Fearless Forecaster off to so-so start

By Steve Sell
September 08, 2016

There’s supposed to be no “fear” in Fearless Forecaster.

But if our intrepid picker does have a fear, it’s the opening week of the football season since there are so many unknowns.

Fearless went 22-8 in the first week of picking games for 73 percent, so he’s going to have to do some quick hustling to get back to his coveted 80 percent goal.

So many of his losses were by narrow margins.

FF missed on McPherson High against Buhler for his lone AVCTL Division III loss. In the area high school games, our picker misfired on Hesston and Little River, both of whom lost by a touchdown. In the KCAC, Sterling’s surprise of Northwestern College led to a loss and Tabor went down to defeat to Dakota Wesleyan in a matchup of ranked teams. In the Big 12, Fearless didn’t expect Texas to upset Notre Dame and also missed on Iowa State (lost to Northern Iowa) and Oklahoma (the No. 3-ranked Sooners were stunned by Houston).

I'm posting the picks today due to Buhler playing Andover Central tonight.

• AVCTL D-III •

• Maize South 27, McPherson 21 — I still like this McPherson team, but Maize South has some key players back from a team that went deep into the 5A playoffs last year. This may be the best team the Bullpups play this season.

• Buhler 34, Andover Central 14 — It’s not the Crusader juggernaut of recent years, but it is a much better team defensively.

• Augusta 32, Clearwater 14 — I’ll keep saying it — don’t fall asleep on Augusta.

• Winfield 28, Circle 6 — This could be the battle for the basement.

• Last week — 3-1. Season — 3-1.

• AREA •

• Trinity Catholic 28, Moundridge 14 — The Wildcats have to find a way to get some points on the board.

• Marion 35, Inman 14 — The Teutons are going to have to shore up their defense from Week 1.

• Halstead 21, Hesston 14 — Tough start for the Swathers, who play two high-powered playoff teams to open the season.

• Bennington 38, Little River 32 — Should be another high-scoring shootout for the Redskins.

• Rural Vista 46, Canton-Galva 24 — Tough early season schedule for the Eagles.

• Larned 20, Smoky Valley 14 — Larned won't be the caliber of Halstead, but it's still a decent team.

• Last week — 4-2. Season — 4-2

• KCAC •

• Dordt (Iowa) 44, McPherson College 27 — The Bulldogs showed last week they’re a different team from last year. They could win some KCAC games this season.

• Langston 27, Bethany 6 — Offensive woes could plague the Swedes.

• Kansas Wesleyan 31, Waldorf 23 — The Coyotes are going to open some eyes of the national voters.

• Friends 24, Saint Mary 20 — The first game of the year matching KCAC schools.

• Ottawa 36, Concordia 35 — You've got to believe Ottawa will bounce back from the mauling it took from Morningside.

• Note — The rest of the KCAC is idle.

• Last week — 8-2. Season — 8-2.

• BIG 12 •

• Ohio 45, Kansas 28 — The Jayhawks’ offense is improved, but the defense looks so small for a Division I school.

• Baylor 52, SMU 31 — The Bears’ offense hasn’t skipped a beat.

• Iowa 31, Iowa State 10 — So disappointed in the Cyclones last week. If they can’t beat Northern Iowa, how will they defeat Iowa?

• Oklahoma 76, UL-Monroe 6 — Wrong place, wrong time for UL-Monroe.

• Oklahoma State 47, Central Michigan 24 — The Cowboys have loaded up on cream puffs the first two weeks.

• TCU 44, Arkansas 42 — Neither team impressed last week.

• Arizona State 42, Texas Tech 37 — This should tell us a lot about Texas Tech.

• West Virginia 49, Youngstown State 14 — The Mountaineers scale back in competition from last week.

• Texas 40, UTEP 24 — Watch out for the letdown factor.

• Note — Kansas State is idle.

• Last week — 7-3. Season — 7-3.


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