The lone Big Country Div. I college football program, the Abilene Christian Wildcats, head into their fourth year of the Adam Dorrel era. ACU finished 5-7 overall and 4-5 in conference play last season.
Wide receiver Kobe Clark returns for the 2020 season after setting a school record of 87 receptions last year. On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Qua’Shawn Washington returns to the field this season after being injured in 2019. He’ll be alongside Jack Gibbens who made 104 tackles while being named an academic All-American last year.
The Wildcats have what looks to be a battle for the quarterback position between Sama’J Davis and Iowa transfer Peyton Mansell. ACU Could also keep the option open of splitting time on the field between the two. Running back Billy McCrary will also return to the backfield after an injury in 2019.
ACU is projected to finish sixth in the Southland Conference under Central Arkansas, Sam Houston State, Nicholls, Incarnate Word and Southeastern Louisiana. Below them is Houston Baptist, McNeese, Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern State and Lamar.
In Division III, we head to the American Southwest Conference where Hardin-Simmons, Howard Payne, and McMurry compete.
HSU, coming off an 8-2 season, is returning a good amount of talent from last year, including quarterback Kyle Jones, who took the snaps for the second half of the season and threw for 1,493 yards and 17 touchdowns in the process. The majority of the receiving corps will return and backup quarterback Marc Reed will move to running back where he will split the carries with Bryson Hammonds.
Howard Payne is coming off a 5-5 season in their third season under Head Coach Braxton Harris, a four-win improvement from 2018. Quarterback Caleb Estes returns to take the snaps for HPU after an impressive season in which he threw for 1,380 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Year one for Head Coach Jordan Neal resulted in a winless season for the War Hawks of McMurry. However, it was an extremely young team that is now returning eight starters on offense and all of their starters on defense. Running back Dee Robinson is one of those returners who made an impact last season after rushing for 656 yards and four touchdowns while tacking on another 167 yards and a touchdown receiving.
The DCTF magazine predicts HSU to finish 2nd behind Mary Hardin-Baylor. Howard Payne is picked to finish 4th and McMurry is picked to finish in last place