Picks for the NACC-MIAA Challenge:
Adrian - CUC - CUC is too young for a veteran and tough Adrian outfit, although the Cougars were somewhat competitive in the last three quarters against Chicago.
Kalamazoo - BU - Benedictine looked pretty good in a loss to Wheaton and took care of business against North Park. If the Hornets find a way to scheme this into a win, the NACC is in trouble.
Olivet - Rockford - I thought Olivet would be a year or so away from being competitive, but by association: If Olivet is better than WLC, and I think that WLC is better than Rockford, then Olivet is better than Rockford. (But this never works the way you think it should in football, so who knows?)
Hope - WLC - Before the season began I would have picked WLC, but based on their first two games I'm going to go with Hope; too much offense for the Dutch.
Alma - Lakeland - It's hard to get a read on these two teams from their previous two games, as they both got smoked last week against vastly better teams. I'll go with Lakeland as they looked decent against Carroll in their opener.
Albion - Aurora - No idea. I'm freaked out that Albion got crushed by an admittedly very good Wheaton team and Aurora had the ability to hang around with IWU for a little while.
Trine - CUW - This could be a very competitive game in which I don't have a great deal of confidence in the pick. Bold prediction: whoever wins this game will win their conference.
I have 4-3 NACC, but four is the absolute maximum number of wins they get unless some MIAA teams come down with mass food poisoning or something. I could easily see the MIAA winning six, but the NACC was surprising last year. No sneaking up this year.
It's interesting how these teams are matched up. I realize that you have to go by last year's records, but I don't think that these matchups/rankings reflect the NACC's relative strength to each other this year.
CUC is "seeded" #1 based on last year's record but may easily be the cellar-dweller in the conference at the end of this year (although I hope not). Benedictine struggled down the stretch last year, but I think they were better than that last year and they are certainly better than their seeding this year. WLC may not be nearly as strong as last year's team was and might be a bad match-up with Hope. The better match-ups would be (to me):
CUW-Trine (the same)
I see Hope, Trine, and Adrian (with the Bulldogs as slight favorite) battling it out for the top spot in the MIAA and CUW and BU as the only real threats to win the NACC this year.
Let's hear your thoughts.