2008 Around the Midwest columns

November 18, 2008 Sticking it out helped Rupp, Franklin rise Mike Leonard confessed that he saw the signs of Chad Rupp's greatness in high school at Evansville Memorial when he ran a football camp to teach that coaching staff his offensive schemes.

November 11, 2008 The new face of Carthage football Few people knew about Carthage quarterback Evan Jones before this season started and his name was barely mentioned in the Redmen's preseason outlook, but all of that has changed over the last nine games.

November 5, 2008 Franklin handling its business Franklin coach Mike Leonard said he doesn't like to use the word "business" when he talks about his football team. Leonard, the coach who has brought the Grizzlies football program to national prominence, said the word mission better describes the way his team handles its - well - business.

October 28, 2008 Monmouth on verge of clinching berth What is there left to do now for the undefeated Monmouth Fighting Scots after huge wins against St. Norbert and Ripon put them in the driver's seat of the Midwest Conference title chase? Plenty.

October 22, 2008 Little bell game has even bigger implications The Little Brass Bell could almost take a back seat to all the implications riding Saturday when No. 7-ranked North Central takes its short bus ride to No. 4-ranked Wheaton in possibly the top game in Division III this week.

October 14, 2008 Aurora hopes to send seniors out with title Aurora coach Rich Duncan is trying to keep a streak alive and Saturday's home game against the preseason Northern Athletics Conference favorite Concordia (Wis.) could go along way to see if the Spartans will be successful.

October 8, 2008 Ripon trying to break through MWC ceiling Ripon coach Ron Ernst has seen this all before -- the Red Hawks off to a flying start, hopes high for a possible Midwest Conference title before those hopes are dashed by a loss to St. Norbert, Monmouth, or both.

October 1, 2008 Rose-Hulman making a loss into something When is a loss really a win and visa versa? Rose-Hulman can answer part of that question and the result has temporary given them an early upper leg in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference race.

September 23, 2008 Franklin enjoying the up cycle No Franklin football team has been ranked No. 14 or higher since the Grizzlies joined the NCAA from the NAIA in 1992 -- until now.

September 16, 2008 Despite the rain, a good week for the CCIW To say last week was a good week, even if it was a little wet, for the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin would be an understatement. Wheaton and North Central both knocked off Top 25 teams to re-establishing the conference's football stature.

September 9, 2008 Opening with a playoff atmosphere With only 10 weeks to prove yourself, North Central coach John Thorne knows when you have a chance to play a team ranked in the Top 25, you have to take advantage of the situation.

September 3, 2008 Games to watch in 2008 A new football season always brings new hope for teams trying to win their first championship and established teams trying to hand on to a winning tradition.