About a year ago, the late Bob Bacot e-mailed me and asked me if I would do predictions for his website. I would type them up and e-mail them, and he would post them in a column. I averaged about 80% accuracy for the year, and I felt pretty good about my work.
I wasn't even going to do them this year, but I met up with Dave Pickren at the Dorman-Lexington game, and he told me that he had received e-mails asking about me, and asked me where my predictions were. So I decided to do them despite my being busy with a new job.
Last week made me feel very disappointed. I only got about 60% of my picks right. It was a combination of some upsets and some picks I wish I could have taken back. (People in the know told me Marlboro County wasn't going to win, and I didn't listen. I picked Spartanburg with my heart more than my head. I underestimated Boiling Springs. I overestimated Battery Creek. Who thought Northwestern or Greenwood would lose? I could go on and on.
Parody has been the name of the game this year in a lot of cases. Tiny Edisto beat O-W, who beat Richland NE, who beat Spring Valley, who beat Lexington, who nearly beat Dorman. It's been crazy, but the unpredictability of it all is what makes it so fun to watch high school football and such an intriguing challenge to predict its results.
The important thing now is for me to pick myself up and try again this week. I will talk to myself like I do my students. Big C, I know you can do a lot better. Now concentate and try harder! OK, here goes...
EASTSIDE AT EASLEY: The Green Wave have been outscored 60-3 so far by a couple of 3A programs. Look for more of the same this week for Easley against another 3A team... Eastside 28, Easley 7.
GREENWOOD AT DORMAN: The Cavs are NOT the best team in the state right now as some seem to think. Dorman has issues that must be resolved on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, The Eagles were shocked by 24 against 2A Abbeville and will be looking to bounce back from such a disappointing showing. I see this one being tough, hard-fought, and going down to the wire, and I predict an overtime... Dorman 17, Greenwood 14.
WADE HAMPTON (G) AT HILLCREST: This looks to be one of the Rams' few chances at a win this year, and they will be eager to take advantage of it. The Generals can put up some points though, and it will not come easy... Hillcrest 21, Wade Hampton 20.
BYRNES AT MAULDIN: The Mavs might have one of their best teams in a very long while this year, as they played Dorman on almost equal terms. But the Rebels might be the best team in the state right now, and should be too much for Mauldin to handle... Byrnes 28, Mauldin 10.
WREN AT T.L. HANNA: The Yellow Jackets have struggled in recent years, but they have looked very good so far this year. They should continue to do so this week as they run their record to 3-0... Hanna 35, Wren 20.
WESTSIDE AT DANIEL: The Lions, coached by Alan Sitterlie, are always a formidable foe. The Rams will have a tough time with them... Daniel 34, Westside 13.
BOILING SPRINGS AT BERKELEY: It's good for the Bulldogs that they were able to pick up their first win since 2000 last week. But this is a different week. It will be a long ride for Boiling Springs down to Monck's Corner, and an even longer one back after the very talented Stags are finished with them... Berkeley 42, Boiling Springs 7.
GAFFNEY AT NORTH AUGUSTA: The Indians begin a stretch of three very tough road games. While it is foolish to ever count Gaffney out, I have to go with a very good Yellow Jacket team and their formidable rushing offense in this one... North Augusta 24, Gaffney 14.
LAURENS AT CLINTON: These two old rivals have produced some excellent games over the years. It should be an excellent game this year, too. This was one of the last games I picked a winner of, and the nod goes to the home team... Clinton 21, Laurens 20.
SPARTANBURG AT RICHLAND NORTHEAST: The Vikings are 0-2 for the first time since 1961 when they were the Crimson Tide. Doc Davis's team must regroup from a bashing from an Independence team that proved to me to be for real on the national level. Doc Davis is one of the best in the biz, and I think the Vikings can do it. Spartanburg will avoid 0-3 and go on to have a respectable season... Spartanburg 24, Richland NE 17.
FORT MILL AT CLOVER: This looks to be a close game between two teams still looking for their first victory... Clover 21, Fort Mill 20.
LANCASTER AT YORK: The Bruins beat a very good Crestwood team last week, and the now travel to York to meet a Cougar team that is not very easy to beat. The Bruins should pull it out again, though... Lancaster 26, York 20.
MARLBORO COUNTY AT NORTHWESTERN: Welly, welly, well. Who'd a thunk it? Both teams enter this game coming off of losses. The Trojans are always very tough at District Three Stadium, where the Bulldogs have never won. This one should be a defense lover's delight... Northwestern 14, Marlboro County 7.
RIDGE VIEW AT LEXINGTON: The Wildcats have all-world RB Demetrius Summers, but their D has surrendered the most points of any state 4A program, so they are 0-2. The Cats should get their first win this week, though... Lexington 38, Ridge View 28.
ROCK HILL AT CENTRAL: That Jim Ringer Bearcat defense will prove too much for the 2A Eagles... Rock Hill 21, Central 0.
SPRING VALLEY AT IRMO: The Yellow Jackets have quickly become one of the teams to really keep an eye on in the Big 16. The Vikings have been inconsistent so far. If the Spring Valley than clobbered Lexington shows up, they could challenge Irmo. If the Spring Valley that lost to Richland Northeast shows up, they are in for a very long night. Irmo's defense has been very tough, and that is what I think will be the deciding factor... Irmo 28, Spring Valley 10.
AIKEN AT MIDLAND VALLEY: The Green Hornets should be able to move their record to 3-1 on the season... Aiken 28, Midland Valley 10.
SOUTH AIKEN AT LOWER RICHLAND: The Diamonds broke a long losing streak last week, and they have already scored more points this year than they did all of last year. But the Diamonds still have a long way to go... South Aiken 30, Lower Richland 20.
WHITE KNOLL AT AIRPORT: In a battle of winless teams, the Eagles pick up their first win... Airport 24, White Knoll 12.
DUTCH FORK AT SOUTH FLORENCE: Both teams have been more impressive on defense than on offense, so this looks to be a low-scoring affair. The nod goes to the improving, homestanding Bruins... South Florence 14, Dutch Fork 13.
SUMTER AT CONWAY: This is one of the best matchups in the state this week. The Gamecocks could challenge for the Big 16 title, and Conway is always a contender in Division 2. This will be a great game, but Sumter has impressed me a little bit more than Conway so far... Sumter 21, Conway 17.
CRESTWOOD AT MANNING: The Monarchs have fallen far in a short time, and it will be another long night for them as a solid Crestwood team will come in angry from a defeat to Lancaster... Crestwood 27, Manning 0.
HARTSVILLE AT CAMDEN: The much-improved Red Foxes will have a huge test this week as they go on the road to meet the defending 3A state champs. I don't think Hartsville will have quite enough to win, but they will make it tough on the Bulldogs... Camden 24,
LAKE CITY AT SOCASTEE: It look like another long year for the Braves... Lake City 20, Soc