Friday, October 26, 2018

"Playoff Master" Makes Random Predictions

As the undisputed ultimate playoff predicting good boy, it only feels appropriate to go all in this year and make bold predictions for the entire playoff season. Since this is high school football and chances are 80% of this piece will be wrong, how about trying out a more laid-back writing style? Here we go...

A SME-ON Rematch in Round 3 - Confidence: 85%

Since the higher ups decided it was a good idea to still have Thursday games in what is suppose to be the playoffs, SME has already had a chance to show why seeding is still important with the expanded system as they shutout win-less Harmon 45-0. Olathe North should follow suit against SM West (0-8) and will then go on to face the winner of OS-BVW.

The Lancers will get the winner of BV-OE and will likely face a similar caliber of opponent for the second round. Both teams should be favorites to win the first two rounds but Blue Valley likely has the best chance of disrupting the status-quo and should never be counted out come playoff time.

Free State will stumble again - Confidence: 75%

Can K-State commit Keenan Garber push the
Firebirds to a state championsip?
Photo by LJWorld.
Lawrence Free State has spent the last four seasons on the Western side of the playoff tree. Each of those years, the Firebirds ended up losing to the team that would go on to play for the state championship. The Derby Panthers have contributed to three of those losses and look as menacing as ever this year. For those not familiar, the Panthers (8-0) have averaged a whopping 49.6 points a game, an even higher average than Free State's 43.5.

Both teams have dominated on defense as well, with both teams only allowing more than 14 points one time each. That said, the Firebirds have faced a somewhat more questionable schedule. Out of their nine opponents, only SM East (7-2) enters the postseason with a winning record. Meanwhile, Derby has faced and dominated some of the top teams in 5A in the likes of Salina Central (6-2), Bishop-Carroll (6-2) and Maize High (7-1). Will Free State's elite playmakers be able to push them over the edge? 

SM South will make a "surprise run" - Confidence: 55%

The Raiders have already blown past previous expectations by winning out after their two losses so far. BV North (6-3) should be nothing to scoff at and Olathe NW (1-7) at least managed to keep it competitive in their first match-up, but SMS has managed to take down a couple decent teams. The run to the 3rd round seems completely possible and a match-up with undefeated Gardner-Edgerton (8-0) would probably be a great game to see. SR QB Jack Roberts has proven to be a decent dual-threat as the leader of the offense and should see an increased workload tonight.

Olathe West will win the 5A East - Confidence: 100%

Sky is the limit when your team is in its first year of existence and has already qualified for the playoffs. Sure, their wins have come against two opponents with a combined 1-15... but the Owls actually had themselves in position to win multiple times and might be one of the better 2-7 teams this writer has seen in a long time. 

To be somewhat serious, the Owls should have at least a reasonable chance to squeak out an upset against KC Washington. The Wildcats (4-4) have alternated wins and losses throughout the season and ended regular play with a win... Coincidence? Don't tell Owls fans that. 

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