These picks are getting tougher


Let’s not waste any time, here are this week’s football picks.

Newport vs. Stayton

Don’t pay attention to the rankings or the records in this game. Although Newport is 5-0, if the Cubs games were televised on ESPN, the producers would give them the 2017-Washington Huskies treatment and use actual cupcakes as a visualization for the Cubs’ schedule up to this point.

Stayton is 10 points away from being 5-0, just as Newport is a couple of special teams play away from being 3-2. And a one-point win over a winless isn’t the type of outcome entering the final turn of the regular season. Or maybe it’s just what they need.

Sometimes a team needs a wake-up call. And if you can get a wake-up call and still win, that’s ideal.

I expect to see a different Newport team than the one that played in Sisters last week.

Pick: Newport

Taft at Clatskanie

It’s becoming apparent that Taft is in a loaded conference. After facing the No. 1 team in 3A a week ago, they are back facing a 3-2 Clatskanie team that didn’t allow a single point until its fourth game of the year. Its two losses came against perennial playoff teams in Vale and Rainier by a combined 22 points. Factor in playing on the road, it’s going to be another tough Friday night for the Tigers.

Pick: Clatskanie

Toledo vs
Gold Beach

Winners of two straight, the Boomers seem poised to make a run at a Sunset Conference title. Toledo made through its difficult non-conference slate and, if Vegas put out lines for 2A football games in rural Oregon, should be favored to win the remaining games of the year.

The last two games, the Boomers’ offense has found its groove averaging over 45 points per game. Quarterback Jaxon Rozewski during the two games has thrown for 681 yards, 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Keep an eye on the Boomers moving forward through the schedule

Pick: Toledo

Waldport at
St. Paul

Time for a quick statistics lesson about the transitive property.

If a=b and b=c, then a=c

So if Waldport (a) loses by 30 to Mohawk (b) and Mohawk (b) loses by 51 to St. Paul (c) what would the transitive property say about Waldport/St. Paul matchup?

Now, the transitive property doesn’t always work — especially in sports. But I think it will apply here.

Pick: St. Paul

Siletz Valley vs Fall City

In the three games, this season — all wins — the Warriors have rushed for a total 1,038 yards. The rushing attack is real. Now Falls City will be Siletz Valley’s biggest test this season, the teams they’ve beaten have a 3-12 record, Falls City does have two wins. The Warriors have the size advantage in the trenches, so I’m going to stick with the running game.

Pick: Siletz Valley

Eddyville vs Jewell

I learned something while watching the six-man football for the first time this past Friday: Size matters. With all the players on the field being an eligible receiver, if a team has a significant size advantage — which was the case in Eddyville’s last game against Gilchrist — it’s going to be a long game.

This week, against Jewell, it’s the Eagles that hold the size advantage which I think bodes well for the Eagles at home.

Pick: Eddyville

Oregon State vs Washington State

Here is what would I would love to see from OSU on Saturday. Don’t let the opposing running back break a school record for rushing yards in a game, which has happened the last two games against the Arizona schools.

Good news is that Washington State ONLY rushes for 66 yards per game. So there is a glimmer of hope there. But I still don’t see a win.

Even better news, my desk in the office is no longer sandwiched between two Washington State alumni. So who’s the real winner here? The Cougars, definitely the Cougars.

Pick: Washington State

Alabama at Arkansas

Alabama is on the list, so Alabama is the pick. Them’s the rules.

Pick: Alabama

Kansas at West Virginia

Another rule I’m implementing to these picks, if Kansas shows up in the picks and are playing on the road, I’m taking whoever the Jayhawks are playing.

When a team loses 46 straight games away from home, that’s what happens, even if they recently broke that streak earlier this season.

Guess who has the longest road losing streak now? Oregon State...I’m going to walk into the ocean now.

Pick: West Virginia

Cowboys at Texans

You could basically call this the Super Bowl for both these teams that have no shot at winning the big game in February, but the state championship in the state of Texas isn’t a bad consolation prize.

Texans favored by three at home sounds about right to me but only if they are counting on the opposing coach to make a coaching blunder for the second straight week. But hey, it is Jason Garrett we are talking about.

Pick: Texans

Jaguars at Chiefs

This is the game that I will be tuning into this Sunday. Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City offense against Jalen Ramsey and the Jacksonville defense? Sign me up for that.

As for who wins this game, I’m taking the Chiefs because they are playing at home.

When playing on the road, Jags quarterback Blake Bortles completion percentage drops by 13 points, his yards per completion is two yards fewer and his quarterback rating is 34 lower than when he is playing at home.

Plus, that Mahomes’ guy.

Pick: Kansas City

Broncos at Jets

At this points, I don’t know what to expect from Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold. The Broncos made Mahomes look fairly average until he went into heat-check mode and started throwing left-handed passes. I think they will be able to handle a rookie quarterback with limited weapons.

Pick: Broncos

Rams at Seahawks

The Rams of Los Angeles has been the class of the NFL through the first four weeks and looks like the Super Bowl favorites. And I’m not going to dispute any of that.

Pick: Rams

Vikings at Eagles

A rematch of last season’s NFC championship. Only this time around, neither team is having as good of a year, at least in September, as the year before. Also, different quarterbacks will start on Sunday than the championship game. I’ll take Wentz over Cousins.

Pick: Eagles


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