Expectations are funny in sports.
The New England Patriots were supposed to go undefeated this year. The Kansas State Wildcats finally had the pieces to compete for a potential College Football Playoff appearance. The Kansas Jayhawks weren’t supposed to be the worst team in the Big 12 Conference.
Nope, nope and nope.
The Kansas City Chiefs are the last undefeated team standing in the NFL following a 42-34 victory over the Houston Texans. “Game manager” Alex Smith is playing like the best quarterback in the league. Kansas City is 5-0 despite injuries to Eric Berry and multiple offensive linemen.
KU football is still, well, KU football. Kansas’ strength this year was supposed to be the defense. The Jayhawks have given up 208 points in the last four games. Opponents are averaging 570 yards of total offense in the last four contests. All of this is happening with the preseason Big 12 defensive player of the year in Dorance Armstrong. Oh, and a transfer quarterback isn’t panning out well in Lawrence? Called me shocked. (I’m not really surprised with Peyton Bender)
After a 9-4 season that ended with a 33-28 win over SEC’s Texas A&M, optimism was there for Kansas State. Simply put, the Wildcats haven’t played well in the last three games. K-State wide receivers have little to no confidence. QB Jesse Ertz is banged up and the front seven is just a bit off. All of those positive thoughts have evaporated with a huge match up with TCU looming.
I’m not giving up on Kansas State yet, but I’ve given up on the Hawks until KU replaces defensive coordinator Clint Bowen.
Time now for the rankings, sent to Tim McGonagle of Kansas Prep Football.
1. Free State (6-0) – 42-14 win over Olathe Northwest
2. Shawnee Mission East (5-1) – 43-14 win over Olathe East
3. Derby (5-1) – 34-0 win over Salina Central
4. Wichita Northwest (5-1) – 36-23 win over Garden City
5. Manhattan (5-1) – 42-12 win over Junction City
Quick hits: No movement, but incredible jobs by Derby, Wichita Northwest and Manhattan this season. All had some pretty big blunders, but still bouncing back to all be 5-1 at this point of the season. Manhattan claimed the Centennial League championship with a giant victory over rival Junction City.
1. Goddard (6-0) – 44-21 win over Ark City
2. St. Thomas Aquinas (5-1) – 34-14 win over St. James
3. Bishop Carroll (5-1) – 42-6 win over Wichita South
4. St. James (5-1) – 34-14 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas
5. Shawnee Heights (5-1) – 27-14 win over Hayden
Quick hits: Class 5A just doesn’t have strength this year. Not only did Valley Center lose last week, but the Hornets were blasted by Eisenhower. I like Maize, but I don’t feel the Eagles are a strong 5-1. That same belief is true for Shawnee Heights, but I give the Thunderbirds the edge. Be on the lookout for Wichita Heights, a team that has won four straight and looking for number five versus Bishop Carroll this week.
1. Bishop Miege (6-0) – 54-21 win over Mill Valley
2. De Soto (6-0) – 42-0 win over Baldwin
3. Buhler (5-1) – 24-6 win over Augusta
4. Maize South (5-1) – 49-21 win over Winfield
5. McPherson (5-1) – 35-0 win over Rose Hill
Quick hits: Miege, Miege, Miege…I’m falling asleep every time I check Class 4A-I scores.
1. Scott City (6-0) – 28-6 win over Wellington
2. Pratt (6-0) – 39-30 win over Halstead
3. Columbus (5-1) – 33-29 loss to Galena
4. Holcomb (5-1) – 21-0 win over Lakin
5. Smoky Valley (5-1) – 22-0 win over Lyons
Quick hits: Adam Kadavy is cracking a joke somewhere. The voice of the Beavers is enjoying every second of 2017 as Scott City takes over the top spot after Columbus’ defeat to undefeated Galena. Nickerson and Concordia both fell out of the top five. Smoky Valley is in the top five for the first time this year.
1. Silver Lake (6-0) – 41-14 win over Riley County
2. Nemaha Central (6-0) – 30-13 win over Perry-Lecompton
3. Phillipsburg (6-0) – 34-6 win over Larned
4. Conway Springs (6-0) – 44-13 win over Mulvane
5. Sabetha (6-0) – 57-8 win over ACCHS
Quick hits: Lookout for the Nemaha County showdown this Friday. Nemaha Central and Sabetha clash for a gigantic tilt that has district and Big Seven League implications.
1. Smith Center (5-1) – 33-7 win over Ellis
2. Lyndon (6-0) – 30-17 win over Osage City
3. Jefferson County North (6-0) – 12-6 win over Christ Prep
4. Ell-Saline (5-0) – No contest at Sterling
5. Valley Heights (6-0) – 48-0 win over Oswego
Quick hits: I was a little disappointed to not see Ell-Saline’s game completed. It was a 14-6 lead for the Cardinals before the game was originally moved to Saturday. For those who haven’t seen Lyndon, go watch the Tigers. Dex Swinehart is an exceptional athlete that does it all.
1. Burlingame (6-0) – 48-0 win over Clifton-Clyde
2. Spearville (6-0) – 58-8 win over Ness City
3. Osborne (5-1) – 44-10 win over Logan-Palco
4. St. Francis (5-1) – 40-32 loss to Rawlins County
5. Hoxie (5-1) – 54-0 win over Quinter
Quick hits: Rawlins County shook up the polls this week when the Buffaloes pulled off the upset versus Saint Francis. That allows the mighty Bearcats of Burlingame to move up to No. 1. Head coach Jeff Slater is a great guy and has that program rolling this year.
1. Hanover (6-0) – 62-0 win over Blue Valley Randolph
2. Pike Valley (5-0) – Leads Rock Hills 22-6, game to be finished Mon.
3. Hutchinson Central Christian (6-0) – 68-8 win over Hartford
4. Hodgeman County (5-1) – 52-6 win over Brewster
5. Otis-Bison (5-1) – 50-0 win over Greeley County
Quick hits: No movement once again. Hanover is still the favorite by a landslide.