With all apologies to Jim Mora: “Parity? You’re talking parity?” Okay, maybe old Jim was talking about playoffs when he uttered his now-famous press conference remark, but the current standings in the NIFL as we enter the 4th week of play make me wonder if this indoor football league has achieved parity or just symmetry. Of the 24 teams in the league, 8 are undefeated, 8 haven’t won a game and 8 are somewhere in the middle. Curious.
Games results were split 50-50 last week, as both the home and away squads managed 5 victories apiece. Scoring was close, as the home teams averaged scoring 42 points per contest as opposed to the 39 points per contest. To put it another way, NIFL fans were treated to better than 11 touchdowns scored per game. No wonder concession stands are busiest at half-time.
Out of the 10 games played last week, my predict-ability (ahem) stayed consistent as 7 of those games went down as foretold. This brings my yearly accuracy to 18-5, or 78.2%.
The NIFL has 8 games scheduled for this weekend, with one early game having already been played on Tuesday, April 1st. In that game, the Myrtle Beach Stingrays defeated the Tennessee RiverHawks 45-44.
Friday, April 4th
Show Me Believers (1-1) @ La Crosse Night Train (1-1)
What a pair these two teams make. Each is in the running to be crowned “The Most Improved Squad”, both started their seasons with a division win followed by a division loss and now they get to face each other in a Friday night showdown. I like the talent level of both squads, but you have to go with the home field advantage in this game as this will be the first road test for the Believers. In a spirited, exciting game, La Crosse pulls out a late-game victory.
Lincoln Capitols (0-2) @ Rapid City Red Dogs (2-1)
Lincoln looks nothing like the Pacific North powerhouse that they were a year before. Rapid City is much-improved over last year, but still has work to do in order to make a statement. The deciding factor in this game will be on the defensive side of the ball, where Rapid City should have a field day with the Lincoln passing game. In a mid-scoring affair, the Red Dogs improve to 3-1.
Saturday, April 5th
Austin Rockers (0-1) @ Lake Charles Land Sharks (2-0)
Austin has put together a decent on-the-field product and should give the Land Sharks a good run for their money. But, we are talking about the Land Sharks here. Arguably one of the top teams in the league, year in and year out. Do you see where I’m going with this prediction? Lake Charles remains undefeated.
Bismarck Roughriders (0-2) @ Omaha Beef (1-0)
The Roughriders are aptly named, as the Bismarck squad has sputtered out of the gate to an 0-2 record. Granted, both losses have come on the road and, granted, the Roughriders have made steps to improve. Unfortunately, this game is also on the road and, even more unfortunately, it’s against the Omaha Beef. Omaha wins big.
Wyoming Cavalry (1-1) @ Sioux Falls Storm (1-1)
In what could be the game of the week, quarterback Matt Strand leads the Cavalry into the hostile confines of the Sioux Falls Arena to face the Storm. In nearly every position except at quarterback, I have to give the talent and experience nod to the Storm. The win goes to the Storm as well.
Louisiana Bayou Bucks (2-0) @ Utah Warriors (2-0)
You’d think that I would talk up a game against two unbeaten teams. That I would say that this will be the game of the week. That the Warriors faithful are in for a slobber-knocker. I’m sorry to disappoint, but I can’t. The Bayou Bucks haven’t face a team as talented as the Warriors yet this year. And, early reports are that Warriors “money” quarterback Danny Ragsdale could be sidelined with an injury this week. All in all, Utah keeps their record perfect, although it might be an ugly display.
Sioux City Bandits (1-1) @ Tri City Diesel (2-0)
The Tri City Diesel have stayed under the radar and have jumped out to a 2-0 record. The Sioux City Bandits won a squeaker last week, defeating the Rapid City Red Dogs by three points. But with questions surrounding the Diesel at quarterback, I think the Bandits will force Tri City to be a 1-dimension offense. Sioux City will jump out to a quick lead, forcing the Diesel to play catch-up, which Tri City will not be able to do. Sioux City wins.
Evansville BlueCats (0-2) @ Ohio Valley Greyhounds (1-0)
The 2002 NIFL Champs are playing at home. And hosting the expansion Evansville BlueCats. The winless expansion Evansville BlueCats. Ohio Valley puts the game away in the first half and gives their starters the rest of the night off.
NIFL Power Poll
Every week, a group of NIFL experts ranging from media personalities to rabid fans put together the NIFL Power Poll. Back for it’s third year, our pollsters rank each NIFL team. The poll results are then averaged and each team ranked according to power.
||Ohio Valley Greyhounds
||I don’t see them falling in the poll until the suffer a loss. If they suffer a loss.
||They’re for real, but how crucial is Ragsdale?
||Lake Charles Land Sharks
||There must be blood in the water. I mean, on the land. Whatever.
||They edged out a victory over a team called the Believers? C’mon!
||They’re good, but not “Utah” good.
||Rapid City Red Dogs
||Their loss to Sioux City should have been a wake-up call.
||How many wins do the need in order to crack the Top 5?
||Will their quick start be ruined by quarterback woes?
||Lacrosse Night Train
||More swagger than talent was displayed last week. They’ll get back on track.
||Fort Wayne Freedom
||The Freedom are ringing!
||They’ve turned the corner. Maybe. Iraq has a better defense.
||Houma Bayou Bucks
||Being undefeated was fun while it lasted.
||Show Me Believers
||Better than everybody though. Could be a sleeper.
||Sioux Falls Storm
||Much better than their poll position. I’d still like to see a change at quarterback.
||Close loss to the Land Sharks. They’ll move up on the poll.
||What a disappointment. From top dog to road kill.
||Sioux City Bandits
||Big win for Sioux City last week, but little poll movement.
||They’re dropping more bombs than Shock and Awe.
||Rumor is they’re “improving” by taking the scraps from other teams. Panic.
||This will be the lowest they’ll ever be on the poll.
||A few lucky bounces, and an easier schedule, and they’d be a power! April Fools!
||Myrtle Beach Stingrays
||They beat Tennessee and are still a cellar dweller. I need new pollsters.
||At least they aren’t Tupelo.
||For the tech-savvy types out there:
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