The University of Central Arkansas Bears, No. 3-ranked in the FCS and undefeated in seven Southland Conference games, head to San Antonio, Texas, in a full gallop for Saturday’s matchup with 1-8 Incarnate Word.
Although his team is in the driver’s seat for a conference title, UCA coach Steve Campbell is not concerned about records or rankings.
“We’re not giving any thought about rankings,” he said. “Those things are out of our control, so there is no sense worrying about it. We have to make sure we control what we can control. As long as we keep winning, the other stuff will take care of itself.”
What is he telling his players, who no doubt are aware of rankings and records?
“We tell them how quickly how things can change, how you have to be ready ever week in the Southland Conference,” he said. “We have to concentrate of winning football games and that comes from great preparation every week. The outside noise is great for fans but we have to focus and make sure we are ready to play.”
He has respect for the Cardinals, whom he says are better than their record.
“They have some of the best and quickest backs in the league,” he said. “They are very dangerous in the return game so we will have to be good on special teams.”
“There are 25 statistical categories and UCA is in the top three in every one of them,” said Incarnate Word coach Larry Kennan, who has built the program from scratch. Their offense is good, their defense is very good, their special teams are good and they don’t turn the ball over. They recruit well, they have a good place to recruit and they do a good job of coaching.”
The Cardinals are on the final leg of a brutal swing in which they will play the top teams in the league — Sam Houston State, Nicholls and McNeese State — on successive weeks.
“Life goes on,” said Kennan.