Scheduling an undefeated non-district schedule isn't too tough.
But just because you have a 5-0 record doesn't mean it's going to mean much to the big programs. The successful programs are less tentative about playing each other these days for two reasons _ nobody else will play them or they know the playoffs are the benchmark and playing strong teams in non-district is a good program evaluator.
But those up-and-comers need a little confidence. Let'em build up a little momentum against mediocre or inferior opponents. But there comes at least one time in district when it's time to be a Pretender or a Contender?
Part II of some upcoming Pretender or Contender matchups?
Burkburnett at BridgeportThere's a wide variety of opinion on which will take the District 5-3A lead when they meet Friday in Bridgeport. Oldcoach experts Jerry Forrest and Joe Lee Smith, who do all the ciphering and numerical analysis around here offer differing rankings.
Joe Lee leans toward Burk with a No. 3 state ranking for DI. He's got Bridgeport at No. 8 in DII. Jerry's showing that he sees both at 5-0 but not completely convinced about either. Jerry has Bridgeport at No. 18 in his overall state rankings and Burk at No. 23.
Wichita Falls Times Record reporter Zach Duncan was taking a poll from like opponents this week.
Argyle coach Todd Rodgers played both and would give Bridgeport a slight edge.
"I think they're a little more complete team," said Rodgers. "They can do so many things to be successful. They don't make many mistakes, and they're well coached."
Graham coach Brad McCoy lost to both and said he wasn't sure who'll win but sure didn't think there'd be a shortage of touchdowns scored.
Some might give Burk the edge with a little better defense. There has been strong performances from junior linebacker Malachi Naef and safeties Jordan Beach and Jay Gould. QB Jason Beach operates an option offense well.
Bridgeport boasts senior quarterback Cameron Green and his running back brother Corbin, who are halfway to being a 3,000-yard total offense household.
Pretender or Contender?
I'll go old-school and stick with Burkburnett's defense as the difference. Burk also has last year's playoff win while Bridgeport got a first-round ouster.
Smithson Valley at SA MadisonWho is the Alpha Male of District 26-5A?
The Smithson Valley-Madison winner has been district champ the last two years. Smithson won in '06. Madison took the lead with a regular season and playoff wins over Smithson Valley in '07.
Smithson isn't going to wow any national rivals recruiting experts into town, but they seemed to have found themselves after a district loss to SA Reagan. Quarterback Jacob Brown is gaining momentum and that's huge for Smithson Valley programs.
Madison has the headliner talent with super sophomore running back Aaron Green, already in rivals' national database.
Pretender or Contender?
Smithson Valley still is a solid program but not bursting with overall talent. It's Madison's turn for some state playoff runs. Smithson will be glad when the last Green gets out of Madison.