By BEN JOHNSON
W-L W-L PF PA
Missouri Western 12-2 9-1 0 0
Emporia State 10-2 9-2 0 0
Northwest Missouri State 10-3 8-2 0 0
Pittsburg State 7-3 7-3 0 0
Lindenwood 8-4 7-3 0 0
Washburn 7-4 7-4 0 0
Central Missouri 6-4 6-4 0 0
Missouri Southern 6-5 5-5 0 0
Fort Hays State 5-6 4-6 0 0
Northeastern State 4-6 4-6 0 0
Southwest Baptist 3-8 3-8 0 0
Nebraska Kearney 3-8 2-8 0 0
Central Oklahoma 2-8 2-8 0 0
Lincoln 1-10 1-10 0 0
Note: Standings are from 2012.
Central Oklahoma at Missouri Southern, 6 p.m.
Washburn at Nebraska Kearney 6 p.m.
Saginaw Valley State at Northwest Missouri State, 6:30 p.m.
Missouri Western at Central Missouri, 7 p.m.
Emporia State at Fort Hays State, 7 p.m.
Lincoln at Lindenwood, 7 p.m.
Northeastern State at Pittsburg State, 7 p.m.
Southwest Baptist at Truman, 7 p.m.
Ahead of the pack
Northwest Missouri State: The third-ranked Bearcats venture outside of the MIAA to get their season started. A lot of hype surrounds the league favorite, and a setback against No. 22 Saginaw Valley State would be a less-than-ideal way to embark on the 2013 season.
Up and coming
Lindenwood: The Lions reeled off a 7-3 campaign in 2012, and starting the season against Lincoln — a 1-10 club last year — should get Lindenwood off on the right track in 2013.
On the skids
Lincoln: The Blue Tigers were blown out in three of the four games they lost to end the 2012 season. There is some young talent dispersed throughout Lincoln’s roster, but it’ll be hard to keep up again this year.
- Lindenwood names QB: The Lions, coming off an 8-4 season in 2012, named Dillon Miller their starting quarterback for the 2013 campaign. “It was one of the toughest decisions of my career. Ben (Gomez) is the ultimate leader in the locker room,” Lindenwood head coach Patrick Ross said.
- Rankings respect: As is usually the case, the MIAA picked up its fair share of respect when the first coaches’ poll was released in mid August. Northwest Missouri State debuted at No. 4 with Missouri Western in sixth and Pittsburg State at 21. Washburn, Emporia State and Central Missouri were also in the receiving-votes category.
- Next level: Three MIAA rookies made NFL rosters over the weekend. Northeastern State left tackle Michael Bowie was one of the final 53 on Seattle’s roster, while Missouri Southern defensive tackle Brandon Williams (Baltimore) and Missouri Western defensive end David Bass (Oakland) made pro rosters.
- Harlan Hill worthy: Heading into the 2013 season, the MIAA player with the biggest potential at a professional career is Pittsburg State’s John Brown. But, is he Harlan Hill Trophy — Division II’s version of the Heisman Trophy — worthy? “I think he is,” Pittsburg State head coach Tim Beck said. “He’s one of the most explosive players we’ve ever had.” As a junior in 2012, Brown had 63 catches for 973 yards and eight touchdowns. He also led the MIAA in all-purpose yards with 2,000 (430 punt-return yards, 395 kick-return yards, plus receiving yardage).
They said it
“I’ll be honest, we would have droven to Alaska to play in a game — Emporia State head coach Garin Higgins said at MIAA Media Day about playing in the Kanza Bowl in 2012.
Game of the week
Missouri Western at Central Missouri
This game makes the cut, ahead of Northwest Missouri State/Saginaw Valley State, only because of league implications. A win by the Mules could spring-board them to a successful season.