Steve Sell's sports news and views
Another round of sports news and views…
News — In the battle for McPherson County bragging rights, Smoky Valley hosts McPherson High in a district football game Friday night.
Views — We never thought we’d see the day in our long career that the Bullpups and Vikings would hook up on the gridiron. The thought 10 years ago would have seemed unfathomable. Fans from both McPherson and Lindsborg should embrace the matchup, as it could be the start of a beautiful rivalry. The Bullpups are 5-1 and the Vikings are 4-2, but there’s gulf between the teams in terms of the competition they have played. The move to Division III benefited the Bullpups, as unlike last year, they were pushed in the majority of their games, which only makes them better. For Smoky Valley to be in the game, it’s going to have to take advantage of every MHS mistake and then play flawless football itself. We’re really looking forward to seeing if the Vikings can push MHS.
News — The KCAC football race features five teams at the top with one loss.
Views — Without snapping the ball last week, McPherson College’s Bulldogs found themselves in the gaggle at the top along with Kansas Wesleyan, Ottawa, Tabor and Friends. The Bulldogs still have three of those four teams left to play, which means they actually control their own destiny. The Bulldogs’ championship hopes could very well rest with Saturday’s road game at Ottawa, a place few teams ever get out of town with a victory. But in comparing scores, it looks to be anybody’s game. It’s hard to tell how a team will react after a bye week, as sometimes it’s sharper than sharp and other times it takes a quarter to scrape off the rust.
News — McPherson High’s soccer and volleyball teams have vaulted themselves smack dab in the middle of the state championship contender talk.
Views — The Bullpup kickers dominated a very good Buhler team 4-0 here Tuesday to move to 12-1 with three games left to play. MHS should have a top seed provided it takes care of business in its final three games, though two of them are on the road. This team is so good at possessing the ball, and the defense showed Tuesday it could stand up to a good offensive team like the Crusaders. As for the volleyball team, MHS is coming off back-to-back second-place tournament finishes, with fields at Ottawa and the Roundhouse both loaded with quality 6A and 5A teams. MHS doesn’t have the easiest of draws in the postseason, as it makes a long trip to Wamego, which has a good team as does Abilene.
News — The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense finally steps up, but the antiquated offense can’t muster a touchdown despite the fact it pounded away on the ground to resemble a team from the 1950s.
Views — Chiefs fans who have been calling for Matt Cassel’s job will get their wish this week due to Cassel’s concussion. But they may want to be careful for what they ask for, as Brady Quinn has flopped in most of his previous starts. But the Chiefs’ coaches are probably thinking he can’t do any worse, as KC’s offense is among the puniest in the NFL.
News — Kansas hangs tough with Kansas State for a half, before the Wildcats’ superior talent takes over for yet another Sunflower State 40-point beatdown.Views — We’re still wondering what would have happened if KU hadn’t fumbled away a kickoff after recording a safety to pull within 28-16. The life was just sucked right out of the Jayhawks, as the Wildcats scored moments later and the route was on. How can KU’s defense be so bad year after year, as it’s been shredded ever since the Orange Bowl victory. Turner Gill left Charlie Weis an absolute train wreck and it will take at least three years to get things turned around. As for Kansas State, at least the country is starting to figure out there’s something special going on here. But the Wildcats had better not look past Iowa State in Ames this week, as the Cyclones have a penchant for pulling a shocker.
News — McPherson’s Joel Piper and Jordan Hart continue pay dividends for the Washburn University football team.
Views — Piper, who threw three TD passes two weeks ago, added two more last week. Hart, a true freshman, is turning heads as well, as he hauled in another TD pass to give him three on the season. Don’t be surprised if Washburn continues to recruit here, as the Bullpups who have moved on to Topeka have done well. Look for Christian Ulsaker and Casyn Buchman to be big contributors in basketball for WU this season.