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SIOUX CITY – In NAIA football, the only poll that counts is the one voted upon by the NAIA coaches.

Winning and geography, despite all to the contrary, determine the top 25 and more succinctly, the top 16 that qualify for the post-season playoffs.

In the latest poll, Morningside, thanks to a loss by the previous No. 1, St. Francis (Ind.), is ranked No. 1, followed by Southern Oregon, Marian (Ind.), Northwestern, St. Francis, and last year’s national runner-up, Reinhardt (Ga.).

Not counting Saturday results and if playoff pairings were made Friday, Morningside’s first-round opponent as host would probably have been No. 16 Dickinson State of North Dakota. Again, geography.

In corresponding NAIA power ratings (Compughter Ratings) compiled in Virginia, the NAIA elite are based primarily on quality of performance relative to strength of opponent.

The Compughter Ratings have Marian (Ind.) first, followed by Southern Oregon, Bethel (Tenn.), Morningside and St. Francis.

Before Saturday, Marian’s opponents were 10-11, Southern Oregon’s 7-11, Bethel’s 15-15-10, Morningside’s 11-15, St. Francis’ 13-12 and Northwestern’s 11-14.

St. Francis lost its top spot in the coaches poll after losing to Marian.

  • Just wondering. If Mike Riley had started any season at Nebraska 0-4 would he have been treated with kid gloves?

Time, though, will heal all wounds.

  • There are some – like Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert and linebacker Christian Rozeboom -- who might take offense at the charge that South Dakota State is an FCS football patsy.

Former SDSU standout Goedert, an NFL rookie and the third tight end picked in the last NFL draft, has caught 10 passes for 90 yards and a TD this season. Rozeboom, who starred as a prep at Sioux Center, is a starting linebacker for the Jacks.

Goedert is from Britton, S.D., population 1,200 give or take a few.

  • Notre Dame has had a football tradition “tunnel walk’’ since 1931.

Depending on the outcome of yesterday’s game with Virginia Tech, the 2018 Irish quite likely will walk into the national playoffs.

So, Notre Dame alumni and subway alumni, will strike up the band to the tune of the school’s victory march.

You know the words. “Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame, Wake up the Echoes cheering her name, Shake down the thunder from the skies.’’

Books have written about those words, first penned in 1907 or 1908.

The latest book will soon follow – only if the Irish remain unbeaten, of course.

  • Sibling rivalry.

Brody Rohach was pretty much a practice quarterback at Wayne State, but he paid attention and learned how numerous offenses work.

An academic All-American in Wayne, America, Rohach is in his first season at offensive coordinator at Coe College in Cedar Rapids.

The Wayne State grad, a California native, worked on the staff at Buena Vista last season.

At Coe, Rohach took part earlier this season in the “Oldest College Football Rivalry West of the Mississippi River’’ when Coe defeated Cornell for the 19th straight time.

The two members of the Iowa Conference (now the American Rivers Conference) first met in 1891 and tangled for the 128th time this season.

Rohach’s brother, Grant, is in his first season as offensive coordinator at Simpson, a Coe rival in the ARC.

Grant is a former starting quarterback for Iowa State and Buffalo and his also played for the indoor pro team the Iowa Barnstormers.

Coe and Simpson collided Saturday in Coe’s homecoming contest.

  • One of Iowa’s premier prep basketball players, Trey Hutcheson of Linn-Mar, will play collegiately at the University of Albany in New York.

He’s the nephew of former Westmar College NAIA All-American Mark Hutcheson.

The 6-6 Trey Hutcheson averaged 18.7 points and 7.3 rebounds as a junior.

Another Linn-Mar prep Nate Hutcheson, Mark Hutcheson’s son, recently concluded his collegiate career at Division I Western Michigan.

Siouxland hoops fans are familiar with Albany.

Dallas Enema, a Sheldon High grad, closed out his collegiate career in 2017 with the Great Danes, after scoring 586 career points.

  • A correction please.

Last week, it was mentioned that East High’s football record was 3-2. Not true. Coach Brian Webb’s Black Raiders were 4-2 going into a contest at West Des Moines Dowling.

The Raiders lost to Dowling, but still have a shot at reaching the 4A playoffs with wins in the final two games at Des Moines Lincoln and home against Ankeny High.

Lincoln lost Friday to Ankeny, 47-0.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy, in close pursuit for one of the final 16 playoffs berths in 4A, lost Friday to Bettendorf, 41-14.

In the Ratings Percentage Index that determines playoff qualifiers, won-lost records of a team’s opposition weigh significantly.

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