Sunday, August 1, 2010

Part 2: Sunflower League Schedules

I will be doing a four part series breaking down each Sunflower League team's regular season schedule. The teams in each part of the series will be as follows:

Part 1: Olathe East, SM Northwest, SM North
Part 2: SM West, Lawrence Free State, SM South
Part 3: Olathe North, Olathe Northwest, Lawrence
Part 4: Olathe South, SM East, Leavenworth

Part 2

SM West
2010 Regular Season

9/3 @ Olathe North
9/10 SM Northwest
9/17 @ Lawrence Free State
9/24 @ Olathe Northwest
10/1 SM North
10/7 Lawrence
10/14 @ SM South
10/22 SM East
10/29 @ Blue Valley North

Projected Over/Under wins: 7.5

Notes: The Vikings play back-to-back Thursday night games on 10/7 and 10/14 ... five of the team's games will be played at Shawnee Mission South District Stadium.

Potential Trouble: Five weeks out it looks like SM West will be playing their toughest regular season opponent in week one--the defending Class 6A champion Olathe North Eagles. Bear in mind, it will also be Olathe North's first game and neither team will be at peak form, but it's not easy preparing for the defending state champs of Olathe North's caliber without in-season game film.

Biggest Game: Once again, the opener against Olathe North comes to mind. A win would end the Eagle's 13 game winning streak, and firmly establish SM West as the team to beat in the Sunflower League. Another big game for the Vikes could be their October 22 matchup against SM East, where they will try to extend their double digit win streak against the Lancers.

Lawrence Free State
2010 Regular Season

9/3 Olathe South
9/10 @ Leavenworth
9/17 SM West
9/24 @ SM North
10/1 SM East
10/8 @ Olathe East
10/15 Olathe Northwest
10/21 @ Olathe North
10/29 @Lawrence

Projected Over/Under wins:

Notes: The Firebirds play one Thursday night game (10/29) ... the team will travel to five different stadiums for away games.

Potential Trouble: On paper, Free State has the most difficult schedule of any team in the Sunflower League. The Firebirds play all five of the top ranked teams in my Preseason Power Rankings, and they end district play with two road games in what should be hostile environments.

Biggest Game: Free State visits cross town rival Lawrence High in the last week of the season, and a playoff berth could be riding on the outcome. The Firebirds have won the annually rivalry the past four seasons, but it will be their first trip to Lawrence High's new stadium, and the environment will be intense.

SM South
2010 Regular Season

9/3 @ Olathe Northwest
9/9 SM North
9/17 @ Lawrence
9/23 @ Olathe South
10/1 @ SM Northwest
10/8 Leavenworth
10/14 SM West
10/22 @ Blue Valley North
10/29 @ SM East

Projected Over/Under wins: 3.5

Notes: The Raiders play three Thursday night games (9/9, 9/23, 10/14) ... the team also plays six "away" games, which is more than any other team in the league.

Potential Trouble: The early part of SM South's schedule isn't brutal, but the middle chunk of the season will give us a good taste of just how good the team is. They play at Olathe South in week four, and at SM Northwest in week five. Following a game against Leavenworth, the Raiders host SM West in the first game of district play. The results of this block of games will be a good preview at to whether or not SM South has the talent to claim a playoff spot.

Biggest Game: In the second week of the season SM South will host the Indians from SM North. While this game doesn't have playoff implications, it will be huge in terms of momentum. With a win, SM South has reason to believe they can be as good if not better than the 3-6 team from last year. A loss to the district rival would hurt the Raiders chances to win more than three games.

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