ABILENE, Texas - The tops in 2A Cisco Loboes will travel to the wonders of 1A Stamford for what nearly every analyst has pegged as the game of the week in the Big Country. The Loboes and Bulldogs are two of a handful of big country teams that know how it feels to be the favorite in nearly every game they play. They have the expectation to win it all and have been branded "invincible" be preseason experts.
The question for the teams and fans alike is if they actually enjoy the nervous pre-game energy, the feeling of not knowing, that anything can happen, to tussle with a team who's dominance equals that of your own.
These two Big Country behemoths will give themselves a chance to truly examine their teams' weaknesses and strengths.
"We want to play great caliber ball clubs, i mean we want to play where going in you don't know if you are going to win, going to lose. It creates a challenge," Bulldogs Coach Wayne Hutchinson explained to KTXS Thursday.
While Stamford has a blemish on their record – a Week 1 touchdown loss to Munday – Cisco nearly lost their perfect record by a single point last week against Godley. "You've got to be able to get up one week and not fall off the next and if you fall off against Stamford they don't just beat you, they beat you bad," Coach Brent West explained.
The Loboes and Bulldogs are certainly evenly matched in terms of relative dominance and possession of a balanced offense. Coach Hutchinson talked about the threat Cisco's offense poses, "They have a very good running back who runs north and south, he's very strong…they're quarterback is very good as well, I think he gets overlooked a lot."
The fact that Stamford is outclassed by Cisco and outmatched in terms of record would seem to tip the scale in favor of the Loboes. However, Stamford's home-field advantage counts for something as well. Bill Anderson Stadium contains one of the most rocous crowds in the Big Country who will do their best to be a twelfth man. Either way, this match-up is sure to be as good as any we may see this season.