Postseason Football Power Rankings

Prior to the 2016 season we made our build predictions for the year.  Some were right, some were wrong and some were way wrong.  Now comes the fun part! We rank the top 10 one last time and see how those rankings compare to the ones we put out back on Aug. 16.  As always, rankings are based on dominance by class, not head to head.

Preseason Football Power Rankings – Click Here

(Class, record, playoff round reached, preseason ranking in parenthesis)

  1. Lamar (C2, 14-0, state champion, 1)I know Coach Bailey doesn’t like this word, but dynasty would be an understatement. The Tigers steamrolled to a MSHSAA record sixth straight Class 2 state championship, exactly as we predicted. Trinity Catholic put up a better fight than almost anyone has during the championship run, but ultimately, the Brotherhood hoisted another first place trophy.  Don’t count them out for seven in a row, but with Trinity Catholic returning just about everyone next year, and Lamar losing several key starters, the Tigers will be an “underdog” for the first time since 2011.
  2. Monett (C3, 13-1, state champion, 5)We knew the Cubs were good, but Coach Uhl’s team turned out to be great! What an incredible season for these seniors and the entire Monett community. They took care of Mt Vernon in the district championship, dominated undefeated Owensville and one-loss McCluer South-Berkeley in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively, then pulled an upset, handing top ranked and undefeated Maryville its only loss in the state championship.  They played loose and it showed.  In fact, it was the players who came up with the key 4th down play (Called Iron Bowl) that led to the school’s third title, first since 1977.  It was also the first time two Big 8 schools won a state title in the same season.
  3.  Lincoln (C1, 13-1, state semifinals, 10)We pretty much knew the Cardinals would roll through the regular season, maybe even the district, but to come one play from reaching the Class 1 state championship…didn’t see that one coming. It was certainly one of the best storylines of the season, not just winning, but dominating, eight years after starting the program with back-to-back winless seasons and eventually dropping to 8-man for a short time. Senior Boone Kroenke emerged as one of the best all-around athletes in the area as Big Red won all but its final game against Monroe City by at least 30 points.
  4. Webb City (C4, 9-4, state quarterfinals, 2)Something felt different about this season and it showed early as the mighty Cardinals dropped their first ever COC Large game to newcomer Carl Junction in the season opener. Reaching the state quarterfinals, and falling to the eventual state champ Harrisonville, is certainly nothing to hang your head about, but it’s definitely not what Coach Roderique and this ultra-proud community was hoping for. I’ve got some bad news for the COC Large and Class 4; the Cardinals were young and very talented this year.  That group is coming back with a vengeance next season!
  5. MV-BT/Liberty (C2, 12-1, state quarterfinals, 3)Unfortunately for the Eagles, we called this one exactly. Another dominating, undefeated regular season, SCA championship year, that once again came to an end at the hands of Lamar. It’s been an incredible run of success for Coach Acklin’s crew, but next year figures to be a rebuilding campaign as they say farewell to big-time playmakers Josh Pruett, Brenton Bush and Marcos Rodriguez; all who should get all-state attention.
  6. Greenfield (8M, 9-1, state quarterfinals, NR)Gotta admit, this one kind of came out of left field for me. With most of the 8-man powers coming from the northwest portion of Missouri we didn’t really know how the Wildcats compared. It turns out they were pretty good as they ran the regular season table before coming oh-so-close to the Final Four.  It’s safe to say the excitement of Friday night’s has been restored and Greenfield and if all goes well they’ll move back into Class 1 and SRVC when the new district/classification cycle begins in 2018.
  7. Carthage (C5, 10-2, state quarterfinals, 11)When the state pollsters asked, ‘is Carthage good this year?’ my response was, ‘I mean come on, they got doubled up by Ozark.’ That was in the season opener when we were living in a world that Ozark wasn’t very good. It turns out Ozark was very good and Carthage was even better.  The blue Tigers ripped off the next eight games to win the COC Large title outright.  Keith Guest (QB), Trey Collins (RB) and Tucker Edmonson (OL) were arguably the best at their positions and Arkell Smith (WR) was in the conversation.  Ultimately, their season ended against a very good Columbia Battle team, but another great season none the less.
  8. Glendale (C5, 11-1, state quarterfinals, NR)While we did put the Falcons on the cover of our magazine (“Record Breakers”), we still weren’t sure how big of a jump Coach Mauk’s squad would make in 2016. It was a big one! They went from four wins last season to an undefeated Ozark Conference championship and dominating district title this fall.  The offense, led by junior QB Alex Huston and a trio of senior receivers, was spectacular as expected, leading the nation in several categories.  It was the defense that made the biggest improvement.  Kyle Doran and company surrendered around three less touchdowns per game this season.  It will be tough to replace some of those senior leaders, but with Huston and a slew of young receivers back, expect another big season next year; this time it won’t be a surprise.
  9. Mtn Grove (C2, 10-2, district championship, 6)Similar to Liberty, we called this one exactly. The Panthers, in Rich Adkins’ first year as head coach, very well may have been the fourth best team in the state in Class 2. Unfortunately, they share a conference and district with the Eagles, who were just a little bit better this year.  I fully expect Grove to get over the hump next season as they return a ton, including QB/DB Carter Otwell, who will be in his third season starting, and RB/LB Chance Barbe, who majorly broke out this season and could be even better as a senior.
  10. Carl Junction (C4, 9-3, district championship, 4)The Bulldogs’ first season in the COC Large was full of ups and downs. They picked up one of, if not THE biggest win in program history by beating Webb City to open the season, but fell in a 10-7 defensive slugfest to Ozark two weeks later. They earned the district top seed, but it was Webb City who got payback in the championship game, controlling the tempo, 27-6.  Coach Buckmaster says goodbye to some really good players, but the good news is he welcomes back D-1 lineman prospect Zeke Wall for his senior season and running back speedster Rayquion Weston, who burst out in his sophomore season this fall.  One thing is for sure, CJ is a contender in the COC Large.

Knocking on the Door: Cassville (C3, 8-3, district semifinals, NR), Fair Grove (C2, 11-1, district championship, 8), Skyline (C1, 8-4, district championship, 16), Thayer (C1, 7-6, state quarterfinals, NR), Kickapoo (C6, 9-2, district semifinals, 7), Ozark (C5, district championship, 8-3, NR)

 

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