We are two-thirds of the way through the 6A football season and there are only four undefeated teams that remain. It is not possible for all of these teams to make it through the season without a blemish on the schedule, so here is how I think the rest of the season will unfold…
Let’s start with the Sheldon Irish who has been ranked #1 by the Associated Press. The Irish have pounded every team that has had the misfortune of being in their wake. Sheldon has averaged 52 pts a game, and their smothering defense is only giving up an average of 8 pts a game. Here is the kick of all the undefeated schools, they have had the easiest road to date beating schools with an accumulative record of (14-22). Now that the Irish have warmed up, their season can begin with only three games to go. The Irish will finally have their first real test of the season friday when they visit (5-1) Rosebug, then host a dangerous (4-2) Thurston team, and finish the season visiting a powerful (6-0) South Medford team. This is by far the roughest road remaining for any of our undefeated teams. As hard as it is to bet against the Irish, they have a gauntlet in front of them. I think Sheldon may trip up now that they have some competition, but they make my list of teams reaching (9-0).
Lake Oswego (6-0)
The Lake Oswego Lakers has had the hardest road to date of any of the undefeated teams, and has made every moment of their season look easy. The Lakers have stomped through six teams with an accumulative record of (20-16), and if you dig deeper, four of the six schools have an impressive accumulative record of (17-7). Lake Oswego should get a “week off” against the (1-5) Cavaliers, then a very good (5-1) West Linn team will come to town, and after that they have to travel to a feisty (4-2) Oregon City team. Although West Linn and Oregon City Boasts impressive records, I do not believe that either team has seen the firepower the Lakers have to offer. I see only a wake of carnage left in the path of the Lakers.
South Medford (6-0)
The South Medford Panthers have had the easiest road of any of the undefeated teams, and only have a challenging schedule in conference. At this point in the season the Panthers have an unimpressive accumulative record of (16-20), but they do have one signature win at conference rival (5-1) Rosebug. The next two games of the season should be “easy” victories against (2-4) Grants Pass and at (0-6) South Eugene. However, they do have one daunting game left on the schedule when (6-0) Sheldon comes to town to finish the season. It is very possible this game will be for the conference title and a number one seed in the playoffs, but I am not sure the Panthers have what it takes to dethrone the mighty Irish.
The Tigard Tigers have had the second hardest road to date of any of the four undefeated schools. The accumulative record for the Tigers opponents is (19-17), but that does not seem to tell the whole story. Tigard has gone through three teams that have an impressive accumulative record of (13-5), and they made it look easy. Now that the Tigers have made it through the first two-thirds of the season they have the easiest road left of the undefeated teams. The Tigers should be heavy favorites in every game from here on out with the three teams only having five wins between them. The hardest game left on their schedule will be this Friday when they travel to (3-3) McMinville. After that it is easy street when they host (2-4) Newberg and (0-6) Hillsboro. I can’t see the Tigers doping one in the last three weeks, and they should end up with a number one seed in the playoffs.
How it will all look in the end…
Lake Oswego (9-0)
South Medford (8-1)
Jesse James NWPreps