State football tournaments fixing to kick off, college ball readies for playoffs

By: 
Bill Bentson

This is an early "edition" of the WEB (Tuesday, Nov. 26) so I don’t have a lot of high school sports stuff. This is going to be a hodge-podge of material, a few "bits and pieces" (aka odds and ends).

I am going to go out on the limb (I just have to make sure if I "saw," I do it on the outside of the limb) and pick the 2019 Prep Bowl championships.

Nine-man: Hancock (13-0) vs. Mt. Lake Area (13-0); Mt. Lake Area, 35-6.

Class A: BOLD (13-0) vs. Blooming Prairie (12-0); BOLD, 34-28, overtime.

Class AA: Caledonia (13-0) vs. Mpls. North (12-0); Caledonia, 28-13.

Class AAA: Dassel-Cokato (10-3) vs. Pierz (13-0); Pierz, 21-10.

Class AAAA: St. Paul Academy/M’haha Academy/Blake (12-0) vs. Rocori (10-2); SMB, 34-13.

Class AAAAA: Chaska (11-1) vs. St. Thomas Academy (11-1); St. Thomas Academy, 14-13.

Class AAAAAA: Wayzata (13-0) vs. Champlin Park (11-1); Wayzata, 32-17.

I’ll let you know next week how I did.

College football

The big news up this way (the Great Northwest) is North Dakota State University (Fargo). The Bison got the No. 1 seed in the upcoming FCS playoffs and will play the winner of the Nichols State (8-4) vs. North Dakota (Grand Forks, 7-4) game. 

South Dakota State (Brookings, 8-4) also made the playoffs, No. 7, and will play the UNI (Northern Iowa, 8-4)/San Diego (9-2) winner.  NDSU is looking to make it to the finals again this year. 

If they do, they will probably meet James Madison (No. 2, 11-1) in Frisco, Texas, for the championship.

In the Division II tournament, Augustana (9-2) made it in to the playoffs, but lost to Colorado State (Pueblo, 10-1), 17-0.  Sioux Falls (8-3) also made it, but they lost too, to Colorado School of Mines (11-0), 24-21. 

Minnesota State (Mankato, 11-0) got a bye in the first round, and will now play Colorado State (11-1).  The next round of the DII tournament is Saturday, Nov. 30.  The DII championship game is played in McKinney, Texas. 

Both Frisco and McKinney are northern suburbs of Dallas, Texas.  The DII championship game in McKinney is at the high school stadium, which recently opened at a cost of $69.2 million dollars. 

The Division III playoffs are also underway.  St. John’s (Collegeville, 9-1) beat Aurora (9-1), 51-47, and will now play Chapman (Orange, California, 10-0) on Saturday. Wisconsin-Whitewater and Central (Pella, Iowa) are also ‘still alive’ in the DIII playoffs.

Here is a look at one individual’s prediction for Tuesday night’s “playoff poll.”  Lets see how he does.  When you get the latest copy of the WEB (this one), check and see how this prognosticator did! I thought it was very interesting.

1. LSU (11-0): The Tigers might hold off Ohio State for No. 1 after Penn State battled to keep it close against OSU. As for LSU, a rout of Arkansas means the Tigers did what they could in Week 13.

2. Ohio State (11-0): The Buckeyes led Penn State 21-0 before PSU made it more respectable. Is that enough for the committee to move Ohio State to No. 1? That's going to be the big question.

3. Clemson (11-0): Clemson didn't play in Week 13, as rival South Carolina is next before the Tigers go for another ACC title.

4. Georgia (10-1): The Bulldogs had another close one, but a win is a win. After Georgia Tech, UGA will be in Atlanta again for the SEC Championship Game against LSU.

5. Alabama (10-1): The Tide might remain here for another week, though 'Bama will need to look mighty impressive against Auburn if it's going to hold off other 1-loss teams that could win their conferences.

6. Utah (10-1): While Oregon stumbled against Arizona State, the Utes had an easier time in the state, as they crushed Arizona 35-7.

7. Oklahoma (10-1): Jalen Hurts and OU rallied to stun Baylor, but the Sooners moved up only one spot. OU then held on against TCU. The Sooners will have to beat Baylor again in the Big 12 title game, but Oklahoma State is up first.

8. Minnesota (10-1): The Gophers did what they needed to do in beating Northwestern. But the Gophers now must defeat rival Wisconsin to win the division.

9. Penn State (9-2): The Nittany Lions showed a ton of fight in losing to Ohio State by only 11 on the road. But does that second loss mean PSU drops behind 1-loss Minnesota because of the head-to-head?

10. Florida (9-2): The Gators are in the hunt for a New Year's Six spot. They get Florida State in Week 14.

11. Wisconsin (9-2): Jonathan Taylor dominated against Purdue to set up a huge showdown with Minnesota for the Big Ten West title.

12. Michigan (9-2): The Wolverines have looked good since early in the Penn State game, winning big at Indiana this week. But do they have what it takes to seriously push Ohio State, even at home?

13. Baylor (10-1): The Bears clinched a spot Big 12 title game (and a rematch with Oklahoma) by beating Texas.

14. Oregon (9-2): The Ducks will have to drop quite a bit for losing to what was a 5-5 Arizona State team. Those CFP hopes are gone.

15. Auburn (8-3): The Tigers crushed FCS Samford. But all eyes now turn to 'Bama and the Iron Bowl. Auburn could end those Tide title hopes.

16. Notre Dame (9-2): The Irish have an uphill climb to get in a better position to make the New Year's Six. They have to root for more upsets.

17. Iowa (8-3): The Hawkeyes got a season-high 308 passing yards from Nate Stanley to get by Illinois.

18. Memphis (10-1): It's a short week before facing Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 29.

19. Cincinnati (10-1): The Bearcats had another close victory and now need to slow down the high-scoring Memphis offense.

20. Boise State (10-1) The Broncos have fought through QB injury problems to keep on winning big, this time at Utah State.

21. Oklahoma State (8-3): The Cowboys have very quietly won four in a row. Next up: Bedlam.

22. Iowa State (7-4): The Cyclones scored two touchdowns in the final 5:10 to escape against Kansas.

23. USC (8-4): Kedon Slovis passed for 515 yards and four touchdowns. But they need Utah to get upset by Colorado to win the Pac-12 South.

24. Appalachian State (10-1): The Mountaineers have rebounded nicely since losing to Georgia Southern on Halloween.

25. Navy (8-2): The Midshipmen might take the spot of current No. 25 SMU after beating the Mustangs 35-28.

I wonder where the Gophers would be if they would have beaten Iowa and still undefeated? 

College volleyball

Division I: 1) Baylor (23-1), 2) Pittsburgh (28-1), 3) Stanford (22-4), 4) Texas (20-3), 5) Wisconsin (21-5), 6) Nebraska (23-4), 7) Penn State (23-4), 8) Minnesota (21-5), 9) Washington (23-5), 10) Creighton (24-4).  Playoff brackets for the DI schools isn’t out yet.

Division II: the brackets are "out" for the DII schools.  In the Central division, Minnesota-Duluth is the No. 2 seed and plays Central Missouri (No. 7), Concordia-St. Paul is No. 3 and plays Washburn (Topeka, Kansas), St. Cloud State (No. 5) plays No. 4 Northern State (Aberdeen). 

Division III.  St. Benedict (No. 7) is in the final eight and will play Johns Hopkins (No. 2) in the first round of the Elite Eight tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

I went into the NCAA website and got the rankings for wrestling, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s hockey, but doesn’t look like I have enough room for all that this week.

I can say the Lady Gophers are the No. 1 ranked hockey team in Division I.  Gustavus Adolphus and St. Thomas are in the top 10 for Division III.

And speaking of St. Thomas, and football, there is talk about them moving up to Division One (FCS) football, battling the likes of NDSU and SDSU.  Wow!  Isn’t that a kick in the pants!

I was going through the area papers and found a couple tidbits.

Greg Davids, 2019 Wall of Honor inductee — great article in the Spring Valley Tribune (Oct. 30 and Nov. 6) ceremony on Friday, Nov. 1. Terry Klomps was the MC.  Congratulations, Greg.  I bet Mr. Klomps did an excellent job.

Spring Valley Living expansion will include a 24-unit memory care. Great move by Spring Valley Living!

Chatfield votes down referendum levy for more money.  Ouch. Chatfield is pretty frugal with their money.  That hurts. 

Lonny Berge, sales manager for the Bluff Country News Group.  Congratulations, Lonny. 

That’s going to do it for me.  Hope you have a great week, one day at a time. 

Hasta luego, my friends. Hey to the Great 8, my fab 4, and my super-duper wife, Carol. Thanks, Jordan. Keep up the good work.  Good luck to all the winter activities. 

I saw my first game of the season last week, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City at Kimball Area. First game went into overtime, with the Lady Falcons winning (look it up to find out who won). Bill.