East Valley Division predictions

Same drill as the other two leagues. In-depth first-round predictions here, then a quick prediction for the rest of the bracket.

Arrowhead Christian at No. 2 Brentwood
Just getting to the playoffs is huge for the Eagles, as Wayne Cochrun was faced with a heck of a rebuilding project when he arrived at ACA three years ago. This is definitely a huge step for the program. Unfortunately, its the only step. Brentwood is quite good, they’ll be at home and it’s where O.J. Simpson used to live. Ok, that last point is irrelevant, but my prediction isn’t.
Brentwood 38, Arrowhead Christian 13

Kern Valley at No. 3 Aquinas
I really don’t see how Aquinas loses this game. The Falcons have been something to behold this year, with the QB-WR combo of Tyler Stirewalt and Jim Jones really giving them a shot in the arm. Kern Valley is going to need a lot more than a shot in the arm to hang with this Aquinas team.
Aquinas 42, Kern Valley 17

Big Bear at No. 4 Santa Paula
It’s hard to get a read on the Bears. They definitely have the pedigree to make a run in the playoffs, with a CIF title two years ago and a narrow loss to Citrus Hill last year, but due to injuries and inconsistency, haven’t quite been able to get in full stride. Since they lost last week, I think Big Bear is capable of upsetting Santa Paula.
Big Bear 24, Santa Paula 21

Ontario Christian at Pasadena Maranatha
Two of the bigger names in this division take the stage tonight. It’s been a struggle for the Knights, who have had plenty of growing pains in the transition to the spread offense. While Ontario Christian, with QB Andrew Lachelt, should be awesome next year, it hasn’t been all that this year. And won’t tonight.
Maranatha 26, Ontario Christian 16

Huntington Beach Brethren Christian at Twentynine Palms
Everyone wants Twentynine Palms to win this, just to set up a great quarterfinal game with Aquinas. Ok, maybe not everyone, but that game certainly would be easy for County football fans to get up for. Brethren Christian is 4-6, but did beat ACA in the regular season. However, the Wildcats are better than ACA. Get the hype going, as 29 and Aquinas are on a collison course.
Twentynine Palms 34, Brethren Christian 12

Yucca Valley at Bishop
It’s been a fun year for the Trojans, who surprisingly emerged from near the bottom of the De Anza League to grab second place and a playoff berth. Now, they’ll have a fun trip to Bishop. To be honest, I have no idea what roads you would take for that. If Yucca gets there, it should be all set for a good, solid game, though I’ll take a more playoff-tested Bishop squad.
Bishop 20, Yucca Valley 15

Other games of note:
No. 1 St. Margaret’s 43, North Hollywood Campbell Hall 14
Fillmore 24, Desert 20

No. 1 St. Margaret’s over Bishop
Maranatha over Big Bear
No. 2 Brentwood over Fillmore
No. 3 Aquinas over Twentynine Palms

No. 1 St. Margaret’s over Maranatha
No. 3 Aquinas over No. 2 Brentwood

No. 1 St. Margaret’s over No. 3 Aquinas

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Eastern Division predictions

This is another division with huge local representation, as the High Desert schools and Sunkist League go at it here.

Rim of the World at No. 1 Perris Citrus Hill
It’s impressive that the Fighting Scots are here, having made a 21-point second-half comeback at Apple Valley to do it. But Citrus Hill, with QB Caleb Herring having committed to UNLV and RB Deontae Cooper receiving D-1 interest as a junior, has way too much firepower. This will be like a 16-1 matchup you’d see in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Citrus Hill 48, Rim of the World 6

Riverside Notre Dame at No. 2 Hesperia
Speaking of Division I players, Notre Dame probably wishes it had RB Kenjon Barner, now a freshman at Oregon, back this year. The Titans will have a hard time matching up with Hesperia’s physicality up front. And the Scorpions, with RB Gavin Santos and WR Jay Waddell, can beat you up top too.
Hesperia 38, Notre Dame 7

Summit at No. 3 Palm Springs
A lot of people are calling this upset. Ok, well maybe one reader, but still, this is an interesting matchup. The SkyHawks are young, but have a lot of speed, athleticism and moxie, as evidenced by their comebacks against Norte Vista and Bloomington. Palm Springs may be lacking in the speed department, but the Indians have size. Its that size that will make the difference late.
Palm Springs 23, Summit 20

Banning at No. 4 Kaiser
The Dick Bruich watch is going on, as any game could be the last for the legendary coach. But it won’t be this game. Kaiser hasn’t lost in six straight games and are coming off a dominating 435 rushing-yard performance against Riverside Patriot. Banning, which was 0-10 two years ago, is a great story, but it won’t be the team that ends Bruich’s career.
Kaiser 36, Banning 7

La Quinta at Serrano
As far as name matchups go, this one might be the most vibrant. Both of these schools are always in the CIF title discussion, but it might be far-fetched to get much of a run out of either school this year. La Quinta, though second in the Desert Valley League, was 0-5 and usually noncompetitive during the nonleague season, while Serrano lost three games as well. But I can’t see the D-backs going down at Snowline Stadium.
Serrano 31, La Quinta 17

Barstow at San Jacinto
San Jac was a power in the East Valley Division, playing runner-up the last two years to Big Bear and Citrus Hill, respectively. I’m not sure they’ve gone up against a running attack as comphrensive as Barstow’s double-wing though. It will be a physical matchup, but I think the Desert Sky represents here. Then again, I’m always wrong on Barstow predictions.
Barstow 24, San Jacinto 19

Silverado at Riverside Patriot
One look at the Hawks’ 3-7 record could cause one to shudder, but Silverado took on one of the more brutal nonleague schedules in the section. That rugged slate will help Silverado immensely, as Patriot’s physical running attack won’t seem nearly as intimidating. It’s been a long time for Patriot/Rubidoux, and it will be a short time in the postseason.
Silverado 20, Patriot 14

The other game of note between teams that aren’t in San Bernardino County:
Palm Desert 34, Ridgecrest Burroughs 23

No. 1 Citrus Hill over Palm Desert
Serrano over No. 4 Kaiser
No. 2 Hesperia over Silverado
No. 3 Palm Springs over Barstow

No. 1 Citrus Hill over Serrano
No. 2 Hesperia over No. 3 Palm Springs

No. 1 Citrus Hill over No. 2 Hesperia

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Central Division predictions

Well, the regular season ended with me going 23-3 overall, giving me a wicked awesome record of 206-48-4. I know, I’m the man, but the playoffs are the true measure of manhood. So we’ll break them up to give everyone extra-special attention, starting with the Central Division. And in friendly competition with Clay Fowler, I’ll add my complete division picks at the bottom.

Colton at No. 1 Rancho Cucamonga
If I’m Rancho, I’m furious at this matchup. Not necessarily because Colton is great – this isn’t a vintage Yellowjacket team – but because preparing for the double-wing is annoying. It’s not run very often and its almost impossible for the JV or scout team to simulate. Except some hiccups early from unfamiliarity, Rancho should control this game though.
Rancho Cucamonga 28, Colton 16

Wildomar Elsinore at No. 2 Los Osos
I know that Elsinore went to the title game two years ago and lost to Colony. I know they are south of here. Besides that, I don’t know much about them. I know Los Osos can score with Richard Brehaut and Arby Fields and they can defend better than usual. It’s the latter which will allow Osos to pull away.
Los Osos 27, Elsinore 10

Etiwanda at No. 4 Cajon
The San Andreas League champion against an at-large. Easy win right? Not so fast. I think this may be the most entertaining game involving local teams in any division, as the Angel Santiago experience will be matchup up with Walter Kazee, Marlon Pollard and his Cajon buddies. This game is pretty big for the SAL’s morale, as a loss to the No. 4 Baseline team would be a rough one to swallow. Cajon will gut past a tough-luck Etiwanda squad.
Cajon 34, Etiwanda 31

Colony at Ayala
Colony isn’t exactly rolling coming into the playoffs, losing to Chaffey and Ontario down the stretch. But they are the two-time Central champions, which should mean something, even though the Central Division is infinitely better than it was when Colony won. The Titans have talent and will fight, but Ayala will be too much. I’m boring with these picks I know.
Ayala 23, Colony 14

San Gorgonio at Chino Hills
It’s almost like I’ve seen this game before. Oh wait, I have. Actually, I didn’t see the 42-20 Huskies win in person, but I seriously enough has changed to drastically alter the result. San G has won five of six since then, but Chino Hills has too much talent and balance.
Chino Hills 31, San Gorgonio 16

Ontario at Paloma Valley
I want to pick an upset. I really do – I almost feel its my duty as a blogger to pick a ridiculous upset, then take the prerequisite ribbing once that pick goes completely to waste. You see where I’m going here. Ontario is scrappy under QB Herman Huezo and will pull the shocker. I guess.
Ontario 18, Paloma Valley 16

Upland at Chaffey
I guess I could have been extremely lame and called this my upset, saying that Upland’s No. 3 seed in the Baseline and being on the road is probable cause for calling this an upset. But I’m not going to insult your intelligence any more than I already have. Chaffey’s physical running game might do some things early, but Upland has way too much firepower.
Upland 30, Chaffey 12

Other game of note that I’m not writing about because the teams aren’t in the County:
Glendora 28, No. 3 Hemet West Valley 24

No. 1 Rancho Cucamonga over Ontario
Ayala over No. 4 Cajon
Upland over Glendora
Chino Hills over No. 2 Los Osos

No. 1 Rancho Cucamonga over Ayala
Upland over Chino Hills

No. 1 Rancho Cucamonga over Upland

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Playoff scheduling changes

According to the CIF, all of Friday’s playoff games are to start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted. Well, there are plenty of games to be noted involving area teams that are moving to 7 p.m.

Games being played at 7 p.m. include the following:

Roosevelt at Miller (Inland Division)
Etiwanda at Cajon (Central Division)
Riverside Notre Dame at Hesperia (Eastern Division)
Summit at Palm Springs (Eastern Division)
Silverado vs. Riverside Patriot at Rubidoux HS (Eastern Division)
Yucca Valley at Bishop (East Valley Division)
Ontario Christian at Pasadena Maranatha (East Valley Division)

All other games are at 7:30 as of right now.

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Signing list again

Here we go. Some new additions and a few tweaks here and there.

Perris Blackwell, Etiwanda – San Francisco
Andrew Bock, Eisenhower – Creighton
Curtis Eatmon, Los Osos/Citrus College – University of Detroit-Mercy
Jordan Finn, Etiwanda – Air Force
Chris Cunningham, Diamond Ranch – Santa Clara
Garrett Johnson, Diamond Ranch – Fresno State

Darshae Burnside, Cajon – Arkansas
Lauren Bushong, Yucca Valley – Cal State Fullerton
Layshia Clarendon, Cajon – California
Cierra Warren, Los Osos – North Carolina
Meghin Williams, Summit – Nebraska
Cierra Windham, Norco – Texas A&M

David Andriese, Redlands East Valley – UC Riverside
Chris Carlson, Chino Hills – UC Irvine
Matt Davidson, Yucaipa – USC
Jeff Gelalich, Bonita – UCLA
Wes Hatton, Norco – Cal State Fullerton
Matt Hobgood, Norco – Cal State Fullerton
Phillip Holinsworth, Chino Hills – UC Riverside
David Kiriakos, Pacific – Cal State Fullerton
Kyle Lengyel, Diamond Ranch – Loyola Marymount
Jordan Leyland, San Dimas – Washington State
Matt Lowenstein, Chino Hills – Loyola Marymount
Frankie Martin, Yucaipa – Cal State Fullerton
Giovanni Mier, Bonita – USC

Megan Allen, Yucaipa – Pacific
Melise Brown, Alta Loma – Eastern Illinois
Kimberly Bruins, Redlands – Texas
Ashley Carter, Bloomington – Cal State Fullerton
Kelli Frye, Norco – Sacramento State
Teagan Gerhart, Norco – Stanford
Stevie Goldstein, Aquinas – Loyola Marymount
Katelyn Mann, Los Osos – Louisville
Brehanna Rodrigues, Cajon – Alabama State
Nani St. Germain, Ayala – Long Beach State
Elizabeth Santana, Etiwanda – UC Davis
Skyler Segura, Chino Hills – Loyola Marymount
Stephanie Thompson, Chino Hills – Brown
Breja’e Washington, Cajon – Texas

Tori Brummett, Redlands East Valley – Colorado State
Terran Poindexter, Sultana – Gonzaga
Tara Roenicke, Los Osos – Houston

Nicolette Lew, Ayala – California

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CIF football matchups by division

Here’s a big glumping of high school football games. Enjoy.

First-round matchups (all games on Friday)

Colton (6-3-1) at Rancho Cucamonga (9-0-1); Ontario (6-4) at Menifee Paloma Valley (7-3); Colony (5-5) at Ayala (8-2); Etiwanda (5-5) at Cajon (9-1); Glendora (7-3) at Hemet West Valley (9-1); Upland (8-2) at Chaffey (8-2); San Gorgonio (6-4) at Chino Hills (9-1); Wildomar Elsinore (5-5) at Los Osos (8-2).

Rim of the World (6-4) at Perris Citrus Hill (10-0); Palm Desert (8-2) at Ridgecrest Burroughs (6-4); La Quinta (4-6) at Serrano (7-3); Banning (6-4) at Kaiser (6-3-1); Summit (8-2) at Palm Springs (7-3); Barstow (7-3) at San Jacinto (7-2-1); Silverado (3-7) at Riverside Patriot (7-3); Riverside Notre Dame (6-4) at Hesperia (10-0).

North Hollywood Campbell Hall (5-5) at San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret’s (10-0); Yucca Valley (6-4) at Bishop (5-4); Ontario Christian (5-5) at Pasadena Maranatha (9-1); Big Bear (6-3-1) at Santa Paula (8-2); Kern Valley (5-5) at Aquinas (9-1); Huntington Beach Brethren Christian (4-6) at Twentynine Palms (7-3); Edwards AFB Desert (7-3) at Fillmore (8-2); Arrowhead Christian (6-4) at Brentwood (9-1).

Yucaipa (5-5) at Corona Centennial (10-0); Vista Murrieta (8-2) at Moreno Valley (7-3); Riverside Arlington (5-5) at Murrieta Valley (7-3); Roosevelt (6-4) at Miller (10-0); Moreno Valley Vista del Lago (5-5) at Temecula Chaparral (9-1); Corona Santiago (6-4) at Redlands East Valley (9-1); Redlands (5-5) at Riverside North (6-4); Norco (6-4) at Moreno Valley Rancho Verde (10-0).

El Monte (5-5) at Monrovia (8-2); Duarte (5-5) at Los Angeles Baptist (6-4); Cerritos Valley Christian (7-3) at Rosemead (8-2); Baldwin Park Sierra Vista (4-6) at San Dimas (9-1); City of Industry Workman (5-4) at Covina Northview (8-2); San Marino (8-2) at Paraclete (7-3); El Monte Arroyo (3-7) at Temple City (5-4-1); Covina (4-6) at Azusa (9-1).

Bell Gardens (5-5) at Covina Charter Oak (9-0-1); Whittier California (8-2) at Crescenta Valley (8-2); San Gabriel (5-5) at Whittier La Serna (9-1); Burbank Burroughs (7-3) at Rowland Heights Rowland (8-2); Diamond Ranch (4-6) at Pasadena Muir (9-1); West Covina South Hills (8-2) at Montebello Schurr (7-3); Bonita (7-3) at West Covina (8-2); Burbank (5-5) at Santa Fe (9-1).

La Puente Bishop Amat at Long Beach Poly; San Clemente at Anaheim Esperanza; Los Angeles Loyola at Mission Viejo; Lakewood at Anaheim Servite; Los Alamitos at Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro; Long Beach Jordan at Santa Ana Mater Dei; Orange Lutheran at Fountain Valley; Compton at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

Redondo Union at Palmdale; West Hills Chaminade at Beverly Hills; San Monica at Downey Warren; Lancaster Eastside at Manhattan Beach Mira Costa; La Canada St. Francis at Quartz Hill; Palos Verdes Peninsula at Lynwood; Downey at Culver City; Palmdale Highland at Mission Hills Alemany

Newbury Park at Ventura St. Bonaventure; Oxnard Pacifica at Paso Robles; Santa Maria Righetti at Saugus; Santa Barbara at Thousand Oaks; Westlake at Oxnard; Ventura at Valencia; Newhall Hart at Atascadero; Camarillo at Moorpark.

Garden Grove Pacifica at Santa Ana Foothill; Anaheim Magnolia at Tustin; Anaheim Canyon at Cypress; Santa Ana Valley at Fullerton; Fullerton Sunny Hills at Anaheim Western; Trabuco Hills at Placentia Valencia; Huntington Beach at Placentia El Dorado; Anaheim at La Habra.

Artesia at Laguna Hills; Garden Grove Santiago at Costa Mesa; Norwalk at Garden Grove; Irvine at Westminster; Santa Ana Calvary Chapel at Lakewood Mayfair; Santa Ana Segerstrom at Fountain Valley Los Amigos; Laguna Beach at Santa Ana; La Mirada at Corona Del Mar.

South Torrance at Westlake Village Oaks Christian; Los Angeles Cathedral at Santa Maria Pioneer Valley; Torrance Bishop Montgomery at North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake; Morro Bay at North Torrance; Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart at Santa Maria St. Joseph; El Segundo at Oxnard Santa Clara; Carpinteria at Los Angeles Verbum Dei; Templeton at Gardena Serra

Mojave at San Juan Capistrano Saddleback Valley Christian; Webb at Silver Valley; Banning Twin Pines at Panorama City St. Genevieve; La Canada Flintridge Prep at Riverside Christian; Mammoth at Temecula Linfield Christian; Burbank Bellarmine-Jefferson at Anaheim Fairmont Prep; Long Beach St. Anthony at Arcadia Rio Hondo Prep; Inglewood Amino Leadership at Boron

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Brackets, brackets and more brackets

The CIF-Southern Section football playoff brackets were released a few hours ago. Definitely some interesting things going on in the pairings. Here are some early observations on the brackets, which can be downloaded from www.cifss.org.

Central Division
– Rancho Cucamonga wasn’t done any favors. Although the 9-0-1 Cougars were awarded the No. 1 seed, they got paired up with Colton in the first round. The Yellowjackets may not be as good as they usually are, but that double-wing offense is a headache to defend. Los Osos, on the other hand, got the No. 2 seed and is hosting Elsinore out of the Sunbelt League. If it wins, it’ll face the Chino Hills-San Gorgonio winner.

– Chaffey also should be a little perturbed, as the Mt. Baldy League champions get the pleasure of hosting Upland, the third-place team in the Baseline League. It will be tough for the Tigers to match up with that firepower.

– Chino Hills-San G is a rematch of a game played on Oct. 3 at San G, won 42-20 by Chino Hills. Needless to say, tough draw for the Spartans.

– Cajon, the SAL champ, gets wild-card Etiwanda in the first round. The Cowboys were the No. 4 seed but will be tested by an explosive Eagles team. Ayala, the Sierra No. 1 seed, also gets a tough draw by hosting two-time defending division champion Colony.

Eastern Division
– Hesperia has a pretty favorable draw. As expected, the Scorpions got the No. 2 seed in the division behind Citrus Hill and draws Riverside Notre Dame in the first round. It’ll get the Silverado at Patriot winner in the quarterfinals if it wins. The other league champion on its side of the bracket – Palm Springs – was 7-3 in a mediocre Desert Valley League.

– Rim of the World has a rough matchup, having to face No. 1 seed Perris Citrus Hill and its star RB Deonte Cooper. Ridgecrest Burroughs wasn’t done many favors either, as it hosts Palm Desert – which was ranked near the top of the division rankings all year.

– Kaiser gets Banning in the first round and has a very intriguing second-round matchup if it wins, as it will face the La Quinta at Serrano winner.

East Valley Division
– Aquinas gets the No. 3 seed and hosts Kern Valley in the first round. Should it win, it could have a tasty rematch with Twentynine Palms, which dealt the Falcons their only loss. There’s also potential for a Big Bear-Ontario Christian rematch in the second round.

– Arrowhead Christian and Big Bear qualify as at-larges and have tough first round matchups, as the Eagles play at No. 2 seed Brentwood while the Bears head to Santa Paula.

Inland Division
– Miller gets the No. 4 seed and hosts Roosevelt, which is making its first playoff appearance in school history.

– Lots of revenge possibilities. Redlands East Valley is on the same side of the bracket with Redlands, and the Wildcats get a chance to avenge their loss to Corona Santiago in the Inland semifinals a year ago. If Redlands wins at Riverside North and Norco wins at Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, a rematch of their overtime semifinal two years ago would happen.

– Rancho Verde, the No. 2 seed, got a tough first-round matchup with a seasoned Norco squad and isn’t done any favors in round two, having to face Redlands or two-time Eastern Division champ North.

– Yucaipa gets the unenviable task of facing Corona Centennial. That could get ugly quick.

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Week 12 top 25

Pretty standard top 15, as there were no real big games, hence no real big upsets among the top tier.

1. Texas Tech (1) – Red Raiders didn’t play, but still have been the most impressive of the undefeateds in my opinion. The Oklahoma game should be a doozy.

2. Alabama (2) – The Crimson Tide struggled for a while before putting away Miss. State. Now only Auburn sits between them and a showdown with Florida.

3. Florida (3) – I keep on trying to rationalize keeping a Gator team that lost to Ole Miss this high, and then I see them hang 56 on South Carolina. That’s as good of an argument as any.

4. Texas (4) – Nice win against Kansas. Now the Longhorns have to beat Texas A&M and hope for some help from the Oklahoma schools.

5. Oklahoma (5) – Like Tech, got a week to rest up before the showdown. Should be a good one.

6. USC (6) – Stanford was freaking out USC for a while, but the Trojans took care of business. Now they get a week off before ending with rivalries.

7. Utah (7) – Huge Beehive State showdown with BYU is all that seperates the Utes from the BCS.

8. Penn State (8) – Got off to a slow start before overwhelming Indiana. A win over Michigan State clinches a Rose Bowl berth.

9. Boise State (9) – Still rolling through the decrepit WAC, though Nevada and Fresno State will present some challenges for the Broncos.

10. Ohio State (10) – Nice revenge win over Illinois. Next the Buckeyes got Michigan in the biggest rivalry game in college football. Should be worth watching, even with the Wolverines reeling.

11. BYU (11) – The Cougars showed some moxie by beating Air Force. A win over Utah, plus help, might get BYU in the BCS yet.

12. Georgia (12) – I was thinking of dropping the Bulldogs, who struggled with a bad Auburn team. But who was I really going to drop them behind?

13. Oklahoma State (14) – Jumped the Cowboys up one and almost jumped them past Georgia. Oklahoma looms in two weeks.

14. Ball State (13) – The Cardinals looked kind of sluggish against Miami (Ohio), hence the drop. But games against Central Michigan and Western Michigan will prop them up should they continue to win.

15. Missouri (15) – The Tigers clinched the Big 12 North with a win over Iowa State, meaning they’ll adopt plenty of fans in three weeks.

16. TCU (17) – Horned Frogs have Air Force standing between them and a 10-win season. Impressive indeed.

17. Michigan State (18) – Spartans can still go to the Rose Bowl. They just have to win at Penn State and (gasp!) hope for a Michigan victory over Ohio State.

18. Oregon State (21) – Beavers keep rolling along. Two more wins, and Oregon State goes to the Rose Bowl. Definitely crazy.

19. Pittsburgh (20) – After a week off, Panthers have tough two-game stretch with Cincinnati and West Virginia.

20. Cincinnati (24) – Now that the Bearcats have won the Keg of Nails over Louisville, they can make a huge step to a Big East title with a win over Pitt.

21. Miami (Fla) (NR) – The Canes make their first appearance in the Top 25 after beating Virginia Tech for their fifth win in a row. However, it seems as if ACC teams blow their first game after moving into the rankings.

22. LSU (22) – Tigers don’t move up and quite frankly, probably should have been penalized for being down 31-3 to Troy at home. But they won, therefore they stay put. LSU is definitely on notice though.

23. Maryland (NR) – The Terps rock at home, stink on the road. But with that said, a win over North Carolina is reason enough to re-rank them.

24. North Carolina (16) – Tough loss for the Tar Heels, who apparently aren’t quite ready to take the role of the top dog in the ACC.

25. Georgia Tech (NR) – Didn’t play, but I ranked them anyway. Yep, that rhymes.

Under consideration: Oregon, Boston College, Florida State

Dropped out: No. 19 Florida State (lost to Boston College), No. 23 South Carolina (lost to Florida), No. 25 Tulsa (lost to Houston).

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Week 11 NFL picks

Not a great week last week, but what else is new? At least I’m safely above .500 straight up at this point.

Denver (+6.5) at Atlanta
I’ve resisted the Falcons all year and have paid for it in my crappy record. So I’m on board Atlanta. Plus, Denver’s porous run D + Atlanta’s running game equals a big day in the Dirty South.
Atlanta 30, Denver 20

Oakland (+10) at Miami
The Raiders pick off four passes last week and still lose by double-digits? Yikes. Against a good Miami team, this could get ugly quick.
Miami 27, Oakland 6

Baltimore (+7) at N.Y. Giants
It’s amazing how well Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan have played as rookie quarterbacks. Playing the defending champs will be tough on Flacco, but I think the Ravens hang around enough to cover.
N.Y. Giants 23, Baltimore 17

Houston (+8) at Indianapolis
Are the Colts truly back to being the Colts? Well, wins over the Patriots and Steelers aren’t to be taken lightly. I can’t see Houston being much of a road threat.
Indianapolis 31, Houston 16

Tennessee (-3) at Jacksonville
I realize the Jags killed the Lions, but I don’t think they are still all the way back. Tennessee tends to play well against Jacksonville even when they aren’t unbeaten.
Tennessee 20, Jacksonville 14

Chicago (+3.5) at Green Bay
The Packers have got to be pretty desperate at this point. However, desperation doesn’t matter when you can’t stop the run. With Miller grad Nick Barnett out for the season, a thin Green Bay D gets thinner.
Chicago 24, Green Bay 21

Philadelphia (-9) at Cincinnati
The Eagles beat the crap out of bad teams, lose to good teams. Cincinnati is definitely a bad team.
Philadelphia 33, Cincinnati 17

New Orleans (-5) at Kansas City
The Chiefs have shown some spunk lately, taking the Bucs to OT and coming a 2-point conversion short of shocking the Chargers. I’m taking the upset here.
Kansas City 24, New Orleans 20

Detroit (+14) at Carolina
The Lions very well could go 0-16. I’m not kidding, I don’t see a win on their schedule from here on out. Carolina certainly isn’t going to be the win.
Carolina 35, Detroit 13

Minnesota (+4) at Tampa Bay
I don’t think its possible for the Vikings to go on a winning streak. Therefore, I don’t see this win happening.
Tampa Bay 21, Minnesota 14

St. Louis (+6.5) at San Francisco
I don’t trust either team at this point. How can you? I’ll go with the underdog to cover just cause.
San Francisco 20, St. Louis 17

Arizona (-3) at Seattle
The good news for the Seahawks is that Matt Hasselbeck is back. The bad news is that Seattle is still lacking good wide receiver play.
Arizona 24, Seattle 14

San Diego (+5) at Pittsburgh
The Chargers have to come on sometime right? This is way too talented to be an 4-5 team. However, I don’t see the Steelers losing two in a row at home. So we’ll go with Pittsburgh to win, the Diego to cover.
Pittsburgh 26, San Diego 24

Dallas (-1.5) at Washington
Tony Romo is back. Clinton Portis is not playing. But are the Cowboys really capable mentally of making a run? There’s no questioning the talent. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Dallas 27, Washington 19

Cleveland (+5) at Buffalo
Two teams that need a win bad. I was impressed with Brady Quinn in his first start – the Cleveland D, not so much. I think this battle of Lake Erie could be entertaining.
Buffalo 24, Cleveland 21

Overall: 77-66. Record against spread: 62-79-2.

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Final regular season high school rankings

Here we go going into the playoffs. The same 10 teams make up the poll for the third straight week.

1. Miller (10-0)
After a pseudo-scare against Eisenhower last week, the Rebels got back to dominating by whupping Fontana this week. I wasn’t surprised by it, as the Rebel players I saw at the REV-Redlands game last week guaranteed a better effort this week. It will be interesting to see where they are slated tomorrow.

2. Rancho Cucamonga (9-0-1)
Wind gusts at Los Osos High School really changed the dynamic of their game against Upland, but Rancho, as has been the case all season, stepped it up. Winning a loaded Baseline this year is extremely impressive.

3. Hesperia (10-0)
The Scorpions are straight ballin’ right now, just destroying everyone in the High Desert at this point. I’m expecting Hesperia to be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Division when brackets are released tomorrow.

4. Redlands East Valley (9-1)
The Wildcats showed no emotional hangover from the Redlands win, disposing of a decent Eisenhower team pretty easily. It will be interesting to see how REV’s bend-but-don’t-break defense plays in the postseason.

5. Los Osos (8-2)
Arby Fields celebrated his commitment to Northwestern by running wild against Etiwanda, assuring the Grizzlies of a high seed in the Central Bracket tomorrow. This team is probably the most complete one that Osos has seen.

6. Cajon (9-1)
The Cowboys laid waste to the San Andreas League, breaking the Colton strangehold on that lead. How their game will translate against teams from the Baseline and Sierra Leagues remains to be seen.

7. Chino Hills (9-1)
The Huskies avoid the late-season swoon that has happened the past couple of years by beating Diamond Bar. They are definitely a team no one wants to face in the Central Division.

8. Upland (8-2)
This seems a little harsh, but your offense needs to be able to score points no matter what the conditions are. But, barring another onslaught of gale-force winds, Upland is a No. 3 seed that is going to anger whoever is unlucky to face them this week.

9. Ayala (8-2)
Losing to Glendora isn’t the best way to celebrate the Chino Hills victory, but it was ultimately harmless in the grand scheme of things, as Ayala won the coin flip and the No. 1 seed anyway.

10. Kaiser (6-3-1)
The Cats are rolling and will be a tough team to beat in the Eastern playoffs. Sure, Patriot was overrated a bit, but it doesn’t detract from the impressive nature of Friday’s victory.

Just missed the cut: Chaffey (8-2), Serrano (7-3), Aquinas (9-1).

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