REV grabs No. 1 seed in state playoffs

The Redlands East Valley volleyball team, fresh off a CIF title victory over Corona del Mar Saturday, was named the No. 1 seed in the Southern California bracket in the Division II state playoffs. The Wildcats (35-1) open with El Cajon Valhalla on Tuesday at 7 p.m. With a win, REV would face the La Canada-Hanford winner on Saturday. The state championship match is scheduled for December 6 at the Bren Center on the campus of UC Irvine.

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Week 13 top 25

Crazy weekend in the Big 12, which is more jumbled than ever. Should be a fun homestretch.

1. Alabama (2) – This one is pretty simple, as the Tide is the only BCS team that hasn’t lost. Look for them to even six years worth of scores against Auburn.

2. Florida (3) – I should penalize Florida for playing a weak I-AA team like The Citadel, but you can’t dispute how the Gators have looked against I-A competition lately.

3. Texas (4) – I put Texas ahead of Oklahoma because it beat Oklahoma at a neutral site, are the only one of the Big 3 to not get a home game against the others and because they have the toughest Big 12 schedule. The Longhorns will be right in the middle of an old-fashioned BCS controversy.

4. Oklahoma (5) – Sooners looked awesome in beating Texas Tech, but I can’t justify putting Oklahoma ahead of Texas right now. I just can’t at all.

5. USC (6) – Trojans move up because of the severity of Texas Tech’s loss. They’ll need to kill Notre Dame and UCLA to have any sort of shot at a title.

6. Utah (7) – The Utes capped off an undefeated season with a big win over hated rival BYU. A BCS bid should follow in two weeks.

7. Texas Tech (1) – Well, Tech might have kept its national title shot if it had hung with Oklahoma. But 65-21 ain’t going to do it.

8. Penn State (8) – The Nittany Lions clinched a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl berth with a blowout over Michigan State. The Rose Bowl committee and networks are hoping to God its not a rematch with Oregon State.

9. Boise State (9) – The Broncos are now one win away from an undefeated regular season. However, Utah’s victory will likely leave Boise State on the outside looking in at the BCS.

10. Ohio State (10) – The Buckeyes smacked Michigan around for the fifth straight year to end the regular season at 10-2. Now they’ll root against Oregon State in hopes of sneaking into the BCS as an at-large.

11. Georgia (12) – The Bulldogs had the week off and are basically playing for New Year’s Day positioning at this point. A rivalry game with Ga. Tech looms.

12. Oklahoma State (13) – The Cowboys could be the latest team to throw a monkey wrench in the title hunt if they beat Oklahoma this upcoming week.

13. Ball State (14) – The Cardinals grabbed a huge win at two-time MAC champion Central Michigan Wednesday. A win over Western Michigan would leave Ball State one win away from an undefeated regular season.

14. Missouri (15) – If Oklahoma State can’t do the job against Oklahoma this week, it might be the Tigers who have a chance to screw up the BCS.

15. TCU (16) – The Horned Frogs destroyed Air Force to conclude a 10-win season, with its only losses coming to Oklahoma and Utah.

16. Oregon State (18) – The Beavers winning the Pac-10, which they would with a victory over Oregon this weekend, would be a great story. But the Rose Bowl committee, ABC, USC and Ohio State will be rooting like heck against them.

17. Cincinnati (20) – The Bearcats took a huge step towards a Big East title and a BCS berth by beating Pittsburgh. A win over Syracuse this week would clinch that.

18. BYU (11) – The Cougars couldn’t quite topple Utah, and take a tumble as a result. Still, 10-2 isn’t something to be scoffed at.

19. Georgia Tech (25) – Any time you can run for over 400 yards, as the Yellow Jackets did against Miami, you have something. An upset win over Georgia would do wonders for the Georgia Tech program.

20. Boston College (NR) – Three straight wins have the Eagles surging at exactly the right time. We’ll see if they can keep it up this week against Maryland.

21. Oregon (NR) – Must be nice to jump this high into the rankings without playing. The Ducks can make a lot of people happy with an upset win at Oregon State this week.

22. Florida State (NR) – The Seminoles were the source of the coolest story of the weekend, as star junior safety Myron Rolle was named a Rhodes Scholar. Good to see true student-athletes of that caliber.

23. Pittsburgh (19) – A close loss to Cincy drops the Panthers a bit, but they can improve their bowl positioning with a win over West Virginia Friday.

24. Michigan State (17) – For the second time this season, the Spartans had a chance for a big win against the Big Ten’s elite. For the second time, Sparty was blown out. However, a 9-3 record is definitely an achievement in East Lansing.

25. Mississippi (NR) – The Rebels make their first appearence in the poll after blasting LSU. Oh yeah, the Rebels are also the only team to beat Florida.

Under consideration: Iowa, Northwestern, West Virginia

Dropped out: No. 21 Miami (Fla) (lost to Georgia Tech), No. 22 LSU (lost to Mississippi), No. 23 Maryland (lost to Florida State), No. 24 North Carolina (lost to N.C. State).

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Week 12 NFL picks

I really should stop publishing my record against the spread. It sucks. But I’m pretty much obligated at this point.

Houston (+3) at Cleveland
Well, Brady Quinn was rolling along, then he gets hurt against the Bills. Houston is scrappy, but I think Cleveland takes this and keeps its playoff hopes barely alive.
Cleveland 27, Houston 23

Buffalo (-3) at Kansas City
I took a shot for the Chiefs last week and fell short. Against a Buffalo team that’s lost four straight, I’m taking another one for KC.
Kansas City 24, Buffalo 17

N.Y. Jets (+5.5) at Tennessee
Huge win for the Jets last week in New England and at 7-3, they are red hot. But Tennessee still is unscathed and you know what they say – don’t mess with a streak.
Tennessee 20, N.Y. Jets 13

New England (even) at Miami
The winner here remains in good position for a wild-card spot or a divison title – the loser goes into scramble mode a bit. After being shellacked the last time, you know the Patriots have been studying up on the “Wildcat” formation quite a bit. Give Belichick 10 days and good things usually happen.
New England 21, Miami 17

San Francisco (+9.5) at Dallas
Uh, oh TO is starting to get a little anxious. Dallas’ offense wasn’t great against Washington, but it got the job done. The Cowboys will win this, but it won’t be a pretty win.
Dallas 24, San Francisco 16

Tampa Bay (-8) at Detroit
Lions had their shot at Carolina, but a muffed 2-point conversion and a bad interception sealed their fate. I think they’ll give Tampa a run, but there’s no way you can actually pick Detroit to win straight up.
Tampa Bay 28, Detroit 21

Philadelphia (+1.5) at Baltimore
Well, at least Donovan McNabb knows that NFL games can end in a tie. If there’s anything positive that comes out of the 2008 NFL season, its that. Eagles are struggling and I can’t see McNabb finding his rhythm against the Ravens.
Baltimore 21, Philadelphia 16

Chicago (-7.5) at St. Louis
The Rams, after a few good performances under Jim Haslett, have gone back to being the Rams of September. That’s exactly what the Bears need after a rough trip to Green Bay last week.
Chicago 31, St. Louis 14

Minnesota (+2.5) at Jacksonville
I finally got a Vikings game right last week. So of course they play the Jaguars in a virtual coin-flip scenario this week. I think Jacksonville is a bit more desperate and pulls out the win.
Jacksonville 23, Minnesota 20

Carolina (+1) at Atlanta
Finally I join the Falcons’ bandwagon. Finally, the Falcons lose. It’s funny how that happens. Well, I’m back off, which means the Falcons have a better shot of winning than they did before I wrote this.
Carolina 27, Atlanta 20

Oakland (+9) at Denver
The Raiders actually gave the Dolphins a tussle last week. However, Denver seems to be getting its mojo back on offense, which is a horrible sign for Oakland.
Denver 30, Oakland 14

Washington (-3.5) at Seattle
The Redskins sure could use a break after two straight home losses. So they go to Seattle and face the feckless Seahawks. I’m all about using the word feckless.
Washington 27, Seattle 17

N.Y. Giants (-3) at Arizona
Brandon Jacobs may be a bit gimpy and Arizona may be a pretty solid team, but its hard to go against the defending champs in this spot – especially in the stadium where they shocked the world and defeated the unbeaten Patriots.
N.Y. Giants 28, Arizona 20

Indianapolis (+3) at San Diego
Well, its officially desperation time for the Chargers. They are at home against a Colts team who they’ve had great success again, so San Diego will tease its fans one more time.
San Diego 31, Indianapolis 24

Green Bay (+2.5) at New Orleans
Neither of these teams have been able to put a real streak of above-average play together. They both won last week, but I think the Packers are slightly more solid.
Green Bay 28, New Orleans 26

Overall: 87-70-1. Record against spread: 68-88-2.

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Football quarterfinal schedule next week

This is what we got. All games are preliminarily set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Paloma Valley at No. 1 Rancho Cucamonga
No. 4 Cajon at Ayala
Glendora at Upland
No. 2 Los Osos at Chino Hills

No. 1 Perris Citrus Hill at Palm Desert
Serrano at Banning
No. 3 Palm Springs at Barstow
No. 2 Hesperia at Silverado

No. 1 St. Margaret’s at Yucca Valley
Maranatha at Big Bear
No. 3 Aquinas at Twentynine Palms
No. 2 Brentwood at Fillmore

No. 1 Corona Centennial at Vista Murrieta
No. 4 Miller at Murrieta Valley
Redlands East Valley at No. 3 Chaparral
Riverside North at Norco

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Got back from a great one between Etiwanda and Cajon. Awesome game.

Rancho Cucamonga 21, Colton 17
Menifee Paloma Valley 42, Ontario 21
Cajon 28, Etiwanda 27
Ayala 38, Colony 7
Glendora 56, Hemet West Valley 21
Upland 52, Chaffey 18
Chino Hills 52, San Gorgonio 14
Los Osos 53, Wildomar Elsinore 31

Perris Citrus Hill 50, Rim of the World 19
Palm Desert 41, Ridgecrest Burroughs 7
Banning 13, Kaiser 12
Serrano 34, La Quinta 13
Palm Springs 35, Summit 6
Barstow 47, San Jacinto 20
Hesperia 55, Riverside Notre Dame 27
Silverado 41, Riverside Patriot 35

Big Bear 33, Santa Paula 32
Pasadena Maranatha 16, Ontario Christian 3
Aquinas 48, Kern Valley 7
Twentynine Palms 63, Huntington Beach Brethren Christian 22

Corona Centennial 62, Yucaipa 7
Vista Murrieta 28, Moreno Valley 20
Murrieta Valley 43, Riverside Arlington 6
Miller 48, Roosevelt 21
Temecula Chaparral 48, Moreno Valley Vista del Lago 10
Redlands East Valley 30, Corona Santiago 20
Riverside North 14, Redlands 11
Norco 19, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde 9

Monrovia 34, El Monte 7
Rosemead 45, Cerritos Valley Christian 14
San Dimas 67, Sierra Vista 12
Covina Northview 43, City of Industry Workman 6
Paraclete 42, San Marino 14
Temple City 7, Arroyo 6
Azusa 27, Covina 6

Charter Oak 55, Bell Gardens 15
Crescenta Valley 22, Whittier California 21
La Serna 42, San Gabriel 14
Rowland Heights Rowland 22, Burbank Burroughs 21
Diamond Ranch 21, Pasadena Muir 7
West Covina South Hills 40, Schurr 21
West Covina 28, Bonita 18
Burbank 20, Santa Fe 14

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Week 13 college picks

Kind of a small Pac-10 slate this week, which might not be a bad thing, as I was a gross 3-7 against the spread. Disgusting I know.

Oregon State (+2.5) at Arizona
The Beavers’ unlikely road to a Rose Bowl continues against an improved Arizona squad that should be bowling for the first time in 10 years. I’m pretty sure the Rose Bowl committee is crossing fingers, making voodoo hexes and doing whatever it can to prevent Oregon State from winning out. However, the Beavers are going to continue to make them nervous.
Oregon State 31, Arizona 26

Stanford (+8.5) at California
The Cardinal broke through in this game last year, putting the finishing touches on a regular season-ending 1-6 stretch for Cal. Well, Cal has lost two in a row and Stanford is playing for its bowl life. I don’t think Stanford will win per se, but I think a cover is definitely in the works.
California 28, Stanford 21

Washington (-7) at Washington State
Besides watching REV graduate Ronnie Fouch trying to pilot U-Dub to its first win, there’s no real reason to watch this game. Please, find something else to do. Do some work around the house. Go to the gym. Netflix “Facts of Life: Season 3” and watch that. This game could be the worst in-state rivalry game in the history of the United States. I love hyperbole.
Washington 30, Washington State 20

Texas Tech (+6.5) at Oklahoma
The lastest game of the year in the Big 12 is in Norman this week, as Oklahoma has a prime opportunity to really throw a monkey wrench in the BCS. Texas Tech is a legitimate title contender, but hardly anyone gets out of Norman alive. I see the Sooners pulling away late for the cover.
Oklahoma 38, Texas Tech 27

Michigan (+20.5) at Ohio State
The best rivalry in college football is a footnote this week, as the Wolverines have struggled big-time under first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez. A 3-8 Michigan team has to go to Columbus and play a team it’s lost four in a row to and six of the last seven. And they have to do that with a backup, former walk-on QB. I’d like to see this game be close, but its not going to happen.
Ohio State 35, Michigan 13

Michigan State (+15.5) at Penn State
The Spartans still have a chance at the Rose Bowl with an upset win and a Michigan win. Not sure who the Rose Bowl committee would root for here, as Michigan State doesn’t have much national panache and Penn State, while more of a national program, has already destroyed Oregon State already this year. It won’t matter. MSU doesn’t have the panache to take this game on the road.
Penn State 34, Michigan State 17

Florida State (-1.5) at Maryland
The Terps aren’t that hard to figure out for most people, having a great record at home and losing to teams such as Middle Tennessee on the road. Of course, I picked against Maryland at home last week, so I’m an idiot. I’m not making that mistake twice, especially against an inconsistent FSU squad.
Maryland 17, Florida State 13

BYU (+7) at Utah
The battle for the Beehive State has huge BCS complications, as Utah is one win away from qualifying for a major bowl. However, that win is going to be a tough one against bitter rival and two-time defending conference champion BYU. The Cougars played very well last week against Air Force and will carry it over for the upset win.
BYU 21, Utah 20

Pittsburgh (+6) at Cincinnati
This game should be more competitive, as least from the Cincinnati perspective, than the NFL matchup between the two cities yesterday. The Bearcats, despite losing their top two QBs for the year with injuries, continue to roll. The Panthers, despite breaking through this year, have Dave Wannstedt as coach. That’s enough to make me go with Cincy.
Cincinnati 28, Pittsburgh 17

Mississippi (+3.5) at LSU
LSU was down 28 to Troy last week before coming back to win. There are a couple of ways to look at it. a) LSU is a team with some crazy resilience or b) LSU has some issues. I’m going with B this week against a Rebels team that actually somehow beat Florida. That alone has me whistling Dixie, or whatever comes closest to that without actually whistling.
Mississippi 28, LSU 24

Overall record: 86-34. Against the spread: 59-60-1

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Inland Division predictions

Leaving the biggest division for last (not for any build-up, just for alphabetizing’s sake), here are my Inland Division picks, both for this week and the future.

Yucaipa at No. 1 Corona Centennial
The prediction here is pain. Yucaipa did a good job under first-year coach John Hallenbeck to make it this far, but they are playing against a team that is among the elite nationally. Centennial has a linebacker going to USC, a wideout going to UCLA, a quarterback going to Nebraska and several others with D-1 aspirations. It will be tough for Yucaipa to stay within 40.
Centennial 56, Yucaipa 7

Roosevelt at Miller
The Rebels have never really been given their props this year. They are one of those “yeah, but” teams. Miller is 10-0. Yeah, but the CBL was kind of weak this year. Miller has a great defense. Yeah, but have the honestly played against real offenses? And so on and so forth. This week, Roosevelt is a yeah, but team, as their 6-4 record will be propped up by a “Yeah, but they play in the Big VIII.” I’m not betting against a disrespected Miller team.
Miller 27, Roosevelt 10

Corona Santiago at Redlands East Valley
A tasty rematch of last year’s Inland semifinal, won by the Sharks in upset fashion. A repeat wouldn’t be nearly as surprising this year, as the 9-1 Wildcats just don’t have the firepower that they’ve had the last two years. The defense has done a wonderful job of keeping the Wildcats in the win column, but Santiago isn’t going to be intimidated.
Santiago 20, Redlands East Valley 17

Redlands at Riverside North
This could be the most even, most intriguing matchup. Redlands may be the second-best team in the CBL (they’ll admit that they should have won the REV game) and they have a star RB in Cam Phillips. North has won two straight CIF titles in the Eastern Division, but this division is a drastic step up. I have a feeling that the Terriers are going to pull a minor upset here.
Redlands 23, North 21

Other games of note:
No. 2 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde 27, Norco 9
No. 3 Temecula Chaparral 31, Moreno Valley Vista del Lago 10
Murrieta Valley 28, Riverside Arlington 6
Vista Murrieta 27, Moreno Valley 21

No. 1 Corona Centennial over Vista Murrieta
Murrieta Valley over Miller
No. 2 Rancho Verde over Redlands
No. 3 Chaparral over Santiago

No. 1 Corona Centennial over Murrieta Valley
No. 3 Chaparral over No. 2 Rancho Verde

No. 1 Corona Centennial over No. 3 Chaparral

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Carradine to visit USC

San Gorgonio junior wide receiver/defensive back Anthony Carradine is going to take an unofficial visit to USC next weekend for its game against Notre Dame, according to a call placed by Carradine’s dad. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Carradine and the Spartans will start what they hope to be a long playoff run tonight when they play at Chino Hills in the first-round of the CIF-SS Central Division playoffs.

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