UNK Releases Its 2011 Football Schedule - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

UNK Releases Its 2011 Football Schedule

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Future MIAA Foe Visits Kearney this Fall; Washburn is First-Ever MIAA Game
Lopers Have 6 Homes Games in '11

Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney football team will play six home games in the fall of 2011, including a non-conference game against future MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) foe Northeastern State.

Also released today by the MIAA office is the league football schedules for the 2011-15 seasons. Visit www.themiaa.com for those complete schedules. Attached is the Lopers schedule for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

The 2011 season will be the Lopers last as a member of the RMAC (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). UNK officially joins the MIAA on July 1, 2012.

UNK will play at in-state rival Wayne State on September 3rd to begin the 2011 season. The Lopers and Wildcats began playing each other in 1924 and have almost played every year since. However, the series will end after 2011 as the MIAA is going to a schedule that featured 11 league opponents.

With the NSIC (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) recently adding two schools to increase its membership to 16, Wayne could also face 11 league foes in 2012 and beyond.

On September 10th, the Northeastern State RiverHawks of Tahlequah, Okla., will come to Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field. NSU went 6-5 in 2010, as a member of the Lone Star Conference, and will be a Division II independent this fall. The last two met in football during the second round of the 1980 NAIA playoffs in Oklahoma. NSU won that contest, 14-0, to take a 2-1 series lead.

Also coming to Kearney will be RMAC-members Western State (Sept. 24), Chadron State (Oct. 8), Colorado State-Pueblo (Oct. 15), Western New Mexico (Oct. 29) and Colorado School of Mines (Nov. 12).  The series with Chadron, currently 70 games, will end after this upcoming season.

Starting with the 2012 season, each of the 16 MIAA schools will play an 11-game schedule of exclusively MIAA opponents. Each institution has been designated one "rival" in which it will compete against in the final game of each season. (See the complete list below)

In addition to the rivalry game, which will rotate home and away every season, each school will play five home games and five away games. No school will play more than two games in a row at home or away at any point in the season and each school will always open with a home game in either week one or week two.

Beginning with the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the schedules will be based on two-year cycles. The order of opponents will remain the same in each of the two-year cycles, with the home/away designation being reversed in year two of each cycle.
 
With a 16-team league and an 11-game schedule, four opponents will rotate off each institution's schedule every two years. In a four-year span, each school will play every league opponent at least twice, providing a student-athlete that plays at a MIAA school for four years the potential to visit each conference campus at least once during that time frame.
 
In determining a conference champion, the MIAA will use one set of standings to do so. Therein lies the possibility that two or more schools can finish in a tie for the league crown, perhaps even finish undefeated, without having played against each other. In such a scenario, the teams will be named co-champions and will likely earn the opportunity to play against each other down the road in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.

The four schools the Lopers will not face in 2012 and 2013 are Pittsburg State, Missouri Southern State, Central Oklahoma and Northeastern. In 2014 and 2015, UNK will not face Nebraska-Omaha, Lindenwood, Central Missouri and Truman State.  

UNK's first-ever MIAA game will be Aug. 30 or Sept.1, 2012, at Washburn (Topeka, Kan.). The Ichabods, along with Emporia State (Sept. 8), Missouri Western State (Sept. 15) and Fort Hays (Nov. 10), were members of the CSIC (Central States Intercollegiate Conference) in the 1970's and 1980's with UNK.  

Like the Lopers, Hays then joined the RMAC. The two haven't met in football since 2005.

UNK will play four schools – Lindenwood, Lincoln, Southwest Baptist and Truman State -- for the first-time in school history and also renew its rivalry with Nebraska-Omaha (Nov. 3).

MIAA Geographic Rivals
Central Missouri/Nebraska-Omaha
Central Oklahoma/Northeastern State
Emporia State/Washburn
Fort Hays State/Nebraska-Kearney
Lincoln/Southwest Baptist
Lindenwood/Truman State
Missouri Southern State/Pittsburg State
Missouri Western State/Northwest Missouri State

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