The Blitz: Sam Houston starts NIL collective, Six Angelo State players arrested, and Southwestern wins with wild 2-point conversion

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I served in the United States Army for over 11 years until my health placed me on the permanently injured list. During my combat tours, we always used the phrase “organized chaos” to describe how the Army operates. I remember someone saying, “We win wars because we don’t know what we’re doing, and if we don’t know what we’re doing, the enemy will never figure out how to defeat us.”

The NCAA often reminds me of the Army. Some may even argue the NCAA is unorganized chaos. Last week, the Division I board adopted changes to the transfer rules seeking to add some organization to a process that has some comparing the portal to free agency in professional sports.

Notably, athletes will continue to be immediately eligible the first time they transfer during their collegiate career. However, the athletes can only enter the portal during a specific window of time. For football, athletes have a 45-day window beginning the day after championship selections are made. Athletes may also enter the portal between May 1-15.

I commend the NCAA for trying to establish standardized guidelines after the transfer portal became a “free-for-all” during the CoVID-19 pandemic, and this may surprisingly be the solution.

The best solutions typically leave both sides of an issue wishing for more, and neither side is pleased about the new rules. Does that mean the NCAA finally got it right? I’m not ready to go that far yet, but it is undoubtedly a positive step forward.

Western Athletic Conference

  • Sam Houston is joining the ranks of the schools with NIL collectives. KatFund announced they are registering as an LLC and creating a board of directors while seeking 501C status. 

  • The Bearkats have been busy filling its future schedule and added a home-and-home series with Troy for the 2026 and 2029 seasons. The Bearkats will host Troy in 2029.

  • The Kats were not done making news this week, earning a commitment from 2023 S Dax Horany. The Argyle product also held an offer from Holy Cross.

  • Abilene Christian began the Keith Patterson era with a 28-14 win over Lamar. The Wildcats have a talented group of skill players on offense, highlighted by QB Maverick McIvor and wideouts Kendall Catalon and Kobe Clark. The offensive line remains a work in progress for ACU.

  • Tarleton began the season with an impressive performance. The Texans defeated Mississippi Valley State 29-13 and have found their quarterback in Kentucky transfer Beau Allen, who completed 23-of-38 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns. Allen displayed top-notch accuracy in his Tarleton debut.

  • Stephen F. Austin played its best half of football this year to complete a comeback 31-27 win over Alcorn State. The ‘Jacks offense has been average over the first two weeks and will need to improve their run blocking to defeat Louisiana Tech or Sam Houston.

Southland Conference

  • UIW took advantage of early mistakes from Southern Illinois in a 64-29 victory. What impressed me the most with the Cardinals was how they responded in the second half when SIU pulled within 10 points and put the game out of reach.

  • After scoring two touchdowns on Saturday, UIW WR Taylor Grimes is the program’s all-time leader in career receiving touchdowns.

  • Lamar showed an explosive offense early against ACU with two long pass plays for touchdowns. However, the Cardinals offensive line struggled against the Wildcats defensive line, and Lamar’s running game was never consistent.

  • The Texas A&M-Commerce QB situation seems far from settled following a 52-7 win over Lincoln (Calif.). Ohio State transfer Jagger LaRoe earned the start but was replaced by Eric Rodriguez after two ineffective drives. Quarterback play was a problem for the Lions last year, and neither quarterback displayed the accuracy needed to compete against quality FCS defenses last week. This will be a situation to keep an eye on moving forward.

  • Houston Baptist won its first game since Oct. 2020 with a 46-34 road win over Northern Colorado. The Huskies avenged a 45-13 loss to the Bears last year led by Northern Iowa transfer QB Justin Fomby. Freshman RB Ismail Mahdi was sensational with 172 yards rushing and a touchdown. The HBU defense needs to work on its tackling before meeting Lindenwood this week.

Southwestern Athletic Conference

  • Prairie View A&M earned another victory over its rival in the Labor Day Classic. QB Trazon Connley displayed improved decision-making on RPO plays, and the running game was dynamic in Bubba McDowell’s head coaching debut.

  • The Panthers received more good news over the weekend with the commitments from 2023 Lamar High School DB Sean “Deuce” Connor and 2023 Terrell High School ATH Kanye Nix.

Lone Star Conference

American Southwest Conference

  • The most exciting game of the week was Southwestern’s 32-31 overtime win over Cal Lutheran. Pirates coach Joe Austin elected to go for the win after pulling within one with a touchdown in the first overtime. QB Landry Gilpin was pressured, threw the ball off his back foot, and Jojo Wilson came down with the ball to secure the thrilling victory.

  • Hardin-Simmons started Waco Connally product Gaylon Glynn at quarterback in the Cowboys 79-14 win over Wayland Baptist. The Cowboys played with an attitude and confidence that will be needed against UMHB.

  • Speaking of the defending champions, Mary Hardin-Baylor was dominant in Larry Harmon’s head coaching debut. Most impressive was the Cru offensive line that paved the way for 295 rushing yards and an incredible seven-yard average per rush attempt.

  • It appears McMurry has a quarterback competition. Ricardo Luna was the starter but was ineffective and replaced late in the first half by Trinity Valley transfer Andrew McBride. 

  • Former Midwestern State and Louisana-Monroe WR Jordan Carroll has transferred to Howard Payne. The North Forney product had 11 receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown in two seasons with ULM and gained 108 yards and a touchdown on two receptions for the Yellow Jackets in Week 1.

Sooner Athletic Conference

  • Texas Wesleyan played inspired football in a 48-21 win over No. 20 Arizona Christian. Part of the inspiration was the memory of former teammate Charles Trammell III, killed last week by a drunk driver while helping a stranded motorist change a tire.

  • The Rams are a team with the ability to make national noise in the NAIA this year. TXWES is a very physical football team and owned the line of scrimmage against ACU. The Rams averaged 7.3 yards per rush on offense and held a potent Firestorm offense to 275 total yards, including -9 yards rushing.

  • The Greg Ellis era at SAGU began with a shutout victory over fellow SAC foe Louisiana Christian. The Lions defense was solid and physical throughout, but SAGU will need more from its offense against SAC favorite OUAZ this week.

Southwestern Junior College Football Conference

  • Darion Peace was the starting QB for Trinity Valley in a dominating 69-6 win over Southern Shreveport. Peace left last week’s game with an injury after being the most effective signal-caller against Snow College.

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