Nitz: The Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference’s East Division has been a very good football conference during its first two years. DeKalb and Sycamore opened up league play Week 3, with the Spartans getting a victory at Huskie Stadium. This week, those two teams play their final crossover games, while the rest of the NI Big 12 East gets into the league schedule.
The key game of the week is Kaneland, the No. 5-ranked team in Class 6A, against Rochelle, ranked No. 10 in 5A. Both teams are undefeated. The Knights haven’t lost a conference game since the league was formed in 2010.
Is any team going to dethrone Kaneland this season, or do the Knights win their third consecutive NI Big 12 East title?
Jacobson: I really like Morris this season. The Redskins beat a very good Richards squad led by quarterback Tommy Mister and their defense hasn’t yielded more than 25 points in four contests thus far.
But I’m a firm believer in going with history until proven otherwise. Kaneland’s defense has turned things around the past two weeks, posting back-to-back shutouts and the Knights always are dangerous on offense. If Drew David can cut back on the turnovers, I think Kaneland will win its third consecutive crown.
Do you think it’s a two-horse race or could team such as Sycamore, Rochelle or Yorkville sneak in and win it?
Nitz: Before the season I would have told you it’s going to come down to the Knights and Redskins. However, through four weeks, I’ve been impressed with Rochelle and Sycamore, as well. I still believe Kaneland and Morris are the two best teams in the league, and I give the edge to the Knights. Neither of those two teams will have a cakewalk through the conference though.
This is a very good conference, and it should be an interesting five weeks of conference play.