MSU Football: Mustangs Up to #3 in AFCA, #1 in Region

Midwestern State soared to the highest ranking in school history moving up to two spots to No. 3 in this week's American Football Coaches' Association Division II Poll released Monday morning.
The Mustangs also received a first-place for the first time in school history moving behind top-ranked Delta State (Miss.) (27 first-place vote) and Colorado State-Pueblo.
No. 4 Winston-Salem (N.C.) received the other first-place vote after moving to 10-0 with a 34-7 win Saturday over North Carolina-Pembroke.
Midwestern claimed its first outright Lone Star Conference title while improving the best start in school history to 9-0 with a 35-21 win over West Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
MSU is one of 10 teams from NCAA Division II's Super Region 4 to receive mention in the poll which includes five teams from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, three teams from the LSC, one team from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and another from the Great American Conference.
The region boasts seven ranked squads including No. 3 MSU, No. 6 Washburn (Kan.), No. 9 Pittsburg State (Kan.), No. 11 Northwest Missouri, No. 12 Abilene Christian, No. 14 Humboldt State (Calif.) and No. 17 Missouri Western while Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), West Texas A&M and Central Missouri are receiving votes.
Midwestern State has received votes in 68 of the last 69 reporting periods.
The Mustangs close the regular season Saturday afternoon against Northeastern State at Doc Wadley Stadium in Tahlequah, Okla. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

MSU Reclaims Top Spot in Super Region 4 Rankings

Midwestern State reclaimed the top spot in the latest Super Region Four rankings released Monday afternoon by the NCAA Division II Football Committee.
The Mustangs improved to 9-0 with a solid 35-21 win over West Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium to take the top spot from Pittsburg State.
The Gorillas fell to No. 3 after suffering their first loss of the season by a 43-25 count to Washburn, who moved up a two spots to No. 2.
Missouri Western's 31-28 win over Northwest Missouri propelled the Griffons to No. 4, while NWMSU fell three spots to No. 6.
Abilene Christian maintained its No. 5 standing with a 42-34 win over Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), Humboldt State, West Texas A&M and Central Missouri round out the rankings at Nos. 7-10, respectively.
The top six teams advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs with the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds receiving a bye into the second round.
The playoff field will be announced Sunday, Nov. 13 with the opening round commencing the following weekend.

Birdow Tabbed LSC Defensive Player of the Week

Midwestern State's Kevin Birdow garnered Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors Monday afternoon when league officials announced the weekly awards.
The 6-2, 250-pound defensive end led the 5th-ranked Mustangs' defense in MSU's 35-21 victory over No. 20 West Texas A&M that gave Midwestern the outright LSC championship.
Birdow recorded five tackles including two sacks of WT quarterback Dustin Vaughn and hurried him three other times.
The senior from Palestine helped the Mustangs hold the Buffs - the ninth ranked total offense team in NCAA Division II to just 267 yards - more than 200 under WT's average of 476 entering the game.
Birdow's two solo sacks were half of the four suffered by the Buffs, the second-most allowed by WT this season.
Texas A&M-Kingsville's Jonathan Woodson earned top offensive honors after torching Abilene Christian for 324 yards from scrimmage including 228 rushing yards with two 80-yard TD runs.
Eastern New Mexico's Arvin Jackson gained special teams honors with a 92-yard return for a touchdown.