Here's a new feature that I'm going to write every Monday morning, hence the name: Monday Morning Quarterback.
It will be a quick review of the weekend's key games, with my thoughts to accompany it.
• CLINTON-BRODHEAD: This was my first look of both teams this season, and there were aspects of both teams that I came away impressed with.
With Clinton, I don't think you can underscore losing nearly every starter on the field and trying to come back with a competitive team in a school Clinton's size. And to my eyes, that's what they have: A competitive team.
Jackson Nelson is a terrific two-way player, Jack Henschler is an excellent athlete at the quarterback position, and Riley Anastasi was a late addition to the squad that helps on both sides of the ball.
Clinton's offense isn't nearly as bad as the six points it has scored in the first two weeks. In both games, the Cougars were able to mount drives before penalties, bad snaps, or penalties would get in the way. Those are correctable mistakes that should greatly help the Cougars when they are rectified.
Will the Cougars make the playoffs? They certainly have dug themselves in a hole at 0-2, but not one that can't dig out of. Take care of Whitewater Friday night (and they should have little trouble doing that), and the road to five wins becomes a lot more realistic.
The Cardinals are better than I thought they were, and have an excellent opportunity to qualify for the playoffs. I thought they did a really nice job defensively, and they really wore down the Clinton defense in the second half as they salted the game away.
Jeff Williams is one of the fastest players in the conference and is a dangerous weapon. I think their passing game has the opportunity to hit for some big plays. There's a lot to like there. Going to be a fascinating challenge for them when they head to Edgerton Friday. It's another swing game for the Cards. If they can get this one and move to 3-0, the playoffs start becoming a foregone conclusion and a run for a conference crown can't be ruled out.
• BELOIT TURNER at BIG FOOT: No real surprises for me out of this game. The Trojans have the opportunity for a tremendous season, and nothing I've seen so far through the first two games makes me think any different.
They face their first real challenge Friday when they take on an improved McFarland team. This is their opportunity to stake a real claim in the RVC race for the title.
• BELOIT MEMORIAL at SUN PRAIRIE: Well, this was about the worst start the Purple Knights could've planned. Not so much the 0-2 part, but the way things have gone. A disappointing opener against Craig, followed by an offensive showing that included just four total yards and one first down. That's a lot of tape to correct from for Rodney Wedig.
All of a sudden, Friday's game against La Follette becomes critical. The Lancers are one step above the bottom-dwellers and one step below the conference's elite. If the Knights still harbor hope of ending their playoff drought, a win Friday is a must. After all, there are only two games that remain on the schedule that you can truly project wins: Janesville Parker and Madison East. And heck, after what we've been shown thus far, there might not be any "sure things" for this squad. Plenty of time left, but they need to get going Friday night.
• HONONEGAH at GUILFORD: This went as expected as well. The Vikings are a hot mess, and the Indians are solid, and maybe much better than that.
After a week, it's difficult to determine just how good the Indians are, and how bad the Vikings are. But that enormous offensive line should continue to give Ryan Van Schelven plenty of time, and give Isiah Richardson plenty of daylight with which to run.
The Indians will face a challenge Friday against a talented Freeport team that shut down Auburn Friday. It should be a good one.