Friday, November 20, 2015
In case you're wondering...
That, and the fact that I saw the 8A championship last week and anything else would be anticlimactic.
Having said all that, let's have a very brief look at the semifinals that I just might sneak a peek at online.
Loyola (12-0) at Palatine (10-2)
Loyola has beaten the Pirates twice in the last ten years, 19-7 in 2012, and 14-0 in 2010. I expect a final score more in the neighborhood of Palatine's 49-19 loss to Fremd in Week Six. Ramblers gonna ramble.
Waubonsie Valley (8-4) at Marist (8-4)
Talk about Cinderella teams! The Warriors lost to three losing squads, including 2-7 Naperville North by a point in overtime. How on earth did these guys shut out Naperville Central last week? Marist's losses, on the other hand, were to four very solid winning teams. But, as they say, both won when they had to. And by Week Thirteen, who the heck knows who's going to show up? And what effect will the weather have? I haven't seen either team this year so, sorry for the cop-out, but this one's a pick 'em.
Cary Grove (11-1) at Glenbard West (12-0)
Probably the Game of the Week. I'm sure both teams are awesome, but I'm going to go with the one I saw shut out Mount Carmel two weeks ago. The Hilltoppers could very well be the second- or third-best team in the state. If they were playing Loyola I'd go -- weather be damned!
Libertyville (12-0) at Bradley-Bourbonnais (9-3)
Another game I'd like to see. I've never been down to Bradley and I've been meaning to see Riley Lees and company ever since the Wildcats ran all over Stevenson in Week Five. Libertyville has a date with Glenbard West in DeKalb next week.
Prairie Ridge (11-1) at Montini (12-0)
The Wolves have had a great run but no one's going to beat Montini.
Crete-Monee (10-2) at Hinsdale South (9-3)
I don't know anything about either of these teams (except that the Warriors beat two-time defending 5A champ Sacred Heart-Griffin last week), but wouldn't it be something if Crete-Monee met up again with Prairie Ridge in the finals? The Wolves bested the Warriors, 52-33, in Week Nine.
Nazareth (10-2) at St. Laurence (10-2)
First of all, where the heck did St. Laurence come from? Not only were the Vikings 5-6 last year, but these guys were 1-8 as recently as 2012! In fact, this is their first winning season since 2010 when they went 5-4 and didn't even qualify for the playoffs. Nazareth, meanwhile, despite graduating practically everyone from last year's undefeated Class 6A championship team (or so I thought), finds itself in the hunt again for the state title. Who wins this one? Gotta go with the guys who beat Benet, Marist and Joliet Catholic (almost twice!). Sometimes, in real life, that glass slipper just doesn't fit Cinderella after all.
Lincoln-Way West (10-2) at Champaign Central (11-1)
It took overtime for Lincoln-Way North to beat the Warriors in Week Nine; Central, meanwhile, only lost one game, by a touchdown, in Week Three. Pick 'em.
Marengo (12-0) at Phillips (12-0)
Here's another game I'd really, really like to see. Can the Wildcats finish what they started last year? And who, may I ask, is this undefeated Marengo team that was only 5-4 last year? Two years ago the Indians were only 1-8! (Pssst: that nickname is politically incorrect nowadays). What's more, Marengo went 0-9 in three consecutive years, from 2005-07. Hard not to root for these guys! But it's Phillips's year. I saw the Wildcats play four times last year but not once this season. Shame on me!
Breese Mater Dei (9-3) at Althoff Catholic (12-0)
Now I'm really getting out of my wheelhouse. But before I stop, all you have to know about this contest is that Althoff knocked off five-time defending 4A champion Rochester* last week. (Yep, you read that right: the Rockets had won the last five 4A titles in a row.) So you can't fade the Crusaders. (Besides, they already beat Mater Dei, 68-46, in Week Three.)
Enjoy the games!
* Bad week for the Leonards, Ken and his son Derek!