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Like old times: Pitt State, NW Missouri return to Arrowhead with national rankings

Northwest Missouri won the MIAA after beating Pittsburg State 22-16 in the 2010 Fall Classic at Arrowhead.
Northwest Missouri won the MIAA after beating Pittsburg State 22-16 in the 2010 Fall Classic at Arrowhead. Courtesy of Northwest Missouri Athletics

Northwest Missouri State and Pittsburg State aren’t just renewing their football rivalry at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday, they’re returning with national rankings.

The Bearcats are ranked No. 7 and the Gorillas No. 13 in the American Football Coaches Association Division II poll. Both teams are 5-0.

It seems like old times. From 2002-13, the teams met at Arrowhead Stadium often as national championship contenders. In all but one matchup, at least one of the teams was ranked in the top 10. In 2004, they met as the nation’s top two ranked teams.

Also in that span, one of the teams played in the Division II title game, with Northwest winning a national championship twice and Pitt State once.

The teams halted their series in Kansas City after 2013, although the Bearcats twice played Central Missouri at Arrowhead after that.

Saturday’s game features two of the nation’s top offensive teams. Northwest ranks fifth in Division II at 48.4 points per game. Pitt State is sixth at 47.0.

Kickoff is at noon. Parking lot gates open at 9 a.m., and stadium games open at 10:30 a.m.

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