The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022

Random Thoughts: big games, rankings

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This post-Labor Day edition of Random Thoughts centers around key conference high school conference games, state rankings and college football.

Conference play

The NWC and the GMC will begin conference play this Friday night.

The two big NWC games to keep an eye on will be Crestview (3-0) at Allen East (2-1) and Bluffton (3-0) at Spencerville (1-2). Don’t let Spencerville’s 1-2 record fool you. The Bearcats lost to Division III Elida 7-0 and 34-13 to Division VII power Lima Central Catholic in a game that was close at halftime.

Due in part to challenging non-conference schedules, the GMC is off to kind of a rough start. There are no undefeated teams, but four teams are 2-1 while the remaining four are 0-3.

Meanwhile…

A big game WBL game is brewing at Eggerss Stadium on Friday, as Wapakoneta comes to town.

After dropping the opener to Division VII power Marion Local, Wapak has beaten Ottawa-Glandorf and St. Marys Memorial.

I fully expect Friday’s game to be a good one.

State rankings

The first statewide high school football rankings should come out today or tomorrow and I fully expect Van Wert to be ranked in the Top 10 in Division IV, perhaps even the Top 5.

It’s possible 3-0 Shawnee will be mentioned in the lower half of the Division III poll.

At 3-0, Crestview may be listed in the second 10 in Division VII and of course, the usual assortment of MAC teams will dot the poll.

Speaking of…

Speaking of state rankings, congratulations to the Van Wert Cougars for being ranked No. 6 in the first Division II Ohio Association of Track and Cross County Coaches poll.

Congratulations as well to Lincolnview, as the Lancers are ranked No. 10 in this week’s Division III poll.

Ohio State

Game one is in the books and was an eye opener.

Yes, Ohio State beat Minnesota after trailing at halftime but the Buckeyes have a lot of work to do before Saturday’s game against Oregon.

Unless the defense improves by leaps and bounds each week, Ohio State will simply have to lean on the offense to put up a ton of points and simply outscore people and with a very young and green quarterback, that may not always be possible.

Still, give the Buckeyes credit for beating a tough conference opponent on the road in the season opener.

Clemson

Many people were delighted with Clemson’s loss to Georgia on Saturday.

I won’t be shocked if the Tigers win out from here. They may not be as good as they were during the Trevor Lawrence years, but the two remaining non-conference games are South Carolina State (an FCS school) and UConn, while the ACC as a whole isn’t good.

Great games

College football fans were treated to some exciting games, including Penn State-Wisconsin, Clemson-Georgia and Notre Dame-Florida State.

Throw in fans in the stands, the bands and all of the usual things that go with college football and it was a great weekend.

If you have thoughts on any of the above subjects, feel free to email me at sports@thvwindependent.com.

POSTED: 09/07/21 at 3:58 am. FILED UNDER: Sports