High School football playoffs

The Virginia High School Football playoffs are down to their 6 championship games next weekend. I had the opportunity to shoot a couple of games last Saturday. These were region finals, or in other words, state semi-final games.

Thomas Dale vs. Oscar Smith

The first game I shot was the Group 6A South Region final between Thomas Dale Knights (9-4) of Chester and the Oscar Smith Tigers (12-0) of Chesapeake. Thomas Dale had defeated Woodbridge 26-0, C.D. Hylton 17-14 and Cosby  13-7 to reach the 6A region final. Oscar Smith had defeated Kellam 48-13, Grassfield 20-19, and the defending 6A state champs and nationally ranked Ocean Lakes 29-19 the previous week.

Tigers ready to take the field

Coin flip

Thomas Dale opened the scoring with a field goal in the first quarter.

Thomas Dale field goal

Defenses dominated the first quarter.

Oscar Smith defender knocks down pass

Thomas Dale defender pressures quarterback

Oscar Smith had two passes for touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 14-3 lead into halftime.

Oscar Smith long touchdown pass

Oscar Smith touchdown pass

Oscar Smith added another touchdown in the second half and won 21-3 to capture the Class 6A South Region championship. They will now play Westfield (13-1) for the Class 6A state championship next Saturday at the University of Virginia.

Oscar Smith victory celebration

Courtland vs. Lake Taylor

The other game I caught, although for only about one quarter, was the Group 4A South Region final between the defending 4A state champion Lake Taylor Titans (13-0) of Norfolk and the Courtland Cougars (11-2).

Courtland reached the 4A region final by defeating King George 42-0, Eastern View 48-20, and Lafayette 27-6. Lake Taylor defeated Denbigh 55-14, King’s Fork 52-39 and Hanover 37-22.

Lake Taylor jumped out to a huge halftime lead and Courtland was never able to overcome it as Lake Taylor won 47-33. They now face Salem (13-0) next Saturday in a rematch of their 4A state championship game last year.

Lake Taylor defense

Virginia Tech commit Victor Greene carrying the rock

Definition of team defense

Costly fumble

Fumble return for touchdown

FBS College Football Rankings Week 13

Well, we’re down to conference championship games. Oklahoma has snuck past Clemson into second in my rankings after their thrashing of Oklahoma State. Clemson has a chance to regain second when they play North Carolina for the ACC Championship. The winner of Iowa and Michigan State may overtake Ohio State this week. Ohio State jumped four spots this week after their blowout win over Michigan. TCU gained six spots after their victory of Baylor. Stanford moved up six spots after their last second win over Notre Dame. Florida fell seven spots after their pitiful performance against Florida State while Florida State moved up five spots. North Carolina still gets no love from my formula, but that could change with a victory over Clemson.

  1. Alabama (11-1, 130.208)
  2. Oklahoma (11-1, 129.738)
  3. Clemson (12-0, 128.949)
  4. Ohio State (11-1, 128.519)
  5. Iowa (12-0, 128.424)
  6. Michigan State (127.431)
  7. TCU (10-2, 127.102)
  8. Baylor (9-2, 126.980)
  9. Notre Dame (10-2, 126.967)
  10. Stanford (10-2, 126.562)
  11. Oklahoma State (10-2, 126.509)
  12. Mississippi (9-3, 126.300)
  13. Michigan (9-3, 126.192)
  14. Florida State (10-2, 126.116)
  15. Northwestern (10-2, 126.051)
  16. Florida (10-2, 125.717)
  17. North Carolina (11-1, 125.548)
  18. LSU (8-3, 125.477)
  19. Navy (9-2, 125.091)
  20. Houston (11-1, 124.976)
  21. West Virginia (7-4, 124.802)
  22. Wisconsin (9-3, 124.642)
  23. Tennessee (8-4, 124.571)
  24. Temple (10-2, 124.327)
  25. Southern Cal (8-4, 124.274)

You can find my complete rankings here.

Here’s my FBS conference rankings:

  1. Big 12 (122.937)
  2. SEC (122.857)
  3. Big 10 (122.611)
  4. Pac-12 (121.430)
  5. ACC (121.068)
  6. AAC (118.356)
  7. MAC (115.653)
  8. MWC (114.209)
  9. C-USA (113.698)
  10. Sun Belt (113.567)

FCS Playoffs Recap and Round 2 predictions

The first round of the FCS playoffs are over. Schools with higher power ratings went 5-3. The biggest upset was #24 Montana over #6 South Dakota State 24-17. #7 Northern Iowa cruised to an easy 53-17 win over #25 Eastern Illinois.#11 Citadel squeaked by #19 Coastal Carolina 41-38. #13 William & Mary had a big scare from #61 Duquesne before finally winning 52-49. #14 Western Illinois defeated #45 Dayton 24-7. #15 Chattanooga had little trouble with #21 Fordham, winning 50-20. #28 Sam Houston State pulled off an upset in beating #16 Southern Utah 42-39. #40 Colgate beat #37 New Hampshire 27-20.

Round #2 Matchups(Based on FCS seedings, record, my ratings and rankings in parentheses):

#1 Jacksonville State (10-1, 2, 118.183) vs. Chattanooga (9-3, 11, 115.648)

#2 Illinois State (9-2, 1, 118.350) vs. Western Illinois (7-5, 14, 114.777)

#3 North Dakota State (9-2, 3, 117.664) vs. Montana (8-4, 18, 113.599)

#4 McNeese State (10-0, 7, 115.964) vs. Sam Houston State (9-3, 20, 113.060)

#5 James Madison (9-2, 13, 115.180) vs. Colgate (8-4, 38, 110.690)

#6 Portland State (9-2, 9, 115.814) vs. Northern Iowa (8-4, 6, 116.009)

#7 Richmond (8-3, 19, 113.283) vs. William & Mary (9-3, 15, 114.324)

#8 Charleston Southern (9-2, 12, 115.527) vs. The Citadel (9-3, 8, 115.956)

Using my power ratings, here are the favorites and their chance of winning (not taking into account location of game):

James Madison has a 73.8% chance of winning over Colgate

North Dakota State has a 71.8% chance of winning over Montana

Illinois State has a 69.5% chance of winning over Western Illinois

McNeese State has a 66.1% chance of winning over Sam Houston State

Jacksonville State has a 64.2% chance of winning over Chattanooga

William & Mary has a 56.0% chance of winning over Richmond

The Citadel has a 52.5% chance of winning over Charleston Southern

Northern Iowa has a 51.9% chance of winning over Portland State