Central Division quarterfinal predictions

First of all, I want to wish all of you out there a Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you are getting fat and happy and enjoying time with family and friends. I enjoyed the Central Division last week, going 8-for-8 in my picks last week. We’ll try to stay perfect again.

No. 1 Colton at Rancho Cucamonga
A rematch of a great first-round game from last year, as the Yellowjackets almost pulled the upset against No. 1 Rancho, going up 17-7 before falling 21-17. Colton is a year older and has been reminded of that result almost every day for the past year. While the Cougars are dangerous, I like Colton to advance in what should be another great game.
Colton 28, Rancho Cucamonga 23

No. 4 Los Osos at Chaffey
The Tigers are feeling good about life, as last week’s win over Hemet West Valley was their first first-round playoff win since 2005. Unfortunately, they play one of the hottest teams in the area in Los Osos. The Grizzlies scored 35 points in the first 16 minutes of their game against Arroyo Valley and have scored 177 points in the last three games. I don’t think Chaffey can keep up against that fiery offense.
Los Osos 45, Chaffey 20

Etiwanda at Chino Hills
I made the Huskies my sleeper before the playoffs started and they made me look kind of smart last week, killing No. 3 seeded Wildomar Elsinore 42-13 last week. Etiwanda also was impressive, putting a 38-6 beatdown of Cajon. However, I picked Chino Hills to go to the championship game and there’s no way I’m backing down from that now.
Chino Hills 28, Etiwanda 24

No. 2 Colony at Upland
Since losing to Los Osos in the opening week of the season, Colony has been on point, winning 10 games in a row. However, the Mt. Baldy League isn’t exactly the Baseline League, which gave Upland quite a few tests during the season. I like the playoff experience and the defense of the Highlanders to come through with a minor “upset” at home.
Upland 17, Colony 15

Sun final regular-season top 10

Before I release the rankings, I have to admit that I had no idea how to rank the four Baseline League teams. They have alternately beaten and lost to each other and the two that were unranked last week turned out to be the co-champions of the league after last week’s results.

I couldn’t not rank them, nor could I not rank Rancho Cucamonga and Upland. So after hemming and hawing, I decided to rank them in the 5-8 spots in the order that they finished in league play. So my apologies to Kaiser and Rim of the World for dropping out of the polls through no fault of their own. Guess I have to make this a top 12 next year.

1. Redlands East Valley (10-0)
Previous ranking: 1. Last week: def. No. 10 Redlands, 37-7. Up next: Friday vs. Riverside La Sierra (6-4)

2. Colton (9-1)
Previous ranking: 2. Last week: def. Pacific, 79-0. Up next: Friday vs. Don Lugo (5-5)

3. Colony (9-1)
Previous ranking: 4. Last week: def. Montclair, 39-13. Up next: Friday vs. Menifee Paloma Valley (6-4).

4. Serrano (8-2)
Previous ranking: 6. Last week: def. Sultana, 50-12. Up next: Friday vs. Menifee Heritage (5-5)

5. Los Osos (6-4)
Previous ranking: NR. Last week: def. Alta Loma, 56-10. Up next: Friday vs. Arroyo Valley (7-3).

6. Etiwanda (7-3)
Previous ranking: NR. Last week: def. No. 7 Rancho Cucamonga, 27-24 (OT). Up next: Friday vs. Cajon (7-3).

7. Rancho Cucamonga (8-2)
Previous ranking: 3. Last week: lost to No. 6 Etiwanda, 27-24 (OT). Up next: Friday at Glendora (7-3).

8. Upland (8-2)
Previous ranking: 9. Last week: def. Claremont, 30-20. Up next: Friday at Damien (5-5).

9. Silverado (8-2)
Previous ranking: 7. Last week: idle. Up next: Friday vs. Apple Valley (5-5).

10. Redlands (8-2)
Previous ranking: 5. Last week: lost to No. 1 Redlands East Valley, 37-7. Up next: Friday vs. Moreno Valley Valley View (5-5).

Just missed the cut: Kaiser (7-3), Rim of the World (9-1), Chino Hills (8-2), Cajon (7-3).

Dropped out: No. 8 Kaiser (7-3), No. 10 Rim of the World (9-1)

Baseline League Playoff Breakdown

It’s that time of year again. With high school football down to its last week, its time to get my math skills in order and break down the playoff fortunes of each team in each league of the county. We’ll start with the Baseline League because a) it might be the best league top to bottom and b) its first in alphabetical order.

1) Los Osos (5-4, 3-1): The equation is simple for the Grizzlies – beat Alta Loma Friday and grab the league’s No. 1 seed. The Grizzlies own head-to-head tiebreakers over the teams that it is tied with (Rancho Cucamonga and Etiwanda), so no matter who wins that battle, Los Osos will finish ahead of them. However, if Alta Loma pulls the shocker, everything could be chaotic. If Los Osos loses and Upland loses to Claremont, the Grizzlies would get the No. 2 seed over the Rancho-Etiwanda loser. If Los Osos loses and Upland wins, there would be a three-way coin flip between the Grizzlies, Upland and the Rancho-Etiwanda loser for two spots, as each team is 1-1 against the other two. If Los Osos loses that flip, it would have to sweat, as its 5-5 record might not be good enough to hold off Glendora or Ayala from the Sierra League for the at-large berth in the Central Division.
That being said, Los Osos isn’t losing to 0-9 Alta Loma.

2) Rancho Cucamonga (8-1, 3-1): A win over Etiwanda wraps up at least the No. 2 seed in the Baseline League. If Los Osos wins, Rancho is No. 2, as it lost to the Grizzlies head-to-head. If Los Osos loses, Rancho would grab the top seed with a win. If Rancho loses to Etiwanda, a whole bunch of things could occur. A Rancho loss coupled with a Los Osos win and an Upland win would have the Cougars in the No. 3 slot, as they’d win the head-to-head tiebreaker with Upland. They’d also get the No. 3 seed if Los Osos and Upland lost, as they’d lose the tiebreaker to Los Osos for second. A Los Osos loss and Upland win would cause a three-way coin flip for two spots. If Rancho lost that flip, it would be snatched up as the at-large in less than a second.

3) Etiwanda (6-3, 3-1): A win over Rancho wraps up at least the No. 2 seed in the Baseline League. If Los Osos wins, Etiwanda is No. 2, as it lost to the Grizzlies head-to-head. If Los Osos loses, Etiwanda would grab the top seed with a win. If Etiwanda loses to Rancho, a whole bunch of things could occur. An Etiwanda loss coupled with a Los Osos win and an Upland win would have the Eagles in the No. 3 slot, as they’d win the head-to-head tiebreaker with Upland. They’d also get the No. 3 seed if Los Osos and Upland lost, as they’d lose the tiebreaker to Los Osos for second. A Los Osos loss and Upland win would cause a three-way coin flip for two spots. If Etiwanda lost that flip, it would almost assuredly be picked as the at-large.
And yes, I did copy and paste the Rancho writeup and just switch some words around.

4) Upland (7-2, 2-2): It’s amazing that Upland, the No. 1 team in the Central Division two weeks ago, could be forced out of the playoffs. But a loss to Claremont Friday eliminates the Highlanders, as Claremont would jump Upland in consideration for the at-large berth. A win over Claremont pretty much guarantees at least an at-large berth for the Highlanders, as an 8-2 team with wins over Serrano, Miller and Los Osos isn’t staying home. Upland can finish as high as second if Los Osos loses, as it would be in a three-way coin flip with the Grizzlies and the Rancho-Etiwanda loser. A Los Osos win would put a victorious Upland in fourth, as it would lose the head-to-head tiebreakers to the Rancho-Etiwanda loser.

5) Claremont (5-4, 1-3): The Wolfpack still have some hope. It’s pretty simple – they need to beat Upland and hope that they are selected for the at-large berth over either Glendora or Ayala. It’d be about a 50/50 shot for Claremont, as a win over Upland would give its resume a huge boost. A loss eliminates them from playoff consideration.

6) Alta Loma (0-9, 0-4): Eliminated from playoff consideration.

Week 9 Sun top 10

Probably the toughest set of rankings to come up with yet. Positions 3-7 are basically interchangeable at this point.

1. Redlands East Valley (8-0)
Previous ranking: 2. Last week: def. Carter, 41-14. Up next: Friday vs. Miller (4-4)

2. Colton (7-1)
Previous ranking: 3. Last week: def. Cajon, 38-9. Up next: Friday at San Gorgonio (2-6).

3. Rancho Cucamonga (7-1)
Previous ranking: 4. Last week: def. Alta Loma, 34-14. Up next: Friday at No. 7 Upland (7-1)

4. Colony (7-1)
Previous ranking: 5. Last week: def. Chaffey, 35-13. Up next: Friday vs. Don Lugo (5-3).

5. Redlands (7-1)
Previous ranking: 7. Last week: def. Miller, 28-27. Up next: Friday at Rialto (0-8).

6. Etiwanda (6-2)
Previous ranking: 8. Last week: def. No. 7 Upland, 18-16. Up next: Friday at Los Osos (4-4).

7. Upland (7-1)
Previous ranking: 2. Last week: lost to No. 6 Etiwanda, 18-16. Up next: Friday vs. No. 3 Rancho Cucamonga (7-1).

8. Serrano (6-2)
Previous ranking: 9. Last week: def. Hesperia, 42-6. Up next: Friday at Ridgecrest Burroughs (4-4).

9. Silverado (7-2)
Previous ranking: 10. Last week: def. Ridgecrest Burroughs, 35-21. Up next: Friday at Granite Hills (6-2).

10. Kaiser (5-3)
Previous ranking: NR. Last week: def. Summit, 13-7. Up next: Friday vs. Bloomington (3-5).

Just missed the cut: Rim of the World (8-1), Chino Hills (6-2), Los Osos (4-4), Barstow (6-2).

Dropped out: No. 6 Chino Hills (6-2).

Baseline League playoff breakdown

Yeah, I didn’t forget about the top league in the area, at least by my estimation. This is a league that should be very happy come Sunday, though there are a lot of possibilites as far as seeding is concerned. What I do know is that whoever has to play the No. 3 seeded team in the Central Division playoffs is going to be extremely annoyed.

1. Rancho Cucamonga (8-0-1, 4-0): The Cougars have clinched a playoff berth and could clinch the No. 1 seed – in both the league and in the entire Central Division – with a win over Upland Friday. However, a loss to the Scots and a Los Osos win would cause a three-way flip for seeding between Rancho, Upland and Los Osos. A loss and a Los Osos loss would give Rancho the No. 2 seed.

2. Upland (8-1, 3-1): Upland hasn’t officially clinched a playoff berth, but it can notch the No. 1 seed with a win over Rancho and a Los Osos loss to Etiwanda. A win and a Los Osos win would cause a three-way flip for seeding for the three spots. A loss and a Los Osos win would drop Upland to the No. 3 seed. A loss and an Etiwanda win over Los Osos would cause a three-way flip for two spots between Upland, Los Osos and Etiwanda. However, if Upland lost that flip, they are a shoo-in for the at-large. In fact, I’m more likely to get Jessica Biel to decommit from Justin Timberlake and go on a date with me than Upland is of being excluded from the playoffs.

3. Los Osos (7-2, 3-1): A win and the Grizzlies are in. If they should win and Upland should win, there will be a three-way flip for the three spots. If they should win and Rancho wins, Los Osos would get the No. 2 seed. If they should lose and Rancho wins, there would be a three-way flip for two spots, with Los Osos almost assuredly getting the at-large playoff berth. A loss and an Upland win would relegate the Grizzlies to at-large status, though I’d have a better shot of dating Stacy Keibler than Los Osos does of missing the playoffs.

4. Etiwanda (5-4, 2-2): A win and an Upland win clinches a playoff berth for Etiwanda. A win and a Rancho win causes a three-way flip between Upland, Los Osos and the Eagles for two spots. A loss puts Etiwanda in a somewhat precarious position, as their 5-5 record wouldn’t be nearly as much of an at-large no-brainer than an 8-2 Upland or a 7-3 Los Osos. However, the tea leaves seem to be saying Etiwanda would get the at-large, even over a 5-4-1 Colton team should circumstances dictate.

5. Alta Loma (3-6, 0-4): Eliminated from playoff consideration.

6. Claremont (2-7, 0-4): Eliminated from playoff consideration.