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Frequent Flyer Miles: Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference

1 - Published January 17, 2011 by in College

Welcome to another episode for Frequent Flyer Miles!

This edition will bring you the other half of our first non-conference game of the season, the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (GRLC).  They are a middle of the road conference, which means I expect them to have quite a few passing grades, maybe even an A or two.

‘Tis the new year and that means only one thing: the lacrosse season is nearly upon us.  It also means that I will be giving all of you a look into the schedules of all 100+ MCLA Division 2 teams.

We’re going to use a slightly different format than last year. Instead of focusing entirely on a team’s out of conference schedule, we’re going to look at the whole thing. The grading system will be similar: A-F, depending on certain minimum criteria. A grade may be bumped up, depending on the quality of the games.

A: This team went above and beyond the minimum league requirement of 2 out of conference games.

B: This team went above the minimum league requirements of 2 out of conference games.

C: This team met the minimum requirement of 2 out of conference games.

D: This team only scheduled one out of conference game.

F: This team failed to schedule any out of conference games.

Augustana

Augustana starts off on a good note with a game against a CCLA opponent. Nearly half of their games are against non-conference opponents, but the only one on their schedule making any noise is Hope College.

FINAL GRADE: B

Cornell

The Rams are doing the bare minimum to get a passing grade. The only real problem I see with Cornell’s schedule is that they play Palmer twice. I’m not really a fan of playing a home-and-home series during a season unless its a quality opponent, which Palmer certainly isn’t.

FINAL GRADE: C

Creighton

The Jays are the first team in the GRLC to start making moves.  They have a D1 team to open their season. It’s a good test of their skill right off the bat. Creighton has all their divisional games at home, which is quite the advantage. I will give them a lot of credit for making 2 road trips. They visit the Rockies to take on members of the RMLC, then head up to Minnesota for 2 UMLL games.

FINAL GRADE: B+

Depaul

Depaul seems to be an interesting team to me. I always think that they are a D1 team, and with a schedule like this it seems  thats where they want to be. I see 3 games vs D1 opponents and another 2 that are scrimmages.  The D2 portion of the schedule starts off with 2 games vs the CCLA.

FINAL GRADE: C

Dordt

The first disappointment. The only OOC game I see is their final match-up of the season, against Bethel. They do travel to a neutral site for the game, so they get a small amount of credit for the game.

FINAL GRADE: D

Harding

Harding looks like they’re trying to get back to the days of yore when they were consistently ranked. They have a mix of D1 and OOC games, which I’m not a big fan of, but I understand the reasoning. 3 LSA games against 2 of their better teams means I like what I see

FINAL GRADE: B

Judson

Judson is new to the MCLA and they mean business. 5 OOC games, all from the CCLA. You don’t do that in the MCLA unless you know you can win. You heard it here first, keep an eye on Judson in 2011.

FINAL GRADE: A

Missouri Baptist

Mo Bap is also a relatively new team in the MCLA. They have the largest number of OOC games, so far, including some high quality ones. Having 2 Top 5 teams on your schedule certainly doesn’t hurt things, either.

FINAL GRADE: A

Missouri S&T

Missouri S&T seems to have the same attitude as most of the MCLA teams, just schedule teams from your own conference.  It doesn’t just hurt the GRLC, it hurts the MCLA as a whole.

FINAL GRADE: F

Missouri State

Anyone who goes out and schedules the reigning national champions deserves a high grade in my book. Add another Top 5 team, like Mo State did, and you’re guaranteed an A+.

FINAL GRADE: A+

Palmer

This just seems incomplete. Though they do have their required conference games.

FINAL GRADE: F

St. Louis

The Bilikens have 4 OOC games scheduled and they travel for 3 of them. I respect a team that travels for OOC games. I also respect teams that  play more than one game in a day. Not a quality schedule, but enough to get the job done.

FINAL GRADE: B

Washington

When looking at the schedule, it starts off promising with the two D1 scrimmages, but then just drops off. Washington hosts 2 OOC games, featuring teams from the CCLA and the RMLC.

FINAL GRADE: C

Wheaton

Wheaton plays a short schedule, mostly in April. They have 3 OOC games slated, hosting 2 of them. Though, neither of the 3 or very strong games.

FINAL GRADE: C+

Overall, the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference showed a vast improvement over the LSA. We had numerous passing grades and even a few A’s were handed out. The GRLC figured out a way to overcome their large geographic coverage. They traveled, they hosted, they even landed some of the best teams in the country. The Conference as a whole grades out very well.

FINAL CONFERENCE GRADE: B

[All schedule images courtesy MCLA.us.]

Later this week, we’ll take a look at the largest conference in the MCLA, the South Eastern Lacrosse Conference!

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