2021 PIGSKIN PREVIEW: Where we were right and wrong

We discuss our predictions and where we whiffed in our 2021 magazine.

We put out our annual pigskin preview every August – and in that, we have our predictions for the season.

This year was a tough year for predictions with COVID, schedule changes, new coaches and good teams all over the place.

Like every year, we got some right and we got some wrong – and we have no problem admitting we whiffed hard on a few this season.

WRONG: COC standings

We got the top four teams in the COC right, but we messed up the order big time.

I thought Nixa would win it and they finished third. I thought Carthage would finish third and they won it, going 9-0 in the regular season.

We had Joplin 4th and they finished 2nd behind the Tigers.

We had Webb City 2nd and they finished 4th. I don’t regret it or feel bad about it. They went on to win it all. It is what it is.

RIGHT: Lamar Tigers

I almost feel bad taking credit for this because it was a no-brainer, but we had the Lamar tigers going 9-0 and that’s what they did.

Not only that, but it wasn’t really close.

Lamar won their regular season games by an average of 38 points-per-game. The Tigers finished as the Missouri Class 2 state runner-up.

They’re 25-2 with a state title in their first two years under head coach Jared Beshore.

WRONG: Girard Trojans

This team has been bouncing around .500 for years.

We had them picked to go 5-3 and they blew that out of the water.

Girard finished the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record – their first undefeated season since 1999. The Trojans won a district title and a regional title, finishing the year with a 10-1 overall record.

RIGHT: Aurora Houn’Dawgs

I thought the Aurora Houn’Dawgs would take another step forward – and that’s what they did this season.

We had them at 7-2 in our magazine and they finished 7-2.

After losing their season opener, the Houn’Dawgs ripped off 7 straight wins before falling to Nevada in the regular season finale. After that great regular season, their playoff run didn’t last long because….

WRONG: Seneca Indians

The Seneca Indians beat them in the first round.

Seneca is one of our biggest whiffs of the fall. We had them in our magazine at 2-7. They dunked on us and went 5-4 in their first season under head coach Cody Hilburn. Not only that, but these guys turned it on in the playoffs, going on to win a district title and finish with an 8-5 overall record.

Seneca. Guys. We blew it. Sorry.

RIGHT: Galena Bulldogs

Galena finished 7-1 this year and that’s right where we had them.

They lost their season opener at Commerce, Oklahoma – then went on a 7-game winning streak to end the regular season.

The Bulldogs did fall in the first round of the post-season, but they’re one of the best and most consistent programs in the area, going 41-10 the last five seasons.

WRONG: Parsons Vikings

I knew the Parsons Vikings were going to be better in year two under Jeff Schibi. I just didn’t know they would be that much better.

They were 3-6 last season. We picked them to go 4-4. They ended with a 6-2 record in the regular season.

Parsons went on to win a playoff game and finish 7-3 overall.

RIGHT: Missouri Southern Lions

I know you’re thinking “you’re going to take credit for picking them to go 3-8?”

Short answer: yes

In their first season under head coach Atiba Bradley, the Lions went 3-8 as we predicted.

That is significant, because the last time they won three games was all the way back in 2014 when I couldn’t even rent a car.

Southern is headed in the right direction, they’re fun to watch again and they’re going to continue to get better.

WRONG: McDonald County Mustangs

We had the McDonald County Mustangs in our magazine at 6-3. They went 8-1 in the regular season – their best finish since the 60’s.

This team was fun to watch. Their only loss in the regular season was to Lamar, who would go on to finish as the Missouri Class 2 state runner-up, and they finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak.

The Mustangs ended up playing for a district title and finishing 10-2. We were wrong there.

WRAPPING UP

There are more we got right and wrong. Some by a little, some by a lot. These are just the ones that stood out to me.