We see it on the basketball court every summer when some unwise team winds up drafting some bum that refused to work out against other players but looked like the next Jordan playing against his shadow and some strategically laid out cones. (See former North Carolina star Brandan Wright).
We’ve also seen it the past three weeks when it comes to picking high school games. I’ve looked like a genius at times since the playoffs began and the picks contest ended. (Evidence: my 28-21 Piedmont over Cordova pick last week)
Sports Editor Bran Strickland knows this truth as well. So, he enlisted copy editor Lacie Pinyan, the reigning interoffice picks champion, to pick the state semifinals games against me.
Apparently, he didn’t think 10 weeks of humiliation was enough for me.
Well, here are my choices. Maybe I can save face.
NO. 10 LINEVILLE (10-3) AT NO. 3 REELTOWN (12-1): It’s Round 2.
The first time these teams played, Week 9, the Region 5 championship was on the line, and Reeltown won 6-5. This time a trip to the state championship hangs in the balance.
Lineville has proven it can win on the road in the playoffs. Lineville’s offense has three 700-yard plus rushers, more than 4,800 yards and 454 points.
But they’re playing Reeltown, a team which has only given up more than 17 points three times all season.
Woodland did it twice, putting 27 on the Rebels in an eight-point, second-round playoff loss. So, their defense isn’t impenetrable.
Ultimately, I think Reeltown’s ball-control attack will keep Lineville’s potent offense off the field long enough to score a victory … Reeltown 18, Lineville 14.
In the other semifinal: Leroy has scored 40 in each of its playoff wins. American Christian has struggled more and more in each playoff round. ... Leroy 42, American Christian 22.
NO. 2 HAMILTON (13-0) AT NO. 5 PIEDMONT (12-1): Piedmont’s 28-7 defeat of Plainview in the quarterfinals was indicative of just how good the Bulldogs are. By their own account, they didn’t play up to their capabilities yet they still won by three touchdowns. And make no mistake about it; the game was never in question.
So, just what will they do against a team they don’t take lightly. We’re about to find out.
There’s no way Piedmont can overlook Hamilton, nor would they. Especially after Hamilton took care of Glencoe, 3-0.
That might mean this year’s Aggies might be a lot tougher on defense than the crew Piedmont hung 63 points on last year.
One thing I’ve noticed about Piedmont over the past couple years is its ability to seize key moments in games. I saw it last week as well. Despite not playing their best ball, whenever there was a big play that could’ve possibly turned the tide of the game, it was the Piedmont Bulldogs who prevailed on those snaps. That’s what champions do … Piedmont 35, Hamilton 24.
In the other semifinal: Here’s my surprise. Leeds has been King Kong in Class 3A this year. Much attention has been given to other squads throughout the season. Then Gordo up and upset Handley, a team Leeds only beat by one, in the second round. Now, folks are on notice. I expect Gordo and their pound-it-out ground game to meet up with Piedmont in the state title game. Gordo 22, Leeds 21
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.