Jake Riepma

Week 10 Takeaways

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10 weeks of GLIAC football have come and gone, and alas, we have our 2018 outright GLIAC champions.

The second-ranked Ferris State Bulldogs used a dominating 41-17 win over Davenport to secure an undefeated GLIAC regular-season record for the third time in five years while claiming this year’s title.

Meanwhile, just as I expected, Grand Valley State squeaked out the victory at home against Ashland with a last second field goal. The Lakers are in good shape to host a playoff game at 9-1 overall.

Unfortunately it was Saginaw Valle State going home with the axe in the annual “Axe Bowl” with a 31-10 win over Northwood, and lastly, Northern Michigan earned its first conference win with a road victory over Wayne State 34-24.

With one week remaining in the regular season, I’m not ready to close the book and move on to the postseason just yet, but I am ready to provide my regular season takeaways because frankly, I don’t anticipate anything new developing between now and then.

I’d like to save us all the time of reading a lengthy column and just go 2009 Dennis Green (RIP, truly a great coach) and describe the GLIAC as "THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!"

Now obviously for subject verb agreement we’d replace “they” with “it” and “were” with “was” so it reads:


Let me explain further because in my head this made a lot more sense and at this moment in time you’re probably thinking what the heck is he talking about.

Everyone knew Ferris State was the team to beat and the most talented team in arguably the entire country – FSU is now 10-0 and GLIAC Champs.

Most people believed GVSU was also an elite national power, but just not quite as good as Ferris State– GVSU is No. 9 in the country at 8-1 with its only defeat coming to Ferris State. That being said, I’d love to see an “Anchor-Bone” rematch in the postseason for good measure.

I had the defending GLIAC Champion Ashland Eagles taking a step back this year due to the difficult schedule and loss of so many impactful players – AU is 5-2 in the conference and with both losses coming to GVSU and FSU respectively; it’s fair to say the Eagles are the third best team.

Saginaw Valley took a step forward this season to emerge as the conference’s fourth best team, but I believe if you ask any Cardinal – player, coach, fan, etc. they’re not satisfied with the 2018 campaign, especially given its promise a few weeks prior. I can only speculate, but I’d guess this season will leave the same type of after taste as an average IPA – not enough to make you gauge or anything, but you’re probably reaching for some fries to get rid of the after taste.

If anyone thought Davenport was a legitimate contender after the 6-0 start, we need to talk offline…Okay, that’s a little harsh, I give them credit for the close wins over Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan, and the stomping of Wayne State. It’s a significant step forward in year two for the Panthers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they take another step forward in year three, but the current four game losing streak and potential five gamer to end the season, well, it was it is… and I HATE that stupid expression, but I can’t think of any other way to put it… But hey, they did put some scares into some teams!

The two most surprising takeaways from the 2018 campaign are the disappointing seasons for Northwood and Wayne State. After NU’s 7-4 season last year, no one saw 2-7 coming, and with me being a Timberwolf slappy, I’m angrily taking my frustrations out on the keyboard as I type this. As for the Warriors, I don’t have much to say – the overtime loss to SVSU all the way back in week 4 might suggest they’re close, but WSU has some searching to do in order to return to where they’re capable of being.

I’m not discriminating against the UP I promise! My apologies for burying them all the way until now, but Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan certainly fit my Dennis Green “they are who we thought they were” theme. At 4-5 overall, I think Steve Olson got a lot out of his Hukies, and hey, I know it’s a non-conference win, but that early victory over Hillsdale is certainly noteworthy considering the Chargers just claimed the Great Midwest Athletic Conference title at 9-1 overall and 8-0 in the GMAC. Pretty impressive Hillsdale can defend our liberty and still find time to win a conference championship. A salute to the Chargers, but don’t celebrate too hard, get back to the books! I don’t want anyone falling below a 3.9 GPA or you WILL be put on academic probation! Oh by the way, Hillsdale beat former GLIAC member Tiffin, who was undefeated entering the contest. So crazy that the best teams in the GMAC are all from the GLIAC. No it’s not crazy at all, actually.

As for the Wildcats of Northern Michigan, unfortunately for this scrappy bunch the season can be defined by close losses – Michigan Tech, Northwood, and Davenport all went down to the wire and turned out to be one possession losses for NMU. Perhaps something to build on for Kyle Nystrom’s squad is the road win against Wayne State, and maybe, just maybe they’ll do something crazy next week on the road at Ashland.

Well I’ve successfully ruined any chance of putting together a readable column next week by concluding my season takeaways after week 10, but why wait – THE GLIAC IS WHAT WE THOUGHT IT WAS!

Expect a carbon copy of this same column for my week 11 reaction, and please, I beg you, do not waste your time reading it.

All of my teams took big, fat L’s this weekend – Northwood, Northwestern, and the Lions (lol), so please feel free to make my weekend worse with hateful, negative comments about why this column, and all of them for that matter, are also worthy of big, fat L's.

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  1. sdcohle's Avatar
    Jake, good column, except you got GVSU and Ferris backasswards - GVSU is definitely the better team. GVSU got screwed on a bizarre call by the refs, who called illegal receiver downfield on what should have been a touchdown in a 4-point loss. I can hardly wait for the replay that will occur in the playoffs at Ferris
  2. mheyboer's Avatar
    Dude by number he was ineligible. your coach should know that. you just barely won the last 3 games
  3. Lakerdude96's Avatar
    NU runs the same offense they did in the early 90's. It didn't work then and it doesn't work today. My son plays at NU now and it is tough to watch. Every set is predictable, QB run middle, QB run right, QB run left... Every team puts 9 defenders in the box and knows what is coming at them 85% of the time. it is time to revamp this archaic offense. We have talented receivers, talented Qb's and many frustrated player. Its time to open up the offense and give these guys a chance to win!
  4. GVLakerFan24's Avatar
    Lakerdude96, may I ask why your son chose to play at NU? Hard to get any sympathy for being stuck playing in their offensive system when, like you said, they've been running it since the early 90's. Not like it's a surprise..

    (I, for one, have no idea why any Wide Receivers would ever want to play there...)
  5. chargerblue's Avatar
    Thanks for shout out to the Chargers Jake.