And once again, all contestants are chasing not only the weekly prizes for first and second place, but they are also chasing the overall season title that has been dominated the last two years by Don Kernan.
Can someone knock this guy off the top of the mountain?
Only time will tell.
As for myself, I’ve decided to not be such a homer this year, regardless of who it offends. Heck, half the people that give me grief for picking against their teams have done it themselves at least once or twice in the past few years. The only difference is that their predictions aren’t printed for everyone to see. But I see them since I am the one who grades each entry.
So if I make you mad at some point during the season, sorry.
With that being said, it’s time for this week’s picks.
Starting on the prep level, there are a number of interesting matchups that could go either way and also a handful that should be walkovers.
Notre Dame over Southwood - The Pios lost heavily to graduation last year but return enough on both sides of the ball to make another deep run this year. Southwood, which went 0-10 last season, is more a run first team and should play into the Pios favor.
Patterson over Crowley - I think the Gents will have a shot to make a deep run as well this year, if they stay healthy, but their Week 1 matchup with Patterson may just be too big of a test this early. The Lumberjacks return the bulk of last year’s state runnersup squad and playing at their place is never any fun.
Iota over Vinton - Iota didn’t have an impressive showing in its jamboree contest against North Vermilion last week, but mistakes were basically what led to their 10-0 loss. If the Dogs clean up a few things they should come out victorious in the opener.
Church Point over Beau Chene – The Bears really impressed me last week in the jamboree against Abbeville. Granted, Abbeville is young and low on numbers and Church Point had their way on both sides of the ball. I look for the Bears to have a similar performance against the Gators.
Rayne over St. Edmund – I don’t know much about St. Edmund, but Rayne was impressive last week in its 34-7 jamboree victory over Erath. St. Edmund will have trouble defending the Wolves’ wing-t offense.
Acadiana over Northside - Northside was credited with a victory over Acadiana last year by virtue of a forfeit, but lost the actual game, 41-14. Granted, Northside returns a lot more starters than Acadiana this year, but we’re talking about the Wrecking Rams and they don’t rebuild, they reload.
Eunice over Opelousas - This one could go either way. Neither team really lit it up in the jamboree. Opelousas does have a ton of athletes but it is yet to be seen if they can put it all together just yet under legendary coach Larry Dautrieve.
Parkview over Mandeville - Parkview returns just four starters on offense, but they welcome back seven on a defense that was downright nasty last year.
Marksville over Bunkie - This one is a coin flip. Both teams are usually vastly overrated early in the season but I give the edge to Marksville, which enters the season at No. 6 in the LSWA Preseason Polls.
Cecilia over Jennings - Should be a good one. Each team has to replace their top playmakers on offense and defense. However, Jennings has to replace its entire backfield, including the quarterback.
Iowa over Abbeville - Again, I know nothing about Iowa but I saw Abbeville in action last week. It will be a long season for the young Wildcats.
St. James over West St. John – West St. John has been a power in Class A for quite some time but St. James is no joke either. The Wildcats went just 4-7 last year but returns 19 starters. That’s enough for me.
Oklahoma State over UL-Lafayette - As much as I would love to take the Cajuns, it’s Oklahoma State. Pretty much a no brainer.
Boise State over Georgia - Hoping for the upset here, but I don’t see it happening.
Mississippi over BYU - I’ll go with the SEC on this one. And I have a feeling I’ll be wrong but I just hate BYU.
Oregon over LSU - I saved the best for last. I was going to go with Oregon even before the suspensions. All I hear about is the speed of the SEC, and rightfully so. But Oregon is pretty darn fast too. Whatever the outcome, it still should be a great game. Win this one and I’m going with the Tigers for the rest of the season, well, except for that one game on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa .
*As a sidenote, all contestants are reminded that entries are due in to the Post-Signal by 5 p.m. on Thursday. Only one entry per person is allowed and each entry must be on the official contest form. Faxes or call-ins will not be accepted.