Linfield Sports and Linfield head coach, Joe Smith announced the 2008 football schedule on Thursday and our mystery opponent was revealed as none other than the Hardin Simmons Cowboys. There were some good guesses from the Linfield posters on the d3football.com northwest conference posting board but when it came down to it, Coach Jimmy Keeling and Coach Smith wanted to continue the series that currently stands at 1 win for each team.
The agreement will be for the next two seasons with Linfield traveling back to Abilene, Texas on September 13 to open their season and with the Cowboys flying back to the ‘Catdome in 2009. I’d like to give Coach Keeling “five alrights” for responding to Linfield’s request and continue a trend of top division III programs hooking up during non-conference play.
In giving the remainder of the slate the eye ball it looks like Linfield is going to have to put on the hard hat and grind out another challenging season. The ‘Cats will have the bye after HSU and have the home opener with long time NAIA rival the Raiders of Southern Oregon. SOU was a physical squad last season and I’m sure will be hyped up to take on Linfield in ’08.
After the SOU game, Linfield will have two more home games in a row with Menlo coming up on Oct 4th for their annual loss to Linfield before we really get down to brass tax. Oct 11th will have the Rats of Whitworth coming into the ‘Catdome with a 2 game winning streak over Linfield that disgusts me to the core. I’m not going to make excuses for the losses to the Rats but I’m not going to put a shine on it either…the losses to them have blown the past two years and it has to stop.
The ‘Cats have a short road trip on Oct 18th to L&C to see if the Pios will have taken any steps forward and then another big revenge game will follow the next week on the 25th with Willamette…nuff said.
Linfield will round out the season with two trips up to Tacoma to play in the Morgue on Nov 1st and then up at Sparks (PLU) for the season finally on the 15th. Sandwiched in-between is the final home game of the year with non-conference opponent, Western Oregon. I’m curious to see how WOU develops next season. They lose a huge senior class that has been responsible for bring WOU into respectability but they seem to have to have talent in the wings to reload rather then rebuild.
Overall, I’m excited with the different order of how the games will be played in 2008. Once again, Linfield has a monumental challenge in 2008 and every Linfield backer is excited to see how our ‘Cats respond.