I’m back after a week of prep duty — I filled in for Joanna Chadwick over at VarsityKansas.com — but I’m back and taking a look at conference races in the Jayhawk, MIAA and KCAC. That and hand out some midseason awards for the KCAC and MIAA.
Four teams make the last Region VI playoffs — Dodge City is the only one that’s in so far — with Butler, Hutchinson, Highland, Garden City and Coffeyville still waiting to clinch … with increasing amounts of difficulty.
Here’s what they have left:
Butler (5-1, 4-1 Jayhawk): at Coffeyville, Hutchinson
Hutchinson (5-2, 4-1): Fort Scott, at Butler
Highland (5-3, 4-2): Bye, Independence
Garden City (4-3, 2-3): at Dodge City, at Coffeyville
Coffeyville (3-4, 2-3): Butler, Garden City
Garden City and Coffeyville have been all but mathematically eliminated. Highland is going to trounce Indy in the final game for one spot. As long as Butler splits over their last two games, they’re in. Same for Hutch, so count the Blue Dragons in because they play Fort Scott on Saturday at home. It’s been a crazy year in the Jayhawk.
There are five — count ‘em, five — teams that are 6-0 in conference play. Emporia State, Washburn, Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri and Pittsburg State. And there’s Missouri Southern, which is 5-1.
Here’s how it plays out:
Emporia State (6-0, 6-0 MIAA): at Lindenwood, Bye, at Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri, Washburn
Washburn (6-0, 6-0): Fort Valley State, Lindenwood, at Northwest Missouri, Missouri Western, at Emporia State
Missouri Western (6-0, 5-0): at Missouri Southern, Pittsburg State, Emporia State, at Washburn, Northwest Missouri
Northwest Missouri (6-0, 5-0): Pittsburg State, Missouri Southern, Washburn, at Emporia State, at Missouri Western
Pittsburg State (6-0, 5-0): Northwest Missouri, at Missouri Western, Northwestern Oklahoma, at Lindenwood, Missouri Southern
Missouri Southern (5-1, 4-1): Missouri Western, at Northwest Missouri, Lindendwood, Lindenwood-Belleville, at Pittsburg State
Behold, this craziness. Two huge games on deck Saturday — Missouri Western at Missouri Southern and Northwest Missouri vs. Pittsburg State at Arrowhead. Your guess is as good as mine.
Four teams still have a realistic shot at the title — Friends, Ottawa, Tabor and Sterling. Seven teams can still say they’re in it, technically. Here’s what we’ve got:
Friends (5-1, 4-0 KCAC): Tabor, at Bethany, at Bethel, Ottawa, at Saint Mary
Ottawa (5-1, 4-0): at Sterling, Southwestern, Kansas Wesleyan, at Friends, Tabor
Tabor (5-1, 3-1): at Friends, at McPherson, Bethany, Bethel, at Ottawa
Sterling (4-2, 3-1): Ottawa, at Saint Mary, at McPherson, Southwestern, at Kansas Wesleyan
McPherson (3-3, 2-2): at Saint Mary, Tabor, Sterling, at Bethany, at Southwestern
Southwestern (3-3, 2-2): Bethel, at Ottawa, Saint Mary, at Sterling, McPherson
Saint Mary (3-3, 2-2): McPherson, at Saint Mary, at Southwestern, at Kansas Wesleyan, Friends
Sterling gets Ottawa at home this Saturday — the Warriors have already upset Tabor. Friends, Ottawa and Tabor have yet to face each other, so that’s where most of this shakes out.