Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunflower League Week Eight Review

SM West's Andre Maloney (left)
defends a pass intended for SM East's
Connor Rellihan. KC Star.
Three Up

SM West
The Vikings kept possession of the Nut Cup and defeated their biggest rival on Friday night.  In doing so, they also put themselves in favorable position to land one of the top two playoff seeds in 6A East and potentially win the Sunflower League title outright with a win this week.

Olathe East
The Hawks' 30-point domination of Blue Valley Northwest was an impressive all-around victory over a solid team from the EKL.  They can claim a district championship and sneak in as the number four seed in 6A East if they beat SM South this week.

SM Northwest
Not only did they throttle their rival, but SM Northwest ended a six-game losing streak and kept their playoff hopes alive with their victory against SM North.

Three Down

Olathe Northwest
The most disheartening thing about the Ravens' loss was that they actually led by 11 points heading into the fourth quarter. Their offense was impressive, but once again it was their ineffective defense which came back to bite them.

SM North
It's been a long season for the Indians and the loss to rival SM Northwest by 28 points didn't help the cause.  They have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. 

After a promising 3-1 start the Pioneers have lost four straight games.  The latest defeats to Lawrence and Free State have been blowouts and they've been eliminated from playoff contention.

Week Eight Players of the Week

Kelby Quint, SM Northwest: Quint has been a productive back all season but his best game of the year came on Friday against SM North when he carried the ball 30 times for 194 yards and four touchdowns.

Russell White, Olathe South: Emerging in the latter part of the season, much the way Jordan Ward did last year, White rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns against Olathe Northwest.

Week Nine Power Rankings

1. Lawrence Free State (7-1): Free State had three interceptions on defense against Leavenworth, flexing their season total to a league-leading 14.  Their defensive coverage is going to have to be lights out again this Friday when they take on LHS in the biggest Sunflower League game of the year thus far.

2. SM West (7-1): The Vikings might be the league's most improved team since week one.  By far their most improved player has been quarterback AJ Verdini who helped to sink SM East last Friday by completing eight of 13 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns. 

3. Lawrence (7-1): Quarterback Brad Strauss added some love for his Simone campaign by combining for five touchdowns and 192 yards in barely a half of work against Wyandotte.  He and the rest of the Chesty Lions have a chance to make a huge statement this Friday when they take on crosstown rival Free State.

4. SM East (6-2): The Lancers performed well for three quarters against SM West but in the end they couldn't keep the momentum going.  Not having injured safety David Sosna in the game didn't do the Lancers any favors, as they gave up two touchdowns on long pass plays.

5. Olathe South (5-3): The Falcons could have lost on Friday and still been in position to make the playoffs with a win, but that's neither here nor there.  The real quandary is why Olathe South--with so much talent and a roster budding with experience--has played so average the past four weeks.

6. Olathe East (4-4): The Hawks have qualified for the playoffs, officially, so this week's game will be all about trying to build some more momentum.  From a pride standpoint, Olathe East needs to win two more games to extend their streak of winning seasons to 13 years.

7. SM South (4-4): I guarantee you the Raiders didn't want to see their playoff hopes coming down to this week nine tussle with Olathe East.  That being said, they're lucky to still be in playoff contention after playing such an error-prone game late last Thursday, on top of missing so many starters due to injuries.  Hopefully Gabe Guild will be close to 100% this week so both teams can put their best foot forward.

8. Olathe North (2-6): Olathe North's playoff prospects are pretty simple.  Beat Olathe South and you're in, lose and you're out.  It's been a long and trying season for this young group of Eagles but they can put a silver lining on things by having a big game this Friday.

9. Leavenworth (3-5): The Pioneers have been eliminated from playoff contention but in terms of pride they have a big game on the line against Wyandotte.  With a victory Leavenworth can record their first four-win season since 2004.  Missing the playoffs is no fun, but a four win season would be something for the program to build on.

10. Olathe Northwest (2-6): The Ravens have been eliminated from playoff contention.  I hope, by all means, that they throw out every passing formation, gadget and trick play they have left in the playbook this week against Gardner-Edgerton. 

11. SM Northwest (2-6): The Cougars can still make the playoffs if they beat SM West on Friday and some things go their way in the points category with SM East.  While that seems unlikely, they do have something to build off of following their victory against SM North.

12. SM North (0-8): The Indians look relegated the the cellar but they could still go out with a splash if they played out of their minds and managed to give SM East a competitive game this week.

Social Media Standings

Follow me @eliunderwood.  I will follow you back.  Teams that have the most interaction during the week (follows, Retweets, Tweets @eliunderwood, Favorites, comments, etc.) earn the most cred on the social media standings.  I also factor in how solid each team's student section is at the games.

The most interactive Tweeters from each school get their username's listed below their school.  I would strongly encourage you to follow these users because of their high volume of interactivity.

1. Olathe South Falcons

The Falcons are still holding onto the number one spot, but Lawrence is making a strong push, as is SM West and in some respects Free State and SM East.  The Falcons continue to bring it strong in the stands though, probably more so than any other school in the league.  Their Twitter efforts have fluctuated with the team's efforts of late, but they're still tops in the league.

2. Lawrence Chesty Lions

Lawrence isn't a notorious title town for nothing.  The Chesty Lions fans have increased interaction every week to the point that they're close to jumping into the number one spot.  What's more, they host Free State this week in the biggest regular season game of the year in the league.  I'll be there to see how much noise they can produce.

3. SM West Vikings 

The Nordic Nasties are still hanging around at the three spot.  Their in-game volume could use a little work as a whole, but they consistently get after it on Twitter, which is important.  They have a quasi-rivalry coming up this Friday with SM Northwest and I'm anxious to see how that all plays out.

Others: @A_Kiss18, @big_ChiefD, @810Varsity, @asheridan7, @hovpen, @SMS_Football, @K1Suellentrop8, @pblackburn46, @baykun, @reidbuckingham, @kcnickmccabe, @todpalmer, @SME_Harbinger, @KeithLonekerSr, @sshellackk, @MackH0ar, @kellydinkc, @wooddog7, @MaxNelsonn


TheImpaler said...

TheImpaler’s 8 point plan to reform KSHSAA football:

1. We will not reclassify schools every year or every other year upsetting competitive continuity for minor shifts in enrollment/population. We will reclassify only every four or five years.

2. We will eliminate class 6A. Actually we’ll eliminate class 5A but we’ll call the new large class ‘5A’.

3. We will take the top 16 schools from the current 5A and combine them with 6A to make a new 48 team class. To be honest, other states (MO) consider our 6A championship a joke because it’s only 32 schools. The 16 smaller current 5A schools will drop to 4A.

4. We will have 8 6-team districts in the new class 5A. Teams will play their last 5 games against district opponents. Districts will similarly be assigned for four or five years to coincide with reclassification. The top two teams from each district will make the playoffs.

5. Top teams in each district will be determined as follows: 1. District record 2. Head to head (if applicable) 3. Overall record 4. Point differential in district games (maximum 28 per game, 13 is ludicrous.) 5. Point differential in all games 6. Points scored in district games 7. Points scored in all games 8. Random draw

6. Teams will be seeded 1 through 16 and bracketed without regard to geography or district. The higher seeded team will ALWAYS be the host team in every round.

7. Other then the 5 district games, teams can schedule other league teams or smaller teams in their own school districts in 4 games and must play 1 out of conference game preferably against a team from the other side of the state or out of state for a total of 10 games.

8. Classification will be done PRIMARILY by enrollment but minor adjustments may be made by the board to keep teams in the same class as other teams in their districts, for instance, St. Thomas Aquinas might be move up to the new 5A in place of say Great Bend. Only minor movements will be made…Bishop Miege goes to 4A. Sorry stags.


Btw, how does one run for KSHSAA president?

TheImpaler said...

The current top 48 enrollment schools in KS:

Wichita-East 2276
Olathe East 2087
Olathe North 2068
Wichita-North 2050
Garden City 2032
Olathe South 1994
Derby 1918
Dodge City 1804
Shawnee Mission-West 1800
Topeka-Washburn Rural 1787
Shawnee Mission-Northwest 1787
Olathe Northwest 1784
Shawnee Mission-East 1766
Junction City 1737
Topeka 1665
OP-Blue Valley Northwest 1646
Wichita-Southeast 1626
Manhattan 1619
Wichita-Haysville Campus 1538
OP-Blue Valley North 1536
Shawnee Mission-North 1506
Lawrence 1490
Wichita-South 1485
Lawrence-Free State 1481
Maize 1442
Hutchinson 1421
Wichita-Heights 1398
Stilwell-Blue Valley 1391
Kansas City-Wyandotte 1381
Wichita-Northwest 1378
Gardner-Edgerton 1371
OP-Blue Valley West 1336
Leavenworth 1333
Shawnee Mission South 1325
Wichita-West 1320
Shawnee-Mill Valley 1222
Liberal 1208
Topeka-Seaman 1179
Wichita-Bishop Carroll 1178
Kansas City-JC Harmon 1171
Emporia 1167
Tecumseh-Shawnee Heights 1129
Salina-South 1107
Kansas City-Turner 1102
Topeka-West 1010
Newton 1007
Great Bend 984
OP-Blue Valley Southwest 977

Slugger said...


I don't disagree with your plan, but FYI, Missouri class 6 has 4 - 8 team districts for a total of 32 teams. Missouri class 5 has 8 - 6 team districts for a total of 48 teams.

Seth Nation said...

Question for Eli: Say LHS and SMW both win Friday, Who is #1 in your power rankings? Do you use a head to head tie breaker, or do you account for the magnitude of the game this week in Lawrence?

It's going to be a great game in Lawrence for sure...

Oh yeah pulling for SMNW this week in the upset, probably ain't going to happen but would be nice!

Seth Nation said...

Question for Eli: Say LHS and SMW both win Friday, Who is #1 in your power rankings? Do you use a head to head tie breaker, or do you account for the magnitude of the game this week in Lawrence?

It's going to be a great game in Lawrence for sure...

Oh yeah pulling for SMNW this week in the upset, probably ain't going to happen but would be nice!

What Do I Know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Magnitude of the game? C'mon man! It's not any bigger than SMW and SME last week. Rooting for LFS this week! West was underrated all year because of everyone's preception that OS was better than they were. Last year's state champ team, was last year. Graduation does have an impact!

Seth Nation said...

Are you kidding me. It is hands down the game of the year. Each team is less than a touchdown away from being undefeated and most likely #1 in state. 2 best teams in the sunflower easily clashing on the last Friday night. C'mon man this is what it's all about.

Seth Nation said...

Are you kidding me. It is hands down the game of the year. Each team is less than a touchdown away from being undefeated and most likely #1 in state. 2 best teams in the sunflower easily clashing on the last Friday night. C'mon man this is what it's all about.

TheImpaler said...

Seth, you lost to SMW. No matter how you try to spin it you lost to SMW. Also LFS lost to OS who lost to SME. There is very little to separate LAW, LFS, SMW and SME. Right now I think SMW may be playing the best of the four but still LAW-LFS is certainly as big but no bigger than SME-SMW was other in that SMW-SME already happened. Lawrence schools do not have a legitimate claim to be the two best schools, they haven't proven that on the field yet. I'm not really sure who I want to win this game, wich I could go but I've got a concert that night. If LFS wins SMW is solo league champ but falls to 2 seed, if LAW wins we're the 1 seed but have to share league championship. I guess I'd rather have Lawrence win but I think Free State is the more complete team. Should be a great game anyway.

Seth Nation said...

You absolutely correct, we did lose that game. I'm not trying to spin it either way. Everybody had to play in that same weather that night and SMW made some big plays. No doubt about it.

Cannot for the playoffs to start, and hoping LAW gets another crack at SMW. I have no doubt it will be a great game. I do believe it will be an entirely different outcome.

Go Lions!

What Do I Know? said...

smw plays football like the U.

Free State Fan said...

Imp - lots of great points and thoughts, I agree with almost all of them (#3 will never happen - even the 5A's don't want to mess with the majority of 6A. Wyandotte is your perfect example.)Plus, KSHSAA will never do anything of the sort. They and the AD's are too comfortable. Short, 3-week playoffs and everyone is done by Thanksgiving. The best shot is to have four, 8-team districts; round-robin play; two out of district games; etc.

For the SMW-SME rivalry vs. the LFS and LAW rivalry. It's comparing apples to oranges - different histories, etc. What makes Lawrence cool is that these are the only two schools in town, so it is the city championship, so to speak. Even if the teams were 1-7 instead of 7-1, it would still be a big deal. LFS has only been around for 16 years and there are still people that don't like the fact there was another school built in town. Destroyed the dynasty at LAW, so on and so forth. It is a very big deal here and the town really rallies around both schools for this. Contrary to what you might think, I actually root FOR LAW as long as they are not playing LFS, then it is all 'Birds baby! GO Free State!!!!!

SMS watcher said...

Rivalries between the only 2 high schools in a city are special and anything can happen. Is the LAW/LFS game televised so it can be recorded? I dont see any listings so I thought I would ask here. Ill be at CBAC Friday-

Eli Underwood said...

I like Impaler's reform plan. The only two minor considerations for ammendment:

1. Hosting may be an issue. What if, for instance, you have SM East (the furthest east 6A team, geographically) playing at Garden City (the furthest west 6A team, geographically)? That's like a six or seven hour drive. It would be very difficult for teams to accommodate those kinds of travels demands, and it would mean that the traveling team would all but lose a day of practice.

2. You would also have to consider a 14-game schedule for a potential state championship run. That gets taxing, especially in a state like Kansas where many teams don't run platoon systems. Texas can pull it off (I think the Texas state title game is usually the 16th game of the season) because their high schools are basically small colleges and they have the depth. I know Missouri has recently moved to this format as well, but it is indeed taxing.

SMEaster1214 said...

@vikingstudent, so you're saying they break the rules...a lot?!?

SMEaster1214 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunflower football news said...

@vikingstudent ---

I had read your comment the other day "we demand respect." Having read that, I was wondering if you were aware of the great history the West Vikings Football team has accomplished?

Demanding respect is one thing, earning it is another my friend. Since the late 60s-70s & 80s, the Viking Football team has been regarded both Sunflower and State wide as a great team. Although early on, like most schools, the Vikings started slow, but decisions early on in the schools infancy made it a great program. Under the hiring of Ret. Dick Purdy, and Harold Wambsgans, both high respected coaches built West' reputation to what it is today.

Yes, SMW has had their share of down years too, like any other school in the league. One of the best things to ever happen to the program was long time Coach/AD Nip Shepard made one of the greatest hires in school history outside of SME's Chip Sherman by getting Tim Callaghan away from Olathe North under Gene Weir in 2003. That being said, Callaghan has had an impressive 8 of 9 winning seasons since he began his tenure. Respect definitely earned.

In recent time, SMW is regarded highly by your four other sister schools programs. Thank ON for the benefits of what your program has today! The Football lineage is very strong and you should be proud of it as well. All I can do is laugh at your demand comment because there is a lot to learn about one's Football program in general, both past, present, and future.


Kevin, SMSD Alumni

What Do I Know? said...

Yeah!!! Nice guys finish last!

What Do I Know? said...

Lol ok I'm going to disregard your comment, we were ranked behind Lawrence after we beat them, that's all I meant. And believe me our football team doesn't get the respect they deserve. See ya

What Do I Know? said...

Yeah!!! Nice guys finish last!