What's Doing in Demon Land
by, 02-12-2010 at 12:46 PM (1247 Views)
Fans of Northwestern State can begin planning their 2010 travel schedule as athletic director Greg Burke [url=http://www.nsudemons.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&ATCLID=204885621&DB_OEM_ID=20000]announced the 2010 slate[/url]. NWST is coming off an 0-11 campaign and will look to get back in the win column next year as head coach Bradley Dale Peveto enters his second year.
In addition to previously announced game against Samford at home on Sept. 11 and at North Dakota on Sept. 25, the Demons will welcome Tarleton State on Sept. 18 and head to Air Force Academy on Sept. 4. According to the release, the Demons could return as many as 50 letterwinners, including 21 on offense and 19 on defense.
There is no question that this year's Demons team will be much improved from the unit that posted an 0-11 mark. The out of conference schedule has a nice balance with an intriguing Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) game, a regional Division II foe and two manageable FCS games.
The Samford home-and-home series is a good fit for the Demons and I hope to see more games between SLC teams and the Bulldogs over the years. Samford's entrance into the Southern Conference really brings another conference close to the SLC footprint as did the addition of Central Arkansas.
At the bottom of the schedule, it notes that the "FCS Playoffs" begin on Nov. 27.
There are no Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) trophies awarded at the end of the playoffs, but a Division I national championship trophy. It looks very similar to the other NCAA championship trophies awarded and a far cry from the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) hardware, that is not associated with the NCAA.
People - including the media - will not buy into the proper recognition for the championship if the schools do not. Let's all get on the same page. I proudly applaud the Southland Conference for being at the forefront of other FCS leagues in properly naming the subdivision in releases, game notes and more, but would like some consistency from all parties involved.
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Further news out of Natchitoches...
The speculation came to an end on Tuesday as NWST [url=http://www.nsudemons.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=20000&ATCLID=204884528]announced that former Nicholls head football coach Jay Thomas would join the Demons' staff as a defensive line coach[/url].
Thomas was 27-34 during his tenure at Nicholls, that featured a 2005 Southland Conference championship and one of the program's biggest wins - a 2007 victory over David Bailiff and the Rice Owls. No stranger to the SLC, Thomas has been in the league since 1999, when he joined the Colonels' staff as a defensive coordinator, eventually taking over the reigns as head coach in 2005.
Thomas joins Sam Houston State defensive coordinator as former SLC head coaches that have emerged around the league as assistants. Stoker was the head coach at NWST prior to joining Todd Whitten's staff ahead of the 2009 season. Stoker was retained when Willie Fritz took the helm of the Bearkat program last month.
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Lastly, since we do have a relatively 'purple and white' theme, the Demons were not able to defend their Rivals recruiting national championship. Though they were not able to hold on to the crown this year, they are proudly developing a reputation of having one of the top recruiting classes in the nation year in and year out.
For the second straight year, Rivals.com has slotted a [url=http://www.lionsports.net/news/2010/2/9/FB_0209104024.aspx?path=football]SLC team at No. 1[/url] in the national recruiting rankings for FCS.
A year after NWST led the country according to the scouting service, it was Southeastern Louisiana's turn. Head coach Mike Lucas signed 21 players on way to tying Appalachian State atop the rankings. Two other SLC teams appear in the top 10 as NWST was ranked No. 5 and McNeese shared the No. 10 spot with UT-Chattanooga and Northern Colorado.
One of the bigger signees of the class was announced last Friday as [url=http://www.lionsports.net/news/2010/2/5/FB_0205103421.aspx]Lutcher product Gavin Webster[/url] joined the recruiting class. Webster was ranked as the No. 46 product in the state and named Player of the Year by NewOrleans.com, the Greater New Orleans Quarterback Club and WGNO-TV.