Can’t say it’s Football Eve this week, as Victory Christian looks to stay unblemished and their #1-ranking in 2A intact as they head to St. Petersburg to take on an always-dangerous Admiral Farragut squad. So, you know what? Let’s get the weekend started one day early then.
- Consider Pandora’s Box Opened: The Godfather of High School Football sure did open the can of chaos with this one. In all fairness, this one could be answered one of a thousand different ways, since, you know, there’s like, a BILLION different dudes that could get answered. With a personal touch, some of the greatest I HAVE ever witnessed and would all suffice as a tie for that “one guy” would look like and personally witnessed by the way: Emmitt Smith at Escambia. Travis Henry at Frostproof. Antuarn Williams at Pierson Taylor. Pooh Bear Williams from Crescent City. Pop Saunders from DeLand. Sean Taylor at Gulliver Prep. Even Deshawn Smith at Nature Coast and Chris Schwarz at River Ridge. Dudes that would never get the love they’ll really deserve. Then there’s straight DUDES that my eyes cannot believe what they saw with guys like Chris Rainey at Lakeland, Noel Divine at North Fort Myers, Derrick Henry at Yulee, James Wilder Jr at Plant, Duke Johnson at Norland. But you know what? Not to be a prisoner of the moment, but there’s this dude from Miami Central that went to Florida State now playing for Minnesota. His name is Dalvin Cook. Goodness gracious that boy good. Let the fun begin…
2. Just Chalk It Up To Stats: Even powerhouses or shall we say, consistent programs, go through a changing of the guard from time-to-time. Programs that struggle forever tend to have a really good year in what is seemingly “out of the blue” these days. You can take numbers and turn them into the perfect picture of a narrative any time you want. It’s not that hard quite frankly. But in this case, given you have last year’s results combined with their starts thus far, things get beyond a contrived point of view. This could really be the year of regression to the mean. There’s a myriad of developing sources for why this may be happening, with one of the front-runners being that good teams are forced to schedule other good teams now, and beyond that, they’re forced to schedule good teams WITH good schedules in and of themselves. Taking into the established criteria in the onset of this paragraph, we will leave you with this: Braden River, Jesuit, Plant, Plant City, Kathleen, Manatee, and Zephyrhills all went 65-20 combined last season. Those same teams have begun this year 9-22 through the first half of the season. Meanwhile, Dixie Hollins, Northeast, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Lennard, Newsome, and Riverview went a combined 19-51 last season. So far in 2019, those teams are a combined 27-3. One year a trend does not make, but pulling the emergency brake and causing a fishtail into a 180-degree turn DOES MAKE a possible multi-year regression to the mean. Just food for thought.
3. DADGUMMIT RANDAZZO THIS IS NOT THE ONION: So an interesting post popped up on the ol’ BCP Message Board (yes, it still exists) the other day with an absolute gem. So the story goes a little something like this. A poster on FloridaHSFootball.com wanted to get to the bottom of why a school named “Randazzo” that was the best-kept secret in the Sunshine State. This team was sitting at 4-1 (according to MaxPreps) and had scored 261 points through the first five games with their only loss coming to really good team out of South Carolina. Their coach Tyler Johnson (hehe) obviously needed to be recognized. So this poster (NoleBull813) called said school to get the skinny. Well, el Flaco turned into el Gordo on the spot with the administration revealing that nobody by that name worked at the school, and, in fact, the school was an institution for exceptional learning sans an athletic department. Here’s where the fun begins. The rosters contain names such as #90 Steph Durant, #99 Kevin Curry, Anderson Silva, and so on. Somehow, somebody, with literally nothing else better to do, decided to take some actual time and completely hose (or shall we say, expose) the flawed system that is MaxPreps. Have-mind this team also had an actual RPI assigned to them as well. Folks,,,,this is what happens when you don’t pay attention. Rest assured there’s a current program in our own backyard that has players listed from their all-world 2014 team who have now gone on to the NFL already. It’s time to start paying better attention.
4. What a Time To Be Alive: Games like Newsome (4-1,1-0) at (5-0,1-0) Riverview and Northeast (4-0,0-0) at (3-1,0-0) Dixie Hollins are super-relevant, and that makes us very happy. As we’ve alluded to several times this season already, there’s new blood in town, even if it’s for one season. Let’s all sit back and enjoy the ride.
5. Games that hit us in the feels: First and foremost, we’ve got to make mention of the battle in south Pinellas that will take place between Madison County and Lakewood. Second, we get CCC heading down the block to take on Clearwater, a game we only get the pleasure of having in the spring. Tampa Catholic at Berkeley Prep is as good as a match-up as you’ll find this week from top to bottom. Plant City at Bloomingdale is another one that fits into that mold. East Lake heading less than 7 minutes up to Mitchell is the game we’ve been waiting on for a loooooong time now. Don’t sleep on the importance of Jesuit at Chamberlain either. The point is, folks, we’ve got more-than-enough to keep us active for the next 36hrs to put it mildly.