The Top 25 NAIA Football Programs of All-Time

texasaiWhile I can appreciate the “Big J” journalists doing their best to understand small college football, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out they are doing a terrible job.

Recently ESPN published their attempt at “The 50 best college football programs over the last 150 years.” They characterized the list as being put together as “college football’s greatest programs across all divisions” while in the same breath leaving out the NAIA. Ahh, the “Big J” journalists doing their finest work.

I’m sure they will make the argument, “Well we counted the NAIA championships for teams in DII and DIII.” But nevertheless, there isn’t one current NAIA program on the list.

Not one. Zero. Zilch. [Read more…]

15 Stories for 15 Years of the Victory Sports Network by Jason Dannelly.

vsn_logoEarly last summer I was approached by Rob Brandt of the Victory Sports Network. You see, Rob is the guy I sold VSN to (the second time) and he is the guy responsible for the site’s contents. He and Barry Fouts asked me to write something for the 15 year anniversary of VSN.

I said, “Sure.”

Admittedly I forgot about writing that piece until one night last month when I posted a few photos for nostalgia sake and said, “Crap, forgot to write that.”

But as nostalgia goes. . .it got me thinking. Why not write 15 brief stories that no one knows about the behind the scenes stuff that happened at VSN? There has probably been enough time and distance from these stories to not incriminate anyone, so why not.

So without a big long drawn out explanation, here are the 15 stories from the VSN years you never knew about, sorry mom and dad (again). [Read more…]

“The Program” was Garbage. Time to Ruin Your Childhood.

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“There’s no way this will sweat off.”

It’s been 25 years this fall since we were blessed with “The Program.” I remember going to the movie theater with my parents. At the time it was one of the most anticipated moments of my life. A real life college football movie! Tackles, YEAH! Touchdowns, YEAAHHH! Trash Talking, YEEEEAAHHHHHHHH! Face paint, FACE PAINT, YEAAHHHHHHHH.

The movie brought in 23 million dollars at the box office and nearly every person I played football with had a VHS tape of it. (Remember those?)

But let’s be honest, from a football perspective this movie is a steaming pile of garbage. I fully realize if 13 year old Jason was here right now he’d put a beat down on me. Partially due to the fact he’d be in much better shape and because I was obsessed with this movie so much I probably watched parts of it every week during my high school football career. [Read more…]

My Top Five Reasons Why Nebraska Football Will Never Return To Glory Unless Something Changes Other Than The Head Coach.

gates copyI knew you were thinking it.

“I wonder what that guy who used to write about NAIA football all the time and sells farm equipment now thinks about the current state of the Nebraska football program?”

Well you’re in luck! It’s cold in North Dakota today, the Bison are on the road and Nebraska doesn’t play until later. So that gives me plenty of time to throw out a bunch of polarizing ideas that will have half of my friends blocking me on Facebook and the other half rolling with laughter. Keep in mind, I’ve done zero research before writing this article.

Plus I took the under in this Mississippi State/Arkansas game and that doesn’t look promising right now. Kinda like the future of Nebraska football unless something changes, other than the coaching situation. So here you go folks! [Read more…]

NAIA Football 2017 Championship Series Predictions.

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 8.52.31 PMSomethings you just can’t get out of your blood and covering NAIA football in some shape or form is one of those things for me. I don’t have the time these days to follow every team in the NAIA like I used to back in the day but I still keep track of it enough to feel like I can make a few predictions heading into this weekend’s first round of the Championship Series. [Read more…]

The NAIA Takes a Stand. . .or a Knee?

naiaYesterday it was announced that the NAIA has decided to move the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Tournament from Branson, Mo. after 18 years. This comes after College of the Ozarks became upset that the national office wouldn’t require all student athletes to stand for the national anthem. (Full Story – pay no attention to my comment trolling in the section below the story, haha)

I’ll let you read the story for the full details. However, after 24 hours and seeing all the interactions I felt it was necessary to dust off my NAIA media credentials and comment. [Read more…]

Review: Running for His Life – The Lawrence Phillips Story

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Phillips in 1996 vs. Florida.

Beautiful, tragic, heartbreaking and complicated. Those might be the best words to describe the life of former Husker Lawrence Phillips.

The story of LP to anyone from the state of Nebraska or the world of college football is anything but a mystery. If you followed the Cornhuskers at all in the 1990’s you know the ups and downs of the life of the most controversial runningback in the history of the program.

But what you probably don’t know are the details, reasons and the deep tragedy that was the man who asked Tom Osborne as a senior in high school “Who wears No. 1 for your team?”

Showtime captured the story of LP in 88 minutes better than anyone could have ever thought. [Read more…]

The Athletic Trainer: An Unsung Hero

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Mark Kwikkel at the VSN All Star Classic.

Anyone who has talked to me this summer understands I’ve had a lot of windshield time. During a recent long drive and because college football season is about to start  I went down my annual spiral of thinking about different teams in the NAIA and reminiscing about my friends and I when I played at Dana College.

Sure we lost a lot of games but I made a lot of friends and memories back in those days. Some people have come and gone over the years but there was one guy who I am eternally grateful for the chance to be around him and his profession.

Mark Kwikkel, former head athletic trainer at Dana College, saved my life and I want to thank him for it. [Read more…]

The Weight Loss Yo-Yo

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The Dry Erase Board of Truth.

Standing in front of a mirror naked (sorry for the visual) and really looking at yourself is really the only way to make yourself say, “Yeah, it’s time. I’ve got to do something.”

That along with actually being honest with yourself about all the reasons why you are in the place that you now are and what you are going to do to fix it.

Like so many times before, I’m starting this weight loss journey again with high hopes and expectations. I’ve seen the results of my other stints of working out and what has worked and what has failed. However, this time it’s going to be different.

First, lets go on a trip down memory lane. Let’s call it the “Jason Dannelly Holy Crap What the Hell Happened Weight Loss Yo-Yo of Fun.”

You see for whatever reason I can remember a lot of events in my life and what I weighed at the time. Ask me to remember details of those specific events or even what you told me five minutes ago and I can’t do it. But somehow I can remember these cold hard facts. [Read more…]

The NAIA Football Weekly Report and Predictions by Jason Dannelly (9/5/15 Edition)

SOU RB Melvin Mason. Photo Courtesy SOU SID.

SOU RB Melvin Mason. Photo Courtesy SOU SID.

Well hey lookie there. . .the NAIA football has started and there has already been a round of upsets. But if you are like me, you start off initially shocked before talking yourself back into reality that it is essentially Week 0 and we don’t really know what anyone really has for a team.

I mean we can do some guess work and determine who some of the best teams in the country are but we don’t really know how they stack up. That’s the tough part but interesting part about NAIA football. Every team out there has some pretty good players, that goes without saying. But what do they have behind them and next to them are the real questions.

If you are going to be good at this level you have to have depth and you have to be able to sustain your success throughout the entire season. And to cap it off, you’d better be able to overcome some adversity. That’s ultimately why Marian University found themselves vying for a national title instead of missing the postseason. [Read more…]