Central Missouri Football enters 2014 at number 13 in our rankings. Check out our Top 25 Season Preview for more on the top college teams to watch this fall. Can’t find your team in the Top 25? View our full rankings to see where every team stands.
Last Season: 6-4 (5-4) Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association
No one ever said playing in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association was easy. The Mules started their season with games against Missouri Western and at eventual National Champion Northwestern Missouri State – two games they lost by a combined seven points. This was the first of a set of three two-game streaks. After losses in the first two, the Mules won the next pair over Lindenwood and at Truman State, then lost the next two to Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State. The Mules won their last four games handily, but it was too late for MIAA contention or a playoff berth.
The story last season was quarterback Hayden Hawk — as he went, so went the team. In the Mules’ four losses, he had completion percentages of 66.7%, 52.4%, 50.0%, and 55.8%. In their six wins, he completed 79.5%, 90.0%, 88.5%, 48.5%, 88.5%, and 77.1% of his passes. Night and day.
-Ronrei Lloyd WR – Second team All-MIAA, 69 catches, 1,222 yards, 11 TDs
-Zach Quines LB – 30 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 INTs, 3 pass defences
-Ryan Berry DB – 68 tackles, 5 pass defences, 1 FR
What to Watch For
Vets – The only graduation to really sting on the offensive side of the ball was leading-receiver Ronrei Lloyd. Other than that, the Mules are remarkably intact with Hayden Hawk, LaVance Taylor, Anthony Kirkwood, Cullen Rosine, Tristan McClelland, and almost the entire offensive line returning. They’re going to be hard to stop this season, especially through the air.
Defensively it’s the same story. They lost a few important players — Ryan Berry and Zach Quines come to mind — but they’ll have enough key guys returning to at least duplicate last season’s performance as the #29 scoring defense in D2. Ricky Spratley, Connor Smith, and Kadarius Green will lead from the backfield as Ramond Hunter, Alex Perlin, and Josh Powell tear it up in the trenches. Expect improvement from last season on this side of the ball.
This Central Missouri team may be better than last season, but if they will improve enough to challenge for a playoff berth remains to be seen.We’ve got three MIAA teams ranked above the Mules (BR4 Northwest Missouri State, BR7 Pittsburg State, and BR12 Missouri Western State) so if they want to make playoffs they’re going to need to improve a LOT. Central Missouri will play Missouri Western State, Emporia State, and Northwest Missouri State in the first three weeks, and of the four games only Emporia State will be at home. They also have to travel to Pittsburg State in the penultimate weekend of the regular season. The schedule doesn’t look favorable, which could spell a frustrating finish for an improved team.