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College Football Internet Challenge (Update)
by Randy Snow
Originally posted on ArenaFan.com, Friday, December 9, 2005


Back in August, I wrote an article on this web site called, "The College Football Internet Challenge." In it, I issued the following challenge; Find a small college football team far from where you live, preferably one that you have never heard of before, and then follow that team all season long over the Internet. I also included several links to help in the search for a team. The object was to make people more aware of all the different college football teams that play across the United States, as well as in Canada, and get little or no coverage outside of their local area.

If you follow sports in the national media then you know that they view college football as mainly that which pertains to the 119 teams in Division I-A, the BCS and the Top 25 college polls. However, there are over 700 other college football teams in the U.S. taking the field every weekend during the fall that you will seldom hear about, unless you happen to live near one of them. I wanted people to discover that college football also includes teams in Division I-AA, Division II, Division III, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). There are also 27 college football teams in Canada and another 18 junior college teams as well.

The only way you will ever get any information concerning these teams, and the games they, play is over the Internet. But luckily, everything you need to become a fan of a new team is just a few mouse clicks away. You can find player rosters, photos, scores, game highlights and articles, conference standings and much, much more. Every school has a web site and the same goes for every athletic conference. A link to a local on-line newspaper that is located near your new team could provide you with additional coverage on the teamís games, activities and history. It only takes a little effort on your part, but it will open up a whole new world of college football for you to enjoy right on your computer screen. You just have to know where to look.

My Challenge-My Team

Now I couldnít very well issue a challenge and then not participate in it myself, could I? Therefore, I chose to adopt the Snow College Badgers, a junior college football team in Ephraim, Utah, as my own Internet team, just because I liked the schoolís name. (Go figure!) Snow has an enrollment of about 3,000 students.

The schoolís athletic web site is very professional looking and it has many useful and informative features. Radio broadcasts of Badger games were available live via streaming audio on the web site. The broadcasts have also been archived and are still available through a link on the site. The web site also contains a page that proudly lists the names of several former Snow College players who went on to play in the NFL.

The Badgers are members of the Western States Football League and were ranked eighth in the nation in a preseason NJCAA poll. In 2004, the Badgers posted a 6-4 record and defeated the Rochester (Minnesota) Yellow Jackets 45-7 in the inaugural Zions Bank Top of the Mountains Bowl Classic played in Salt Lake City.

This year, Snow College had another great football season and it began with a six game winning streak. In September, the Badgers opened the season on the road and defeated a team from the Air Force Academy prep school in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Then they defeated the Georgia Military College and Arizona Western College, both at home. They finished September by traveling to Arizona and defeating Phoenix College.

The winning continued in October as the Badgers took care of Eastern Arizona College and Mesa Community College, both at home.

The Badgers suffered their first loss of the season on October 15 when they traveled to Dixie State College in Utah. The following week, Snow got back on the winning track as they traveled to Arizona once again and beat Scottsdale Community College.

Snowís last home game of the season was on October 29. It was Homecoming for the Badgers and they didnít disappoint their fans as they defeated the New Mexico Military Academy.

In November, the Badgers lost for just the second time when they traveled to Arizona one last time and lost to Glendale Community College. The loss dropped the Badgers from the sixth spot in the NJCAA Top 20 Poll to number thirteen. Glendale retained its number one ranking in the poll.

The final game of the season was supposed to be at home against Pima College on November 12, but Pima forfeited the final four games of the season due to a lack of players on their active roster. Technically, that goes in the books as a win for Snow College and gave them a record of 9-2 on the season.

Snow College then went on to play for the second year in a row in the Top of the Mountains Bowl Classic in Salt Lake City on December 3. The game was once again played at Rice-Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah. It is the home stadium of the Mountain West Conference Utah Utes. This year, the Badgers took on the Butler County Community College Grizzlies from Kansas. Going into the game, Butler was ranked sixth and Snow was ranked thirteenth in the NJCAA.

In the Top of the Mountains Bowl, both teams scored once in the first half and the game was ties 7-7 at halftime. By the end of the third quarter, however, Butler was holding on to a 14-10 lead. Snow scored a touchdown and took the lead for the first time in the game with about eleven minutes to play in the fourth quarter and the Badgers held on to win, 17-14. Snow College finished the season with a 10-2 record and was ranked eighth in the nation in the final NJCAA Top 20 Poll. Butler finished 9-2 and was ranked tenth.

In another NJCAA bowl game that was also played on December 3, the Grand Rapids Community College Raiders, who are located about an hour north of where I live here in Michigan, lost to the Glendale Community College Gauchos 50-48 in the Valley of the Sun Bowl played in Glendale, Arizona. Grand Rapids finished the season with a 9-2 record and was ranked fourth in the final NJCAA Top 20 Poll. Glendale finished the season 11-0 and was ranked number one in the nation.

Although I have not traveled west of the Mississippi in several years, I was still able to sit at home in Michigan and read about the exploits of "my team" in Utah all season long. In the process, I learned a few things about junior college football, all through the miracle of the Internet. All the information anyone needs to become a fan of a team anywhere in the country is as close as your home computer. Who knows, maybe Iíll actually go out to Utah and see the Badgers play someday.

Did you take up my challenge this year? If you did, let me know which team you followed, why you chose that particular team and how they did. Iíd also like to know where you are and where is the team you adopted. Hopefully, the connection you made with your "Internet team from afar" this year will continue for many years to come. I know mine will.

2005 Snow College Badgers Schedule/Results

September 2 @ Air Force Prep School W 17-10
September 10 Georgia Military College W 9-7
September 17 Arizona Western College W 47-0
September 24 @ Phoenix College W 47-7
October 1 Eastern Arizona College W 20-14
October 8 Mesa Community College W 41-7
October 15 @ Dixie State College L 21-48
October 22 @ Scottsdale Community College W 24-22
October 29 New Mexico Military Academy W 58-3
November 5 @ Glendale Community College L 26-32
November 12 Pima College W (By Forfeit)

Top of the Mountains Bowl Classic
December 3 Butler Community College W 17-14

Links

Snow College Athletics web site -
www.snowbadgers.com

Tope of the Mountains Bowl web site - www.topofthemountainsbowl.com

 

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