The University of West Georgia (UWG) Wolves are ranked No. 2 in the latest American Football Coaches Association National Poll. After dismantling Miles College in UWG’s inaugural home football game, 33-7, and improving to 2-0, the Wolves have their sights set on possession of the No. 1 ranking.
At the moment, the one team ranked above West Georgia is Minnesota State University (Mankato). The Minnesota State University Mavericks are gaining momentum after a 27-10 victory over the Northern State University Wolves, and maybe hard to catch. Their first win came over a highly touted Minnesota Duluth, currently ranked No. 7, in the opening week. Though it was close match-up the Mavericks edged out a victory 20-17.
As it stands, the Mavericks have only one ranked opponent left on their schedule for 2015, the University of Sioux Falls. The Mavericks will look to finish unblemished as they go back home for a match-up against the University of Mary Marauders.
The Wolves however, have a schedule that is less favorable for them to finish unblemished. As it stands the Wolves have three ranked opponents left on their schedule. Ironically enough, those three challenges are placed in succession on the schedule.
The Valdosta State University Blazers, currently ranked No. 11, is the first of the three games, coming in week 6. For the Wolves this is a tough team to compete against, not only are the Blazers an in-state rival, but they cause the Wolves plenty of problems. In their first meeting of 2014, and in the Wolves most successful season, the Blazers dominated the Wolves in route to a 40-6 victory. In that game the Wolves managed to gain 174 yards rushing, while the Blazers torched the Wolves for 381 yards on the ground. West Georgia would meet Valdosta again in the quarterfinals of the NCAA post-season and dismiss the Blazers from championship contention in a 31-17 win. In week 6 the Wolves will be primed for another heated match-up with their rival.
The Delta State University Statesmen, currently ranked No. 6, meet the Wolves the week after Valdosta State comes to Carrollton. To say that these two teams are familiar with each other is an understatement. The two teams met twice last year, once in the regular season and once in the post-season, and the Wolves won both meetings. The Wolves maintain some leverage against the Statesmen having won the last two games they have played, but will have to travel for their next match-up.
Lastly in this stretch of games, the University of North Alabama Lions come to Carrollton for a week 8 match-up. The Lions are currently No. 10, and seem to be the most formidable of all late season match-ups for the Wolves. Last season the Wolves played the Lions and lost in a thrilling game 28-31. This next meeting will be at home and would allow Coach Hall to break even with North Alabama should they get the win.
Although it is still early in the season the Wolves have demonstrated that they are a contender for a National Championship. If the AFCA National Poll is not clear enough an indicator for sceptics, then this entire season, should the Wolves survive, will gladly serve as a litmus test.