BY RYAN ABER
Going to do it a little different this week, breaking out at least Class 6A into a separate blog. Tell me why I’m right. Tell me why I’m wrong.
1. Midwest City (3)#8-0
If you don’t look at my rankings every week, this might be a little surprising. But it’s consistent with what I’ve done all along: re-evaluating things each week and not be afraid of looking back at the totality of the season with what we know now. I’ll explain Broken Arrow (and Jenks’) fall shortly but it’s as much about what Midwest City has done as about what those teams haven’t. The Bombers have absolutely put it to teams recently. Their “slip” game was a 26-point win against Moore. Their 21-point win over Edmond Santa Fe looks more impressive each week. Thy’ve held seven opponents to seven or fewer points. James Flanders continues to perform in their running game. They make plays on special teams. I’m not saying I’m picking them to win a state championship yet–I’ve made my feelings about that know with respect to Jenks and Union–but right now, they’re the top team.
2. Broken Arrow (1)#7-1
When I saw Broken Arrow put it to Southmoore two weeks ago, I felt pretty comfortable with the Tigers as my top team. But Broken Arrow struggled on the road against a Norman team that Southmoore throttled, needing a late field-goal block to come away with the win. I still really like Broken Arrow, and am leaning toward picking them against Jenks this week, but that’s the second game they’ve barely pulled out against an opponent they should’ve beaten soundly.
3. Jenks (2)#7-1
The Trojans haven’t been pushed much other than their 41-19 loss to Tulsa Union, but their main test is this week when they play at Broken Arrow. Losing Alex Ross really hurts Jenks. Although they’ve put up big offensive numbers in recent weeks, they haven’t played a defense that’s very good since that Union game in Week 2.
4. Edmond Santa Fe (4)#7-1
The Wolves might not be the top team in the state but they might be playing better than anyone right now. Lance Manning has turned around Santa Fe in a hurry. A win this week over Edmond North and Santa Fe goes from 1-9 to district champs in one year.
5. Tulsa Union (6)#7-1
Ask me to pick the state champion right now and I probably go with Union. I still have them here because they do have to prove that their offense has rebounded form the injuries that resulted in Owasso’s comeback. The Redskins probably jump back up steadily the next few weeks but right now, they’re No. 5.
6. Lawton (7)#6-2
Losing Ivan Thomas is a near-backbreaker for them but the Wolverines didn’t seem to hurt without him against a previously unbeaten Edmond North team.
7. Edmond North (4)#7-1
The Huskies have the size up front to compete with anyone. But speed on the edges on either side is going to be a thorn in North’s side. The problem: Santa Fe is another speedy team and could give North problems this week in a game that will go a long way toward deciding who wins that district.
8. Stillwater (8)#7-1
Their offense deserves to be higher than No. 8. The defense, though, probably wouldn’t be in the top 10. The Pioneers have given up 27 or more points five times already and they still have Union on the schedule in a game that will, one way or another, determine the district champion.
9. Owasso (9)#5-3
The Rams have the signature win in 6A this season, beating Union. But they followed that with a home loss to Stillwater. Like the Pioneers, offense isn’t a question. But the Rams have to be able to slow good teams down to make a run and they haven’t been able to do that much.
10. Westmoore (NR)#6-2
The Jaguars pushed Edmond North in Week 7 before the Huskies pulled away in the second half, then beat a one-loss Putnam City team this week to take the Pirates’ spot in the rankings. Their defense has been solid all year and their offense, especially the passing component, continues to come along, lifting Westmoore into the top 10.
Just outside: Norman (6-2)