Seven Points

(KMAland) -- It's Monday. Let's do some Seven Points.

Point 1: The Friday Rehash

I dubbed it Blowout Friday. Trevor Maeder put more of a positive spin on it and called it Statement Friday. Whatever it was, there were a lot of lopsided scores in KMAland for what was the final week of district play for 11-man football in Iowa.

Here are 13 reasons why (see what I did there) Friday was still pretty, pretty neat:

1. Shenandoah handled business with a 52-14 win over Riverside. It was the first win of the season for the Mustangs and the first win of the Ty Ratliff era. I know what the school, the program and the community means to Coach Ratliff, so I’m sure it was definitely a celebratory and emotional evening for him. The ‘Stangs had a 200+ yard passing game from Kyle Cerven and a 100+ yard rushing night from Morgan Cotten. 

2. Clarinda got tested for the first time this year, and they passed the test with a 9-7 win over Southwest Valley. It wasn’t pretty in a grand scope, but you know what is pretty? Four and oh. Connor Brown is a workhorse, and the senior had 26 totes for 158 yards. He’s had 59 carries and 290 yards in the last two Clarinda wins.

3. Sidney had a week off, Donnie Sears said they desperately needed it and they took advantage of it on Friday with a rout of Griswold. Tyler Hensley - all 5-foot-6, 140 pounds of him - had a big night with 174 yards rushing, 28 yards receiving and five total touchdowns (4 rushing, 1 receiving).

4. Audubon and Woodbine scored 154 combined points last year. On Friday, they scored 155. The individual numbers were downright ridiculous. You’ll see about those on Wednesday, but for now know this: The 155 combined points is the seventh-highest total in 8-player Iowa history. Woodbine still holds the record (along with Clarinda Academy) with 172 total points in a 96-76 Tigers win. On this night, though, it was Audubon winning the game by an 86-69 count.

5. Bret Kobes had four touchdowns to four different players, and Lewis Central put up another 60 points in a win over Thomas Jefferson. The Titans are now 4-0, and they have me wondering if they’re even better than last year.

6. The Harlan run game was on point again on Friday in a win over Atlantic. Brenden Bartley rushed for 7.6 yards per carry, had 168 total and scored twice on the ground in the win. That’s the second time in three games that the junior has gone over 100 yards.

7. We all know about the Underwood offense, but have you peeped their defense this year? The 4-0 Eagles gave up 33 points to Tri-Center in Week 3, but in wins over AHSTW, IKM-Manning and St. Albert they allowed a combined 13 points. The latest was a 21-7 win over St. Albert on Friday. In the win, they forced five turnovers and had eight tackles for loss.

8. Denison-Schleswig has won three in a row, but the latest win likely came at a cost. Senior quarterback Charlie Wiebers suffered an injury in their win over Kuemper Catholic on Friday. With him, life figured to not be so easy in Class 3A District 1. Without him, the task is even more difficult. The good news - Terrance Weah is everything. He had 17 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns on Friday, and it’s likely he will get plenty of touches from here on out.

9. ACGC’s ground game is some kind of something. Former Northwest Missouri State Bearcat and Madrid Tiger Cody Matthewson has his team absolutely killing on the ground. They know what they want to do, and they do it in a dominant way. Kolby Jacobe (206 yards, 2 TD), Gavin Cornelison (150 yards, 3 TD) and Gunnar Larsen (127 yards, TD) combined for 483 of their team’s 524 rushing yards in a win over Tri-Center. The Chargers have now gone for 1,740 yards in four games - third in the state.

10. East Atchison kept their perfect season rolling with another four-score win - this time over DeKalb. Jake McEnaney had another three touchdowns through the air to three different players, and Brician Bywater added the big numbers - 177 rushing, 73 receiving, 2 TD.

11. On the short list for our Week 6 X-Stream Game of the Week was East Atchison/Mound City. Southwest Livingston decided to put a little bit of a bump in those plans with a 58-34 win over the Panthers on Friday. That ends a 16-game win streak for Mound City, and it’s also the first loss of Taylor Standerford’s head coaching career. Mack Anderson had 334 yards rushing, 160 yards passing and six total touchdowns (3 rushing, 3 passing).

12. Nebraska City senior quarterback Jordan Williams tossed the ball all over the yard in the the Pioneers’ 35-28 win over Raymond Central. Williams completed 15 of 25 throws for 318 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was senior Eli Southard, who had seven receptions for 197 yards and three scores. 

13. Auburn picked up their first win of the season on Friday night, and it was an absolute rout with the Bulldogs scoring early and often. Connor Clark had four rushing scores, quarterback Brody Darnell added two touchdowns on the ground and one through the air and Ryan Dixon had two big plays for touchdowns - an 88-yard kickoff return and a 55-yard reception. They had 314 yards in the first half for goodness sakes. 

Point 2: The volleyball was great again 

It was another fine weekend for KMAland volleyball. Your CHAMPS:

-Abraham Lincoln: The Lynx lost just one set in a loaded Red Oak Tournament with straight set wins over Clarinda, Sidney, Creston, Tri-Center and Mount Vernon. Their lone set loss was to Red Oak, which made their own statement on the weekend with a huge win over Mount Vernon (21-16, 21-9).

-East Mills: East Mills gave ‘em the thrills on Saturday. They did lose in pool play to Shenandoah, but they were able to earn their way back to another shot at the Fillies by beating Mount Ayr in a semifinal. And then they capitalized with a straight set win in the final. Also, shouts to Shenandoah for a strong weekend of wins with a still-developing team.

-Lewis Central: The Titans made mincemeat of the Fort Dodge tournament on Saturday. By the time they were able to get their legs underneath them in the championship round, they were done messing around. LC outscored Sioux City West and Fort Dodge 100 to 32 in those two matches.

-Underwood: The Eagles have had some ups and downs of late, but this was definitely a great get-right weekend for them. They swept through their pool and then swept a pair of Rolling Valley Conference leaders - Glidden-Ralston and Coon Rapids-Bayard - in the championship bracket to capture the tournament. Bonus: Peyton Cook reached 1,000 career assists during the fun.

-AHSTW: The depth of the Western Iowa Conference rears its head here with AHSTW going to West Harrison and winning the tournament. The Lady Vikes had a trio of sweeps and two three-set wins to make for a perfect 5-0 day. Another bonus here: Kinsey Scheffler broke the school record for kills while Paige Osweiler broke the school record for digs. Well done, ladies.

-Nodaway Valley: No, we’re not done yet. The Wolverines continue to show their greatness with a solid tournament win at Melcher-Dallas, where they went a perfect 6-0 in sets. They outscored their three foes 126 to 78 on their way to winning the ‘ship.

Point 3: Jim Harbaugh is a very good coach

Here’s my stance on Jim Harbaugh: He is a very good coach, but he works at Michigan. For some reason, media and other folks that like to snark on Harbaugh (which is fine and encouraged) seem to think Michigan should be contending for and winning all kinds of national championships. It’s weird, too, since Michigan has historically NOT done that.

Bo Schembechler is a widely revered and beloved former legendary Michigan coach. You want to know how many national championships he won for Big Blue? Try none. He sure won a lot of games, but he never won a natty. 

Lloyd Carr has the shared national championship from 1997, but the last title before then? 1948. Actually, since 1950, Michigan STATE has three times as many national championships as Michigan. All right, so I think you get it. Michigan has never been a consistent national title contender.

Now, how does Harbaugh compare with some of the previous coaches at the school? It’s a great question, because years and years of history can serve as a teacher or a guide for us in how we view the current job Harbaugh is doing. Let’s go back to the five coaches since Schembechler and compare winning percentages:

Gary Moeller (1990-1994): 44-13-3 (.758)

Lloyd Carr (1995-2007): 122-40 (.753)

Rich Rodriguez (2008-2010): 15-22 (.405)

Brady Hoke (2011-2014): 31-20 (.608)

Jim Harbaugh (2015-present): 40-14 (.741)

The guy has won 10, 10, 8 and 10 games in his four full seasons, nearly winning 75 percent of the games he’s coached in, which is WAY better than the two slums that came before him, and we have people talking about firing the guy? We have people calling him overrated? 

No, at some point - maybe because they’ve played football longer than anyone else and have the most wins ever - people started viewing Michigan football in a way that they haven’t really earned. At least not in a long, long while. It’s a historically overrated program, and it’s sullying how we are viewing the job Harbaugh has done. For all his quirks, if we’re being honest, Harbaugh has made Michigan as relevant as its been in 20+ years.

Point 4: A few other college football musings 

-How did UCLA come back from 32 points down late in the third quarter to beat Washington State? I’m still trying to figure that out.

-Nebraska turned the ball over four times, committed 11 penalties, had another extra point blocked, missed a short field goal and trailed for 80 percent of the game - and then they won. Illinois, you are one bad team.

-Notre Dame proved as much as Georgia did on Saturday night in their six-point loss. If they went out and laid an egg, nobody would have taken them seriously. Instead, they overcame a whole bunch of their own penalties and nearly won in a raucous atmosphere. If they can run the table, they will have a much better case to get into the CFP than they did last year.

-Ohio State hasn’t played a tough opponent yet, but they are scary, scary good. Is it possible Ryan Day is pulling a Lincoln Riley? You know, taking their first head coaching job at a school with great success and taking it to another level? It would be very, very difficult to do that at Ohio State after what Urban Meyer did, but man…they’re just clowning teams. For me, this is the third-best team in the land.

-LSU has a quarterback now and so they finally have an offense that can score some points. The LSU/Alabama game will probably not be a 7-3 snoozefest.

-Iowa State - Iowa State! - just kept on scoring and scoring and scoring on Saturday. Shouts to Trevor Downing for being one of the best offensive linemen in all of the country this weekend, according to Pro Football Focus.

-I did a lot of writing about Michigan, but I think I am probably guilty of what a lot of others are guilty of. And that’s overlooking how good Wisconsin is this year. The Badgers have the best running back in the country, the best offensive line in the country and one of the best defenses. And their quarterback is pretty good, too. I guess their demise was overstated.

Point 5: The Dolphins should just forfeit the season

I know, you’re probably thinking, I think they are doing just that. But they’re not. They are showing up to NFL stadiums and playing every Sunday, and I just don’t think they should. After watching them play yesterday, I don’t think it’s worth it for them and especially not for the other teams.

Dallas slogged through the first half, playing one of their worst halves of football in quite some time. And then when they realized that the Dolphins have professional football players - no matter how bad they are collectively - they came out and still easily covered a 22.5-point spread.

There’s no real reason to play these games. They’re so bad that teams are going to sleepwalk around for awhile before realizing they have to turn it on, and it could end getting people unnecessarily hurt. I know I was holding my breath all game as a Cowboys fan, hoping everybody stayed healthy. Of course, the ‘Boys took some extra caution by sitting every player with a hang nail, and it still didn’t matter. 

Note: I do think Josh Rosen is pretty good and is going to be a good one for them when he’s not surrounded by replacement players.

Point 6: The Cubs dynasty that was not

I’m old enough to remember when the Cubs won the 2016 World Series championship and everybody thought it was only a matter of time before they won another and then another and maybe even another. 

It made sense, too, because they were young, they had a strong front office and they’re in a major market that has all kinds of money to spend. Well, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and company have really stunk in the free agency market, and the Cubs owners have tightened the pocket books. They also traded away their best prospects, which have all seemed to turn into studs.

Who do we blame for this? Theo and Jed have some blame. The Ricketts family has some blame. Joe Maddon’s magic has run out. And yeah, the players really haven’t developed the way we thought they would. There are some great players in that organization, but there are plenty that have regressed rather than improved. 

Now, after a disastrous four-game sweep by the Cardinals at Wrigley, the Cubs are pretty well sunk and all but finished. Suddenly, the dynasty has been passed by the Cardinals, Brewers, Braves, Nationals and, a long time ago, by the Dodgers. 

Extra Point: Have a great week

Let’s do that, shall we?

Send any questions, comments and/or concerns to dmartin@kmaland.com.