CIF Power Rankings, June 3
Author Note: Due to the Texas-San Angelo game on Monday and a crazy personal schedule, this has been bumped to early Friday morning. It’s been a crazy stretch as of late. Forgive me?
This is exciting, isn’t it? As Champions Indoor Football winds down on its second regular season, the playoff picture still has a few games left to determine who goes on and who goes home.
Thanks to Branden Henneous, the CIF Insiders and the Indoor Football Forum (big shout-out here to some dedicated fans) there’s an outline of what situations may arise. For ease of access, I’ll place them here too.
The Texas Revs have the Southern Division locked down, attains the first round bye and has home field advantage. Wichita clinched the Northern Division, possess the first round bye and should Texas get upset in the playoffs, the Champions Bowl shifts to The Air Capital of the World.
Now, it gets fun. Sioux City has three scenarios going on. If the Bandits beat Bloomington, they’re the number two seed and host a playoff game, whether the Beef win or lose, at the Tyson Event Center. If Sioux City drops and Omaha wins, the Bandits are out.
Speaking of the Omaha Beef, if they win and Sioux City loses, they host Bloomington. Should Omaha win while the Bandits (who play Bloomington) also come out with a victory, they’re the final seed in the playoffs due to their season series against the Bandits. If the Beef drop and Bloomington (who plays Sioux City) loses, the process is repeated – Omaha visits Sioux City. Lastly, if Omaha loses and Bloomington pulls off the season series clincher, the Beef are done.
Lastly, there’s the Bloomington Edge…livin’ on the edge. Terrible Bon Jovi reference there. Sorry. Best case scenario for the Edge and their red turf is that if Bloomington wins and Omaha loses, they’re hosting a home playoff game. If they beat Sioux City and Omaha wins, they get the third seed and head west to the Slaughterhouse. Not too bad for Bloomington, should they win.
The Southern Division is so much easier. If the Dodge City Law wins, they get the number two slot and they host Amarillo at the United Wireless Arena. If the Amarillo Venom churns out a home victory, the Law turn right back around and play at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Cal Farley Coliseum next Saturday.
Are we clear as mud? Great! Let’s get this last set of rankings out in the open. For next week won’t see Power Rankings, but will instead see Playoff Previews and Predictions. Yay!
Let’s get started!
Texas Revolution (10-1): At the top of the heap, Texas took care of business and defeated San Angelo on Memorial Day at Foster Communications Coliseum, 88-56. While there are no numbers to share (dang it, San Angelo, you had one job), quarterback Robert Kent Jr. and Jerico Nelson captured the CIF Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week awards respectively. Kent for CIF league MVP, anyone? With the victory, the road to the Champions Bowl for any squad – Northern or Southern – will go through the “Red Hot Revs” and their homely confines of the Allen Event Center. The Revs will conclude their regular season with on short rest as well as a short trip to Mesquite to face the Marshals at 7 p.m. on Saturday night. Last Week’s Ranking: 1 (None)
2. Wichita Force (9-2): Through 24 fourth quarter points, Wichita outlasted Sioux City to clinch the top spot in the CIF Northern Division this past Saturday at the INTRUST Bank Arena, 44-30. This huge victory for the Force was spearheaded by two pick-sixes, courtesy of defensive backs Dontra Matthews and Evan Ray. Matthews went 43 yards on the interception return, while Ray took one back for 27 yards. Wide receiver Clarence Anderson also contributed to the Force’s ninth win of the 2016 campaign, nabbing seven of quarterback David Olson’s 12 completions for 77 yards and two trips to paydirt. Wichita will have a good shot at finishing the regular season with double digit victories, hosting the Omaha Beef on Saturday evening. Last Week’s Ranking: 2 (None)
Dodge City Law
3. Dodge City Law (8-3): Ugly win or not, the Dodge City Law notched another one in the win column as they held off Mesquite last Saturday at Mesquite Arena, 38-27. In the face of a small score, quarterback Derrick Bernard was still a force under center by going 14-of-24 for 174 yards and three TDs. The former Sul Ross State Lobo shown his mobility as well, rushing for 85 yards and two more scores. Defensive back DeWayne Autrey led the Dodge City defensive effort with 11 total tackles and an interception. The Law will play the Amarillo Venom in a battle for the second seed in the CIF Southern Division portion of the postseason at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Cal Farley Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 4 (+1)
4. Sioux City Bandits (7-4): The Bandits encountered a bump in the 2016 campaign, as they fell to Wichita on the road last weekend, 44-30. As will the Bandits will do and I shall as well, we won’t dwell on the numbers too much, even though quarterback Chuck Wright put out a solid effort behind center. Sioux City remains in the thick of the Northern Division playoff race, splitting their season series with Bloomington and sweeping Omaha. However, should the Bandits falter in the heart of Land of Lincoln and their southern rival pulls out the upset road victory over the Force, the defending champs could be left out in the cold. The true definition of “win or go home.” The Bandits will look to cement their playoff standing with a victory, traveling east to the heart of Illinois to battle the Bloomington Edge at 7 p.m. Saturday on the red turf at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 3 (-1)
5. Omaha Beef (7-4): With an inside track toward the postseason, Beef powered past the fledgling Chicago Eagles last Saturday in the Windy City, 42-29. Due to lack of stats (something must be going around getting stats people sickly), there’s not a whole lot to show. But there’s a good inkling that quarterback Joshua Floyd Jr. had something to do with the victory. What is known for the battlin’ Beef, is that they can either breathe easy with a win over Wichita or a Bloomington loss. With a win and Bloomington taking the season series, there could be a playoff game at the Slaughterhouse in Ralston. If the Beef drop to Wichita and Bloomington loses, it’s to third place they go. Nonetheless, Omaha will aim to make their first appearance in the postseason since 2013, traveling south to face the Force on Saturday night at the INTRUST Bank Arena. Last Week’s Ranking: 5 (None)
VENOM graphic - color
6. Amarillo Venom (7-4): In one of their more complete team efforts this season, the Venom clinched a playoff berth with a 69-46 victory over Duke City last Saturday at the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque. Veteran defensive back Ronnie Goforth has led a healthy and rejuvenated Venom secondary, hauling in two interceptions in last week’s game against the Gladiators. On special teams, wide receiver Raymond Johnson Jr. earned this week’s league special team honors, despite returning four kickoffs for 48 yards. Must be the eight catches for 138 yards and four touchdowns. The Venom will conclude their regular season by hosting the Dodge City Law on Saturday night at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Cal Farley Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 6 (None)
7. Bloomington Edge (6-5): Still in the playoff hunt, the Edge dominated in their 43-6 victory over the Salina Liberty this past weekend at the Bicentennial Center. Quarterback Caleb Holbrook continued his stellar campaign with completing all but eight pass attempts, with 172 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie defensive back Jeremy Caldwell also had an excellent showing against Salina, tabbing two of the three Edge interceptions. Defensive back Michael McGee also recorded a fumble recovery and a subsequent return for a score. The Edge will round out their inaugural CIF regular season campaign in a make-or-break fashion, hosting the Sioux City Bandits at 7 p.m. Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. The season series between both squads stands at one game apiece. Last Week’s Ranking: 7 (None)
Duke City Gladiators
8. Duke City Gladiators (5-6): Duke City was bounced from playoff contention with a 69-46 home setback to the Amarillo Venom last Saturday. While keeping pace alongside the Venom for a majority of the game, quarterback Kasey Peters and the Gladiators had trouble down the final stretch via a lost fumble and an interception in the endzone. Despite the setback, wide receiver Dello Davis proved that he is indeed one of the top wideouts in the CIF, leading the Duke City receiver corps with eight catches for 147 yards and six touchdowns. The Gladiators can finish their season with a .500 record, as they will host the lowly San Angelo Bandits on Saturday night at the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque. Last Week’s Ranking: 8 (None)
9. Chicago Eagles (3-9): The Chicago Eagles ended their first campaign in the CIF with a 42-29 home loss to the Omaha Beef. Sorry, since they were no stats from the game, I can’t give props to the Eagles statistic leaders. However, there’s no doubt that quarterback Anthony Iannotti and running back Calvin Phillips were quite alright in Chicago’s regular season finale. There’s plenty of optimism going forward in the Windy City, as owner Brian Brundage and his staff have something good going on with the Red, White and Blue. Expect the “War Eagles” to make the sophomoric leap in 2017. Last Week’s Ranking: 9 (None)
10. San Angelo Bandits (2-9): Perhaps it may be best to bring back the green and black? Despite putting up plenty of points, the Bandits were defeated at home by the Texas Revolution, 88-56. Without stats, I can’t give the fine San Angelo players their props that they deserve in the wake of the losing effort. C’mon, man. Those of us fans and media members who root and cover these teams need some numbers to crunch and digest. The Bandits will finish their season on the road, heading north and west to face off against the Duke City Gladiators at 7 p.m. in the capitol city of the Land of Enchantment. The Bandits are 0-2 against Duke City so far this season. Last Week’s Ranking: 11 (+1)
11. Salina Liberty (2-10): While it’s easily to forget that they’re a new franchise, the Liberty’s first season ended in a sour note in a 43-6 dismantling against the Bloomington Edge last weekend at the Bicentennial Center. Sadly, the Liberty couldn’t get anything going on offense, despite a fumble recovery by lineman Derrick Eshelman for the Liberty D. Also, the lopsided loss is the main reason why Salina dropped down in this week’s power rankings. On a brighter note, the Liberty should rectify their ailments at the quarterback position in 2017 and produce a better venture in their sophomore season. Last Week’s Ranking: 10 (-1)
12. Mesquite Marshals (1-10): The Marshals did show some fight, before falling to the Dodge City Law 38-27 this past Saturday at the Mesquite Arena. On a positive note, it is pretty neat to see the Marshals get on the board first with a rouge. You don’t see that very often in the game indoor football. Linebacker Cameron Blakes had a big game on the defensive side of the ball for Mesquite, tabbing 13 total tackles, two and a half sacks, a forced fumble and a recovery against the Law. Mesquite could look to end their inaugural campaign on a high note, should they upset their cross-Metroplex rival in the Texas Revolution at 7 p.m. Saturday night at the Mesquite Arena. Last Week’s Ranking: 12 (None)
Tyler’s Playoff Projections (as of June 3):
CIF Northern Division
First Round Bye – Wichita Force
Omaha Beef at Sioux City Bandits
CIF Southern Division
First Round Bye – Texas
Dodge City Law at Amarillo Venom