College football is halfway over.
Well, at least when it comes to NAIA football.
Over the last seven weeks, the Frontier Conference has seen everything from stunning upsets, to teams down because of significant injuries and of course, parity is making itself known once again.
At this, point Frontier Conference fans are either thrilled or looking forward to basketball season.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Agree or disagree? Let me know on Twitter at @rskuhn
1. College of Idaho (5-0, 5-0 Frontier)
Week after week, the College of Idaho is the team to beat.
This week is no exception.
The Yotes’ came in to Carroll College’s Nelson Stadium and took it to the Saints with a 47-14 win.
Senior quarterback Darius-James Peterson showed why he could be the favorite for the Frontier Conference Offensive Player of the Year award as he threw for 356 yards and four touchdowns.
Can anybody stop C of I this season? It doesn’t look that way in the Frontier Conference.
The only question now is how far will they go in the playoffs?
Next up: vs. Montana Tech
2. Montana Tech (4-1, 4-1 Frontier)
Montana Tech had it’s biggest victory of the season as it took down Montana Western this past Saturday with a 35-12 win under the lights.
Normally, a win like this would not be a big deal, but the Orediggers handled their conference-rival without their star running back Jed Fike.
The combination of Tyler Folkes and Blake Counts ran all over the Bulldogs, finishing with a combined 294 yards and three touchdown.
Looks like Montana Tech found a pair that will be a suitable replacement for Fike as it continues its quest to the top.
The Orediggers might be the second hottest team in the conference, behind only C of I, and if they are playing for Fike they may be even more dangerous.
Next week’s game might be the biggest matchup of the season.
Next up: at College of Idaho
3. Montana Western (4-1, 4-1 Frontier)
Everything was going well for Montana Western.
That was the case before it stepped into the Alumni Coliseum in Butte.
The Bulldogs were shut down by Montana Tech and did not score an offensive touchdown.
All-Conference quarterback Jon Jund struggled, completing 13-of-33 passes for 87 yards, and the running game was non-existent.
Will this hurt Montana Western in the long run? Not if it can rebound quickly.
Jund might just need to take it out on the opposing defense next week.
Next up: at Carroll
4. Southern Oregon (2-4, 2-3 Frontier)
Things were looking bleak for Southern Oregon a few weeks ago.
Oh, how things can change.
The Raiders were forced to make a quarterback change after Wyatt Hutchinson was injured at Montana Tech and Chase Knutz had to step in.
Now that Hutchinson has returned, Southern Oregon is back to full strength.
In last week’s 21-14 win against Rocky Mountain, Hutchinson looked like he hadn’t missed a beat after completing 52 percent of his passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
It didn’t hurt that Hykeem Massey also ran for 120 yards.
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Will this be the turning point for Southern Oregon to finish the season on a positive note?
The fans in Ashland are sure hoping so.
Next up: at Eastern Oregon
5. Carroll College (2-3, 2-3 Frontier)
While a team like Southern Oregon is on the rise, Carroll College is falling.
Things were going so well for first-year head coach Troy Purcell, and people were quickly turning heads over the first three weeks.
Since then, the Saints have lost two straight to Southern Oregon and the College of Idaho.
There were some bright spots, such as wide receiver Shane Sipes’s four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown, but a loss isn’t what fans should worry about.
Carroll is a young team. If losses continue to pile up, how are they going to respond?
The good news is that a giant upset this week could put Carroll back on track.
Next up: vs. Montana Western
6. Eastern Oregon (2-4, 2-3 Frontier)
Before there is a panic, there is logic to why Eastern Oregon is so low in the power rankings after a win.
They only beat Montana State Northern.
That said, a 45-7 win does give the Mountaineers some momentum heading into next week.
Quarterback Kai Quinn put up some gaudy numbers against the Lights, converting 24-of-34 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, he also ran for 113 yards.
Could there be improvement? Sure. He threw two picks.
Let’s just see if Eastern Oregon can repeat that production again against its in-state rival.
Next up: vs. Southern Oregon
7. Rocky Mountain (2-4, 1-4 Frontier)
Who knew that defending Frontier Conference champions would struggle this much?
There is no reason to point fingers.
A new coach, a new quarterback, a change in quarterback because of an injury and not many starters returning could very well be the cause of their current strife.
The Battlin’ Bears did very little battling against Southern Oregon this week for their fourth straight loss as they put together no running game and Drew Korf threw two interceptions.
One bright spot came from Lucas Overton, who caught 11 passes for 147 yards.
Next week might be a chance to stop the streak.
Next up: at Montana State Northern
8. Montana State Northern (1-5, 0-5 Frontier)
It’s been another tiring week for the Montana State Northern football team.
Over the last two games, the Lights have scored just seven points and given up 87 points to their opponents.
But as much as Northern has struggled, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
Northern hosts Rocky Mountain this week and will have its best chance for a win.
So pack Blue Pony Stadium and if the Lights are victorious, Havre should party like it’s New Year’s.
Who knows, maybe a win can turn their season around?
Next up: vs. Rocky Mountain