November 22, 2011, 11:51 pm
The Packers will get one of their final road tests on their path to perfection. Ever since the Lions won their first four games of the season, everyone circled Thanksgiving Day as a game to watch. In a rivalry that usually falls on Thanksgiving, the contests between these two squads have been laughers for the last decade. Fortunately, for Lions fans, that time has come and gone. With a bright future ahead, the Lions are on the inside of the playoff picture with six games remaining on the schedule.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have made the game of football look so easy as they have now won 16 consecutive games dating back to last season. With the way the Packers remaining schedule lines up, the next two games seem to be the biggest hurdles they will have to jump to go 16-0 as they play on the road at the Lions and then next Sunday will travel to the Meadowlands to take on the Giants. Except the game tomorrow to have plenty of points as I see the Packers winning a close one to move on to 11-0.
There is no doubt where the college game of the week is as the place they call "Death Valley" will play host to #3 Arkansas as they travel to take on #1 LSU. Despite being ranked third, it seems to me that Arkansas has not gotten the credit they deserve for being 10-1 in the SEC with their only loss being to Alabama. The Razorbacks have an explosive offense with arguably the best receiving corps in the country. If Arkansas can pull off the upset on the road, the BCS would be turned upside down and I can honestly say I have no idea how the standings would look come Sunday. If LSU prevails, you can pencil in the Tigers and the Crimson Tide (round two) in the BCS Championship in January.
Enjoy the games this weekend and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
November 22, 2011, 12:03 pm
Amazingly, three of the top five teams in the country suffered a defeat over the weekend causing a major shakeup in the polls. Oregon and Oklahoma are officially eliminated from the championship hunt as they each have suffered two losses each. Oklahoma State fell to fourth and still has a slim chance of getting back in the top two. Boise State moved from 10th to 7th, but no matter what, they will not win their conference. With only two remaining unbeaten teams, it would be interesting to see whether or not Boise State would be 2nd or 3rd in this weeks rankings. Of course, this is all hypothetical due to the fact that they Broncos stumbled to TCU losing 36-35, but I think if there ever was a year that they would get their national championship opportunity, this was the year.
After LSU beat Alabama 9-6 in the "Game of the Century" Alabama still found themselves ahead of Boise State in the BCS standings and that is an important factor in this argument. For once though, the computers actually like the Broncos. Despite having a loss, BSU is ranked 8th by the computers. With that being said, if the Broncos were unbeaten, it would be safe to assume the computers would fairly judge them unlike previous years.
Again, this is all hypothetical, but if the Broncos finished the season 12-0, I think this might have been the year they would be playing for a National Championship. Unfortunately, we will never know.
November 21, 2011, 12:17 pm
Vikings quarterback Chad Chalich played his final game in a Viking uniform and he made it a memorable one. He accounted for over 460 total yards and added five touchdowns. The reigning 5A All-Idaho player of the year finished off his 2011 season with 56 total touchdowns and just two interceptions. Even more impressively, he played his final game with a hairline fracture in his right foot.
The Eagle Mustangs had an incredible season, but did not end it the way they had hoped to. After the starting defense had not allowed a point in their first two playoff games, the Vikings exposed the highly touted Mustang defense for 49 points that proved to be the difference.
If you wanted your fix for high school football, Holt Arena was the place to be Friday night. With a doubleheader nightcap that lasted until after 11:00 PM, there were plenty of fireworks and unexpected twists.
The defending state champion Fruitland Grizzlies came into their state championship rematch with Snake River a big favorite, but the Panthers made a statement on the second play of the game that proved they were in for a dogfight. Bret Parkinson ran a slant across the middle and quarterback Wyatt Wray found him and Parkinson was off to the races for a 96 yard touchdown. From there, the Grizzlies found a way to keep answering but in the end fell 35-33 to Snake River in one of the best high school football games I have ever been a part of.
The 4A State Championship was much closer than the final score indicated. The Middleton Vikings used a heavy dose of Victor Dias and ran their offense to perfection in the first half and held a slim lead over the top ranked Blackfoot Broncos at halftime. In the second half, it was the Trey Pilster show. The senior quarterback used a perfect combination of throwing and running to stymie the Vikings in the second half as Blackfoot finished their perfect season.
It was a great night of high school football to cap off an incredible season. Make sure to listen to 630 The Fan all week as we cap off the High School Football season and move forward to basketball season.
November 17, 2011, 10:38 am
At first glance, it seemed that the #2 seed from District 3 would have the best road to making it to the State Championship game, which made the final night of the regular season so much more meaningful. After Skyview locked up the #1 seed by virtue of their slim win over Bishop Kelly, Middleton and Columbia were battling it out on the gridiron with the winner getting the #2 seed. Although it meant traveling to Lakeland for the 1st round of the playoffs, the winner of that game would host a semifinal matchup. With all of that being said, Middleton defeated Columbia and coveted that all-important #2 seed.
The Vikings win last week over Pocatello was an absolute clinic on how to control the clock and rush the football. Victor Dias led the way with six total touchdowns, including one through the air, in route to the 53-22 victory. Now, they will travel East to take on the wire-to-wire #1 team in the 4A all year, Blackfoot.
The Broncos have made it through the season undefeated and survived a furious 2nd half rally to beat District 6 rival, Hillcrest 34-31. The Knights had an impressive run through the playoffs going on the road to defeat previously unbeaten Minico, before trouncing Columbia in the quarterfinals. Blackfoot has been led all season by standout QB Trey Pilster and if the Vikings can limit what Pilster can do through the air, they have a chance to pull off yet another upset.
I will be making the trip to Pocatello to broadcast the game tomorrow night and you can hear it on 630 The Fan starting at 8:30.
November 16, 2011, 11:55 am
They stormed through the regular season with their two closest contests being a 10 point win over eventual 4A District III Champion, Skyview and a five point win over Ontario. After that, they rolled through their opponents until they narrowly defeated Weiser last Saturday. Snake River's road to the Championship has been less likely. The Panthers started off slow out of the gate, but are now on a 5 game winning streak and are obviously playing their best football at the right time. Embracing the underdog role, they upset previously unbeaten Salmon in the quarterfinals and then avenged one of their losses earlier in the season by beating Marsh Valley 35-8. I expect this one to be competitive as Fruitland has to establish their rushing attack early against the strong line play of Snake River.
If anyone had predicted Grangeville and Firth in the 2A State Championship, you need to book a plane ticket to Las Vegas immediately. The Cougars started out the season 0-4 before turning it around and are only picking up steam as November rolls on. They won two tight contests against Malad and Declo before beating New Plymouth 26-7 last weekend. As for Grangeville, its safe to say they are the heavy favorite. After being eliminated by Nampa Christian in the playoffs the last four seasons, the Bulldogs are 11-0 this year and no team has scored over 20 points against them all season. Whats scary for the rest of the state is that they only have two seniors and are poised to win for years to come.
The 1A Championships will have Hagerman squaring off against Kendrick and Carey vs. Lighthouse Christian.
Make sure to listen to Sports 630 The Fan all week from 4-6 PM for wall to wall State Championship coverage.