Colbert’s Prep Playbook: Eyeing the power rankings before WSL football begins
2A WSL STANDINGS
1. Delta, 4-0 (0-0)
2. Basalt, 4-0 (0-0)
3. Rifle, 4-0 (0-0)
4. Moffat County, 4-0 (0-0)
5. Aspen, 2-2 (0-0)
6. Coal Ridge, 1-3 (0-0)
Delta at Aspen
Moffat County at Basalt
Coal Ridge at Rifle
Welcome to October, where league play kicks into high gear for the fall sports teams. The first Class 2A Western Slope League football games are Friday, so this seems a good time to whip out the ole power rankings.
This is, in my opinion, the unquestioned best league in the classification and every game is going to be a test. Four of the six teams enter WSL play with a perfect 4-0 record and three are ranked in the top seven this week in the CHSAANow.com media/coaches poll.
Here’s how I see it ultimately playing out.
1. Delta. The 4-0 Panthers are No. 2 in the state behind Rifle, but I can’t ignore what they’ve done. Through four games, Delta has outscored its opponents 201-0. Yes, zero, as in they haven’t allowed a single point so far this season. I question the difficulty of their schedule somewhat, but still, that’s impressive. I see you Rifle, but Delta deserves to be atop the power rankings entering league play.
2. Rifle. The top-ranked team in 2A is second in my rankings, but it’s really a 1B sort of thing. The Bears have outscored opponents 160-39 and have played a slightly tougher schedule than Delta. Plus, Rifle is the defending league champ, despite a loss last season to Aspen. The Delta-Rifle game on Oct. 11 might not just be for the league title, but for the No. 1 seed in the state playoffs. Although, both teams trail in RPI to two of their league foes, including…
3. Basalt. The 4-0 Longhorns have the best RPI in the league this week at No. 3, and are ranked No. 7 in the coaches’ poll. It’s been the same formula for Basalt under longtime coach Carl Frerichs this season, using a stifling defense and effective rushing attack to grind down opponents. It’s not flashy, but it sure works. BHS has outscored its opponents 116-26, which includes two shutouts. Will it be enough to take down Delta (Oct. 18) or Rifle (Oct. 25)? Stay tuned.
4. Aspen. So, the No. 5 team on this list might have a gripe about this one but I really believe the Skiers, who are 2-2, would also be among those 4-0 teams had they been healthy all season. They were controlling Bayfield in the opener before quarterback Tyler Ward was knocked out, and they were just too shorthanded against Meeker. But they’ve rolled to wins over Cedaredge (26-6) and Grand Valley (44-0) the past two weeks and seem to be on track again. Don’t sleep on this team, now that it’s healthy again.
5. Moffat County. At 4-0, the Bulldogs are certainly the league’s biggest surprise. They finished a mere 3-6 overall last fall, but look darn good this season. Moffat crushed both Summit and Steamboat Springs before pulling out nail-biters against Battle Mountain and Pagosa Springs. I think the league will ultimately put them in their place over the coming weeks, but with an RPI of 4 they have certainly made the 2A WSL look good.
6. Coal Ridge. At 1-3, the Titans have been outscored 78-63 and are the only ones who really have no chance at the WSL title. They beat Olathe in the opener, but have since lost to Meeker, Hotchkiss and Paonia, the latter two games by a combined four points. Despite the record, I still wouldn’t take this group lightly. They, like just about every team in the league not called Aspen, have a pretty solid running game. Not that the pass-happy Skiers can’t pull it off on the ground.
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Chase Kelly, playing at No. 3 singles, won his first three matches before falling to Niwot’s Luke Weber in the final. It was the lone loss of the season for the freshman.