Today’s pairings story: Two local teams rode strong regular seasons to No. 1 seeds when the CIF-Southern Section office released football playoff pairings on Sunday morning. Undefeated Azusa (10-0) was given the No. 1 seed in the Mid-Valley Division. The Aztecs will host Village Christian (6-4) on Friday night at Citrus College.
Steve and I will go head-to-head in Tribskin Pick’em throughout the season for our annual dinner bet. I lead the overall series, two years to one.
Last Week: Robledo (14-4); Ramirez (14-4).
Season: Robledo (167-50); Ramirez (162-55).
Last week: I lead Steve by five after the regular season. We both had a so-so week, both missing on Alemany over Bishop Amat and Claremont over Damien. I got him taking Charter Oak over South Hills and Baldwin Park over Northview, but he got me right back taking Bonita over Diamond Ranch and Rosemead over El Monte — two games I shouldn’t of missed, but oh well.
This week: Finally, the playoffs have arrived and the game that sticks out like a sore thumb is San Dimas at Arroyo. As much as I lover the heart of a defending champion, I’m going with Arroyo because they’re at home, QB Steven Rivera hasn’t lost as a starter this year, and I don’t agree with Aram suggesting maybe they should have tanked a game to avoid San Dimas. If you’re a player, you want the challenge. You have to go through everyone anyway, might as well get it over with in round one. Knights coach Jim Singiser will have them ready — he has too. For whatever reason, it feels like the night San Dimas went to Rosemead in 2008 and got smacked. It won’t go down exactly like that, but watch how the Knights rise to the occasion in their first real step-up game with the talented junior at QB. I found it interesting that Amat is only a 28-21 CalPreps projection winner over Tesoro. Those looking at the second round should stop right there, Tesoro’s one of those “on any given Friday” dangerous teams. One week they’re whipping South Hills 59-6 and the next they’re losing to Chino Hills. They lost two straight entering the playoffs, one a 30-7 loss to power Mission Viejo. The good news is Tesoro doesn’t throw the ball around the park like Alemany did, they mix it up, which plays into Amat’s hands and at home, where they haven’t lost in three years, no way I’m going against the Lancers. Azusa is a 15-point favorite over Village Christian, but more importantly, if the Aztecs are a real contender, and I think they’re, the top seed must take care of business. You don’t allow just 30 points all season and lose in round one. I’m on the Aztecs bandwagon, they will get it done. Bonita is a 48-3 calpreps projection winner over California — take that to the bank. Finally, those going fishing absolutely and without question are Charter Oak, Gladstone and Diamond Ranch, just think their opponents are too tough on the road. West Covina and Covina are slam dunks and those with the potential for upsets include La Puente over Mayfair, and Walnut over La Serna, though I picked both to lose.
Friday’s games and predictions
San Dimas at Arroyo, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Arroyo); Ramirez (San Dimas)
Tesoro at Bishop Amat, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (BAmat); Ramirez (BAmat)
Village Christian at Azusa 7 p.m. — Robledo (Azusa); Ramirez (Azusa)
La Canada at Covina, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Covina); Ramirez (Covina)
Charter Oak at Vista Murrieta, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (VMurrieta); Ramirez (VMurrieta)
California at Bonita, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Bonita); Ramirez (Bonita)
Bellflower at West Covina, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (WCovina); Ramirez (WCovina)
Diamond Ranch at Mayfair. 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Mayfair); Ramirez (Mayfair)
Temple City at Rosemead, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Rosemead); Ramirez (Rosemead)
Walnut at La Serna, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Serna); Ramirez (La Serna)
La Puente at Maranatha, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Maranatha); Ramirez (Maranatha)
Baldwin Park at Schurr, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (BPark); Ramirez (Schurr)
Gladstone at Monrovia, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Monrovia); Ramirez (Monrovia)
Corona at Chino Hills, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (CHills); Ramirez (CHills)
Claremont at Roosevelt, 7:30 p.m. Robledo (Roosevelt); Ramirez (Roosevelt)