Coach Kenny Evans may not know what he really has in his 2011 squad until at least October. That’s because of the variety of the levels of competition and skill that his team will see from opponents in the first few games.
The Northeastern State Riverhawks have left the Lone Star Conference and will be a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in 2012, which leaves them in the transitional phase of Independent this season.
And their schedule reflects the variety of a team without a conference. See the full schedule here. The Riverhawks will play teams from three levels of competition, from four states and with six conference affiliations and another independent.
The variety might be seen most in the first two weeks. Northeastern State goes on the road to NAIA’s Bacone on the last Saturday in August and the very next week it travels to the Alamo Dome to take on FCS opponent UT-San Antonio. The contest with UTSA will be the inaugural game for the Roadrunners’ football program. And the great tie-in is UTSA head coach Larry Coker is an NSU alum.
Nebraska-Kearney, East Central and Panhandle State round out the first half of the Riverhawks’ slate before an open date on Oct. 1.
The schedule seems to level out with Division II schools through the remainder of the 11-game regular season. Former NSU athletic director Jeff Konya said the schedule is one that could help the Riverhawks earn a playoff berth if they have success on the field.
NSU was 6-5 in 2010.