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Not Yogi Bear! It is Yogi Berra

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It truly was, as Yogi Berra said,  “never over till it’s over” in high school and college football last weekend. Nine of the 13 games on week six of the S. Preston Douglas & Associates Pigskin Picks contest were decided in the last minute or in overtime. Four of the victories were of the “walk off” variety. However, teams that were a clear favorite still came away with most of the wins (sans UNC, Alabama).
Flip and I were each 7–6 in games that counted in the contest. I did pick the two rescheduled games correctly while Flip split. For the year I am 47–26 and Flip is 42–31. I continue to marvel at Flip’s success. Maybe I should back him on Draft Kings?
FUN FACT: According to merriam-webster.com “”draught” is in the top 2% in looked-up words popularity. It is simply the British spelling of “draft.”
Obviously the biggest surprise was Texas A&M’s win over Alabama. Landis Marlowe was the only contest participant to pick the Aggies. Florida State’s upset was predicted by 8% of our players. Every other game was correctly selected on at least 50% of ballots cast.
Georgia’s win over Auburn was the most often selected correct result at 94%. Wake Forest overtime win made 86% of our participants happy. Players also had confidence in Tennessee with 80% selecting the Vols.
The games that had our players most evenly divided were Ole Miss over Arkansas (56%) and Iowa over Penn State (58%). The lone high school game on the week six slate was split right down the middle with half happy and half sad that the Stallions’ “Hail Mary” was answered against West Columbus.

HIGH SCHOOL NOTES

  • Margin of victory is not a factor in the MaxPreps RPI ratings that will be used for seeding this season. It will be difficult for Whiteville to improve on its current #4 ranking in 2A East. It is impossible for every Waccamaw Conference team to “win out” to improve the Wolfpack’s opponents’ winning percentage (OWP). The St. Pauls/Clinton winner appears to be the team that could move Whiteville down a notch in the rankings. Roanoke Rapids also is a possibility due to its high (OWP). Friday’s Roanoke Rapids at Louisburg game should decide the Big East 2A automatic playoff representative. The difference in a #4 vs. #5 seed is the opportunity to host a third round playoff game.
  • There is really nothing left to be said about the West Columbus at South Columbus game. Those old enough to remember ABC broadcaster Jim McKay opening the Saturday afternoon “Wide World of Sports” show may recall his famous, “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports!” Both were on display at the end of the contest. Now it’s over and done. The result is not going to change, no matter what anyone’s opinion is of what they thought they did or did not see. Let’s move on. The Vikings need wins over Pender and East Columbus to secure the Waccamaw automatic 1A playoff berth.
  • The East Columbus win over Trask on Monday leaves the Gators destiny in their hands (I realize Gators don’t have hands). Wins over Pender and West Columbus would give East the automatic playoff berth. However, allowing Trask 29 points is not a good omen.

COLLEGE NOTES

  • Georgia continues to dominate. It was a feather in the War Eagles helmet (would the Eagles want a another feather?) for just scoring in double digits against the Dogs defense. Right now, it’s Georgia and then everyone else.
  • I agree with Sam Pittman’s decision to go for two, but why run a play that one, cuts you down to half the field and two, you have already used in a similar situation. The Ole Miss win was worthy of a box of popcorn. Richard Gore’s hopes for winning week six were dashed with the Arkansas failed two-point play.

STAT FACT: A two-point play does not count in the passing, rushing or defensive statistics. It only is listed in the scoring summary as made or missed.

  • Wake scraped by at Syracuse. Here is the question. Even if Wake is the ACC champion and undefeated at the end of the regular season, do they make the playoffs? I don’t think so. There are maybe 4–5 teams that could end up with one loss that can make as good or a better case.
  • This is the game that had the largest effect on the week six contest outcomes. Hannah Milligan got it right and Michael Cahn and Jeff Godwin missed it. Louisville was picked to win by 64% of our players. Has the ACC confused competitiveness with mediocrity?
  • Getting a little tired of Mack Brown reiterating every week that the media had his team overrated in the preseason. Duh! All you have to do is watch and it’s obviously not a top 30 team. When you can’t protect the passer and only have one reliable receiver the offense is going to struggle. What was supposed to be a much-improved defense has been wildly inconsistent. You have to give Florida State credit for continuing to plug away this season after a difficult start.
  • And if Sam Howell’s fall from Heisman contention has been rapid, how about Spencer Rattler at OU? Replaced in the second half against Texas and his back up leads a wild comeback win. Sooners coach Lincoln Riley had not named his starting QB for this week’s game against TCU as of Tuesday morning. The Longhorns experienced the worst kind of loss because you know they were talking smack to OU fans at halftime with a 38–20 lead.
  • Tennessee looks like it is moving in a positive direction with consecutive big offensive showings albeit against Mizzou and South Carolina. The Volunteers lost more players through the Dr. Pepper transfer portal than any other Power 5 school. Former Va. Tech QB Hendon Hooker has played well since taking over as starter in week three.
  • I told you if I picked Duke they would not win. You are welcome Georgia Tech fans.
  • I think you need an asterisk beside Iowa’s win over Penn State. The game changed when PSU starting QB Sean Clifford left the game midway the second quarter with his team leading 17–10. The Nittany Lions could only manage one field goal from that point. However injuries are a part of the game and the next man needs to step in and step up. Iowa should be favored to win the remainder of its games and enter the Big 10 championship game undefeated.
  • The ECU at UCF game was lower scoring than I anticipated. The golden Knights scored 10 points in the final 5:06 to pull out the win and keep the Pirates from their fourth consecutive victory. ECU has a week off to regroup.
  • I couldn’t win the Notre Dame at Virginia Tech game because I wanted both teams to lose. Matt, you may not believe this but I actually was okay with Notre Dame winning at the end. There is just something about beating VT at home that I enjoy seeing. It is probably from memories of being in Kenan Stadium with Hokies fans behind me rattling their keys.
  • All good things must come to an end. I wish it had been someone other than Jimbo Fisher who ended Saban’s former assistants winless streak against him. However, for most of the game Texas A&M outplayed and outcoached Alabama. When you cannot get a QB sack even with a blitz trouble is afoot. The one thing from this loss that does help is if Alabama wins the remainder of its games, the Tide should face #1 Georgia in the SEC championship game. A win there (currently I think about a 30% chance) would probably put them in the playoffs as a one-loss SEC champion along with Georgia and two other teams not from the ACC.

Lots of close calls last week but only two major upsets. Where will the week seven surprises spring from? A Kentucky win at Georgia would certainly shake things up. Texas and Oklahoma each face a tough test at home.

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The advantage of being East Columbus, Pender and West Columbus is, no matter what the outcomes of games over the next three weeks are, they each will make the playoffs. There are only 31 schools in 1A East conferences playing football this fall. They are battling for a high enough seed to host at least one playoff game.

Flip and I will be back with our week seven picks later this week.

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