KCAC football race wide open

By Steve Sell
October 21, 2016

Friday’s favorites...

• KCAC FOOTBALL RACE TIGHT— Last week totally changed the complexion of the KCAC football race.

Kansas Wesleyan’s monster comeback of a win over Tabor (KW scored 42 points in the third and fourth quarters) and Saint Mary’s surprise of Ottawa turned what was going to be another Tabor coronation into a six-team hullabaloo.

Had last Saturday’s games gone the other way, Tabor would have had a two-game lead with four games left to play, including games against second-division teams Bethany, McPherson College and Bethel.

Tabor, Kansas Wesleyan and Saint Mary are all tied at 4-1, while Friends, Sterling and Ottawa have just two conference losses at 3-2.

Here’s how the schedule for the contenders breaks down the final four games:

• Tabor — Friends, McPherson College, at Bethany, at Bethel

• Kansas Wesleyan — Bethany, at Bethel, Ottawa, at Saint Mary

• Saint Mary — at McPherson College, at Sterling, Southwestern, Kansas Wesleyan

• Friends — at Tabor, at Bethany, Bethel, at Ottawa

• Sterling — at Ottawa, Saint Mary, McPherson College, at Southwestern

• Ottawa — Sterling, at Southwestern, Kansas Wesleyan, Friends

I still like Tabor’s chances the best. Friends is toughest game left and that’s at home. Kansas Wesleyan’s trip to Saint Mary on the final Saturday of the season could very well be for a share of the title. Saint Mary also has a dangerous game at Sterling. If Friends could somehow win at Tabor, I think it can win out. Sterling has Mac and Sterling the final two weeks, teams that have a combined one win. Ottawa has a tough road and this doesn’t appear to be the Braves’ year as they are just 3-4 overall, though they played the toughest non-conference schedule of any KCAC team.

• BIG SWEEP FOR BULLDOGS – I can only imagine that McPherson College soccer coach Doug Quint had a smile a mile wide on Wednesday.

His Bulldog soccer teams went to Ottawa to take on Brave teams that had a combined one loss in KCAC matches this year.

But both Mac teams recorded 2-1 victories. For the women, it was especially gratifying as Ottawa had not lost in KCAC matches this year, while for the men, the Braves lost for only the second time in the KCAC.

That the Mac men won is not a big surprise since they were picked second in the KCAC. There’s an incredible logjam in the standings as Mac is 4-3, but in sixth place.

The Mac women have really turned things around as they’re also 4-3 in the KCAC and 8-4 overall, after struggling in recent years.

• INDIANS ARE IN — The Cleveland Indians are going to have the home-field advantage for the World Series.

The Indians are going to have a lot of rest by clinching their series with Toronto early.

The long rest would seemingly help, but remember Toronto won its divisional series with Texas early and then had a lot of time off, only to return with bats full of holes.

Cleveland is such a dangerous home team. Just ask the Kansas City Royals, who probably missed the playoffs because they were a sickly 1-9 at Cleveland and just 5-14 overall against the Indians.

We’re still waiting for Cleveland’s opponent and the Chicago Cubs took a big step forward on Thursday against Los Angeles. The Cubs now lead 3-2 and head home knowing they need only one more win. Los Angeles, though, still has Clayton Kershaw on its side.