Crunch Time Week 12: High School football playoff edition

BUCKHANNON – With the high school football playoffs now here, I thought it may be fun to look into that crystal ball and see where things might stand in four weeks when the dust has settled.

I brought a friend along with me in Buckhannon-Upshur head football coach Zach Davis to help with the column this week, putting him on the spot with some playoff predictions.

I asked coach Davis four questions for the top two classifications on who the eventual champion will be, who is a sleeper pick that could cause damage that no one is really expecting, which team is on upset alert and who was the best team not to make their respective playoff field.

This is what coach Davis came up with:

Class AAA

Potential Champion: Martinsburg

Sleeper Pick No One Expects to do Much: Bridgeport

Team on Upset Alert: Spring Mills

Best team not to make the playoffs: University

Class AA

Potential Champion: Fairmont Senior

Sleeper Pick No One Expects to do Much: Philip Barbour

Team on Upset Alert: Winfield

Best team not to make the playoffs: Liberty (Harrison)

And my list:

Class AAA

Potential Champion: Huntington

Sleeper Pick No One Expects to do Much: Wheeling Park

Team on Upset Alert: Jefferson

Best team not to make the playoffs: University

Class AA

Potential Champion: Fairmont Senior

Sleeper Pick No One Expects to do Much: Independence

Team on Upset Alert: Weir

Best team not to make the playoffs: Nitro

Now let’s sort this all out. Coach Davis likes Martinsburg to win it all, and how can you go wrong pick them. They were the only team in Class AA or AAA to go unbeaten this year, but really didn’t play that tough of a schedule as they were unbeaten but only finished third in Class AAA. I think Huntington is clearly the best team in AAA and will win it all.

For his Class AAA sleeper pick, coach Davis goes with Bridgeport. I have to disagree with him here. I am probably underestimating Bridgeport, but I am not sure they even make it out of the first round with a tough draw in George Washington. My sleeper pick is Wheeling Park who is ranked 11th and gets Jefferson in the first round. Wheeling Park has some nice wins this year and their offense can put up the points.

Since I am expecting a Wheeling Park win, it makes sense to put No. 6 Jefferson on the upset alert. Coach Davis is going with No. 10 Spring Valley, possibly upsetting No. 7 Spring Mills.

In our best team not to make the Class AAA playoff, we both agree it is University with maybe Woodrow Wilson also getting a nod.

In Class AA, the coach and I both like Fairmont Senior to win it all. Their two losses are to Bridgeport and Morgantown, and I simply think they are the most battle-tested team in Class AA. That isn’t to say that North Marion, Roane County or Scott are just going to roll over for them.

For the sleeper pick, coach Davis stays close to home picking Philip Barbour while I will go with Independence. Kudos to Philip Barbour on a great season but the schedule wasn’t that daunting, with a win over 6-4 Lincoln probably being their best win. Independence won it all last year, and while they aren’t quite that good this year, never underestimate a team that has been there and done that.

Coach Davis is staying close to home again on his upset special going with No. 11 Lewis County over No. 6 Winfield while I will select No. 12 Frankfort to upset No. 5 Weir. A 12 always beats a 5 in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, right?

And finally, coach Davis goes with Liberty as being the best AA team not to make the playoff field while I will go with Nitro, who finished 7-3 and beat Scott in Week 11.

In our weekly showdown challenge, not much changed as I, Brian and Katie all went 6-1 while Monica and Beckie went 5-2.

A quick check of the My Buckhannon staff standings.

Name              Week        Overall

Duane                 6-1         57-20

Brian                   6-1         56-21

Katie                   6-1         48-29

Monica               5-2         48-29

Beckie                5-2          44-33

In the Scoreboard Showdown this past week, we had three readers that were better than all the rest and they were JEREMY HARSH, ROB KIMBLE and GREG ABEL who all went 7-0. Congrats to the trio for a great week. This week’s games can be found here. Get your picks in before the games kick off Friday night.

Now, onto our games this week. We are only playing six games this week as I had a wrong game with Marshall at South Alabama. That game is next week. Sorry for the mistake.

George Washington (6-4) at Bridgeport (9-1)

I don’t know why but all week long my gut has been telling me to take George Washington in the upset. I know I shouldn’t pick against Bridgeport at home in a playoff game, but something is telling me to go with GW. They do have a quality win over Hurricane. We will see.

Duane: George Washington; Brian: Bridgeport; Katie: Bridgeport; Moncia: Bridgeport; Beckie: Bridgeport

West Virginia (6-3) at Oklahoma (7-2)

WVU is a two-touchdown underdog to the Sooners and 88.8 percent of ESPN viewers believe Oklahoma is going to win. I would like to see WVU pull off the upset, sure, but if WVU doesn’t get embarrassed, I can live with a loss here. They just need to beat Cincinnati and Baylor to close out the season.

Duane: Oklahoma; Brian: Oklahoma; Katie: WVU Moncia: WVU; Beckie: WVU

The Final Four:

Lewis County (6-4) at Winfield (8-2)

Duane: Winfield; Brian: Winfield; Katie: Winfield; Moncia: Lewis County; Beckie: Lewis County

Philip Barbour (8-2) at Mingo Central (8-2)

Duane: Mingo Central; Brian: Mingo Central; Katie: Philip Barbour; Moncia: Philip Barbour; Beckie: Philip Barbour

Wayne (6-4) at Fairmont Senior (7-2)

Duane: Fairmont Senior: Brian: Fairmont Senior: Katie: Fairmont Senior; Moncia: Wayne; Beckie: Fairmont Senior

West Virginia Wesleyan (0-9) at Glenville State (5-4)

Duane: Glenville State; Brian: Glenville State; Katie: Glenville State; Moncia: Glenville State; Beckie: West Virginia Wesleyan

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