Right out of the chute, the Jimmies' schedule looked like a meat-grinder.
Upon further review, it might be even worse.
While the University of Jamestown was losing to Hastings (Neb.) last Saturday, Dakota State, Dickinson State and Waldorf were rolling to big wins.
The most impressive might have been Dakota State, which hung 56 points on 17th-ranked Dakota Wesleyan in a 17-point win.
Dickinson State also had it clicking with a 43-point outburst against Rocky Mountain College, a perennially solid Frontier Conference team. The Blue Hawks head to Valley City for a key early-season NSAA game on Saturday against the Vikings. Officially, VCSU is 1-0. Finlandia forfeited its scheduled game on Sept. 23.
Also last Saturday, perennial doormat Waldorf (Iowa) blitzed Briar Cliff of the GPAC 62-26. Yes, Briar Cliff is picked dead last in the GPAC, but Hastings—31-3 winners over the Jimmies—was picked second-to-last in the GPAC.
As for the Jimmies, all they have coming up is defending NAIA national champion Saint Francis of Fort Wayne, Ind. The Cougars graduated three All-Americans, but return star quarterback Nick Ferrer. The game starts at noon, one hour earlier than usual.
Saint Francis is coached by Kevin Donley, the winningest active coach at any level of college football. Donley's 302 career victories rank him 11th in the history of the sport.
The Blue Jays' first home game as a Class AA team is Friday night against Watford City.
The Jays and Wolves are coming off competitive week 1 losses—Jamestown to No. 2 Fargo Shanley (14-7) and the Wolves against No. 3 Devils Lake (19-12).
Watford City turned the ball over four times against the Firebirds, including three interceptions.
Jamestown forced two fourth-quarter turnovers against the Deacons to mount a late rally.
In Class AA football, six of the 10 teams qualify for the playoffs. An 0-2 start would be challenging, but not crippling.