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PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: Hardin-Simmons hosts UMHB in NCAA Division III’s ASC Championship game; Tarleton State debuts on AFCA Top 25 National Poll

As unusual as the unprecedented spring college football season for the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and NCAA Division III has been, some things still remain the same.

In a matchup that has determined the American Southwest Conference champion in every season since 1998, the second-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders (4-0) will travel to Abilene to face the 10th-ranked Hardin-Simmons Cowboys (4-0) in the ASC Championship Game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Shelton Stadium.

The winner of the UMHB-HSU game has gone on to win at least a share of every ASC Championship since the Cru started football in 1998. UMHB advanced to the ASC Championship Game by winning the East Division, while Hardin-Simmons won the West Division. The West Division also won the coin flip prior to the season for the right to host the ASC title game.

In other Division III action, Texas Lutheran (3-1) travels to East Texas Baptist (2-2); Belhaven (2-2) visits Howard Payne (2-2); Louisiana College (2-2) hosts McMurry (1-3), and the battle of the winless features Southwestern (0-4) at Sul Ross State (0-4).

Throughout the unprecedented spring football season, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus prognosticators will select NCAA FCS and Division III college football games featuring Texas teams.

With only two games remaining in its inaugural season as an NCAA Division I football program, the 24th-ranked Tarleton State Texans (4-2) will be home on Saturday to host Northeastern State (OK) at 6 p.m. on Saturday. On the strength of their 33-21 rout of longtime rival Midwestern State on Homecoming in Stephenville last weekend, the Texans cracked the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Top 25 poll for the first time.

Other FCS games feature 15th-ranked Incarnate Word (3-0) visits 14th-ranked Nicholls State (3-1) in a battle for supremacy in the Southland Conference, Lamar (1-3) hosts Northwestern State (0-3), while Prairie View A&M (2-0) travels to Jackson State (3-1) in the Southwest Athletic Conference.

This season, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel consists of newcomer Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), while Meridian Yellowjacket football head coach Wade Morton, The Sports Buzz photographer David Harding and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

For the record, Gridiron Gurus’ friendly battle for bragging right during the “real” fall football season came down to the final game of the season, the Super Bowl. With both Wade and Brett amazingly tied after picking 245 games going into Super Bowl LV, Wade correctly picked Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to upset Brett’s choice and favorites, the Kansas City Chiefs. Congrats, Wade.

Join us every Thursday throughout the 2021 spring football season as THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick their winners for the unprecedented spring football games.

Be sure to make your picks as well!

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