Midway through the season I predicted that the 5-0 Blazers would run the table and finish the regular season undefeated.
I was right, but if you watched the team, you’d know that my Running the Table column was just stating the foreseeable future.
Now Valdosta State is preparing to light up the scoreboard again when they face Notre Dame of Ohio in the NCAA Championship Semifinal after they cruised through their first two playoff games.
Now this is long overdue, but I have the Blazers winning this whole thing, as most people should.
It’s easy to double down on them now, given that VSU has outscored their opponents 127-37 in the postseason already. So, I’d say this is a double-double down.
In Blazers Building a Dynasty I described how this season was ushering in an era of success, and that it’ll be interesting to see what this program will be able to accomplish.
That still holds to be true, but in just one-month, VSU has shifted my outlook on the team’s future and it’s time to ante up my take.
The Valdosta State Blazers have the best football team in DII right now, and it’s not even close. They’ll be crowned champions and looked at as the best team in the nation for not only this year, but for the next few years.
Could that statement be jumping the gun? Maybe. But once again, this is simply stating the foreseeable future.
As I’ve mentioned before, the freshmen and sophomores are foregrounded with this team and Head Coach Kerwin Bell will continue to replenish his unit with new recruits every year. So, a successful future is almost guaranteed for the Blazers right now.
“The team that we played last week (Lenoir-Rhyne) said that we’re not ‘Bama but to be honest, we’re pretty much the ‘Bama of DII,” defensive back Ravarius Rivers said. “We’re not losing.”
You name it, they got it. Opposing head coaches are forced to pick their poison as they’re subconsciously aware that a victory is out of the question.
The offense executes with a play fast, score faster mentality. They pick teams apart and score in the blink of an eye while leaving their opponents stunned.
They’re defense is relentlessly in your face, telegraphing every play and feeding off the frustration from teams desperately looking for a break.
However, the aspect of this team that makes them the best in the nation isn’t just their execution, it’s their depth.
“Just one player, two players, or maybe even three great players are not going to beat our team, we’re stacked across the board,” Rivers said. “We have players that are second and third string, that can go and easily start at other schools. That competition breeds success.”
This year 11 Blazers were honorees on the D2CCA All-Region teams and seven of them are in their junior year or earlier. Along with those 11 players, another four Blazers received honors on All-Gulf South Conference teams.
Even with all the accolades, blowout wins, and underclassmen, this team remains humble and focused. Of course, they know they’re good, that’s not a misconception, but they carry themselves with supreme confidence and not a boast of arrogance.
Honestly, it looks like nothing is stopping this collaboration of skilled athletes and intellectual coaches from winning multiple national championships. Doubters can just hope that the Blazers somehow fall short.
The dynasty is here and in full effect. Valdosta State’s reign as the best program in DII football has begun, and it’s time to start acknowledging them as so.
Written by Josh Miller, Social Media Editor. Photo courtesy of Blazer Athletics.
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