(• Note — Due to the Big 12 game between Texas and Iowa State being played tonight, this week’s picks are being posted a day early.)
Going into last week, Fearless Forecaster was flying high.
He was puffing out his chest after a 22-3 week, putting him just a fraction below his coveted 80 percent season goal.
But it all came crashing down around him last week.
As the games were unfolding, Fearless felt like he was being crushed like never before. An ego-sapping 12-8 week dropped him to 75-24, just a shade over 75 percent.
In the picking game, making up 5 percent is no easy feat, so our alleged expert needs a couple of monster weeks to get back on track.
FF missed one of the AVCTL games when Winfield surprised Arkansas City. Having seen Winfield the week before, this result means Arkansas City must be in a down year.
Fearless again went 3-3 in the confounding area games, as he just can’t figure out Little River. He’s 0-4 in games involving the Redskins. He also missed on Hesston and Canton-Galva, having been inspired by the Eagles’ two previous wins.
In the KCAC, Fearless misfired on three of the five games after going 5-0 the week before. Only Tabor and Bethany saved him, as he lost on McPherson College, Kansas Wesleyan and Saint Mary.
And our picker never saw TCU’s win over Oklahoma State coming, just figuring the Cowboys would put up enough points to mask their struggling defense.
• AVCTL D-III •
McPherson 49, Circle 0 — This score is predicated on the Bullpups coming out focused and not going through the motions.
Maize South 28, Mulvane 7 — Good test for the stingy Maverick defense.
Pittsburg 32, Andover Central 12 — The Purple Dragons were the Southeast Kansas kingpin in Fearless’ day.
Buhler 52, Winfield 6 — The Crusaders have it rolling now.
Last week — 4-1. Season — 15-3.
• AREA GAMES •
M0undridge 21, Remington 14 — The Wildcats break through after four tough games to start the year.
Little River 52, Goessel 6 — The Redskins improve to 4-1.
Medicine Lodge 14, Inman 7 — Normally the Teutons win this one, but they are struggling offensively and beset with injuries.
Smoky Valley 35, Hesston 28 — Definitely the game of the night. Smoky Valley is home and is the better team defensively.
Central Plains 46, Canton-Galva 12 — Central Plains is a powerhouse every year.
Last week — 3-3. Season — 13-10
• KCAC •
Bethel 38, McPherson College 35 — It’s a struggle for the Bulldogs, whose loss to Southwestern last week caught our picker by surprise.
Kansas Wesleyan 35, Southwestern 14 — The Coyotes were stunned on the final play of the game last week by Sterling and will be smoking mad.
Bethany 42, Ottawa 38 — Starting to feel like the magic is back for the Swedes.
Sterling 41, Friends 24 — The Warriors are starting to look like Tabor’s top challenger.
Tabor 42, Saint Mary 10 — The Bluejays are just so solid on both sides of the ball.
Last week — 2-3. Season — 19-6.
• BIG 12 •
Iowa State 35, Texas 31 — Iowa State always beats somebody good at home once a year in what is a Thursday night special.
Kansas State 37, Baylor 28 — Bill Snyder almost never loses with two weeks to prepare.
Oklahoma State 58, Texas Tech 55 – Defense will be an afterthought.
Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia and TCU all have the week off.
Last week — 3-1. Season — 28-5.