While we try to do our due diligence here at The Scoop, small college football doesn't get as much love as it deserves sometimes. Here, I try to remedy that by taking a weekly look at the top ten and the most noteworthy match ups from around the country.
Here's a look at how the top ten has shaped up leading into this weekend.
1. Mount Union (6-0) - vs. Otterbein
2. Linfield (5-0) - vs. Lewis & Clark
3. Mary Hardin-Baylor (6-0) - at Hardin-Simmons
4. North Central (Ill.) (6-0) - vs. Carthage
5. Bethel (6-0) - vs. Gustavus Adolphus
6. Hobart (5-0) - vs. Rensselaer
7. UW-Whitewater (6-0) - at UW-Oshkosh
8. UW-Platteville (6-0) - vs. UW-Stout
9. UW-Oshkosh (6-0) - vs. UW-Whitewater
10. Wheaton (Ill.) (6-0) - at Illinois Wesleyan
Here is my suggestion if you find yourself without any weekend plans and some money in your pocket; go fill up your tank, grab some snacks and hit the pavement to catch one of these road trip worthy games (as I see it) from around the small college football landscape.
As you can see, the Midwest is the place to be this week with the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana hosting some of the best games in the country.
WISCONSIN - #7 Wisconsin-Whitewater (6-0) at #9 Wisconsin-Oshkosh (6-0): If you're within driving distance of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this one is going to be worth a road trip. UW-Oshkosh surprised a lot of people last year making it to the National Semifinals before losing to eventual runner up St. Thomas, and UW-Whitewater has had some epic runs to the finals over the past decade. If any small college match up deserves a little road trip, it's this battle for the WIAC crown.
You need to see Missouri State's field design mock ups
ILLINOIS - #10 Wheaton (6-0) at #20 Illinois Wesleyan (6-0): The College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin has three undefeated teams at 6-0 (including #4 North Central). It's no wonder the CCIW is considered one of the toughest conference in the country. The next few weeks will decide the fate of one of the toughest conferences in the country. Over the last four weeks of the season, Wheaton, Illinois Wesleyan and North Central all have to play each other, which is going to make the playoff picture very interesting.
INDIANA - #11 Franklin (4-2) at Rose Hulman (4-2): When it comes to schedules, the past few years Franklin could be considered the Notre Dame of scheduling. Their non conference slate includes Mt. Union (who needs no further introduction) and FCS non-scholarship program Butler, both of which handed the Grizzlies their only two losses of the season by a combined 6 points. Mike Leonard has built quite the program at Franklin, and this match up pits the two only undefeated schools in the HCAC against each other in what should be a very good one.
OREGON - #17 Pacific Lutheran (5-1) at #21 Willamette (5-0): One of three top 25 matchups around Division III this weekend, Pacific Lutheran (whose only loss came at the hands of #2 Linfield 29-0). While Pacific Lutheran has won on the strength of their defense, while Willamette has earned their spot in the top 25 riding their offense, who has yet to score less than 33 points in a game, and have eclipsed the 50 point mark in three of their five games. We always enjoy seeing how coaches scheme against one another, and a top offense and top defense squaring off in this one would be worth a road trip.
Best of luck to all the staffs out there that have put in some long hours trying to make sure their program gets a win this weekend.