We're going to kick this one off with Senior Seasons first; that way I can't write the whole post and then chicken out and punt it to Tuesday again.
Good Counsel 21, St. John's 7: Brendan Marshall was a perfect seven for seven for 102 yards and Good Counsel will advance to the WCAC final against - who else - DeMatha. Good Counsel is 10-1.
A.L. Brown 69, Hickory Ridge 55: Keeon Johnson and Kannapolis got revenge for their first in-county loss in decades, and Johnson had a whopping 12 catches for 116 yards and (kind of surprisingly given the score) one touchdown. Johnson missed the first game against this team with turf toe. Brown is 10-3, and advances to the third round.
Ocean Lakes 34, Granby 3: Ocean Lakes had no trouble advancing. That's the good news. The bad news is that they'll have to go the rest of the way without Corwin Cutler, whose torn-up knee put a premature end to a phenomenal season. Ocean Lakes is 11-0.
Oscar Smith 35, Bayside 12: Smoke Mizzell ran for 175 yards on 20 carries and played a lot of defense too, but Zach Jones and Oscar Smith handled Bayside pretty easily. Bayside finishes their season at 8-3; Oscar Smith is also 8-3 and advances to face Salem.
Salisbury 35, Avon Old Farms 28 (Sadiq Olanrewaju) - Salisbury is 8-0
Gilman 20, McDonogh 8 (Micah Kiser) - Gilman is 8-2
Urbana 24, Damascus 23 (Zach Bradshaw) - Damascus is 10-1
St. John's Prep 21, BC High 16 (Jack McDonald) - BC High is 3-6
South Iredell 47, Pisgah 8 (LaChaston Smith) - South Iredell is 11-2
Houston Bellaire 30, Houston Westside 23 (Hipolito Corporan) - Westside is 6-4
Fork Union 45, Benedictine 27 (Malcolm Cook) - FUMA is 9-2
Jackson Liberty 21, Monsignor Donovan 0 (Brad Henson) - Donovan is 5-3
Seasonal breakdowns are as follows:
-- 2 regular seasons are still going on, sort of. BC High has a rivalry game on Thanksgiving weekend, but they're 3-6 and whatever form of playoffs they might have qualified for, they didn't. Monsignor Donovan (Brad Henson's team) has one game next week, and once again I'm blowed if I can figure out what the hell goes on in New Jersey.
-- 3 seasons are done. Zach Bradshaw and Damascus were upset as heavy favorites in the first round, and somebody had to lose between Smith and Bayside and Bayside it was. Bradshaw and Taquan Mizzell join Jack English on the sidelines.
-- 4 championship games are next weekend. FUMA plays in the VISAA Division I final against Liberty Christian. Gilman has the MIAA championship against Calvert Hall, whom they beat 24-14 a few weeks ago. Salisbury plays in the Jack Etter Bowl, which is the NEPSAC Class A championship, against Phillips Exeter. And of course, there's the WCAC Good Counsel-DeMatha game.
-- 7 teams continue - or start - their playoff roll. In North Carolina they're in the 3rd round, where South Iredell will play Bandys and A.L. Brown plays Charlotte Catholic. South Iredell played Bandys about a month and a half ago, and won 24-13. Brown has not played Charlotte Catholic this season, but they're fairly familiar playoff opponents; Catholic is a semi-powerhouse. In fact, Catholic trekked up to Baltimore earlier this season, where Gilman and Micah Kiser beat them, 37-14.
The VHSL playoffs truck into the second round, and it's Ocean Lakes vs. Western Branch; Potomac vs. Mountain View; Oscar Smith vs. Salem; and Varina vs. Meadowbrook.
In Texas, the first round begins next weekend, and Houston Westside takes on Houston Memorial in the first round. Let's hope Hipolito Corporan stays committed long enough for us to care about this playoff run.
After adding Arizona back (the aforementioned exception) on account of a commonsensical suggestion in last week's comments (it seemed wrong to drop them from 11th to nowhere), the eligibility pool stood at 30. That makes it a lot easier and faster, for one thing. It means that Wisconsin and Rutgers are basically the beneficiaries of sticking around (and Wisconsin is bloody lucky Minnesota is bowl-eligible.)
About the ballot itself, I once again had to shove Florida down below the title contenders, although Oregon ended up legitimately in the top three this time. (They were #5 last week.) I think this is because of a somewhat improved outlook on vanquished opponents Washington and Arizona.
I was less inclined, this week, to move Nebraska below Ohio State, and ultimately, I obviously didn't. Ohio State was, up til now, the beneficiary of not having had a bye week; now everyone has had one, and so for all intents and purposes, nobody has, except those like Oklahoma that've had two. So OSU took a slight fall. Besides, despite the records and the head-to-head outcome, this is justifiable. Nebraska's top five wins: Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, Northwestern, Michigan State. OSU's: Nebraska, Penn State, Central Florida, Michigan State, Illinois.
Next week the eligible pool will probably grow again; I consider 7-4 with a qualifying win good enough.
-- The "new BCS" is starting to take its final form. Truthfully, it's not that different from the old one. I'll have a more comprehensive user's guide tomorrow.
-- The men's soccer team has their 32nd straight bid to the NCAA's, and will host an opening-round game against Lafayette. The ladies trounced La Salle in the first round, and advance to play Rutgers at Klockner this Friday.
-- Hooptyball has started the season 1-1; the lack of a point guard is showing. A lot. But they did lock it down on defense tonight against Fairfield, and will play Delaware tomorrow in the Preseason NIT second round. The good news is that if we do end up having a marginally tourney-worthy season, the committee will likely take into account Jontel Evans's injury in considering that George Mason game.
-- LOLVT. Enjoy this video of wide receiver Marcus Davis taking a page from the Jeff Allen Instruction Book of Effort, and never blocking anyone. And then for further giggles, you can read Davis's response. My personal favorite: "You can't block in the back. That's obvious." Of course, they start off in front of you, but never mind that.