The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Mark Schremmer

August 9, 2013

BLOG: A quick MIAA football preview

The MIAA football season begins Thursday, Sept. 5 with six games. Here is a quick look at each MIAA team heading into the 2013 season.

CENTRAL MISSOURI MULES

2012 record: 6-4, 6-5 MIAA

2013 predicted finish: 4th in coaches poll; 6th in media poll

Returning starters: 6 offense, 5 defense

Key returners: RB LaVance Taylor, LB Ricky Spratley

Outlook: The Mules are expected to be one of the more talented teams in the MIAA again this season. Taylor and quarterback Colter Smith provide a good start on offense. However, Central Missouri will be tested with a tough early schedule that includes Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri and Lindenwood in the first three games.

CENTRAL OKLAHOMA BRONCHOS

2012 record: 2-8, 2-8 MIAA

2013 predicted finish: 10th in coaches poll; 11th in media poll

Returning starters: 7 offense, 8 defense

Key returners: RB Joshua Birmingham; DB Devoris Dozier

Outlook: Birmingham, who contributed more than 1,700 all-purpose yards, returns as one of the best running backs in the MIAA. The Bronchos will look to improve after a tough first year in the conference.

EMPORIA STATE HORNETS

2012 record: 10-2, 9-2 MIAA

2013 predicted finish: 7th in coaches poll; 7th in media poll

Returning starters: 7 offense, 6 defense

Key returners: WR Ray Ray Davis; LB Jordan Sanders

Outlook: The Hornets broke through for a second-place finish in the conference last year. Emporia State looks to continue the success this year. A competition at quarterback will be key for the Hornets.

FORT HAYS STATE TIGERS

2012 record: 5-6, 4-6 MIAA

2013 predicted finish: 8th in coaches poll; tied for 8th in media poll

Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense

Key returners: WR Tanner Hageman; DB Micheal Jordan

Outlook: The Tigers will be a fairly young team under third-year head coach Chris Brown. Fort Hays State will look to improve as the season goes on.

LINCOLN BLUE TIGERS

2012 record: 1-10, 1-10 MIAA

2013 predicted finish: 14th in coaches poll; 14th in media poll

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Mark Schremmer