By: Brenna Jefferies
The Lone Star Conference has seen numerous football accomplishments over the years, but this season is shaping up to be special. With 16 teams, this powerhouse Division II conference is as competitive as ever, with four teams ranked in the LSC Top-10 in the country. And the undefeated ACU Wildcats (5-0, 4-0) are at the head of pack in terms of rankings this year.
There’s no debate that the LSC is a premier conference in the Div. II arena. Just last year the conference sent four schools to the playoffs, and in the past 14 years LSC football teams have won 12 national championships.
With three other LSC schools ranked in the top 10 nationally, the conference is making its mark this year. Joining the ‘Cats in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll are the West Texas A&M Buffaloes (#7), the Midwestern Mustangs (#8) and Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas (#10).
The Javelinas remained in the Top-10 after losing to ACU this past weekend, showing how much respect coaches have for the LSC. It is also noteworthy that all four LSC teams ranked in the Top-10 are from the LSC South Division.
With approximately 165 schools playing NCAA Div. II football, it is quite a feat for four members of the LSC to be ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation. ACU athletic director Jared Mosely said this accomplishment didn’t come overnight.
“We’ve had some football programs that have really been establishing over the past five or six years, and programs that continue to build on previous years’ success that have been able to be consistent from year to year,” said Mosely.
While Midwestern is the only other undefeated team in the LSC, the other nationally-ranked teams have lost by only a touchdown or less. These four schools use their non-conference spots to their advantage, filling them with worthy opponents that will ensure a tough game.
This weekend is an example of a classic battle between undefeated teams, a display of the tug-of-war that has developed between the Wildcats and the Mustangs over the past few years
“We must go out there and be our very best,” head coach Chris Thomsen said. “Midwestern has turned into a great rival that we face every year.”
The Wildcats’ nationally ranked defense will be playing against the Mustangs’ nationally ranked offense. This game will determine who is in the driver’s seat to win the LSC South Division.
“I would really like to see a Lone Star Conference member go win a national championship, and we want that to be us,” Thomsen added.
“This conference is getting ready for the playoffs, and a lot of these schools will be in the playoffs,” senior ACU fullback Emery Dudensing said. “There will be no doubt at the end of the year if we win it all that we really will have beaten the best of the best.”
With so many teams playing at such a high level in the LSC, the table is set for one of the teams to go all the way this season.