Reuben's 2011 High School Football Predictions -- Third Round Playoffs
Blog: The Reuben Davis Blog
November 17, 2011
Four teams with area ties still remain in the 2011 high school football playoffs. Scotland keeps rolling along as does Albemarle, while West Montgomery and Douglas Byrd remain to play another game. And, which of these teams will be playing in state championship games in December?
Out of the five games I listed last week, I got four of them correct (80%). The season record stands at 146-25 (85.4%).
Was kind of surprised that Lakewood defeated South Stanly on the road in overtime. The Leopards' reward for their extra work is another trip to Stanly County to take on Albemarle.
Haven't seen a lot of wild surprises in the playoffs this season. No Cinderella teams come to mind. I still hate the pod system of doing the playoff brackets. I think coaches and players hate these first round conference rematches, especially if they played the week before.
The pod system is supposed to save on travel costs, but it seems like roughly a fourth of these teams in the playoffs, (yes, all 256 of them), only benefited by not having to travel as far or even getting to host an extra or even unexpected home game.
I think coaches especially, and even players like the challenge of preparing for a team they've never seen or even heard about. And, for the players, I think the experience of playing a playoff game in a different part of the state is something that they really look forward to as well as remember for the rest of their lives. But when it comes to saving travel costs, the pod system has only benefited teams in the 1A and 1AA brackets, thus preventing teams from the mountains having to travel east of I-95 and vice versa in the early rounds.
If you're going to have a conference rematch, it might as well be in the third round or regional final. Or, as it happened in 2008, have that conference rematch as part of a state title game. That year, 71st defeated Douglas Byrd for the 4A title and Richmond County defeated Jack Britt for the 4AA title as all four teams were members of the former Mid-Southeastern 4A league.
Also, there are games in the second and third rounds that could be regional title games. Last week, the Mathews Butler-Charlotte Independence came to mind. This week, you have two games which feature unbeaten teams, Raleigh Leesville Road versus Garner in the 4AA East pod and South Iredell traveling to West Stokes in the 2AA Midwest pod. These games should be regional title games, not third round games.
Finally, if the pod system did not exist, Pinecrest would have traveled to Matthews Butler instead of Greensboro Page in the first round.
As for this week's "Game of the Week", I think I will go with Northern Guilford (11-1, Mid-State 3A conference champion, and #4 overall East 3AA seed) @ Douglas Byrd (12-0, Cape Fear Valley 3A conference champion, and #2 East 3AA overall seed. This game looks mighty close on paper. Could be mighty close out there on the football field. How will it turn out?
Yadkin Valley 1A Conference
Albemarle 41 Lakewood 14 (1A Midwest)
Monroe 27 West Montgomery 20 (1AA Midwest)
Cape Fear Valley 3A Conference
Northern Guilford 28 Douglas Byrd 24 (3AA Mideast)
Southeastern 4A Conference
Scotland County 42 Durham Hillside 24 (4A Mideast)