Great West Parity

Can you find a more balanced league?”

** USD head coach Ed Meierkort, after his team’s 45-21 win on Nov. 7

— — — — —

Yesterday (Saturday) was the final day of league football action for the five schools in the Great West Conference.

Among the games was a showdown in Davis, Calif., between UC Davis and North Dakota for the Great West championship. The back-and-forth contest was ultimately won by the hosts, 28-20.

In other action, South Dakota held off Cal Poly 50-48, while Southern Utah was defeated by No. 18 Eastern Washington, 41-28.

And although four teams have one game remaining in their seasons, we now know the final conference records for each team. UC Davis finishes 3-1, while North Dakota, South Dakota and Southern Utah all finish 2-2, with Cal Poly at 1-3.

You know what that shows?

That in a league won by Cal Poly last season, 2009 was truly marked by extreme parity.

Consider:

** League champion UC Davis started its season 1-3. Opens league play with a 24-23 overtime win over South Dakota in Vermillion. Is then routed by Southern Utah 56-35 on the road. Rebounds with wins over Cal Poly and North Dakota.

** North Dakota opens league play with a 27-12 home win over rival South Dakota. Two weeks later, is embarrassed by NAIA Sioux Falls. Loses at Southern Utah. Turns around and beats Cal Poly. But then sneaks by NAIA Southern Oregon 30-24, but still has a shot at a league title on Saturday.

** South Dakota is crushed by Northern Iowa 66-7 on the road. Then responds by making quick work of FCS foes Drake (51-21) and Southeastern Louisiana (44-13). But then embarks on a four-game losing streak. But pulls it together for a 45-21 thrashing of Southern Utah and a 50-48 closer-then-it-should’ve-been win at Cal Poly.

** Following a season-opening win, Southern Utah then loses three straight. But turns around and beats Top 25 foe Texas State. But then loses at Cal Poly 24-23 thanks to a missed game-tying extra point. But then beats North Dakota and UC Davis. But then is crushed by South Dakota on the road.

** And Cal Poly hangs tough in back-to-back FBS games, and then edges Top 25 South Dakota State at home. Following a loss at Montana, the Mustangs win two straight. But then lose three straight, against North Dakota, UC Davis and South Dakota.

Balanced much?

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