FB SECTIONALS: The staff picks (oh, lord …)
October 19, 2012By E. Shawn Aylsworth of Hoosier Authority
By E. Shawn Aylsworth
Uncle Mike has been in seclusion for a couple of months plotting a way to jam the signal on all political advertising. He has emerged to deliver his football tournament picks and is declaring that his absence will make no difference in his shellacking of Cousin Ed because the latter is obviously a dolt.
So, here we go …
(Cousin Ed note: Having gone through what some might refer to as a mid-life crisis at age 46, Cousin Ed has come out the other side a more mature, calm, and wise man. Seriously – that’s what I keep telling myself.
To that end, Cousin Edward will now proceed to methodically and common-sense-ically destroy Uncle Mike per usual where it pertains to pickin’ the postseason winners. (The data inside the parentheses below consists of odds of winning the sectional based on Sagarin power ratings, the draw, and home-field advantage, all courtesy of johnharrell.net.)
Oh, and welcome back to the annual sideshow, Brandon Jones!)
Sectional 1 (Chesterton 28.9%, Merrillville 28.7%)
Uncle Mike: Chesterton has to go through Merrillville to reach the finals then face Lake Central, who upset the Trojans in the regular season. Nonetheless, I go with Chesterton.
Jonesie: Chesterton and Merrillville battle to the death on the bottom half of the bracket while Lake Central cruises across the top. Plus Gelon Robinson is a beast and is seriously considering continuing his playing days in Ann Arbor. Smart kid. Lake Central.
Cousin Edward: A virtual toss-up between Chesterton, Lake Central, and Merrillville (1.3 points separate the three in the Sagarin power ratings), Jonesie's analogy makes sense. But Lake Central has kinda been all over the map the last four weeks, with Merrillville probably getting another shot at Chesterton at home next week with a chance of payback for a 40-35 loss at Chesterton Just last week. I’ll go YARRRRRR! and take the Pirates. Merrillville.
Sectional 2 (Penn 40.6%, Carroll (Fort Wayne) 28.9%)
Uncle Mike: Unless somebody thinks Warsaw or Carroll have suddenly become legitimate football powers (and they haven’t), Penn is pretty much a no-brainer.
Jonesie: Pretty lopsided once again. No one can challenge Penn.
Cousin Edward: Yes. Penn.
Sectional 3 (Homestead 32.3%, Fort Wayne Snider 30.3%)
Uncle Mike: Snider is Snider and Homestead is Homestead – enough said. Snider.
Jonesie: Same story, different year. Homestead just does not play a tough enough schedule. Snider.
Cousin Edward: Yes. Snider (although I must admit I have been brainwashed against Sparty over the years by the old geezer).
Sectional 4 (Hamilton Southeastern 31.3%, Fishers 23.5%)
Uncle Mike: Hamilton Southeastern is the favorite, but I ain’t believin’ till I see it. I will take Fishers.
Jonesie: HSE has looked better as of late, while two late-season blowout losses have me concerned about Fishers. Hamilton Southeastern.
Cousin Edward: This should definitely come down to a semifinal battle featuring HSE hosting Fishers (the former won at home, 28-21, in Week 2), so there’s your advantage – plus I was already thinkin’ what Jonesie was thinkin’. HSE.
Sectional 5 (Lawrence Central 38.2%, Carmel 27.3%)
Uncle Mike: It gives me tremendous pleasure to pick Lawrence Central. MIC fans, please direct all hate mail to “Idonotcare@believemeyoudidnotinventfootball.com.
Jonesie: I actually think the Warriors score enough and commit few penalties in getting revenge against the ‘Hounds. Problem is they are anemic offensively, and LC is waiting in the second round. Lawrence Central.
Cousin Edward: I have been shouting from the mountain tops that the alma mater is going to smoke everybody this year, and I’m not about to go back on it now. It’s a Lawrence thang; you couldn’t possibly understand. Lawrence Central.
Sectional 6 (Ben Davis 46.0%, Pike 19.9%)
Uncle Mike: Everything says Ben Davis is due for a fall. They have to come down from the victory over Carmel in time to be ready for Pike, and an underappreciated Brownsburg team waits in the second round. Despite all of that, I think the Giants may be for real. Ben Davis.
Jonesie: A very competitive and balanced sectional. Pike could not hold on to the ball the last time they faced BD. I still think the Giants are the class of the field and play the best defense. Ben Davis.
Cousin Edward: Yes. Los Gigantes are simply too strong, while unbeaten Brownsburg blanked its way through a back-to-usual-strength Hoosier Crossroads Conference this season. Ben Davis.
Sectional 7 (Center Grove 55.0%, Martinsville 11.4%)
Uncle Mike: I will take Center grove, but I am uneasy about it.
Jonesie: What is there to be uneasy about? Martinsville bringing Earl Haniford out of retirement? Center Grove dominates this field and ends everyone else’s dreams. Center Grove.
Cousin Edward: Ummmmm … yes? Center Grove.
Sectional 8 (Castle 76.5%, Evansville North 14.5%)
Uncle Mike: Castle will win this sectional and they may actually be a threat later on down the road.
Jonesie: Though they had a brief hiatus in letting BNL borrow the trophy in 2011, Castle returns to glory. Castle.
Cousin Edward: May Castle be forced to have a moat installed around the campus in Paradise if they can’t get out of this one. Castle.
Sectional 9 (East Chicago Central 30.6%, Griffith 22.5%)
Uncle Mike: I am making this pick in honor of Goldie Hawn. East Chicago. (I know, that was really obscure.)
Jonesie: Basketball powerhouse East Chicago Central is the best of a mediocre field and beat main competitor Griffith by FIVE touchdowns last week.
Cousin Edward: The Cardinals also would be a 37-point underdog to two-time defending 4A state champion Indianapolis Cathedral were they not the Big Bird of this marshmallow field. Eesh. East Chicago Central.
Sectional 10 (Mishawaka 19.7%, Kankakee Valley 19.2%)
Uncle Mike: Mishawaka, solely because I am a fan.
Jonesie: What a fun sectional to predict! A balanced field where the winner who emerges could be a favorite to make the trip to Lucas Oil. Any one of five teams could win this one. Mishawaka.
Cousin Edward: Coach Rusty’s first-year Cougars have spanked everyone in their path except 3A top-ranked Jimtown, and they wouldn’t get fellow 8-1 Kankakee Valley or 7-2 Hobart till the final. New Prairie.
Sectional 11 (East Noble 53.4%, Concord 17.2%)
Uncle Mike: I am picking Concord based on two things. First, I just don’t believe in East Noble, and secondly I don’t think Plymouth can beat them again.
Jonesie: East Noble and Concord should be a classic in the first round. Plymouth got the draw though. Plymouth.
Cousin Edward: Hello, McFly – er, Uncle Mike? East Noble.
Sectional 12 (New Haven 48.2%, Fort Wayne Dwenger 16.8%)
Uncle Mike: I am going way out on a limb and taking Leo – right after I take my medication for the hallucinations I have been having.
Jonesie: Dwenger is down, Leo’s schedule strength is pathetic. Gimme New Haven.
Cousin Edward: It’s New HALEN, according to Sammy Hagar 26 years ago during the “5150” tour. New Halen.
Sectional 13 (Mt. Vernon (Fortville) 41.3%, Delta 19.5%)
Uncle Mike: Mt. Vernon.
Jonesie: Hard to disagree. The Mauraders are the best team here … by A LOT. Mt. Vernon.
Cousin Edward: Indeed. Mt. Vernon.
Sectional 14 (Indianapolis Cathedral 47.9%, Roncalli 23.1%)
Uncle Mike: The second-round game between Greenwood and Roncalli should be one of the best of the entire tournament. I take Greenwood. Come on, once in awhile a public school is good. (Last-second swap alert! The dementia took hold there for a minute. Cathedral.)
Jonesie: Did Mike forget that there is some school with gold helmets in this sectional? I like a good story just as much as the next guy and LOVE votes for public education, but come on! Cathedral might be the best team in Indiana, regardless of class. Cathedral.
Cousin Edward: I think 5A Lawrence Central beats its Irish neighbor west on 56th Street by double digits if they play, but they don’t. And I do think this Cathedral team is down from the last two state-title seasons. But Roncalli still isn’t back to its dominant level of 7-13 years ago when championships flowed freely on Indy’s southside. Throw in Greenwood’s disturbing 56-35 loss last week at Whiteland, and I hafta go with the leprechauns. Cathedral.
Sectional 15 (East Central 35.3%, Columbus East 32.4%)
Uncle Mike: East Central. By the way, do you realize Connersville won six games? And you guys think the Mayans were crazy.
Jonesie: Best two teams are playing in the first round. East Central’s two losses are out-of-state and a 20-13 overtime heartbreaker last week to Roncalli. Plus the Trojans are hosting the Olympians. East Central.
Cousin Edward: Yes. No more Kiels in Columbus. East Central.
Sectional 16 (Jasper 40.6%, Evansville Reitz 27.4%)
Uncle Mike: Jasper.
Jonesie: Though I think they would get the matchup with Reitz at home with the way things are drawn, Jasper’s regular-season schedule strength doesn’t prepare them for the big boys in the tournament. Evansville Reitz.
Cousin Edward: Reitz has reeled off five straight wins after a shocking 1-3 start. But Jasper is still smarting from the 47-20 home loss to Reitz that spoiled an unbeaten season two years ago, and the Wildcats will pounce at home next week. Jasper.
Sectional 17 (South Bend St. Joseph’s 42.0%, Culver Academies 28.7%)
Uncle Mike: Upset alert. Culver Academies.
Jonesie: Can’t disagree with Mike here. Academy’s only two losses were long bus trips to Central Indiana parochial powers Heritage Christian and Brebeuf Jesuit. Plus the Eagles’ girls cross country program has produced legendary runners. Culver Academies.
Cousin Edward: I’ll drink the insanely expensive per-year Kool-Aid as I believe Culver would get St. Joseph’s at home in two weeks if they survive a home battle with Mishawaka Marian next week. Culver Academies.
Sectional 18 (Jimtown 35.0%, Heritage 28.1%)
Uncle Mike: “Jimmie crack corn” – and a whole lot of heads. Jimtown.
Jonesie: Jimtown is the class of the field and has a shot to get back down to Indy. Jimtown.
Cousin Edward: The Jimmies are my 3A favorite, with a Nov. 24 beatdown of Indianapolis Chatard indeed foreseen at Lucas Oil Stadium. Jimtown.
Sectional 19 (Eastbrook 24.7%, Bellmont 22.1%)
Uncle Mike: No way Mississinewa bets Eastbrook twice in the same year. Eastbrook.
Jonesie: Not really sure what to make of the field here, so I am going with the team that played the toughest schedule. Bellmont.
Cousin Edward: The weakest 4A field along with Sectional 24 down south. That means anything could happen … in which case I will get all Panthery with it since Bellmont has to be recovering from a 51-10 walloping at home last week by East Noble and Ole Miss has to be stunned from a 41-0 shellacking at home last week by Oak Hill. Eastbrook.
Sectional 20 (Western Boone 43.4%, Hamilton Heights 23.9%)
Uncle Mike: This is one of the toughest choices in the tournament. I shakily take Hamilton Heights.
Jonesie: I think the final between WeBo and Heights could be a classic. Hamilton Heights.
Cousin Edward: I saw Western Boone’s only loss (32-30 at Tri-West Hendricks three weeks ago) on a night where the offense was largely out-of-sync. The Stars play some entertaining ball, but it’s hard to ignore the eight mauled opponents that lay in waste following Hamilton Heights’ season-opening 19-14 loss to Tipton. Plus I think Heights gets the home game if they meet. Survey SEZZZZZZZZZZZZZ: Hamilton Heights.
Sectional 21 (Indianapolis Chatard 46.5%, Brebeuf Jesuit 22.7%)
Uncle Mike: Greencastle, may I politely introduce you to reality? Chatard will run roughshod over anybody in this field.
Jonesie: Some good teams going home early in this sectional as they run into powerhouse Chatard. Reality does stink, Mike. Chatard.
Cousin Edward: Brebeuf hung tough with visiting Chatard in the duo’s season-opening showdown, but the two-time defending 3A state champion Trojans outscored the host 27-zip in the second half – and that was without lead RB Pete Hartley. No-brainer here – though I do feel sorry for poor Danville, whose season has been silenced by Chatard in eight of the last 11 seasons and will be again Friday. Chatard.
Sectional 22 (Greensburg 49.0%, Indian Creek 26.0%)
Uncle Mike: Aye matey! I go with the Pirates. Greensburg.
Jonesie: Indian Creek has rattled off seven in a row after losses in the first two weeks of the season to large schools 5A Terre Haute South and 4A neighboring Greenwood. Gimme the Braves. Indian Creek.
Cousin Edward: Gotta go with Jonesie as The Creek shut down a talented Indianapolis Broad Ripple offense in a 23-0 road win two weeks ago. Indian Creek.
Sectional 23 (Charlestown 54.3%, Heritage Hills 23.2%)
Uncle Mike: Charlestown will win this one, and poor Brownstown won’t have anybody to blame for doing something illegal.
Jonesie: Going with a mild upset here. Charlestown has to make the long drive to the North Pole in the championship game after hosting the first two rounds. Not your typical Patriots team in 2012, but they win this one. Heritage Hills.
Cousin Edward: Undefeated Charlestown has beaten its nine opponents by an average score of 58.5 to SEVEN. If they can’t swell up enough to get past the ghost of Heritage Hills, then I will gladly welcome the ridicule. YARRRRRRRR, MATEY! (Now THARRRRRRZ a pirate for ye, Geritolman.) Charlestown.
Sectional 24 (Vincennes Lincoln 30.6%, Gibson Southern 30.0%)
Uncle Mike: Vincennes Lincoln.
Jonesie: Can’t go with a 2-7 team regardless of schedule strength. Vincennes Lincoln.
Cousin Edward: I will finally step on somewhat of a limb and take coach Nick Hart in his first year at the Titans’ helm. My late aunt went to Haubstadt (since consolidated into Gibson Southern), the Titans would get Vincennes Lincoln at home (HUGE) next week, and everybody in this part of the state knows that a Hart (father John won state titles at Evansville Reitz and Warren Central) can coach ‘em up good in the postseason. Gibson Southern.
Sectional 25 (Andrean 51.0%, Rensselaer 30.1%)
Uncle Mike: I am taking Boone Grove simply because it would be a real feel-good story.
Jonesie: No, it would be a MIRACLE story. Even though they screwed me last year, gimme the 59ers. Andrean.
Cousin Edward: Andrean is the fourth-biggest favorite to win a sectional in the state, trailing only (in order) 1A Sectional 40 Linton (28.1 points), 3A Sectional 21 Indianapolis Chatard (23.7), and 5A Sectional 7 Center Grove (21.1) at 21.0 points. ‘Nuff said. Andrean.
Sectional 26 (Cass 46.1%, North Judson 13.4%)
Uncle Mike: Rochester.
Jonesie: Cass is the cLass of the field here. Cass.
Cousin Edward: With back-to-back bizarro picks of Boone Grove over Andrean and now Rochester over Cass, I do believe Uncle Mike needs a nap. Cass.
Sectional 27 (Fort Wayne Luers 60.3%, Elwood 13.2%)
Uncle Mike: I would dearly love to pick Elwood, but I can’t. Luers.
Jonesie: Couldn’t do it, either. Luers has been overrated all season and is a soap opera. Eventually it catches up with them, but not here. Luers.
Cousin Edward: Elwood, which fell 49-19 at Luers last year, has ripped off seven straight wins after opening with losses to defending Class A runner-up Indianapolis Scecina (27-12) and at 2A No. 7 Tipton (49-33) – and the Panthers handed probable semifinal foe Oak Hill its only loss, 43-36, at home three weeks ago. But the rematch would be at Oak Hill, while Luers – which could advance blind-folded from the lower bracket – likely gets Oak Hill at home. Reckon I’ll stick with the three-time defending 2A champions (and fourth of the last five) as well. Luers.
Sectional 28 (Tipton 62.5%, Fountain Central 16.5%)
Uncle Mike: Tipton
Jonesie: Tipton is the best team here and could be a state finalist. Tipton.
Cousin Edward: Yes and yes. Tipton.
Sectional 29 (Heritage Christian 51.4%, Guerin Catholic 30.5%)
Uncle Mike: Heritage Christian.
Jonesie: This is a two-team fight, and the last time it wasn’t close (Heritage won 27-0 at home over Guerin in Week 4). Heritage Christian.
Cousin Edward: It should be noted that Guerin Catholic was without standout QB Tino Smith II the first time around. But the beyond-lethal senior connection between QB Matt Hunt (163 of 251 for 2,672 yards with 40 touchdowns against five interceptions) and WR Anthony Warrum (69 catches for 1,411 yards and 21 TDs) is not going to go bye-bye forever without a serious fight. Heritage Christian.
Sectional 30 (Indianapolis Ritter 70.1%, Speedway 14.7%)
Uncle Mike: Ritter. Heck, they would be a favorite in a 4A sectional.
Jonesie: Poor South Vermillion. They actually won two games this season after two consecutive winless seasons. Then they draw Ritter. Ritter.
Cousin Edward: Yes. Ritter. (How can you NOT take a team that blasted 3A bastion of STOWWWWWWWT Indianapolis Chatard by a 56-33 count?)
Sectional 31 (Lawrenceburg 48.7%, Triton Central 31.2%)
Uncle Mike: Can I place a write-in for Who Cares? If not, I will take Paoli.
Jonesie: The Tigers’ only losses came on the road to Indianapolis-area powerhouses (2A Heritage Christian 36-12, 3A Brebeuf Jesuit 34-12, 2A Ritter 35-14), while the other sectional contenders play NO ONE. Triton Central.
Cousin Edward: I’m with Jonesie here. Triton Central.
Sectional 32 (North Posey 39.9%, Evansville Mater Dei 35.1%)
Uncle Mike: Let’s save a lot of time and just give Mater Dei a bye into the regional based on lifetime achievement. Mater Dei.
Jonesie: Want to pick North Posey so badly. My heart says yes, my head says no. Mater Dei.
Cousin Edward: PANSIES!!!! North Posey has been waiting for what will be a semifinal-round rematch at Mater Dei ever since getting bounced by the Wildcats, 45-20, at home last year (and 28-7 at Mater Dei in 2009 as well as 34-zip against Mater Dei in ’07). So what’s so special about THIS time around? How about a spotless 9-0 record and 44.8 to 10.3 average margin of victory? Maybe Mater Dei will get bushwhacked in the opener at sneaky Southridge? No? Yes. North Posey.
Sectional 33 (West Central 38.5%, Winamac 22.0%)
Uncle Mike: Ain’t no green energy here. Whiting.
Jonesie: Warren Moon returns and quarterbacks the Oilers to the title! Whiting.
Cousin Edward: Ah, how I love it when the underlings attempt humor … Whiting gridiron legend Dave Sandrick is often my Mark Kory Golf Outing partner, and that’s karma that’s just too freakin’ sweet for Peter Griffin to look past. Whiting!
Sectional 34 (Lafayette Central Catholic 64.9%, Pioneer 26.2%)
Uncle Mike: Same old story. Everybody roots for Pioneer, and Lafayette Central Catholic wins it.
Jonesie: Mike is exactly right, unfortunately. Lafayette Central Catholic.
Cousin Edward: Meanies! CC.
Sectional 35 (North Miami 36.7%, Adams Central 27.7%)
Uncle Mike: Adams Central.
Jonesie: Dan Marino returns and quarterbacks North Miami to victory. North Miami.
Cousin Edward: LACES OUT, JONESIE!!!! Adams Central romped past visiting North Miami last year, 30-6, for the sectional crown. The weakest sectional in the state, huh? Where’s that coin … J-E-T-S! Fly-ing Jets!!! Adams Central.
Sectional 36 (Sheridan 50.6%, Tri-Central 31.3%)
Uncle Mike: Not a vintage year for the Blackhawks, but they have enough. Sheridan.
Jonesie: Agree with Mike. Not their best team, but good enough. Sheridan.
Cousin Edward: The second Van Halen reference!! “Good Enough” was the first track on the 1986 summer smash that was “5150.” If coach Bud has somethin’ the fellas might be inter-ested in, then AHHHHHHH’LLLLLLl have suh-muh-THAAAAAAAAAAAAT! Sheridan.
Sectional 37 (Indianapolis Scecina 57.2%, Hagerstown 22.1%)
Uncle Mike: Hagerstown.
Jonesie: Once again, love the vote of confidence for public education, Mike. But Scecina is the class of this field. Scecina.
Cousin Edward: Hey, even an older, wiser Ed still should be allowed to jam to the oldies – plus your name's not EDWARD. Scecina.
Sectional 38 (North Vermillion 49.1%, Attica 29.8%)
Uncle Mike: I can’t believe I am saying this: North Vermillion.
Jonesie: North Vermillion over Attica for the second time this year as Brittany Rayburn’s triple-double just isn’t enough. North Vermillion.
Cousin Edward: The Falcons are, indeed, a perfect 9-0 in coach Brian Crabtree’s first season in Cayuga. And I cannot foresee the Attica team I saw get splattered 48-0 at Fountain Central a year ago opening up a can to prevent that from becoming 12-0. North Vermillion.
Sectional 39 (Milan 28.2%, Indianapolis Lutheran 22.1%)
Uncle Mike: North Decatur.
Jonesie: Could go 2-3 ways with this one but am sticking with public education for a change. Thanks, Mike. North Decatur.
Cousin Edward: Nuh-uh. West Washington has won its last four games (since a 26-15 wake-up loss at 2A No. 12 Paoli) by scores of 35-6, 49-zip, 20-zip, and 42-zip. Defense wins championships, ladies. West Washington.
Sectional 40 (Linton 65.1%, Tecumseh 13.9%)
Uncle Mike: Linton wins while they wait for the real tourney to start. Linton.
Jonesie: Are these guys finally for real or, once again, are they just a product of a laughable schedule? I would love to see these guys make it to Indy. They could win this one with their JV. Linton.
Cousin Edward: Linton.