Beaver Falls, PA - Four weeks into the 2006 college football season, the jury seems to still be out on Geneva College and the Golden Tornadoes football team. After splitting its first two games of the season, Geneva has been watching the action from the sidelines the past two weeks. In a scheduling quirk, Geneva′s schedule featured back to back off weeks for the Golden Tornadoes. As a result, Geneva hasn′t played since defeating Olivet Nazarene back on September 9th. The time off is about to change when the Golden Tornadoes visit Fawcett Stadium and Malone College on Saturday afternoon.
Because of the lengthy lay-off, experts are still unclear about where Geneva should fall in the world of NAIA football. If you ask Don Hansen, he would say the Golden Tornadoes are for real as Geneva appears at #10 in the most recent Hansen poll. As for NAIAfootball.net, the Golden Tornadoes find themselves ranked #20 after sitting out the past two weeks. The only poll that truly matters and holds post-season significance is the NAIA coach′s poll. After spending the last two weeks at #17, the coach′s have Geneva at #15 this week.
One thing everyone can agree upon is the remaining schedule for Geneva may be one of the most difficult in the country. As many as six MSFA Mideast League teams appear in the top 25 in at least one national poll. With Geneva being one of those six, the Golden Tornadoes will have to face the other five in the next seven weeks.
Geneva will face a Malone team this Saturday that is coming off one of its most impressive wins in the last ten years. Malone (23) got past fifth ranked St. Xavier, IL on the road two weeks ago and as a result appeared in the NAIA poll at #22. The Pioneers bring a record of 2-1 into action this Saturday and will look to beat Geneva for the second time in as many years.
After a non-conference affair with Seton Hill University, Geneva will return home to play sixth ranked Walsh University. In the final three weeks of the season, Geneva will face the likes of Ohio Dominican (27), Urbana (20) and St. Francis, IN (2).
The fate of Geneva is clearly in its own hands as it will face off against some of the best NAIA programs in the country in the next two months. While opinions may vary about Geneva′s program after four weeks, the Golden Tornadoes will have the chance to get everyone on the same page by mid-November.