Man, do I love football.
I became a football fan when I was young. I remember watching Tony Gonzalez and the Kansas City Chiefs.
You remember the 2003 team? You know, the team that didn't force a punt against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
I went to Northwest Missouri State and earned a degree in Sports Media. After graduating in the Spring of 2015, I started applying for jobs and landed in Kearney, Neb. For those of you who don't know, Kearney is the equivalent to Raytown or Liberty, and boy, does the Kearney area love its football.
The publication I worked for when I first started covered 29 schools. We had a mix of 11-man, 8-man and, yes, even 6-man football teams -- did you know 6-man was invented in Nebraska?
While in Kearney, I covered two schools regularly -- Kearney and Kearney Catholic. Kearney is a Class A school, while Kearney Catholic was in Class C1. Each school ran different offenses. Kearney ran a lot of I-formation. Kearney Catholic primarily operated out of the shotgun and ran a zone-read scheme.
In my time in Nebraska, I saw a lot of Class A games. I saw the talent, I saw legendary coaches and programs play each other on a regular basis, and this got me thinking.
What if, somehow, some way, the metropolitan areas of Greater Omaha and Kansas City started a series -- we'll call it the I-29 series. Now, I know what many of you are thinking. ... the Omaha schools don't stand a chance against the likes of Bishop Miege, Lee's Summit West, Mill Valley, Blue Valley, Blue Valley North, Blue Springs, Rockhurst, Staley, Maryville, etc.
If I hadn't spent the last three years in Nebraska, I'd agree with you.
Omaha has produced some Division I talent over the years, and last year, those numbers started to increase. Last year's Class A state champ, Omaha Burke, had three players ranked by national recruiting services -- two of which committed to Nebraska.
Bellevue West has two DI players this year. The aforementioned Omaha Burke has a four-star wideout who recently gave a verbal commit to Notre Dame.
So, what would these potential matchups look like and how would the states schedule these hypothetical games?
In Nebraska, the NSAA is in charge of the scheduling for every class. They have a two-year cycle for districts. Once the two-year cycle ends, they rank the teams who racked up the most "wild card" points. The top teams generally get the easier district.
The majority of Class A has five teams in a district, so there are four 'non-district' those teams will play, the majority of which are rivalry games.
Here are my dream matchups:
Omaha Skutt Catholic vs Bishop Miege
Omaha North vs Blue Springs
Bellevue West vs Lee's Summit West
Omaha Burke vs Fort Osage
Elkhorn South vs Staley
Millard West vs Blue Valley North
Millard South vs Mill Valley
With the matchups out of the way, now the sites can be home and home, or they could be played on neutral sites - say Peru State in southeast Nebraska or Missouri Western State or Northwest Missouri State, both of which are smack dab in the middle.
As of right now it’s a pipe dream.