By: Dave Collins
Eagle Communications Sports Director
The NFL will be releasing its regular season schedule any day now, and college football teams are starting to unveil their kickoff times and TV coverage as spring ball comes to a close.
It’s fun to dream up the possible kickoff times and think about how we’ll spend those Saturday and Sunday game days. Planning out travel and accommodations, the food spread, the host rotations and new tailgating ideas.
Coming into my fifth year ingrained in the Division II RMAC landscape there’s something I have been dreaming about seeing on our level in the future…It’s time to see an annual RMAC-MIAA Football Challenge Showcase Weekend to start the season every year. I would absolutely love to see this happen!
Two regional conferences with great traditions and competition that would open the season wrapped around Labor Day Weekend.
Games could be selected year-by-year based on expected competitive-balance match-ups, or set up as home-and-home contests once at each team’s home site in back-to-back years. Either way, it would be awesome.
So, lets pretend we’re starting from scratch in 2019 and make it happen! Some ground rules:
- Conferences will play for an annual trophy to be displayed at the conference headquarters.
- The challenge would annually feature 20 teams, 10 from each league.
- Game selections took into consideration projected competitive-balance in 2019 starting from where teams finished 2018, looking at returning players, tradition, geography and game day atmosphere. Home sites were split equally among the conferences.
- Game times on Thursday are in prime time as a showcase for the conferences and feature the top projected match-ups.
- Game times on Saturday are staggered to allow fans to watch several games and extend the event into a larger, traditional all-day Saturday concept.
- Dixie State is leaving the RMAC after 2019 so the Trailblazers were not included, which also meant two MIAA teams (Lindenwood and Northeastern State) did not have RMAC partners and are not included.
- I left the challenge at an even number so the two MIAA teams without a partner would be able to schedule a non-conference game of their choosing.
- Any teams not included in the initial schedule would automatically be included in a future challenge arrangement.
- A team playing at home in 2019 must play on the road in 2020, regardless of home-and-home pairings or if a new schedule is drafted year-by-year.
Proposed 2019 RMAC-MIAA Challenge Schedule
|Away||Home||Date – Kickoff|
|CSU-Pueblo||at||Northwest Missouri St||THU 8/29 – 6:00|
|Fort Hays State||at||Chadron State||THU 8/29 – 7:00|
|Colorado Mesa||at||Emporia State||THU 8/29 – 6:00|
|SD Mines||at||Pitt State||THU 8/29 – 6:00|
|Central Missouri||at||Colorado Mines||THU 8/29 – 7:00|
|NM Highlands||at||Washburn||SAT 8/31 – 6:00|
|Central Oklahoma||at||Western Colorado||SAT 8/31 – 12:00|
|UNK||at||Black Hills State||SAT 8/31 – 6:00|
|Fort Lewis||at||Missouri Western||SAT 8/31 – 2:00|
|Missouri Southern||at||Adams State||SAT 8/31 – 7:00|
It’s obviously too late to create this scenario for the 2019 season, but if this were to come true we’d be just 136 days from kickoff of the inaugural challenge…
Doesn’t that get you excited for some Rocky Mountain – Midwest D2 football?!