No — Fearless Forecaster is not as old as Methuselah.
It just seems that way.
Fearless has been picking football games for what seems like a century and while his brain has become somewhat foggy in his declining years, he’s too much of an institution to be replaced, despite cries from the public for his ouster.
The first week of picks always is the toughest since there are so many unknowns. FF always says that like a good coach, he’ll see how the first week goes and then make the proper adjustments.
Here’s this week’s picks:
• AVCTL DIVISION III •
• Salina South 35, McPherson High 14 — Fearless is afraid that it’s going to be bombs away against the inexperienced MHS secondary. The Bullpups must keep the ball for long stretches to make this any kind of competitive game.
• Buhler 35, Andale 21 — Buhler is seething after Andale took it to the woodshed last year. Don’t be surprised to see the Crusaders playing for a state title.
• Mulvane 19, El Dorado 7 — The Bullpups used to open with El Dorado. Kind of wish they did tonight.
• Arkansas City 7, Winfield 6 — The battle for Cowley County bragging rights. Both teams are in rebuilding mode.
• Wichita Collegiate 30, Rose Hill 13 — Collegiate is good every year, while Brett Bonar not playing this year for the Rockets is a huge blow.
• Augusta 14, Wellington 12 — The Orioles made huge strides last year. Wellington was socked by many graduation hits.
• MCPHERSON AREA •
• Hesston 21, Smoky Valley 7 — Hesston spoils the coaching debut of the Vikes’ Tim Lambert.
• Rural Vista 38, Little River 12 — The Heat has almost everybody back, the Redskins have virtually nobody back.
• Ell-Saline 27, Inman 7 — The Cardinals were second in the state last year, but lost about everybody. But all they do is reload.
• Marion 35, Moundridge 7 — Tough opener for Matt Cole’s very first Moundridge game. The Warriors are state ranked.
• Canton-Galva 40, Central Christian 38 — Two teams with very little margin for error as both rosters are minuscule. Travis Unruh could put up some pinball numbers.
• KCAC •
• Doane 42, McPherson College 7 — Paul Mierkiewicz is basically starting from scratch at Mac, as there was an exodus of players after last year and the starting lineup is heavily tilted with freshman. Doane is nationally ranked.
• Bethany College 28, Houston Baptist 20 — The Swedes are the only school not taking part in the KCAC-GPAC Challenge because Dordt College already had another commitment in place when the challenge was finalized. Houston Baptist was terrible last year defensively, giving up more than 70 points in each of its final three games. Got to think this is one the Swedes can win.
• Morningside College 31, Sterling 10 — Morningside is a national championship contender, while Sterling must replace stars Reggie Langford and Antonio Bray.
• Dakota Wesleyan 31, Ottawa 28 — Dakota Wesleyan already has played a game, which could make the difference.
• Friends 21, Nebraska Wesleyan 19 — The Falcons are one of the few KCAC teams that should get a win.
• Midland 31, Kansas Wesleyan 21 — The Coyotes’ two top offensive players last week played for McPherson College last year — Kelly Cordova and Miles Balthazor.
• Hastings 38, Bethel 14 — The Threshers are a mystery team. New coach Morris Lolar has recruited the jucos heavily.
• Tabor 29, Northwestern Iowa 28 — The best game of the day. Again, Tabor playing last week while it’s the first game for the Red Raiders could be huge.
• Concordia 24, Southwestern 7 — The Moundbuilders totaled 84 yards of offense in their opener last week. Yikes.
• Briar Cliff 31, Saint Mary 24 — You never know what to expect from the Spires, especially the first game of the season.