Who should be No. 1 in Class 6A?
BY RYAN ABER
Most weeks, I post my rankings here and try to explain my reasoning for who I ranked where in each class. I haven’t done that–yet–for this week, simply because I agonized over Class 6A. Every class gets careful consideration each week but most weeks in most classes there are clear reasoning for one team over another. Owasso’s 41-38 win over Tulsa Union last week threw that into a tailspin.
There are several teams that have legitimate arguments to the top spot. Here are their resumes, their arguments for being No. 1 and the opinions of Jason Kersey and Scott Wright. Disagree with one of us? Disagree with all of us? Feel free to chime in at the bottom.
Broken Arrow: This was my top pick. Broken Arrow’s only loss came 21-14 to then top-ranked Tulsa Union on Sept. 16 on the road. They’ve beaten Owasso (48-20), Odessa (Texas) Permian (68-26) and Sapulpa (52-19). The Tigers took a healthy Union team down to the wire and showed they could hang. The argument against them is: they’ve lost a game, which a couple other teams we’ll mention later haven’t, and they needed overtime to beat Muskogee, who is 1-5 this season.
Edmond North: The Huskies are undefeated, one of just two Class 6A teams without a loss. They’ve scored 40 or more points four times this season and next allowed more than 13. They beat Southmoore 42-10 to open the season and thrashed a previously unbeaten Putnam City team 35-0 last week. The downside for the Huskies is Southmoore was banged up when they met, Mustang isn’t what it once was and it’s still not clear how good Putnam City is. The Pirates’ hot start could’ve been indicative of a weak schedule. These drawbacks aren’t the fault of the Huskies–they’ve taken care of business–and Edmond North will have plenty of chances to turn around those perceptions in the next three weeks with Westmoore, Lawton and Edmond Santa Fe on the schedule.
Jenks: The Trojans were No. 2 in my poll before last week but I reevaluated and bumped Broken Arrow ahead of the Trojans. Jenks also holds a win over Owasso (49-27) and has blown out every team it has faced other than Union. The argument against the Trojans is simple: they got beat 41-19 by Union. It’s hard to write off Jenks right now after their continued dominance.
Midwest City: Like Edmond North, the Bombers have topped the 40-point mark four times this season. Their closest game was a 21-point win over Edmond Santa Fe in Week 3. The Bombers defense, once again, is among the toughest around and their offense shows unusual balance for a Bombers team that has long relied on the run. James Flanders is giving the Bombers what they expected and more on the ground and junior quarterback Joel Davis is improving steadily and giving Midwest City a solid passing game. The argument against Midwest City is their schedule to this point. The Bombers’ opponents have won just 12 games this season, with five of those coming from Santa Fe. They play Norman North to end the season but the Bombers’ really don’t figure to be tested until at least the first round of the playoffs.
Owasso: To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, and Owasso did that Friday night with a stunning upset of the Redskins. Owasso’s non-district schedule is as tough as any around and although Owasso went 1-2 in that stretch, they did manage to score 47 points combined in losses to Broken Arrow and Jenks. The Rams have probably the top QB/WR combo in the state with Kason Key and Keon Hatcher. The argument against the Rams is simple: their big losses in non-district should keep them out of the top spot.
Tulsa Union: Union? After that loss? Yes, there’s an argument to be made. The Redskins have win over Jenks and Broken Arrow and they led Owasso big before their quarterback and running back went down with injuries that kept them out of the second half against Owasso. If those two guys get back soon, Union could very well still be the top dog in 6A.
There are the arguments for and against each time. I weighed all of them (and more) before settling on Broken Arrow as the top team with Jenks, Midwest City and Edmond North not far behind. I’m going to continue to reevaluate things week by week but right here, right now, this is where I stand.
Here’s what Jason and Scott have to say about who should be No. 1.
Jason’s pick: Edmond North
I think — at this point — Edmond North is Class 6A’s best team.
The undefeated Huskies really have no weak spots on either side of the ball. Edmond North smacked previously unbeaten Putnam City 35-0 on Friday, holding star running back Casey Curtis to 65 yards on 20 carries.
The Huskies’ offensive dominance all starts up front. Edmond North’s offensive line is huge, which is what gets it noticed, but it’s about more than size. The line is also very strong and athletic.
The line opens up holes for the backfield duo of Jarion Tudman and Jared Benway, who give Edmond North a tough 1-2 punch of speed and strength.
And North couldn’t ask for a better field general. Senior Jesse Mathews, in his first year as a starter, has been nothing short of fantastic through six games. He has shown an ability to make plays with both his arms and legs.
Edmond North’s schedule hasn’t been the toughest, but the Huskies will be tested in their next three games, with Westmoore, Lawton and Edmond Santa Fe in consecutive weeks. If the Huskies emerge from that gauntlet unscathed, there might be no stopping them.
Scott’s pick: Midwest City
First of all, this pick comes with a caveat. I still think Jenks and Union are the top two favorites for the Class 6A gold ball. To quote the great prophet Ric Flair, if you want to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. But this question isn’t about state championship favorites, it’s about who should be No. 1 right now, in Week 7 of the football season — only the halfway point for those teams that will eventually play for the state title.
So I’m picking Midwest City, with Broken Arrow and Jenks close behind. For all the fancy, exciting spread offenses out there that put up crazy numbers and fly up and down the field, football is still won with defense and run game. And through six games, Midwest City has shown the capability to dominate good teams in those two facets of the game.
A lot of people are probably making the argument for the Bombers at No. 1 because they think they’re the best undefeated team, and an undefeated team should be ranked ahead of a team with one loss, like Union, Jenks, Broken Arrow or Owasso. But this isn’t college football, and basing your argument solely on records is drastically oversimplifying the process.
I’m picking the Bombers as my No. 1 team right now, because I’ve been impressed with what they’ve accomplished on the field, the consistency they’ve displayed, and the overall talent of the team. They have some question marks, like their offensive diversity, but there isn’t a team out there this season that doesn’t appear to have flaws, whether it’s talent-related, injury-related, or whatever. Right now, this week, Midwest City should be No. 1.
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