The cold reality a which hit a few weeks ago still stings a bit for any GNAC follower: It's the third year in a row in which the GNAC will be on the outside looking in when the playoff brackets are announced in a couple of days.
Another reality? The season isn't over yet.
While some might look at the top half of the GNAC and say, "what's going on?" another might look at the bottom half and say, "nice job," and offer a pat on the back.
Followers of the
Two weeks into the GNAC season is still too early to make a call on the eventual champion, but trends start to emerge that become more set in stone after this third week coming up. This weekend is when contenders truly start making a move to create distance between themselves and those which will become the rest of the pack. But that doesn't take away the excitement of the slate of contests this weekend.
Azusa Pacific (0-2 overall, 0-1 GNAC) vs. Dixie State (1-1, 1-0)
The round robin scheduling isn't anything new, and while the GNAC isn't the only group already playing within its own conference, the league counters still snuck up for a surprise.
At first glance, nothing on the schedule jumps out as a marquee event over any other conference football game, so we'll list these games in accordance to kickoff time rather than "game of the week" style.
Simon Fraser (1-0) vs. Central Washington (0-1)
2 p.m., Terry Fox Field, Burnaby
Going 0-for-3 in part two of the GNAC's slate of the first week, non-leaguers certainly doesn't get a team or fan base off to a good start. Western Oregon and Central Washington are doing it right, though, by scheduling teams that should truly help the strength of schedule quotient of their respective school and the GNAC as a whole. It also shows schools around the nation that both teams will schedule and travel in an effort to round out the very limited portion of the non-league
Not going to lie, as much as Saturday is reserved for football, being able to split a religious experience like college football into two days (Thursday and Saturday) is very much welcomed.
So with that, let's take a look at three more season openers for the GNAC.
Western Oregon (6-5 in 2011) vs. #4 Grand Valley State (8-3 in 2011)
The biggest game of the week clearly is Western Oregon's home opener against perennial powerhouse Grand Valley State. The