Monday, September 24, 2012

Week Four Review & Social Media Standings

SM East's twin linebackers, Sam and David Stewart,
celebrated after the Lancers's 3-0 victory over Olathe
South on Thursday night.  Photo courtesy Jake
Crandall, SME Harbinger.
Three Up

SM East
It remains to be seen how the rest of this season plays out, but the Lancers' shutout of Olathe South on Thursday was the hallmark win the program was looking for.  It should provide a huge momentum boost as SM East attempts to go undefeated through the regular season to claim the top playoff seed in 6A East.

The Pioneers have played the easiest schedule in the league so far.  But you know what?  They've also won won three of four against relatively evenly matched teams.  They've played to their potential, for the most part, and that's something we can't say for many of the other league teams.

SM West
In the preseason we said the Vikings needed to go 2-2 in their first four games to really have a successful regular season.  Well, they did better than that, going 3-1 and they've looked pretty solid in the process.

Three Down

Olathe South
The Falcons couldn't have asked for a better performance from their defense, as they only gave up three points to one of the league's best offenses.  What hurt them was their unfamiliarity with their passing game, the product of having only thrown 11 passes in the previous three games.

Olathe East
The Hawks are in unprecedented waters at 1-3, and save a huge letdown, SM East is looking like a heavy favorite to hand Olathe East their fourth loss of the season this Friday.  Olathe East has only lost more than three games once in the past nine seasons.

Olathe Northwest
The Ravens just haven't been able to develop anything on the defensive side of the football.  It was their achilles heel last year, and it looks like it's their major problem again this year at 0-4.

Week Four Players of the Week

Gabe Guild, SM South: Guild notched his second 300-yard rushing game of his career on Friday night, totaling exactly 300 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries.  He also had a catch for 21 yards.  Anytime you beak the 300-yard barrier you're going to find a spot on the Players of the Week list.

Jason Randall, Leavenworth: After a quiet couple of weeks Randall burst into the limelight again, rushing for 242 yards and two touchdowns in helping his team take a late victory against Olathe Northwest.  It's the second time he's rushed for over 200 yards in a single game this season.

Remington Whitley, Olathe South:  While his team didn't come out on top, Whitley, the defending Defensive Player of the Year in the Sunflower League, combined for 20 tackles (solo and assisted) Thursday against SM East.  The stats weren't hyperbole either, as his efforts on the inside shut down SM East's running lanes for most of the night.

Week Five Power Rankings

1. SM East (4-0): I believe this is the first time a Shawnee Mission school has ever graced the top spot in the Power Rankings.  The Lancers have earned it; their real challenge now is playing at an elite level week after week and not having any letdowns.  It's not easy having the target on your back.

2. Olathe South (3-1): I would argue that Olathe South's one loss in 2011 to Blue Valley Northwest actually helped the team in their effort to win the state title.  We may be looking back on their week four loss to SM East with similar sentiment later this year.

3. Lawrence Free State (3-1): Free State needs to shore up their defense if they want to do anything in the playoffs this year.  They'll still win a ton of games simply because they have more talent, but they won't do anything in the playoffs if they can't slow teams down.

4. SM West (3-1):  SM West has the run game figured out like they always do.  If quarterback AJ Verdini can come up with solid performances the way he did on Friday (8-16, 106 yards and 2 TDs) the Vikings should finish the regular season with no less than seven wins. 

5. Lawrence (3-1): Lawrence is quietly picking up steam. The Chesty Lions will host an angry Olathe South team this Friday, but I think they'll be able to score more than three points against the Falcons.  The real question is what they do on defense to slow Olathe South.

6. SM South (3-1): The Raiders are going to ride running back Gabe Guild as far as he will take them.  They face a tough test this Friday when they take on SM West, a program who their own offensive and defensive principles are based off of.

7. Olathe East (1-3): I'm not sure if the Hawks don't have the receivers or what this year, but they seem intent on running the football 90% of the time, whether or not they're successful with it.  So far they haven't faired well with the approach and they're a hop, a skip and a jump away from being 1-4.

8. Leavenworth (3-1): The Pioneers have taken full advantage of playing the easiest schedule of any team in the league.  They face an 0-4 Olathe North team this Friday, before their hellacious stretch of SM West, Free State and Lawrence begins.

9. SM Northwest (1-3): SM Northwest has been close in their last two games, but that doesn't earn you anything in the Sunflower League.  The Cougs have a good shot at grabbing their second victory when they host winless Olathe Northwest this Friday. 

10. Olathe North (0-4): I don't blame Gene Wier for getting a personal foul penalty late in the Eagle's loss to Free State--how often do you lose a down because of an officiating/chain gang mistake?  Olathe North showed heart in the loss and I'm sure they'll grab a win here soon.

11. Olathe Northwest (0-4): Essentially playing four straight home games to start the season and the Ravens came away with zero wins?  No soup for you.

12. SM North (0-4): The good news is that the Indians have games against Olathe Northwest and SM Northwest, two teams with a combined record of 1-7, remaining.  The bad news is they still have to play Free State, SM West and SM East, who are a combined 10-2.

Social Media Standings

1. Olathe South Falcons





The Olathe South student section had a brilliant twist on their approach to dressing up for the SM East game on Thursday.  Prairie Village, the suburb SM East is located in, has recently placed a regulation into act that requires permits for "special events" lasting longer than five days, which may snuff out Mike Babick's famed PV Christmas display.  To poke fun at this the Falcon student body dressed in Christmas themed attire for the game.  While their team lost, their fans didn't lose any spots in the Social Media Standings (they put up 159 Retweets on the Game of the Week Poll on Twitter, which was also very impressive).

2. SM East Lancers




The Lancers were highly active on Twitter this past week (putting up an impressive 109 Favorites on the Game of the Week Poll this week on Twitter), much of it having to do with their 3-0 win over Olathe South.  Big wins tend to do that.  We'll see if they can keep up the activity levels as the season continues.

3. SM West Vikings 



I have a request for @vakejance and @kbooger for this Thursday night game against SM South.  I want to see the famed "Parting of the Red Sea" move performed.  Film it, get it on YouTube, and I'll share it with all of the Sunflower League Football Blog's viewers next week.  If it's not possible this week, it'd be great to see it by the end of the season.

Others: @nwatkins2, @Csestrich21, @jstarrr15, @theRev_Carnahan, @jimthejam, @kuhoops83


olathefootballfan said...

Biscuit it's crazy to me too I believe you play for 1 school and you stay at that school. But I am old fashion. just think if Root stayed at Olathe East last year Jordan ward stayed at East last year and Chris Miller... that would have been Myers 1st state championship I believe
You can't let great athletes leave your school without even trying to keep them. I know south did, he would not let one of his running backs go to North

Seth Nation said...

So when LHS beats OS this week I'm taking it they will move up to #2?

TheImpaler said...

#3 at best, seth...they did lose to SMW like it or not. Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for the Lions so we'll have SME-SMW as #1 and #2.

SMS watcher said...

Except that if SMS beats SMW who beat LHS, then, by transitivity, SMS should be 2. LOL. Its all fun and games. That would make the LHS - SMS game more interesting next week.

Who's Your Daddy said...

Olathefootballfan If the average fan knew of the garbage that goes on at Olathe East they would be
disturbed as well. Players leaving a program that they've loved since childhood. The unaccounted money that goes through the booster club. The massive amount of players that don't even come out because of the dinosaurs. Give somebody else a chance to lead this proud program. The players and fans deserve it.

SMS watcher said...

Of course, LFS beating SMW ruins the transitivity argument. They would have a problem with it.

TheImpaler said...

Yes, if Lancers lose to LFS or West, I think you'll see a multi-way tied mess at the top. Don't forget LFS still has to play LAW too. The important thing right now is not to lose that SECOND conference game or you're pretty much out of the discussion. Eli is it first 7 games or last 7 games that count towards confernce championship this year?

SMS watcher said...

Last 7

TheImpaler said...

Excellent so the LFS game doesn't count for West and we can still go 7-0 in conf.

SMS watcher said...

Yes. If you go to kpreps and select Sunflower league, they appear to have the standings correct. SMS and OE are the only 2 teams where all games count

Eli Underwood said...

It's an even year so that means the last seven games (as opposed to the first seven in odd years) against SL opponents count as league games.

LHS: 3-0
LFS: 2-1
LV: 2-1
OE: 1-3
ON: 0-3
ONW: 0-3
OS: 2-1
SME: 2-0
SMN: 0-2
SMNW: 0-2
SMS: 3-1
SMW: 2-0

The Biscuit said...

That's one component of the SFL I've never really cared for. I mean I get it and it makes sense but then why not allow teams to play out of League for 2 games if they're not already playing out of league teams in districts. For instance I'd love to see SME resume their rivalry with Rockhurst. I know most years it wouldn't be pretty but the schools are 5 mins away from each other and most of the kids grow up together.

The Biscuit said...

Or even some of the Topeka schools that we used to play every year before the Olathes. Heck why not travel into MO or Ark and play some teams? I think it'd be a great experience for the kids and parents to play a true road game then get them to come to our houses too. It would only be a positive for the league, to get more exposure and respect.

Sunflower football news said...

I hear ya Biscuit! If only we were the Lancer teams of the 70s under GP we would have been able to see a Lancers/hawklet gridiron matchup!

It would be great to see, and probablyore intense than them wasting a trip to hutch every other year...

TheImpaler said...

I've always contended there should be at least one game left open for every team to schedule a non-conf game. Even if it's East side of KS v. West side. I mean the EKL schools do it most every year playiing Salina schools or Great Bend or whatever. Just have each school make a home and home deal with one of the Western 6A schools. OE-JCT, OS-WHT, SMW-DOD, SME-MAN something like that. Would make the state championship much more interesting I think.

The Biscuit said...

Also the heads at KSHSAA need to pull their collective heads out of their... And add a game to the schedule. A 10 game schedule would be soooo much better and add 2 weeks to the ridiculous preseason practice rules. Oh and spring ball... Lets be real, they've been holding KS football back and it's time get us to respectability amongst national HS football.

4cornerstones said...

the 06 vikes wouldve been at the top of the power rankings...just wait as verdini gains confidence. smeast has no chance.

SMEaster1214 said...

@4cornerstones, really? No chance? At least you're being realistic! You barely beat LHS, lost to LFS at home and, in the last 2 weeks, beat 2 bad teams that are a combined 1-7. Maybe you should worry about SMS & LVN before you systematically write off East.
Oh, & I wasn't going to say this but I guess I will now...Maloney's 2nd TD? Not a TD...he did not retain possession when he hit the ground.

Eli Underwood said...

I think an open week of scheduling to begin the season would really bring the SL more credibility on a regional and nationally scale. The only holdback I see is that it requires a little of extra leg-work on behalf of the ADs... but the league did it through 2003 and it seemed to work just fine.

I plan on writing more about this on Saturday, but think about it. Rockhurst has been flogged on various occasions playing out-of-state games (in '05 they lost to Abilene (TX) 33-14). But has that hurt their image at all? No. If anything people see Rockhurst as a team willing to travel and play the best competition.

Sunflower football news said...

I hear ya Eli, if SME and rock can manage to swap a home and home series in basketball which is our biggest rival school in the whole city outside of our sister school sms each year it would very feasible for any school around, at least geographically. The student-athletes, alumni on the area would like it quite a bit. Outside of SME v rock, I'd love to have an old school road game from our early years in the 60s: SME @ North KC, something like that...

SME v rock, ONW v St. James, and all other scenarios that were played out earlier in the blog. Even some directional inter-league rivals still have a good sound to them. SME v OE, OS v sms etc. Great topic everyone, keep the suggestion box full!

What Do I Know? said...

It'll be a good game.. But got the Vikings coming out on tip. No team in the sunflower league will go undefeated this year.

SMS watcher said...

When I was in high school, Shawnee Mission South and Raytown South used to play. I'm one of the few people who visit this board who can remember when SMS was defending 6A KS State Football champion. Raytown South beat the defending champs in 1976. Shawnee Mission South won in 1977 when Raytown South was temporarily ranked #1 in the city in week 3. It was a fun series.

Of course, there were fewer teams in the Sunflower League back then.

The Biscuit said...

See that's good stuff SMS! That's what I'm talking about! Not only would it elevate our league but open our student athletes up to schools outside the big 12...

Free State Fan said...

I don't believe there is a real solid system to determine the league champion because the league is so big that you can't have a true round-robin. Maybe the front 7, back 7 is as good as any, but I look at some of the teams that play the beasts in the front or back and have a tougher road to claiming a championship. Many schools can claim that one on any given year. It would be a mess with issues, but if the league was split in half, you could round-robin every year and still play 3 teams from the other half - or try to schedule 2 and a West KS school/flex option. Sort of like the Big 12 when it was actually 12 teams. My 2 cents... Go 'Birds!

Free State Fan said...

Second thought with two-6 team divisions... that will never happen, but makes for good bloggin' times... 5 division games, 3 other division games, 1 flex. Rip the idea at will!

Free State Fan said...

Forgive me, I'm on a roll!! How about thinking state-wide and have four, 8-team conferences - 2 east and 2 west? Play two pre-conference games and then your 7 conference games. Way too many issues here too, but it could make sense. Top two from each conference make 8-team playoffs, nice and clean. That way you can't go 0-6, win a couple of district games and sneak into the playoffs when the better teams are left out.