As most of us all know by now, the LSC appears to be a 4 team race - Abilene Christian, Midwestern State, Tarleton State and West Texas A&M.
We here at The LSC Scoop thought it would be interesting to get someone very familiar with each team in the Big 4 and try to "sell us" on why their respective school will win the LSC title.
With the Midwestern/West Texas A&M contest looming, we thought those would be the first 2 to be published.
We begin with the Midwestern State Mustangs. Stay tuned and check back often for Article 2 in the "Big 4" series - West Texas A&M.
From our time on the D2football.com message board, it became very apparent that the poster we all know as "Bill" would easily be the best source to sell us on Midwestern. So without further ado, I give you Article 1 in the "Big 4" Series - Midwestern State, by Bill Steinke.
The Top Ten Reasons Midwestern State will win the Lone Star Conference Football Title in 2007.
By: Bill Steinke
When I was asked by "The LSC Scoop" to write an article for their new website, I wanted to know if there were any format or length considerations. The answer I got made my decision easy. "We dont want to make it stale by having them all look/read the same way." A good sign that the owners of the website want both creativity and a fair amount of subjectivity in their product.
Since the format of the article was left up to me, I decided to make it a little thought-provoking. Without giving away any secrets, I also hope to include some information about the Mustangs of Midwestern State that fans from other teams may not be aware of... ...yet.
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So without further ado...
THE TOP TEN REASONS MIDWESTERN STATE WILL WIN THE LONE STAR CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TITLE IN 2007.
10. Improvements Every Year Under Bill Maskill - Since the arrival of Head Coach Bill Maskill, the Mustangs have enjoyed the greatest successes in the history of Midwestern State Football. Billy (as his wife Mary Helen likes to call him), is the winningest coach in the history of the school in both total wins and winning percentage. Maskill has also taken his team to the NCAA Division II Playoffs twice in the last three years.
9. Proving Themselves Outside the Conference - Last year, the Mustangs were the only LSC team to win a post-season game against a non-conference opponent. They beat Missouri Western State in the first round and lost to eventual National Runner Up, Northwest Missouri State, on the road the following week. They played that game with their star QB injured and are eager to avenge themselves in 2007.
8. Potent & Balanced Offense - The Mustangs lead the LSC in total yardage averaging 327 yards per game rushing while tacking on another 237 per game passing. While Midwestern State has a very potent rushing attack, they are not the kinda team you can stack 8 or 9 in the box with and get away with it as they have a handful of very capable Wide Receivers.
7. The Results Thus Far in 2007 - MSU has outscored their opponents in all four (4) quarters this season by an overwhelming margin. They've also outscored their opposition in all ten (10) first half quarters they've played in 2007 leading every game they've played at halftime by at least 14 points.
SCORE BY QUARTERS 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Midwestern State.... 62 65 47 45 - 219
Opponents.............. 10 10 20 22 - 62
6. Gritty Defense - Not surprisingly, the Mustangs also lead the Lone Star Conference in Total Defense. Allowing a paltry 12.4 points per game doesn't leave opposing teams much margin for error on offense as between the two units, they lead their competition by over 7 minutes in time of possession.
5. Depth - The coaching staff at MSU believes they have had their best recruiting classes in years over the past several seasons and the team is particularly deep at WR and RB. Though not tested yet in the second half of any game, fresh legs (on both sides of the ball) will be something the Mustangs can turn to when the game is on the line without a large drop-off in talent.
4. Special Teams - The battle for field position will not be lost by MSU. Punter, Ben White, was last week's LSC Special teams Player of the week. White nailed the coffin corner three times in MSU's 44-16 win at ASU as the junior punter had each of his three punts downed inside the 10-yard line. White, who averaged 41.7 yards on his three punts against ASU, has now down 11 of his 16 punts (68.8 percent) killed inside the 20 for the season with only one touchback.
3. The Coaching Staff - Not only is Bill Maskill the Dean of LSC Coaches, but his Offensvie Coordinator, Glenn Thomas (nephew of Baltimore Ravens Mentor Brian Billick) and Defensive Coordiantor Cary Fowler (The Division II Assistant Coach of the Year in 2005) have been with him since shortly after he arrived in Wichita Falls. This staff has more expereince coaching together in the LSC than any team in the conference.
2. The Schedule - The Mustangs have two of the toughest opponents on their schedule (West Texas A&M and Abilene Christian) at home this year. A win over the Buffs this weekend in Wichita Falls will go a long way in settling the LSC race.
1. Daniel Polk - The senior signal caller is the best Quarterback in Division II Football, the best player in the Lone Star Conference, and well on his way to meriting a spot as a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award for the best player in Division II Football. Polk is thought by some to be a one dimmensional "run-first" QB. In reality, the Harlon Hill Candidiate is actually among the nation's leaders in QB ratings for pass efficiency. I've met this young man personally and spent some time with him. His feats in the gridiron are only surpassed by his humility and character off the field. Head Coaches are lucky to mentor a player of this athletic level once in a career.
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Well thanks for listening. I have followed the Midwestern State Football team for the past 4 years. Coincidentally, those are the four years I lived in Wichita Falls, Texas (2003 - 2006). I still follow the Mustangs from a geographic distance as my family and I now reside in Tennessee; but I stay in touch with the coaches and only wish I could be there still witnessing their enourmous successes this year. Go Mustangs!