Fall sports at Missouri Southern have been unsuccessful to say the least. In my fourth year of watching, broadcasting, and reporting on fall sports at Missouri Southern I have yet to see a fall team accomplish much. I have watched teams finish with losing records, miss the playoffs, and at times lack the ability to even be competitive inside their MIAA conference. Fall sports have been forlorn.

Football will finish up another season with a losing record. 

The Lions are looking at possibly allowing 500 points on the season. While possibly scoring less than 100. They are currently being outscored by 388 points, 469-81. Opponents average nearly 47 ppg at 46.9, while they Lions are averaging less than 10 at a measly 8.1 ppg. If the Lions don’t manage 19 points against their rival Pittsburg State tomorrow, they will score less than 100 points in 11 games. If they allow 31 or more, opponents will surpass 500 points scored on the Lions. 

I think you can safely assume that the Gorillas will score at least 31 tomorrow. The only opponent the Lions have held below 31 this year was Northeastern State University. It’s also safe to assume the Lions won’t reach 19 points as they’ve only done so twice this season. 

For four years the Lions have seen below average play at the quarterback position to say the least. There has not been a consistent quarterback for a full season in the past four seasons. That poor play under center has come despite having many great athletes lining up on the outside as well as in the backfield. The offensive line has been good at times, and maybe for the most part it has been good, but never great.

 The defense has seen multiple great athletes touch the field. This defensive unit in my opinion has been the most consistent and best part of this team for four seasons despite the ugly numbers. They give up a lot of yardage and points, but with that being said, they get no help from the offense. They spend an extended amount of time on the field. Still yet, they haven’t been great. 

Special teams, in terms of kickers and punters, have been pretty consistent as well. Probably the second most consistent part of the team. 

A consistent thing around this team has been questionable play calling. The coaching staff has seen many new faces in four seasons, so not sure who would be to blame for this one exactly, but weapons on the outside and in the run game haven’t always been utilized despite their capabilities of being dangerous. We have been predictable on offense, consistently running it on first and second down no matter the circumstances. Throwing underneath routes, and screen routes, taking minimal shots deep to our talented receivers, and lacking creativity in our playbook. When trailing we seem to be okay with the result. I have yet to see this team have a sense of urgency when losing. They don’t run a fast paced no huddle offense. They apply no pressure to the defense. 

Assuming the Lions finish this season 1-10, barring a very unlikely upset inside Fred G. Hughes stadium tomorrow, that will give them a record of 4-40 in the past four seasons. The Lions won one game in 2015, two in 2016, zero in 2017, and one so far this season. A forlorn four seasons of Div. II college football. They ended a 20-game losing streak this season, for all it’s worth, that is a positive on the season. Now they just hope to avoid another one 18 games from now. 

18-43-10. A four season record for the women’s soccer team here at Missouri Southern.

 In 2015 the Lions finished with just two wins. They grabbed four wins in all of the 2016 season. Last season they improved to five wins, all of those wins coming inside the MIAA, and reaching the playoffs. Just to be sent home early by Fort Hays State, a match that ended as a 0-0 draw and was decided by penalty kicks. This season they improved their win total yet again by winning seven. 

Despite more wins overall, they had less conference wins going 3-6-2 inside the MIAA, so they missed the playoffs this season.

The positive is they’ve increased their win total each season. The negative is that they might as well have taken a step or two backwards by missing the playoffs and finishing the season 1-6-1 for an overall record of 7-8-3 this season. 

Volleyball has really struggled for four seasons. After having their best season in many years, the Lions would graduate a few players, deal with some issues between players on the team and some coaching trouble, and a coaching change. 

22-97. Half of those 22 wins came during their 11-20 season last season. Of their 97 losses, they have been swept 69 times. 69 out of 119 matches they didn’t win a set. The Lions failed to win a set in 58 percent of their matches. 

A forlorn four seasons of volleyball. 

Now, there are other sports that compete in the fall, one of those being the excellent cross country programs, the men’s golf team, and the brand new women’s golf team. With the women’s golf team just now beginning they can’t even be a part of this column. They haven’t had any time to even be given expectations. The golf season alone is split into fall and spring so it isn’t just a fall sport. 

Cross country is the only fall sport that has shown continued success for all four years I have been here. Both the men and women have placed high at events and sent athletes to the playoff events and even the national championships. 

Golf and cross country do not have actual win/loss records, which is what this column was focused on more or less, and the lack of playoffs. They also get a pass on this column due to the fact that they have probably been the best two programs over the years in general. 

With all of this being said, we’ve seen coaching changes throughout the years, so is it deeper than coaches? Should we be asking for jobs of people outside of coaching? What’s the root of the issue? Is it simply lack of talent?

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