|Olathe South's Russell White. KC Star.|
2. Lawrence (0-0): The Chesty Lions handled SM West pretty easily in week one last year. Do the same this year and it will validate LHS, because we know SM West is going to be much improved from 2011. More than anything LHS will be praying that the injury bug that has plagued them in recent years is gone.
3. Olathe East (0-0): Olathe East has won 12 of their last 13 season-opening games. The Hawks will come prepared to win--the fact that the first game is against rival Olathe South just provides more incentive for the team.
4. Lawrence Free State (0-0): The Firebirds have spent the majority of their offseason practicing on turf but their first game will be on the grass at CBAC against Olathe Northwest. I'm not expecting a change in the potency of the Kyle McFarland led offense, however.
5. SM West (0-0): The Vikings were embarrassed in week one at Lawrence last season, yet they still managed a solid seven-win season and Sectional berth. You know they're chomping at the bit for a chance to dim LHS' preseason expectations, just a bit, early on.
6. Olathe North (0-0): Game One of the Gene Wier Era Part II is at a stadium (the new SM North District Stadium) that didn't exist the last time Wier was coaching at Olathe North. It will be the first of many nuances around the league for the coaching legend.
7. SM East (0-0): There's nothing like taking on your rival in week one. The Lancers will be dressed in all black and SM South in all white. This will be Jordan Darling's first chance to make an impression on the league.
8. SM South (0-0): See SM East. The Raiders' schedule is manageable this year and nothing would get things started on the right foot like a victory against their rival. That 95th Street border gets more and more intense with each student who transfers or is denied transfer, between the two schools.
9. Leavenworth (0-0): Leavenworth has preseason expectations for the first time in over a decade. How the Pioneers do in the early part of their schedule (at SM North, SM South, SM Northwest) will be key.
10. Olathe Northwest (0-0): The Ravens will have to play to their strength, the offensive line, early on in 2012. How effectively they can establish a run game to keep possessions away from Free State's offense could be essential in week one.
11. SM Northwest (0-0): The Cougars may be sitting very low in terms of expectations but the program is in good hands under new head coach Linn Hibbs and there's really no telling how soon they could possibly click and surprise us all.
12. SM North (0-0): The good thing about starting the season at the bottom of the Power Rankings is that there's only one way to go--up. That's cliché but the Indians have a week one opponent in Leavenworth who they're familiar with and you know Dennis Grayless' team will come prepared for a dogfight.