So it’s time to recognize what McPherson is – the hands down favorite to win the KCAC, a Top 10 team and, in my opinion, a team that could make some real noise in the NAIA playoffs.
The Bulldogs, 3-0 and ranked No. 7 in the latest NAIA poll, dismantled then-No. 15 Friends two weeks ago and then showed that was no fluke by hammering No. 7 Ottawa this past Saturday at McPherson. Offensively, they’re a nightmare for any team that has the misfortune of playing them. Stop the run? They’ve got a quarterback in Shane Mascarenas who has shown he can turn any of his receivers into 100-yard game guys on any day. Focus on the pass? Bad idea. Preseason All American Aaron Lafitte will make you pay.
And the defense? Fuhgeddaboutit. They’re No. 1 in total defense in the league, and even those numbers are a little misleading because both of their KCAC games this year have been over by halftime. Like over over. Like the other team might as well have not played the second half. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) getting to see them play at home this year, as I’ve heard they’ve got one of the best home advantages in the league, if not the best. That being said, I think the rest of their schedule bears taking a look at as they get a bye this week. Why? Because I think they could run the table if they can survive two more tests – at Sterling and home against Kansas Wesleyan. And I use the word test very loosely.
Oct. 2 at Sterling
Another battle for first, and the schedule makers didn’t cut the Bulldogs any slack, did they? Projected record: 4-0
Oct. 9 Saint Mary
Spires are worst team in KCAC. Projected record: 5-0
Oct. 16 Kansas Wesleyan
KWU is the Paper Lion of the league the last two or three years. Their roster looks good, but… Projected record: 6-0
Oct. 23 at Southwestern
Southwestern has shown its not backing down from anybody. Might rethink that this weekend. Projected record: 7-0
Oct. 30 Tabor
Tabor is better. Not that much better. Projected record: 8-0
Nov. 6 Bethel
Did I say Saint Mary was the worst team in the KCAC this year? Projected record: 9-0
Nov. 13 at Bethany
Coronation day. Projected record: 10-0
So I’ve got Mac running the table. Which leads me to my final point. Even if they do go 10-0, I’m not going to really consider their season a success unless they can win a game (or two) in the NAIA playoffs. Sorry. I’ve just been burned too many times by the KCAC in the postseason to look at it any other way. Now watch this vid on Lafitte, and pay special attention to what he talks about at the end.