The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

September 13, 2013

MSU vs. Crookston shows disparity in Northern Sun

Minnesota State takes on Minnesota Crookston in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football game Saturday at Blakeslee Stadium.

It’s the home opener, a time for the Mavericks’ football program to celebrate last season’s accomplishments and look forward to an equally successful run toward a national championship over the next four months.

However, this matchup will not likely be competitive, and the majority of those in the stadium at the start will be home or enjoying drink specials by the time the Victory Bell rings.

This game shows the disparity within the 16-team Northern Sun. The Mavericks have a chance to win a national championship, while the Eagles barely have a chance to win a game. In the opener, Upper Iowa, perennially one of the worst teams in the South Division, defeated Minnesota Crookston 47-0.

Minnesota State and Minnesota Crookston played each other in 2010 and 2011, with the combined score of 84-3. And that gap could have been wider had the Mavericks remained interested.

It has to be troubling for the folks in the Minnesota Crookston athletic department, which doesn’t win in any sport. It should be troubling for the folks at the Northern Sun office, who must realize that Crookston is literally out of its league, along with a couple other programs.

There’s no solution to the lopsided nature of this conference. There are a handful of programs that win at nearly everything, and a handful at the bottom, with little chance of having success in any sport. Minnesota State is one of the programs that should challenge for conference championships and national-tournament berths in all sports, while Minnesota Crookston needs to find a different league if it ever wants to see any success.

On Saturday, Minnesota State will likely roll to a big halftime lead, come back for the third quarter to watch the reserves wrap up a convincing victory. Crookston will likely absorb the pounding and get back on the bus for a long ride, much like it does with every road game.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Marcus Spears: Cowboys Needs on Draft Day Could Bridgewater Make Scouts Look Foolish? NFL Draft: Will Manziel Be Off The Board By Pick No. 4? Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes Race to avoid Premier League relegation heats up The many faces of Mike Woodson Draft Preview: Ego Ferguson Chelsea, Atletico set to do battle in Champions League With The Twelfth Pick, The New York Giants Select... Rosenthal: Trout's contract was a compromise Trail Blazers battle back, overcome Rockets in OT Martinez slams home run to help Tigers top Angels With The Thirteenth Pick, The St. Louis Rams Select... Knicks Fire Mike Woodson Dramatic Moments of the Week: 4/14-4/20 Full Count: Stephen Drew best SS option for Tigers Let It Ride: NBA Playoffs - First Round Odds Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend NBA playoff preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder