Missouri Valley Football Showcase

This weekend’s FCS title between 14-1 North Dakota State and 13-1 Illinois State is also a match-up between two teams that shared this year’s Missouri Valley Football Conference Championship. Although they didn’t meet on the field this season, both squads finished with a conference record of 7-1. With almost identical records, the tale of these schools couldn’t be more different. Heavy favorite North Dakota State enters the game hoping to win its fourth straight National Championship while Illinois State hopes to bring Normal, Illinois home its first football title!

For the Redbirds to pull the upset, they’ll need All-MVFC Quarterback Tre Roberson to have a huge game. He’s had a monster year thus far, averaging 353 yards of total offense a game and an efficiency rating of 172. The job of stopping Roberson will be given to Bison, All-American Defensive-End and Buck Buchanan Award winner, Kyle Emanuel. Will NDSU match Northern Iowa in the early 90’s with four straight titles or can Illinois State emerge as the new FCS power? Tune in Saturday to see!

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Wichita State Looking to Improve on Historic Season

Although it ended earlier than hoped, the Wichita State Men’s Basketball team is coming off a historic, undefeated 2013-2014 regular season. The No. 1 seeded Shockers lost in the second round of last season’s NCAA Tournament to the powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats. Heading into the tournament, Wichita State hoped to become the first Missouri Valley Conference school to win a National Championship in Men’s Basketball. Although they lost to the eventual national runner-up, the Shockers are looking for a better finish this year. Hopes are high in the heart of Kansas!

Looking forward into the 2014-2015 season, the defending MVC champions will have a great chance of repeating their championship run with two of their three leading scorers, Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, returning. The 11th ranked team in the nation will need to elevate their game with the loss of last year’s leading scorer Cleanthony Early who contributed 16.4 PPG last year. The Shockers will start their 2014 campaign by hosting New Mexico St. on November 14, before they square off against University of Memphis on November 18. Can VanderVleet and Baker lead Wichita St. on a deep run in the tournament dance this year, or will they once again get caught up in the madness of March?

 

 

-Thanks to the Prep Sportswear’s very own sports guru, Erik H. for contributing!

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A Look at 2013 Conference Realignment – Part 2

On Monday we posted the first half of our in depth look at the NCAA conference realignment that took place on July 1st.  Here is part 2 of our overview.

Horizon League – This 9-team conference made a small tweak to last year’s lineup by adding the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. Schools returning to the conference include the Cleveland State Vikings, Detroit Titans, Wisconsin Green Bay Phoenix, UIC Flames, Milwaukee Panthers, Valparaiso Crusaders, Wright State Raiders and the Youngstown State Penguins.

MAAC – The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will grow this year by adding the Monmouth Hawks and Quinnipiac Bobcats to their roster. They join 2012 members Canisius Golden Griffins, Fairfield Stags, Iona Gaels, Manhattan Jaspers, Marist Red Foxes, Niagara Purple Eagles, Rider Broncos, St. Peters Peacocks and Sienna Saints.

MVC – The Missouri Valley Conference, the nation’s second oldest athletic conference keeps the same number of members as last year but that doesn’t mean the roster is exactly the same. The Loyola Ramblers replace NCAAA tournament regular Creighton and will now compete with the Bradley Braves, Drake Bulldogs, Evansville Purple Aces, Illinois State Redbirds, Indiana State Sycamores, Missouri State Bears, Northern Iowa Panthers, Southern Illinois Salukis and last year’s NCAA Men’s Final Four Cinderella Wichita State Shockers.

MWC – The Mountain West may have lost TCU, a school that had been a staple in the AP Top 25 football poll, but they are in no way a weaker conference for 2013.  The additions of the San Jose State Spartans and the Utah State Aggies makes this conference just as formidable as last year if not more so. Rounding out the conference are the Air Force Falcons, Boise State Broncos, Colorado State Rams, Fresno State Bulldogs, Hawaii Warriors, Nevada Wolfpack, New Mexico Lobos, San Diego State Aztecs, UNLV Rebels and the Wyoming Cowboys.

Patriot League – This conference, made up of schools located in the Northeast made a pretty big splash by recruiting men’s Hockey powerhouse the Boston Terriers in addition to the Loyola (MD) Greyhounds. Already under the Patriot League banner are the American University Eagles, Army Black Knights, Bucknell Bison, Colgate Raiders, Holy Cross Crusaders, Lafayette Leopards, Lehigh Mountain Hawks and Navy Midshipmen.

Southland – The Southland Conference welcomed 4 new members to its rank and file on July 1st. The Abilene Christian Wildcats and University of the Incarnate World have moved up from Division II to join the Houston Baptist Huskies and the University of New Orleans Pirates as this year’s Southlands additions. Rounding out the Southland conference roster is the Central Arkansas Bears, Lamar Cardinals, McNeese State Cowboys, Nichols State Colonials, Northwestern State Demons, Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, Sam Houston State Bearkats, Southeastern Louisiana Lions, Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders.

Sun Belt – The Sun Belt traded 4 teams for 3 during realignment giving them a total of 14 teams for the 2013 school year. New to the conference are the Georgia State Panthers, Texas State Bobcats and the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks. Completing the Sun Belt is the UALR Trojans, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, Louisiana Monroe Warhawks, South Alabama Jaguars, Troy Trojans and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Summit League – The Summit League is another conference that lost more members then they brought in. Usually trading two for one isn’t that great of a deal, but when your new school is the Denver Pioneers, the trade looks pretty good. Denver joins the Fort Wayne Mastodons, IUPUI Jaguars, North Dakota State Bison, Omaha Mavericks, South Dakota Coyotes, South Dakota State Jackrabbits and the Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks to form this 8-team conference that has been around for 31 years.

WAC – In welcoming in 6 new member institutions, the Western Athletic Conference will be boasting a whole new look in 2013. The California State University Bakersfield Roadrunners, Chicago State Cougars, Grand Canyon University Antelopes, University of Missouri –Kansas City Kangaroos, University of Texas – Pan American Broncos and the Utah Valley Wolverines will be joining the 2 elder members in the Idaho Vandals and New Mexico State Aggies.

WCC –Anything Pacific shouldn’t be new to the west coast, but 1 school is new to the West Coast Conference. The Pacific Tigers are back where they belong competing against other WCC members the BYU Cougars, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Loyola Marymount Lions, Pepperdine Waves, Portland Pilots, Saint Mary’s Gaels, San Diego Toreros, San Francisco Dons and the Santa Clara Broncos.

So there you have it… the movement of schools among conferences for the upcoming 2013-2014 seasons. Hopefully you were able to keep track of the conference that your favorite team is playing in this season.  Make sure you use our easy search feature to check out your favorite school’s store for all the latest college gear and apparel.

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