Labor day weekend is a weekend where we all rejoice, the football drought is over! After months of painstakingly waiting this Thursday marks the major return of College Football. Division 2 Colleges reopen college football after not having the entire 2020 season be cancelled due to COVID. With a whole year off, the question is, What's in store for this season?
#1 Ferris State Opens up Against a Tough Opponent
Ferris state is a team that has constantly just been on the outside. In 2018 they lost in the national championship game and in 2019 were beaten in the semifinal. With a whole year of preparation, Ferris State is looking to win their first national title. However, they play fierce opponent Finley. While Finley is not ranked in the top 25, they appear to be quite skilled in giving the Bulldogs trouble. In 2019 their season opener against each other was a dogfight, with Ferris State barely pulling off the win 24-23. Call it early season rust if you want, but if Ferris state wants to start their championship season on a high, they're gonna have to bring their A game Thursday.
#2 West Florida Has to Make a Statement
West Florida was the 2019 Division 2 National Champion, capturing the schools first title. At the helm of that offensive was Austin Reed, whom is returning as only a redshirt sophomore. With the same quarterback that won a national championship still on the roster, and 2 years to develop him, it appears that West Florida has all the tools to repeat. That is why it is critical for this team to set the tone in their home opener against Southwest Baptist. This school is ranked #133, and should be a piece of cake for the defending national champions. If they are as good as they should be, this blowout will further cement them as national title favorites.
Watch Out for #20 Lindenwood
call me a homer if you will. I grew up in St. Charles 4 minutes away from Lindenwood. I actually watched them win a NAIA national championship in Montana back in 2008. However since their move to Division 2 they've had a bit of a rough time, that was under Cade Brister came along. After his breakout season in 2019, the Lions went from a 4 win team to a 9 win team.
With him still a favorite to win the Harlon Hill award, and Lindenwood being ranked #2o, look for them to thrive in their home opener against Angelo State. As the season continues, don't be surprised if you see Lindenwood as a dark horse title contender.
Can Tyson Bagent lead Shepherd to the Promised Land?
the last time we saw division 2 football, Tyson Bagent dominated it. He was a fantastic quarterback, throwing for over 4000 yard in 2019. With him back at the helm of this high flying offense, the question is, can it produce wins? Shepherd's heir lack of defense kept them from seeing success in the playoffs especially. With a opener against Ohio Dominican, who is known for their defensive toughness, it'll be interesting to see how one of the best players can get his team started off on the right foot.