklahoma 15 Southeastern Oklahoma 24 (Prediction 28-21)
The big play in this one was a Marcus High 46 yard TD run on fourth and 10 to put SEO up 24-9 with just over 2 minutes to go. UCO responded with a quick TD, but could not recover the onside kick. SEO held Ben Birmingham to 42 yds rushing in a defensive struggle that saw the teams combine for 423 yards of offense.

Angelo State 17 Texas A&M Commerce 20 (Prediction 24-17)
Daniel Thomas left the game after only 3 carries, but Jeremy Hill went over 100 yds rushing for the Rams, but fumbled the ball on the Lions 7 with a minute to play. Nabil El-Amin rushed for 129 yds and a TD for the Lions.

Tarleton State 40 Eastern New Mexico 10 (Prediction 31-17)
Eastern New Mexico passed for a season high 110 yards, but were limited to 139 on the ground. Tarleton ran for 234 and passed for 357 in handing Eastern New Mexico its fourth straight loss. Scott Grantham had 3 TD passes to go with 345 yds passing, and Sampson, Smith, and Evans split the running duties and combined for 197 yards rushing. Jeremy Hibbler led both teams with 16 tackles.

Texas A&M Kingsville 6 Midwestern State 73 (Prediction 37-17)
Instead of the near-perfect effort needed to upset Midwestern State, the Javelinas instead gave the Mustangs the ball deep in their territory 5 times (4 fumbles and and an onside kick almost run back for a TD) which the Mustangs converted into 35 points. Not that the Mustangs needed the help, they racked up 600 yards of offense, including 426 on the ground (4 rushers had over 70 yards). To top it off, Daniel Ramirez, the third freshman QB to start for the Javelinas this year, was knocked out of the game. The loss was the worst in Javelina history.

West Texas A&M 41 Abilene Christian 31 (Prediction ACU 31-24)
The Buffaloes used 31-7 run in the first half on their way to defeating the Wildcats. Keith Null won the battle of the QBs tossing 4 TD passes and 360 yds, while Billy Malone threw for 345 yds, 1 TD but 2 INTs. Keithon Flemming led WT with 113 yds and 1 TD, while Bernard Scott had 88 yds and 3 TDs. Four different WT receivers caught TD passes, led by Kolo Kapanui's 6 catches for 101 yds. Jerale Badon had 10 catches for 93 yds, and Johnny Knox had 8 for 183 and a TD. Cody Stutts had 18 tackles, and Tony Harp 16 to lead the defensive efforts.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Game of the Year #3

So far the games of the year series has lived up to the hype. Midwestern State gladly takes a couple of weeks off from this series, as they limp home, losing to Tarleton 32-44 a week after losing to WT 20-25. Abilene definetly needs the win more than WT. A loss pushes them to the brink of playoff elimination, while a win only gives them slight breathing room. A win for WT virtually assures them a playoff spot, while a loss makes the season finale against Tarleton a de-facto playoff game. So who's got the edge this week?

Offense - Slight, very slight, edge to ACU

This is the top matchup of skill players in the LSC and maybe the nation. Both teams have fine QBs. Keith Null leads the LSC in passing yardage, while Billy Malone leads in passing efficiency. Null has 25 TDs and 7 Ints, Malone has 20 TDs and 2 Ints. Both teams have fine WRs. WT is very deep with Keithon Flemming (at RB), AJ Ruffins, BJ Vickers, Charly Martin, and Kolo Kapanui each with at least 4 TD catches and 9 players with double digit receptions. Abilene is not as deep at WR, but Jerale Badon and Johnny Knox have been more prolific this year, combining to catch 68 passes for 1,045 yds and 11 TDs. Bernard Scott has 17 receptions out of the backfield for 213 yds a couple of TDs. WT's Keithon Flemming keeps defenses on their toes, averaging 97 yds per game on the ground, and 171 all purpose yds. Wayne McKnight backs him up and chips in 33 yds rushing, and 90 all-purpose yards. For ACU, Bernard Scott was expected to come in (from Blinn JC) and do well for the Wildcats, but he's exceeded all but the wildest of expectations, with 142 yds per game rushing (8.0 per carry), 172 all purpose yds per game (and he doesn't do any return duty) and 14 TDs. He's backed up by Kebron Lampkin, averaging 41 yds a game rushing and 6.8 per carry. What gives ACU the slight advantage is their O-Line. They can run block and pass block, and they have been together for a long time. WT's line is good as well, but the Wildcat line is probably the best in the LSC.


Defense - Even

Both teams have good (not great) defenses. WT's defensive Line features end Brandon Swain who leads the LSC with 14 tackles for loss, and 7 sacks. Last year's leader, Travis Carpenter of ACU isn't having as productive a season withon 4 TFL and 2 sacks, but the smaller ACU line has more depth to help him - watch for freshman Fred Thompson. ACU's Cody Stutts is a fine LB, leading the Wildcats with 65 tackles, 4 for losses, 2 sacks and an Int. This WT's strongest position, led by Jared Brock (61 tackles, 9.5 for losses, 2 sacks and an Int) and Steve Allen (52 tackles, 8.5 for losses and an Int). Mark Ford and Eldon Grimslid have also combined for 73 tackles, 8 for losees and 3.5 sacks. The ACU secondary is strong, led by soph Tony Harp with 43 tackles. Harp, along with EJ Whitley, Josh Henry, and Corey Jordan have combined for 7 Ints. WT's Cashmin Thomas has 3 Ints for the Buff's, but is the only starter in the secondary with a pick.

Why ACU should win
  • Pass protection - ACU only allowed 5 sacks all year, WT 12
  • Penalties - WT leads the league with 122 penalty yds a game. They can overcome that most of the time, but against a top team, it will be much more difficult.
  • Turnovers - ACU is plus 13, and has only 8 lost TOs. WT is plus 4 and has 13 lost TO's.

It's a game that could go either way, and a Buffalo win wouldn't be surprising. The only surprise would be if one of these teams wins by more than 14.

Prediction - ACU 31-24



Thursday, October 18, 2007












Not an LSC Game, but certainly one of interest to a lot of LSC Fans. The UNK website says there are only 300 general admission tickets left (as of Tuesday afternoon). A Loper win would greatly scramble the playoff picture, while an Eagle win would almost certainly guarantee them a playoff spot.

Nebraska-Kearney has shown great balance on offense, averaging 220 on the ground and 218 through the air. Jake Richards leads the Lopers with 91 yds a game rushing, while Brendan Liess chips in with 53. Dennis Havrilla is the QB, throwing for 1,115 yds, 13 TDs, and 7 Ints, and has a QB rating of 141.7. His favorite targets have been Eric Myrick and Cory Sleeth, who have combined for 48 catches for 775 yds (129 per game) and 9 TDs. The Loper defense gives up 302 yds and 20 pts per game. They average 9.5 tackles for loss and just over 2 sacks per game. They opened their season with a loss to Nebraska-Omaha. The Lopers scored a TD to open the 3rd quarter, closing to within 20-17, before allowing 21 straight points to the Mavericks. They also fell to Mesa State 19-18, turning the ball over 3 times in a defensive battle.

Chadron State is known as the school that Danny Woodhead plays for - and for good reason - but the offense has shown pretty good balance, with 239 yds rushing and 187 passing. Mr. Woodhead won the Harlon Hill trophy in 2006 when he rushed for 2,756 yds and 34 TDs. Coming into this weeks game he has 7,550 rushing yards, 107 rushing TDs, 1,299 receiving yards and 7 receiving TDs. Aaron Cooksley has got enough carries to average 42 yds a game. Joe McLain is the QB, and has 1,284 yds passing (183 per game) 7 TDs and only 3 Ints. His QB rating is 142.2. His favorite targets are Danny Woodhead (surprise 20 catches 366 yds 18.3 avg) and Logan Stropko (19 catches 173 yds and 1 TD). The defense has been solid, allowing only 266 yards and 7.7 points per game. They average 8 tackles for loss and almost 4 sacks per game. The Eagles opened their season with a victory at Washburn, leading 34-17 before a late Ichabod TD tightened the gap. They also traveled to (and dominated) DIAA Northern Colorado, 31-0, more than doubling them in offense.

The big battle will be the Lopers' run defense vs. Danny Woodhead. The Lopers are only giving up 110 yds per game and 2.9 per carry rushing. Woodhead is the all-time leading rusher in college football, and this year is averaging 169 yds per game and has scored 16 TDs. The Lopers will have to slow him down without ignoring the pass. Chadron won last year's game 31-12


Nebraska-Kearney Stats
Nebraska-Kearney Roster


Chadron State Stats
Chadron State Roster


CSTV Webcast Thursday October 18, 7:00 PM

Chadron State Coach's Show Webstream

Super Showdown - by Troy Shockley, Abilene Reporter News

Link

Super Showdown

Battle of LSC giants could draw record ACU home crowd

Abilene Christian University wide receiver Turtle Conner (8) slips through Eastern New Mexico defenders during the first quarter if the Wildcats' win on Sept. 29, 2007, at Shotwell Stadium.

Sixty-one years ago.

Harry S. Truman was president. World War II ended the year before. "It's a Wonderful Life" was a new film. And it was the last time Abilene Christian University played a home football game without Leao McDaniel in the stands.

Despite spending some time in the hospital this week, Leao, 86, intends to be there Saturday when his beloved Wildcats play in their biggest home game in more than 20 years.

"Lord willing, I'll be there," he said. "I eat, breathe and sleep purple and white. If I can't make it ... well ... I'm not sure what I'll do."

It's no surprise that ACU's super-fan is excited about this week's matchup with West Texas A&M. Both teams are nationally ranked (No. 6 for WT, No. 12 for ACU). Both teams played against each other on national television last year (ACU won), and then again in the playoffs (West Texas won). And Saturday's game at Shotwell Stadium could decide which team wins the Lone Star Conference championship, a crown WT has held for the last two seasons. ACU hasn't won one since sharing it with Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1977. ACU lost its first game of the season, so every game for the rest of the year is, essentially, a must-win.

Oh, and Saturday's matchup is ACU's homecoming game. And members of the ACU team that won the 1977 NAIA Division I national championship will serve as honorary team captains.

"I think it all happened to fall just right," coach Chris Thomsen said. "For this to be two nationally ranked teams and a big rivalry game, to be able to hook it up in front of all the alumni and everyone that's going to be there Saturday is pretty neat."

Leao, a 1947 graduate of Abilene Christian College, has been around his fair share of great teams. He thinks this year's Wildcats rank right up there.

"This is one of the best," he said. "I saw the undefeated team that won the Refrigerator Bowl (in Evansville, Ind. in 1950) and that team was a whole lot like this team."

Leao isn't the only one excited about the weekend.

One indication of the game's draw: nearly a dozen separate threads discussing the contest were active on popular NCAA Division II football Web site d2messageboard.com Wednesday -- with more sure to come.

"It's something we've worked really hard for since January," senior offensive lineman Nathan Young said. "We've had this game circled since we got beat by them (in the first round of the Division II playoffs) last year. We talk about one game at a time, one game at a time ... but in the back of our minds, it was always this game."

ACU and WT both boast prolific offenses. The Buffaloes are ranked No. 1 in the LSC in both scoring offense (46.3 points per game) and total offense (525.6 yards per game), while the Wildcats are No. 2 in the LSC in scoring offense (44) and third in total offense (515.4).

With so much surrounding the game, ACU has been encouraging fans to buy their tickets before Saturday. The school began selling tickets Monday, and ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley said that sales have been brisk.

"We're fielding a lot of calls every day," he said. "We've almost sold all of our reserve seats for the game at the 50-yard line and I anticipate those will be sold out long before kickoff.

"We've even got WT fans calling to reserve their tickets ahead of time, and we sent them an allotment of tickets to sell there, too."

ACU has been offering discounted tickets for group sales to various businesses this week and Mosley said the school has also worked with local radio stations to produce a commercial promoting the game. Those stations are giving tickets away as prizes this week.

"We're just trying to find the quickest way to get word out in anticipation of this week's game," he said. "We didn't want to rush and do too much too early if it didn't wind up being as big as it wound up being. But we've had a really good response so far and anticipate a really good turnout this weekend."

While there are plans to do an exact attendance count this weekend, ACU isn't believed to have ever kept an official count at any home game. The school does have an estimated count for every contest, however, and the largest home crowd ACU has ever had was the estimated 15,000 that saw freshman running back Wilbert Montgomery and the Wildcats defeat Howard Payne 42-14 on Nov. 17, 1973.

Shotwell seats about 15,000, but that number can be inflated easily if fans are seated in the end zone bleachers -- and even more if they are allowed to sit on the grass berms at either end of the field.

If early indications are accurate, bringing a blanket may not be a bad idea for those arriving late.

"We're opening the gates at noon and I'd say, especially if you don't have your tickets already, you ought to show up at least an hour before (the 2 p.m. kickoff)," Mosley said. "I think we'll be pushing the record for sure this weekend if WT fans turn out. And our homecoming crowd, I anticipate, will be a little bigger than normal, so we'll come really close to packing Shotwell this weekend."

Expect one of the thousands to be Leao.

If he has anything to say about it, he'll be sitting in his usual perch right near the top of section W5.

"God's been good to me and I've got to know so many good people. And, fortunately I'm still blessed to be here," he said. "I've done a lot of things in my time, I've made quite a few friends and I hope I've been a loyal fan.

"I think I have."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Will the NCAA drop the big one on UCO/Langston?

As most LSC fans area already aware of, there is no coach sitting on a hotter seat than Central Oklahoma's Chuck Langston.

His 28-21 record over the last 5 years is fairly respectable. However, when you take into account massive recruiting infractions, gorgeous facilities, the largest enrollment of any LSC school (15,500), and an administration set on moving up to Division I, it is easy to see that more should have been expected.

For those of you living under a rock for the past few months, the NCAA began investigating UCO for possible recruiting infractions on August 2, 2006. They recently sent a letter to UCO advising them of their allegations.

The Daily Oklahoman received a copy of the letter the NCAA sent to Central Oklahoma. The NCAA allegations include (take a deep breath):

  • UCO failed to exercise institutional control over its football program.
  • More than 80 athletes had their tuition paid by UCO for remedial classes at Rose State College.
  • Athletes received cash to pay for lifeguard classes.
  • An athlete received $200 cash from a UCO athletics department official.
  • The athletic department provided and arranged for transportation to classes at Rose State.
  • Football players got free housing, food, transportation and use of facilities when they were not enrolled full-time.
  • The athletic department paid for surgery for an athlete prior to enrollment.
  • The athletic department provided sports medicine treatment for athletes prior to their enrollment.
  • UCO failed to record countable hours of athletic related activities, which are limited by the NCAA.
  • Athletic department members engaged in athletic activities outside the playing season by being present at a seven-on-seven scrimmage.

(exhale)

Now how does 28-21 sound?

These infractions have been going on for quite some time – August 1, 2003 to May 31, 2007 according to the NCAA.

Stop right now, go back and read those dates, and see if anything jumps out at you.

As stated I stated earlier, the NCAA advised UCO they were under investigation on August 2, 2006. According to their report, they found infractions (paying for classes for JC athletes at Rose State) all the way up until May 31, 2007.

So even while they were being investigated by the NCAA, they were STILL committing the exact same infractions they were being investigated for. We’ll come back to this issue in a little while.

When the NCAA advised UCO of it’s findings, UCO President W. Roger Webb issued a statement which included the following penalties levied by UCO against themselves:

A. UCO head football coach Chuck Langston was suspended for 2 weeks, which was actually only one game. That one game was the 27-17 win over ACU, and the headline of their season. Langston watched from home.

B. Langston will not be allowed to conduct off-campus recruiting activities for a period of one year.

C. UCO has in place two full-time athletics compliance officers and will continue to develop and implement a comprehensive system to effectively monitor the recruiting process for prospective student-athletes in all sports, particularly football. In addition, the university will continue to develop and implement a comprehensive NCAA rules education process.

On a side note, UCO did not even have a full-time compliance officer until hiring one the day BEFORE receiving the letter of allegations from the NCAA. Very odd.

UCO Spokesman Charlie Johnson added "We have the option to continue to review the information presented by the NCAA, and may determine that additional self-imposed penalties are necessary to correct infractions of NCAA bylaws," Johnson said. "We may find more. The inquiry we are doing internally continues.”

At this point, it has been a month and a half, and UCO has not levied any other penalties against themselves regarding these issues. They only have until November 2 to respond, which is 2 weeks from now. It appears they feel that the slap on the wrist Langston received was penalty enough for the biggest list of recruiting infractions in Division II history.

However, if you look into this a little more, you may see why.

UCO Athletic Director Bill Farley was in charge at Central Oklahoma during the time all of these infractions occurred. While in charge of the Athletics Department, Mr. Farley apparently decided that a compliance officer was not needed until the day after receiving the letter from the NCAA. Coincidence? Mr. Farley spent 8 years in the athletic department of OU.

Coach Langston was a standout lineman at OU before heading into coaching. He was actually recommended by former OU coach Kelvin Sampson. Let me get this straight - Kelvin Sampson, never known for his squeaky clean program at OU or Indiana - apparently talked with his OU buddy Farley about their OU buddy Langston and a red flag never shot up? Just google “Kelvin Sampson recruiting” and set aside a few hours to read through all the articles.

This is the equivalent of Richard Nixon recommending someone to run your political campaign, and deciding “Yeah…that’s a great idea!”

I seriously question how intense the “follow up investigation” has been under an AD who never hired a full-time compliance officer until the NCAA was breathing down their necks and hired a head coach recommended by one of the dirtiest coaches in all of college football. The fact that they apparently are satisfied with the “penalty” handed down speaks volumes in regards to just how serious they are taking this.

If you are the NCAA, what are you thinking?

Put yourself in their shoes. Here we have the biggest list of recruiting infractions in the history of Division II football. We’ve advised them of the laundry list of issues they face. Even during our investigation, they are still illegally paying for classes for kids at another school. When given a chance to penalize themselves, they suspend their coach for 1 game. They stated they would continue to investigate and hand down further penalties if needed. Apparently they feel they have done what needs to be done, as their 90 days is almost up and they have been silent. We have dropped the “Lack of Institutional Control Bomb” on them, and they decided this was the only penalty needed.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Not only was the investigation completely ignored with infractions still occurring, the “penalty” they assigned to the Head Coach in charge of this program was laughable and they have not done anything since - even though the Lack of Institutional Control label is the biggest claim the NCAA can make against a program.

If I am a UCO fan, I am finding the nearest bomb shelter. Their responses to the NCAA up to this point have been almost humorous, and I don’t think the NCAA is laughing.

For UCO’s sake, I hope I am wrong in this, but I think we may have a “statement” ruling coming fairly soon. The NCAA will go over UCO’s response at their meetings in Indianapolis December 7-9, and should have a ruling sometime soon after that.

My personal prediction is that they lose double digit scholarships over the next few years, ban from post season play, and the eventual firing of Chuck Langston before the start of next season. I realize that they have stood behind him this far, but I cannot imagine a school keeping a coach on board with a mediocre record and this kind of laundry list of infractions. Just wouldn’t make sense. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the NCAA stick a Show-Cause Order on Langston.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the AD let go. Every bit of this occurred under his watch, and could have easily been headed off at the pass if he only had a full-time compliance officer. In a school this big, with this much money coming in, there is no reason to not have a full-time compliance officer unless you have a reason to not have one, if you get my drift.

As usual, the shortest path is usually never the best path. Unfortunately, on this path UCO may have hit a dead end.



-Scoop

Region Rankings,Playoff odds and tough games remaining.

Unlike most years when there is a clear cut favorite, there's a lot of parity in the SW Region this year. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference has a solid shot of sending two teams to the playoffs this year. The MIAA is led by NW Missouri, but it is muddled after that, and it is possible, not likely but possible, that they could only send one team to the playoffs. The LSC has 4 playoff caliber teams, but only 2 or maybe 3 will get in.

1. 90% Chadron State (7-0) - Play at Nebraska-Kearney Thursday. Webcast on CSTV. Host Mesa State next week. Can afford one loss.
2. 80% Northwest Missouri State (5-1) - Host Washburn and Missouri Southern. Maybe one more loss, but not certain.
3. 80% West Texas A&M (7-0) - Travel to Abilene this week and Tarleton to close out season. Don't overlook Angelo or Central Ok (ask ACU). Can afford one loss.
4. 80% Tarleton State (7-0) - Host Abilene next week and WTAM final weekend. Can afford one loss.
5. 70% Mesa State (7-0) - Travel to Chadron next week, Colorado Mines could be trap game. Should be in with one loss, but not certain.
6. 50% Washburn (5-2) - Travel to NW Missouri next week, then host Pitt State the next in what may be a playoff elimination game. Probably need to win out.
7. 50% Abilene Christian (6-1) - Host WTAM, travel to Tarleton, then close out season at Midwestern State. Early loss to Central Oklahoma could come back to haunt them. Can probably afford one loss, but not two.
8. 30% Midwestern State (5-2) - Close out season hosting Abilene. Must win out. Need help.
9. 30% Missouri Western State (5-2) - Host Missouri Southern and Central Missouri. Must win out. Need help.
10. 30% Pittsburg State (5-2) - Travel to Washburn in next to last weekend. Must win out. Need help.
11. 5% Nebraska-Kearney (4-2) - Host Chadron, travel to Colorado Mines in a possible trap game. Must win out. Need a lot of help.
12. 0% Central Missouri (4-3) - Host Missouri Southern, travel to Missouri Western. No Chance.
Unranked 5% Missouri Southern (5-2) - travel to Central Missouri, Missouri Western, and NW Missouri. Must win out (and if they do, they deserve to be in playoffs). Need a lot of help.

Predictions - October 20

Southwestern Oklahoma at Northeastern State - Not exactly a headliner, but its on the schedule. Bulldog defense has to be happy this week, after facing Midwestern St, Abilene Christian, Tarleton State and Southeastern Oklahoma 4 of the last 5 weeks. The pass defense should get a break, with NSU only averaging 118 passing and 231 total yards on offense. SWO hasn't been much better averaging only 14.8 points a game vs. D2 schools not named Panhandle State. The Bulldogs should win this one 24-17.

Central Oklahoma at Southeastern Oklahoma -
The Bronchos are the only team with a shot at an undefeated LSC North run, which says alot abut the state of the LSC North. They do have a good defense, and running back Ben Birmingham has been really solid, but in a normal year, they would not stand out. Pre-season favorite Southeastern Oklahoma lost a lot more from last year's team than originally thought - they've been okay on offense, not so good on defense. If Central will let Ben Birmingham run the ball 25-30 times, then UCO should win. SEO in a close one 28-21.

Angelo State at Texas A&M-Commerce - Both of these teams need this victory to try and salvage what they can from this year. Angelo's offense has been good, racking up almost 400 yds per game, but needs to find the endzone more. Commerce has been hot and cold, but could be rebounding for a strong finish. They'll have to do a much better job containing Daniel Thomas than they did UCO's Birmingham 3 weeks ago. Thomas will get his 100 yds rushing, but the Lions will limit the damage and use a balanced offense to get closer to .500 with a 24-17 win in Commerce in front of 1,200 fans.

Tarleton State at Eastern New Mexico -
After a surprising 4-0 start, the Greyhounds are falling fast. On the flip-side, Tarleton is humming along, off to their best start in D2. Sounds like up an upset in the making, especially at Blackwater Draw. Two years ago, the Texans escaped with a 34-27 win. Tarleton is a better team this time around, more playmakers on offense, solid on defense. Last week against Midwestern State, the offense only had the ball three times in which they didn't score - a fumble, a punt and running the clock out at the end of the game. They'll beat you with special teams, whether scoring or just getting great field position. This week, they'll slow down the option running game, and control the field and win 31-17.

Texas A&M-Kingsville at Midwestern State
Midwestern State finds itself up against the wall, with 2 straight losses. If they are to have any chance at the playoffs, they will have to win out. The bad news is they still have to play Abilene to close out the season, the good news is that they were in this same position last year and got in. The offense played well against Tarleton, until the fourth quarter, with two drives, producing only 3 first downs, 46 yds and zero points. The defense only forced Tarleton to punt the ball once all night, and the special teams allowed an 87 yard punt return right before halftime allowing the Texans to take the lead into halftime. Against the Javelinas last year, 3 Mustangs rushed for over 100 yds in a 44-17 game that wasn't as close as the score. For the Javelinas to have any chance this week, they will have to shut down the Mustang's passing game without letting Polk, Chatman, and Mathis running wild, and get some turnovers and/or special teams breaks. That's a lot to ask, Mustangs 37-17.

Game of the Year #3....Thursday

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Last Week (4-2)
Season (12-6)



Texas A&M-Commerce 30 Northeastern State 3 (Prediction 24-14) - Lions defense even more dominant than expected, holding the Riverhawks to 113 yds totl offense. Nabil El-Amin had 120 yds rushing, and Terry Mayo had 192 yds passing and 2 TDs in front of 1,190 fans in Commerce. Broderick Mondy was busy on defense for NSU with 15 tackles.

West Texas A&M 62 Eastern New Mexico 31 (Prediction 38-21) - No 14 pt deficit this time around, Buffalo defense holds Michael Benton to 45 yds rushing, while offense puts up 599. ENMU passing woes continue as they complete twice as many passes to WT as their own team. Flemming rushes for 144 yds and TDs, Null passes for 339 yds and 3 TDs, and BJ Vickers has 105 receiving yards.

Abilene Christian 52 Angelo State 28 (Prediction 35-17) - The Wildcats jumped out to a 31-7 halftime lead, and cruised to another comfortable victory. Billy Malone threw for 383 yds and 2 TDs, Jerale Badon had 9 catches for 149 yds and a TD, but the offensive star was Bernard Scott. Scott caught 6 passes for 63 yards and ran for 231 yards and had scoring runs of 14, 62, and 80 yards, all in the second half. Daniel Thomas once again led the Rams with 199 yds rushing and 111 receiving, to go with 2 TDs. The two teams combined for 1,234 yards of offense.

Southeastern Ok 40 Southwestern Ok 24 (Prediction SWO 28-21) - The Savage Storm rebound from last week's triple OT loss by scoring 34 straight points turning a 10-6 deficit into a 40-10 lead. Kolby Williams threw for 254 yds and 4 TDs. Jimmy Sangster struggled to a 7-18 day as SWO went 8 consecutive drives without scoring and moving the ball only 89 yards during that period.

East Central 21 Texas A&M-Kingsville 17 (Prediction TAMK 31-21) - Marcus Johnson and the Tigers got off to a 14-0 start in the first quarter and held on to beat the Javelinas. The Tigers were outgained 248-333 the rest of the way, and trailed 17-14 after a 3rd quarter FG, but responded with a TD on their only real drive of the second half. The Tigers still had to turn away 3 Javelina drives inside their 30 with under 10 minutes to go. Marcus Johnson was 36-59 for 308 yds and 2 TDs, while Ray Miller led the Javelinas with a career high 187 yds rushing.

Tarleton State 44 Midwestern State 32 (prediction 28-27) - The Mustangs outgained the Texans 479-413, did not turn the ball over, and Daniel Polk had a good game. 99% of the time, that means the Mustangs win. So what happened? Great field position for the Texans almost all night long, an 87 punt return for a TD right before halftime, a Mustang defense that could only force one punt, and a Tarleton offense that scored their last two TDs on drives totaling 179 yds and held the ball for 12 minutes in the fourth quarter. Scott Grantham bounces back with a good game, 21-32 225 yds 2 TDs ZERO INTs, and Travis Evans and Michael Sampson combine for 187 yds and 2 TDs. Joe Chatman for MSU also deserves kudos for 128 yds rushing and 2 TDs on only 13 carries.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Game of the Year #2 - Midwestern St at Tarleton St

On paper, this looks like an evenly matched ballgame - 3rd and 4th in scoring offense, 5th & 6th in passing yards, 2nd & 4th in rushing yards, and 1st & 4th in total offense. Defensively they are 1st & 2nd in scoring, rushing and total defense. Remarkably, they both run the ball about 60% of the time.

For Midwestern State, the conversation starts with Daniel Polk, the Mustang's very athletic quarterback. He leads the team in rushing (73 yds per game, 10 TDs), and his success running sets up his passing. So far this season, he's hitting 66% of his passes, for 228 yds per game, and has 9 TDs to only 2 INTs, good for a 153.5 rating. Junior college transfer Joe Chatman chips in with 66 yds a game and true freshman Marcus Mathis is right behind with 64 yds per game. Del Juan Lee is the top WR with 28 catches for 561 yds and 6 TDs. The O Line is obviously doing its job, allowing only 8 sacks, and run blocking well enough for the team to average 6.7 yds per carry. The defense doesn't have any All American candidates, but gets contributions from a lot of players, and is getting the job done.

Tarleton is deep at the RB and WR position, and has a very capable QB in RS Scott Grantham. Grantham is coming off of a poor outing, but still second in the LSC in passing efficiency at a 161.5 rating. He's passed for 227 yds per game, with 11 TDs and 6 INTs. At RB, Michael Sampson rushed for 141 yds last week, and Roderick Smith is averaging 80 yds per game. Devin Guinn and Scott Prentice have combined for 44 catches for 925 yds, 10 TDs and each has a TD reception of 50+ yards. Another top line has only allowed 7 sacks. Defensively, All American candidates Tywain Myles and Rendradick Phillips lead the Tarleton defense.

For Tarleton to win they have to slow down Daniel Polk, plain and simple. Of course that is much easier said than done. Late in last Saturday's ballgame at TAMUK, the Texan defense allowed several scrambles for big gains by a much less athletic quarterback. If they don't improve in that area, they will find themselves losing their first game of the year. Midwestern can't rely on slowing down one player, if they shut down Sampson, Grantham will hit Prentice or Guinn for big plays, or Smith or Travis Evans can break off big ones as well. Look for Myles and Phillips to force a couple of turnovers and a big Texan return on special teams to catapault Tarleton to a home victory, 28-27.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coaches on the Hot Seat




Muy Caliente !!!!


Chuck Langston - combine expected NCAA sanctions with a program that should dominate the LSC North....


John Horner - might not win another game this year. Record at NSU 10-36


Kurt Nichols - ECU regressed a lot the last two years (3-14)




Is it getting warm in here?


Mark Ribaudo - weak non-LSC wins may buy some time (12-15)


Scott Conley - how patient is new AD in Commerce? (16-21)




Not on the clock...yet


Ray Richards - did well with Baxter's players first two years (14-6), this year is a disaster (1-5)


Dale Carr - got ASU back in playoffs with Coach V's players, next year may be crucial.




Solid Footing


Ryan Held - has had some limited success, rumored to always be looking for greener pastures


Bill Maskill - has led MSU to playoffs twice, but rumors of turbulence below the surface


Sam McElroy - Continuing winning started by Whitten, will program continue to win ala MSU, or fall off ala SEO?


Chris Thomsen - ACU has alway had talent, first playoffs since 1977 National Championship


Don Carthel - wt faithful thinks he walks on water




Too soon to judge


Bo Atterberry - N/A first year in rebuilding project, team shows improvement, next year will be first to judge

Predictions - October 13

Northeastern State at Texas A&M Commerce - Northeastern State is liking their wounds after a 58-7 drilling by Abilene. The Riverhawks were trailing 51-0 at halftime, before ACU showed mercy in the second half. The Lions won a draining triple OT game at Southeastern, with Terry Mayo coming off the bench to lead TAMC to victory. Look for the Lion defense to pretty much shut NSU down and win this one 24-14.

Eastern New Mexico at West Texas A&M - The Wagon Wheel game usually tightly contested with the Buffs overcoming a 14-0 halftime deficit last year to win 21-14, and surviving a 52-51 OT homecoming game in 2005 in which ENMU failed on a 2 pt conversion (a pass?). The WT defense had its best game last week, slowing down Daniel Polk and limiting the Mustang offense to 351 yards and 20 points despite 4 Int's. This years game shouldn't be so close, as the WT linebackers will slow down Benton and company, and cruise to a 38-21 victory.


Abilene Christian at Angelo State - Angelo has played well at times (barely losing to DIAA Sam Houston, beating UCO and ENMU) and poorly at times (losing to ECU and MSU by a combined 37-92 margin). Abilene meanwhile has played very well since dropping their opener to UCO, winning by an average of 46-14 the past 5 weeks. For Angelo to win, Daniel Thomas will need to have a big game, Neiswander will have to be efficient at QB, and Abilene will have to make some mistakes that the Rams capitalize on. Too many things have to go Angelo's way, so its ACU 35-17.


Southeastern Oklahoma at Southwest Oklahoma - In the preseason, this looked like a game to possibly decide the LSC North with an outside shot at playoff implications. Now its SEO playing for pride, but SWO still working to win the LSC North, even if the playoffs are out of the question. SEO has shown the ability to move the ball, but hasn't been able to convert those yards into points, while SWO offense hasn't moved the ball or scored much. That could change this week as they get to go against a defense giving up almost 420 yards per game. The Savage Storm's season continues its tailspin possibly in heartbreaking fashion again, SWO 28-21.


East Central at Texas A&M-Kingsville - Both teams are coming off close losses , but the Tigers might be suffering more of a hangover - consider they led 21-10 midway through the 3rd quarter, and after UCO took a 24-21 lead, drove down the field, and missed a 27 yd FG that would have tied the game. The Javelinas played well against unbeaten Tarleton, but the Texans used great field position in the first half (TD drives of 30,31,34 yds) to keep TAMK at bay. ECU will put the ball up about 50 times, TAMK will have their best rushing game of the year, and will win the game 31-21.


Game of the Year #2
Midwestern State at Tarleton.......tune in tomorrow

Tarleton keeping close eye on NCAA investigation of Kansas State


Per The Topeka Capital-Journal

NCAA eyes KSU football

University employee fired in connection with internal probe of program

By Austin Meek
The Capital-journal
Published Tuesday, October 09, 2007

MANHATTAN — Kansas State University has received a notice of inquiry from the NCAA concerning potential rules violations involving two current football players, three former players and a former university employee.

The letter, obtained by The Capital-Journal through an open-records request, is dated Aug. 9 and informs K-State officials that the football program is under investigation by NCAA staff, including former Washburn athletic director Rich Johanningmeier, now NCAA associate director of enforcement.

Read a copy of the NCAA's letter.

PAST PROBLEMS

Three times in its history, Kansas State has been found to have committed major infractions in its football program:

• 1998: Representatives of the institution's athletics interests provided a football student-athlete with about $3,400 money, most of which was used to buy a car. The player returned the car, donated the money to charity, the university self-imposed the penalty of disassociating itself with seven representatives of the institution's athletics interests and three other individuals involved, and the NCAA extended an ongoing probation one year.

• 1978: From 1975 to '78, K-State was found to have awarded 20 scholarships above its limit. The football program received a two-year postseason ban, docked 20 scholarships and lost one-third of its revenue distribution from the Big Eight.

• 1970: From 1968 to '70, the institution was found to have provided improper transportation; improper recruiting entertainment, inducements and transportation; tryout; excessive time for official visit; improper administration of precollege enrollment tests; academic fraud; eligibility; unethical conduct. Penalties included a three-year postseason and television ban.

News of the investigation, though, came as no surprise to the school.

"The university received information long before this notice of inquiry came to us," said Jacqueline Butler, assistant university attorney. "The information that we received raised some concern about possible NCAA violations, and we immediately started our own investigation into those matters. At the same time, communications were made to the NCAA that we were investigating those possibilities."

Butler said a university employee was terminated as a result of the internal investigation but wouldn't comment on the person's identity.

Since last summer, a joint investigation between K-State and the NCAA has revealed that any allegations against the school won't include a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor, athletic director Tim Weiser said. Further, no evidence has suggested that any coaches, administrators or boosters are involved.

"This investigation centers around one former university employee, three former football players and two current members of the team," Weiser said.

One of the current team members is playing for the Wildcats, ostensibly because he was cleared by the probe.

"We wouldn't ever play somebody whom we had doubts about in terms of their eligibility," Weiser said.

Meanwhile, sophomore cornerback Joshua Moore, who started the final five games last season as a freshman, was declared academically ineligible moments before the season opener against Auburn and hasn't played this season.

"We continue to hope we will get (Moore's status) resolved shortly," Weiser said, "but that has not happened to this point, so we are not able to say how soon we would have resolution."

Further, The Capital-Journal has learned that the investigation has centered on a former university academic adviser and former players Ro Grigsby, Antonio Brown and Alphonso Moran.

Grigsby twice was questioned as part of K-State's internal investigation. Officials, including compliance director David Flores, traveled in April to Athens, Texas, to interview Grigsby, who left K-State after the 2005-06 season and transferred to Trinity Valley Community College, said his father, J.D. Grigsby.

Now enrolled but not playing at Illinois State, Ro Grigsby was investigated for a paper written with the aid of a female university tutor, his father said. University officials wouldn't comment on the position held by the employee who was dismissed.

"They was checking these guys' computers and everything," J.D. Grigsby said. "They was doing like an FBI investigation, you know, going back into e-mails and computers."

Ro Grigsby also was questioned about whether players were romantically involved with the female tutor, his father said.

Messages left with Ro Grigsby weren't returned.

Moran, a defensive tackle who left K-State two weeks before the Wildcats' season opener for personal reasons including the NCAA case, also said he was investigated for a paper written with the aid of a tutor. Reached by phone at his home in Florida, Moran said investigators confiscated papers he'd written, as well as files belonging to the tutor.

Both Moran and J.D. Grigsby said they didn't believe K-State coach Ron Prince was aware of the potential violations until he was informed by officials in the athletic department.

Coach Prince referred all inquiries to the K-State athletic department.

Brown, a wide receiver from Mesquite, Texas, left K-State following the 2006 season. He transferred to Tarleton State University, a Division II school in Stephenville, Texas.

Brown appeared in Tarleton State's season opener but hasn't played since because of an ongoing investigation, said James Gibson, assistant athletic director for compliance at Tarleton State.

"There's been some information that's come to our attention about events that occurred while he was at Kansas State," Gibson said. "Based on that information we felt it was in the institution's best interest to pull him from competition until everything at Kansas State was investigated properly."

Attempts to reach Brown through his stepmother, Stephanie Ruth, were unsuccessful.

Although the notice of inquiry stated that the NCAA hoped to complete its investigation by Oct. 1, Butler, the university attorney, said it was ongoing. Once it is finalized, K-State could receive a notice of allegations. The university then would respond officially and, if the allegations are substantiated and deemed major violations, could appear before the Committee on Infractions.

K-State officials, in conjunction with outside counsel Michael Glazier of the law firm Bond, Schoeneck and King, will continue to participate in concert with the NCAA, Weiser said.

"We have never, nor will we ever, tolerate intentional violations of NCAA rules," Weiser said. "Should it be determined that violations have occurred, we will take whatever steps necessary to ensure that we maintain the highest standard for compliance."


In another article found here, Tarleton State's Gibson states “He is practicing but not competing,” Gibson said by phone. “There was information provided to us by the NCAA we felt could hurt Tarleton State’s future. Until that is over, we’re holding him out.”

====================================================================

The Scoop's Take: At this point it appears that Tarleton State has done everything by the book, and is in no way going to get caught up in any of this. Nice job by Tarleton of doing the right thing and keeping him out just to be sure.

However, if this clears up this season it would be interesting to see Tarleton suddenly add a D1 caliber WR to the mix with Prentice and Guinn already there.

Stay tuned for updates. We have confirmed there is an upcoming article regarding this from the Tarleton area.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The "Big 4" Series - Article 4 - Why ACU will win the 2007 LSC Football title.

The Scoop is proud to present the final article in the "Big 4" Series - Who will win the 2007 LSC title.

The last article has ACU represented by the Abilene Reporter News' very own Troy Shockley. Troy's fine work can be seen at
www.reporternews.com/news/sports and he also has a great blog that he updates DURING ACU games, and it can be found at blogs.scripps.com/abil/gameday/.

The Scoop would like to thank all 4 writers who contributed to this series. We have received alot of compliments on their work and hope to work with them all again.

=====================================================================================

by Troy Shockley

shockleyt@reporternews.com

There’s a reason Abilene Christian University was the preseason pick to win its first conference championship since 1977.

In fact, there were quite a few.

There still are.

Any concerns about the Wildcats getting too high on themselves were erased after a season-opening loss at Central Oklahoma. (The Bronchos, by the way, are actually a pretty solid team despite all of their off-field issues. Coaching ought to be looked at, too. Still, they are maybe the most underrated team in the conference.)

The Wildcats got an early object lesson: No matter how good you are, you can’t just show up in this conference and expect a win. It’s a lesson ACU has taken to heart. Since that loss they’ve rolled over the opposition, last week scoring an incredible 51 points in the first half against Northeastern despite having several skill-position starters out.

In addition to deflating any egos, the loss to UCO has forced the Wildcats to enter every game with a must-win mentality. If they hope to take the conference title and, more importantly, a spot in the playoffs, they can ill afford a loss. More than one and it’s over.

It’s a powerful motivator, and this group is certainly motivated.

n The Lone Star Conference isn’t lacking for talented skill guys. Even on some of the weakest teams in the league you can find them. ACU, though, has more than a few, and they’ve helped the Cats become the ninth-best scoring offense in the country.

Quarterback: Billy Malone. He’s got NFL teams calling already, and it isn’t hard to see why. He’s got 6,490 passing yards in just 27 career games. He broke 300 last week (with four scores) and he only played in the first half. Not only is Malone bigger and stronger than he was a year ago, he’s smarter. He’s making the right decisions and, as a result, he’s 110-of-170 this season with 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions. His passer efficiency is sitting at 176.8 — the fourth-best rating in the country.

As far as the other contenders, Tarleton’s Scott Grantham is ranked 13th, Midwestern’s Daniel Polk is 18th and WT’s Keith Null is 24th.

Running back: Bernard Scott. He’s as advertised. Scott’s got great vision, great hands and great speed. That, plus his strength, has enabled him to an average of 127.2 yards per game rushing (18th best in the nation) and a season total of 763 yards and nine rushing touchdowns. The only LSC players above him are Angelo’s Daniel Thomas (15) and Eastern New Mexico’s Michael Benton (4) and neither of them are in this hunt.

Backing up Scott, too, are the more-than-capable Taber Minner and speedy newcomer Kebron Lampkin, who scored three touchdowns last week for the Wildcats.

Wide receivers: These guys are dangerous simply because there are so many of them. fleet-footed Johnny Knox has been getting the big yards so far (83.8 per game), but the best hands in the league belong to Jerale Badon. He didn’t play this last week, but he’s got an average of 64 per night. Teams can only shut down one of those guys, and the other will make them pay. Scott and Lampkin are dangerous on screens and the supporting cast of receivers can make teams pay for neglecting them in coverage.

The Wildcat D has been impressive as well, shutting down Benton and anyone else it has faced with both size and speed. ACU’s giving up, on average, 306 yards per game. And as impressive as that is, don’t forget that the Cats have had so many dominant games that they’ve been able to play a lot of second- and third-string guys in the second half, so that number’s really probably quite a bit lower against the No. 1 unit and they’re 11th in the country with 11 interceptions.

Other statistics of note: ACU is 8th in the nation in turnover margin at 1.7. The Wildcats’ offensive line is big and it is strong, allowing .83 sacks per game (7th best in the country) and Morris is one of the best punt returners in the country (No. 9) with 15.4 yards per attempt.

If the game comes down to a kicker, Matt Adams is almost automatic and is actually ranked No. 30 in D-II scoring with 8.7 points per game.

Finally, coaching. Because of his success, many seem to forget that this is only Chris Thomsen’s third year. And that’s not just at ACU — that’s third year as a head coach. Anywhere. He’s the reigning Coach of the Year in the LSC, and he’s put together an incredible staff of assistants and coordinators that have the team completely prepared every week for what they’re going to see.

One of those guys, offensive coordinator Ken Collums has been doing an incredible job of keeping opposing defenses guessing with an attack that is split almost down the middle with the pass and run. If the conference had it, he’s be the frontrunner for Assistant Coach of the Year.

That’s all a lot of stuff, I know. And trust me, there’s even more. And, in the end, it all points to one thing: ACU is still the team to beat in the race for the LSC crown.

Lone Star Conference

Angelo State News

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

MSUMustangs.com

Oklahoma Panhandle State University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico

Amarillo Globe News - WT Sports