Ahh, the new format that everyone has been waiting for is finally set.
When the Kansas State High School Activities Association announced the playoff change, I was really excited. Coming from Topeka, I saw Topeka High go up against some of the toughest competition right off the bat coming out of district play. For example, the Trojans were 8-1 in the regular season with the lone loss coming to Free State in rainy conditions (as my suit might remember). That defeat came in week nine of the season. So, naturally, who do the Trojans get in the first round? The team that won last year’s Class 6A state championship, the Derby Panthers.
So, an alteration was needed because if the new format was in place a year ago, Topeka would have been near the top, hosting a first-round game against a below .500 team instead of a road trip to the 6A champs. But, this format shouldn’t be applied to just the higher classes.
I truly believe that each class should be ranked one through 16 in two divisions. This would solve an issue at the Class 3A level where teams play Thursday, Tuesday and Saturday. Three games in the limited time span doesn’t bode well for the athletes. On top of that, the competition would be superb and prevent any water-down effect.
Just a thought. Alright, time for the rankings. OH, and I’m predicting each game for the playoffs for 6A and 5A. Every week, I send a ballot to Tim McGonagle of Kansas Prep Football, ranking high school football teams.
East week nine winners – Blue Valley, Olathe South, Blue Valley North, SM East, Olathe NW, Lawrence, Olathe North
West week nine winners – Derby, Wichita NW, Hutchinson, Junction City, Manhattan, Washburn Rural, Garden City, Free State
East regional winners – Blue Valley, Blue Valley North, SM East, Lawrence
West regional winners – Derby, Junction City, Manhattan, Garden City
East sectional winners – Blue Valley, SM East
West sectional winners – Derby, Garden City
East champion – Shawnee Mission East
West champion – Derby
6A state champion – Derby
East week nine winners – KC Schlagle, St. James, Pittsburg, Mill Valley, Seaman, KC Turner, Aquinas, Bonner Springs
West week nine winners – Wichita Heights, Liberal, Goddard, Bishop Carroll, Great Bend, Andover, Valley Center, Maize
East regional winners – St. James, Mill Valley, Seaman, Aquinas
West regional winners – Wichita Heights, Bishop Carroll, Great Bend, Valley Center
East sectional winners – St. James, Seaman
West sectional winners – Wichita Heights, Great Bend
East champion – Seaman
West champion – Great Bend
5A state champion – Great Bend
1. Derby (8-0)
2. Blue Valley (8-0)
3. Shawnee Mission East (7-1)
4. Miege (7-1)
5. Garden City (8-0)
6. Manhattan (8-0)
7. Great Bend (7-1)
8. Wichita Heights (7-1)
9. Bishop Carroll (6-2)
10. Goddard (7-1)
Quick hits: Really nothing crazy this week. The battle for the WAC championship was certainly a dandy as Garden City edged Great Bend in overtime. I think we learned quite a bit about both teams, going into the new playoff system this week.
Class 6A – FINAL
1. Derby (8-0) – 53-o over Campus
2. Blue Valley (8-0) – 45-34 over Aquinas
3. Shawnee Mission East (7-1) – 54-0 over SM West
4. Garden City (8-0) – 21-14 over Great Bend
5. Manhattan (8-0) – 45-21 over Blue Valley NW
Quick hits: These are my final rankings as we go into the playoffs for Class 6A. As you can tell, no real movement outside of Garden City moving up a spot.
Class 5A – FINAL
1. Great Bend (7-1) – 21-14 loss to Garden City
2. Wichita Heights (7-1) – 55-27 over Wichita South
3. Bishop Carroll (6-2) – 25-3 over Kapaun
4. Goddard (7-1) – 62-20 over Newton
5. Seaman (6-2) – 20-13 loss to Junction City
Quick hits: Class 5A is such a headache. And on so many levels. I can’t tell you how difficult it was to sort out the playoff predictions above. I really took teams that I liked and placed them in a hat. I pulled out Mill Valley, St. James, Seaman and Aquinas in the East. West is a bit clearer, but still, Class 5A is such a crapshoot. The West will be a battle with four of the top five teams being in the west.
1. Bishop Miege (7-1) – 50-0 over De Soto
2. Buhler (7-1) – 48-6 over El Dorado
3. Andale (7-1) – 63-14 over Towando-Circle
4. Basehor-Linwood (8-0) – 42-12 over Atchison
5. Maize South (7-1) – 41-18 over Rose Hill
Quick hits: Abilene stumbles out of the top five after a surprising loss to 1-6 Hays. The Cowboys have McPherson this week and the Bullpups are quietly 6-2 this season with a pair of losses to Maize South and Buhler. Basehor-Linwood continues to climb and could be a darkhorse once the postseason arrives.
1. Frontenac (8-0) – 21-20 over Columbus
2. Pratt (7-1) – 35-28 over Holcomb
3. Holcomb (7-1) – 35-28 loss to Pratt
4. Columbus (7-1) – 21-20 loss to Frontenac
5. Santa Fe Trail (7-1) – 39-14 over Jeff West
Quick hits: Man, there were some awesome games this week for Class 4A-II. With losses by Holcomb and Columbus, Frontenac and Pratt take the top two spots. Santa Fe Trail has a gigantic matchup with Holton this Friday. Postseason elimination is on the line.
1. Silver Lake (8-0) – 21-19 over Perry-Lecompton
2. Rossville (7-1) – 63-10 over St. Marys
3. Hoisington (8-0) – 56-27 over Larned
4. Phillipsburg (8-0) – 36-13 over Norton
5. Nemaha Central (8-0) – 53-0 over Riverside
Quick hits: Perry-Lecompton has been such a thorn in the side for Silver Lake. Since those two schools started playing in 2014, the Kaws have been right there to try and knock off the Eagles. Last year, it was an overtime loss. This year, it was a two-point defeat. Silver Lake survives.
1. Troy (8-0) – 38-12 over Jefferson County North
2. Lyndon (8-0) – 20-7 over Chase County
3. Meade (7-1) – 54-14 over Elkhart
4. Plainville (7-1) – 48-0 over Ellis
T5. Washington County (6-2) – 28-14 over Wabaunsee
T5. Smith Center (6-2) – 40-7 over Republic County
Quick hits: No surprises last week. Still think Washington County and Smith Center both deserved to be ranked. So, a tie is created once more.
Class 8-Man D-I
1. Spearville (8-0) – 56-6 over Leoti-Wichita Co.
2. St. Francis (7-0) – 57-0 over Quinter
3. Burlingame (8-0) – 46-0 over Rural Vista
4. Central Plains (8-0) – 58-0 over St. John
5. Osborne (8-0) – 68-20 over Bennington
Quick hits: Are playoffs here yet? I just want to see these five teams slug it out on the gridiron.
Class 8-Man D-II
1. Hanover (7-0) – 54-8 over Wakefield
2. Dighton (8-0) – 58-8 over Hodgeman County
3. Pike Valley (7-1) – 40-34 over Beloit St. Johns-Tipton
4. Hartford (7-1) – 62-6 over Norwich
5. South Barber (7-1) – 57-10 over Ashland
Quick hits: Pike Valley had the biggest win over the weekend by edging Beloit St. Johns-Tipton. That allowed South Barber to appear in the rankings for the first time this season.