For the first time since 2013, an MIAA football showdown between Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri will take place at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
The schools announced in late July that the location of their Week 6 matchup has been moved from Bearcat Stadium in Maryville to Arrowhead — the home of the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs. The game will kick off at noon on Oct. 12.
“I think it will be extremely exciting for our players,” PSU coach Tim Beck said during the MIAA Football Media Day on Wednesday at Kauffman Foundation Center in Kansas City. “Obviously, we can’t be thinking about that game right now because we’ve got to be worried about ourselves and being ready for the season. But out of our top 50 players, probably 20 (are from) the Kansas City area. Kansas City is an extremely competitive area for the MIAA in recruiting, and I think it will be good for both schools to have the game back there.”
Pittsburg State athletics director Jim Johnson stated in a school press release that the series will not return to Arrowhead for the 2020 season.
"We look forward to the opportunity to play the Bearcats at Arrowhead Stadium again this fall," Johnson's statement read. "This obviously is not the start of a series of games between the two schools in Kansas City – playing home games at Carnie Smith Stadium is too vital to our program, our administration, our community and our fan base – but we embrace this game for the 2019 season."
Arrowhead played host to 12 consecutive meetings between Pittsburg State and Northwest from 2002-2013. The Bearcats won nine of those contests.
Northwest, which holds a slim 27-25 advantage over PSU since the series first began in 1932, claimed a 31-7 triumph over the Gorillas last season at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg. It was one of three setbacks Pittsburg State suffered on the season.
NWMSU finished with a 10-3 record in 2018, making a run to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Pittsburg State has been picked to finish third in the MIAA in the coaches and media polls. Northwest has been picked to win the conference by the media while the coaches have picked the Bearcats to finish runner-up behind Fort Hays State.
Another first for the MIAA since 2013 will be Lincoln’s football membership in the conference.
With Lindenwood leaving the MIAA to join the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the upcoming season, former-GLVC team Lincoln has taken its place to maintain a 12-team field in the MIAA.
"We're still in transition," Lincoln interim head coach Malik Hoskins said during Wednesday’s media day. "We're transitioning as far as the head-coaching position is concerned, we're transitioning as far as the type of athlete that we get in is concerned, we're transitioning as far as facilities are concerned."
Lincoln spent the last five seasons in the GLVC and finished its most recent campaign at 3-8. The Blue Tigers have been picked to finish last in the conference in the coaches and media polls.
"We were in the GLVC for the past few years, where we've enjoyed our stay, but I really feel like (the MIAA) is home," Hoskins said. "I know every other sport at the university is already competing in the MIAA, and this is just fitting that football is back where we belong."
MIAA commissioner Mike Racy announced at media day that the conference will join the NCAA in celebrating 150 years of college football throughout the upcoming season.
The specifics of how the milestone will be commemorated, however, have not yet been planned.
The MIAA was founded in 1912 and included founding members Central Missouri and Northwest Missouri. The association has produced eight national championship teams, including four that finished their campaigns undefeated. The MIAA has also produced over 100 All-Americans and academic All-Americans in football alone.
“As an association, we have a rich tradition of excellence in football,” Racy said. “As we celebrate the historic milestone, we are excited to officially begin the 2019 season here at the Kauffman Foundation Center. The road to McKinney, Texas, for the MIAA’s ninth national title in football begins here.”