Everybody has heard of Notre Dame. You know, South Bend, the Fighting Irish, Knute Rockne, The Four Horsemen, Frank Leahy, Paul Hornung, Ara Parseghian, Joe Theismann, Joe Montana, The Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus.
Has anybody heard of the University of God’s Chosen? The Disciples? Demetrius Hollingsworth?
I always thought the Fighting Irish were God’s Chosen, but I guess not. The Disciples are now.
Founded in 2014, the University of God’s Chosen claims to be a non-profit online institution “dedicated to using sports to build relationships in multiple cultural settings. . . . At UGC we are changing the world through books and sports.” That’s from the website ugcdisciples.org.
Books means bibles. UGC says it offers two-year and four-year degrees in biblical studies. The website urges students to attend their local community college for other credits that might be accepted at a four-year school. You see, UGC doesn’t have a classrooms, labs, libraries or dorms. It doesn’t have a campus or a stadium. Students live in an apartment complex in Fayetteville, N.C. Tuition is $2,500 a year.
Sports means football and basketball. The football Disciples are playing an 11-game road schedule against teams that probably don’t appear in the national scores of your Sunday sports section. Edward Waters. Central International. Atlanta Sports Academy. UNCC Club Team. Last week the Disciples lost at Kentucky Wesleyan, 42-0, and that score made The New York Times.
Hollingsworth is the head football coach. He is also the school’s founder and president. There is no mention on ugcdisciples.org of an affiliation with the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association). No accreditation from any recognized body, either.
UGS is one of several unheard of football teams playing this season. Check out the University of Faith Glory Eagles from Tampa. Saint Francis, which plays at Bryant on Saturday, beat them, 78-0, in September. Prairie View romped, 42-0, three weeks ago. Those are the only two scores posted on the Glory Eagles website. ESPN has a 92-0 loss at Lenoir-Rhyne on Oct. 10. On its website Division II Lenoir-Rhyne described the game as an exhibition.
Details of the Prairie View-Faith game are on the Prairie View website but not counted in the season stats. Last summer, the NCAA determined that 34 schools are “non-countable” opponents; the NCAA will not recognize results or statistics from contests involving those schools. God’s Chosen and Faith are on the list because they do not meet accreditation or membership requirements.
Saint Francis, however, counts Faith among its four victories this season, even though it listed Faith as an exhibition in its game notes. The Faith game was also a highlight of Family Weekend at the Loretto, Pa., college.
This weekend, God’s Chosen is playing at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C. I’m not sure where the Faith Glory Eagles are playing because I can’t find an accurate schedule. Notre Dame, 6-1 and still God’s Chosen in my playbook, is idle.
BROWN AT CORNELL
The Bears have won three in a row, and the Big Red has lost five in a row. Easy pick, huh? Not so fast. Brown has won the last seven in this series and 16 of the last 19. Cornell has to win sometime, right? Of course, but not this week, especially if Brown’s defense plays as tough as it did while upsetting Princeton last week.
The Pick: Brown
SAINT FRANCIS AT BRYANT
This is the third of four 2015 home games for Bryant. The Bulldogs will have played seven road dates by season’s end. They proved the biggest draw in Rhode Island last weekend, a record 8,364 for a Homecoming upset of Duquesne.
The Pick: Bryant
SALVE REGINA AT NICHOLS
Salve Regina is 4-1 and heading toward an NEFC showdown with unbeaten Western New England on Nov. 14 Nichols is 1-5 and heading toward the end of the season. Seahawks wide receiver Alex Hulme is the ECAC Division III North player of the week for his 11-catch, 269-yard, 3-touchdown effort in SRU’s 40-21 victory over Endicott.
The Pick: Salve Regina
TOLEDO AT UMASS
A game against a ranled opponent is just what UMass boosters envisioned when the program jumped to the Football Bowl Subdivision. They probably didn’t envision No. 19 Toledo. But wait. The Rockets are 6-0 and upset Arkansas a week after severe weather forced the suspension and ultimate cancellation of their season opener against Stony Brook. UMass is 1-5.
The Pick: Toledo
PRINCETON AT HARVARD
No. 15 Harvard can score (44.2 points per game, fourth in the FCS) but the Crimson defense is more impressive, second in the nation with its 8.0 points allowed average. Harvard’s D has allowed three points in its last three games. Harvard was won 19 straight, second in Division I behind Ohio State’s 20.
The Pick: Harvard
Last Week, 3-2. Season, 17-8