Tyler’s CIF Power Rankings, March 7
Hey friends and followers, old and new, Tyler here. While I’m still hacking away at my three-part series on how and why the XFL was established 15 years too soon, enjoy this new gig I’m wanting to start up for this upcoming CIF season.
So why am I doing this? Two reasons. I’m covering the Amarillo Venom (along with high school football, basketball and the Amarillo Bulls) for the Amarillo Globe-News and I am currently with the Venom as media relations.
A quick disclaimer: Since three teams have yet to play, they are ranked considerably lower. Regular season games will have more weight than exhibition games. But look for a lot of movement once the season progresses. Here we go!SC_Bandits_logo
Sioux City (2-0) – Despite winning two close contests against Omaha and Chicago, the defending champions are number one in this inaugural listing. They’re currently figuring things out with new quarterback Anthony Graham under center, but with time and with experienced receivers in Drew Prohaska and Fredrick Bruno, the Bandits will be the team to beat in the CIF.
Dodge City Law
Dodge City (2-0) – While Sioux City has survived its first two games, Dodge City has been dominant. However, the Law defeated a rebuilding San Angelo team and an expansion franchise in Mesquite. Expect them to beat San Angelo again to earn the series sweep, before being put to the test on the road against Amarillo on March 19.
Wichita (1-0) – The Force, eager to return to the CIF playoffs, got off on the right foot by rallying past Salina 66-44 on the road this past weekend. Despite the win, a quarterback battle between Emmanuel Taylor and Steve Panasuk has been neck in neck. They will host a stingy Duke City team on Saturday, who boast an athletic receiver corps in James Cleveland, Roland Bruno, Sedrick Johnson, Brock Ringo and Dexter Manley.
Omaha (1-1) – After dropping their initial game in a thriller against Sioux City, the Beef escaped Bloomington with a 34-31 victory. Compared to a 1-11 campaign in 2015, things are already looking up for one of the longest running clubs in indoor football. Better yet, the Beef will have a bye week before traveling to Salina on March 19.
Texas (0-0) – In an unpopular move, the CIF runner-up sits at the fifth spot on the poll. The Revs are well rested from their 63-34 win against the AIF’s Texas Stealth, and will go head to head against the Amarillo Venom on Friday evening in Allen. With a home win, expect Texas to leap upward in the next power rankings.
Amarillo (0-0) – Head Coach Julian Reese, when asked about the lack of exhibition games for VENOM graphic - colorthe Venom, was happy for the extra practice time. Extra practice and team chemistry are the best things for Amarillo right now, as they will face a stiff test against the Texas Revolution on Friday in Allen. With quarterback Nate Davis and “The Flash” Raymond Johnson Jr. returning along with a mix of rookies and veterans, the Venom have the potential to be dangerous in 2016.
Duke City (0-0) – The Gladiators, fresh from a 5-4 campaign in 2015, has the potential to unseat either Amarillo, Dodge City or Texas from the hierarchy of the CIF Southern Duke City GladiatorsDivision. Quarterback Taylor Genuser will have the position to himself this time around, along with an array of veterans at wide receiver among many others with NFL, Arena League and indoor football experience. Gladiators head coach Dominic Bramante should like his chances to make a bold statement this season.
Chicago (0-1) – The Eagles shouldn’t be this far down on the list, given their performance against the defending champs this past weekend. Led by quarterback Brendan Crawford, who spent time with the Amarillo Venom in the former Lone Star Football League, the Eagles also have some size in the trenches. For a large market like the Windy City, the Eagles need to make some noise in their inaugural CIF campaign to capture the sleeping hearts of local football fans.
Bloomington (0-1) – Honestly, Chicago and Bloomington could easily be either eighth or ninth in this week’s rankings. But dropping to the formerly lowly Omaha Beef at home didn’t help the Edge’s cause thus far. The former X-League franchise will have this weekend to rest and formulate a plan to knock Sioux City from the top of the CIF heap on the road March 19.
Salina (0-1) – Despite the turmoil that saw the Salina Bombers cease operations at the tail end of last season, the Liberty have stabilized and kept the tradition of indoor football in north-central Kansas alive and well. But they will have to figure out how to hold off opposing rallies, as seen by their 66-44 loss to Wichita on March 5. Salina will look to go even keel on the road Saturday against the upstart, and possibly lethal, Chicago Eagles.San_Angelo_Bandits
San Angelo (0-1) – A new color scheme and new uniforms is considerably good evidence that the Bandits are looking to rebuild a franchise who had lost most, if not all, of their 2013 LSFL championship coaches and roster. They will have a chance to put a dismal 2015 behind them, if they upset a surging Dodge City Law on the road this Saturday.
Mesquite (0-1) – To give the Marshals an alibi, they’re an expansion team. An expansion team who happens to be in a division with CIF title contenders in Mesquite_MarshalsTexas, Amarillo and Dodge City. Their schedule is certainly not friendly to begin their first season on the indoor gridiron either, hosting defending CIF Champion Sioux City on Saturday night.
Stay tuned for next week’s power rankings from yours truly. By then, we’ll see a lot of movement and proper seeding with the majority of Champions Indoor Football.