Now, it’s do-or-die time for Bear River

bruinsAfter last week’s thorough beat-down by Center High, Bear River must win its last two Pioneer Valley League games on the road to make it into the playoffs. The arc of the Bruins’ season suggests this isn’t going to happen.

Bear River looked like a powerhouse as it started league play with a 5-0 record. So how could it do a 180 and start league play 0-3? The answer is strength of opponents.

The Bruins went 5-0 against schools that have an aggregate record of 17-25 with a -7.6 power rating, quite a contrast to BR’s three league opponents: 16-8 with a +9.3 power rating. Clearly, the PVL was a big step up in competition the Bruins couldn’t handle.

Now contrast that with Placer High, 4-4 for the season but 3-0 in league play. Why the turnaround? Well, the Hillmen went 1-4 in preseason against teams with a 27-13 record and a +7.3 power rating. In league play, Placer is 3-0 against teams with a 12-12 record and -2.0 power rating.

Strength of opposition–not the record–tells you how good a school is. This week, Bear River appears to be a 10-point underdog to Lincoln.

In other PVL games:
–Colfax at Placer is a toss-up;
–Center over Foothill by 47 points.

Power ratings entering tonight’s games:

                           PIONEER VALLEY LEAGUE
Team            Base Rating      Opponents     Power Rating
Center                112.1                 +11.9                   124.0
Lincoln             120.4                   -4.7                    115.7
Colfax               118.8                   -6.0                    112.8
Placer               105.4                  +3.7                    109.1
Bear River       103.5                   -0.6                   102.9
Foothill              69.9                  +4.1                     74.0

minersFun with numbers: Nevada Union scored an impressive 42 points in its loss to Roseville last week. Unfortunately, it scored just 64 points in its seven previous games.

The Miners lost to Roseville because it surrendered 69 points. “Surrender” is the right word–four of the Tigers’ touchdowns were scored on plays of at least 70 yards. Two of them were kick returns.

Del Oro visits Grass Valley tonight, and should win by at least 29 points.

In other SFL games:
–Rocklin over Roseville by 15 points;
–Granite Bay over Woodcreek by 22 points.

Power ratings entering tonight’s games:

                        SIERRA FOOTHILL LEAGUE
Team            Base Rating      Opponents      Power Rating
Rocklin               119.9                 +2.6                    122.6
Granite Bay       104.4                 +8.9                    113.3
Del Oro              102.8                 +6.1                    108.9
Roseville               97.1                 +7.7                   104.8
Woodcreek          88.5                 +5.9                     94.4
Nevada Union     64.3               +12.1                      76.4

REPORT CARD: My picks went 4-1 last week (I called Granite Bay–Del Oro a toss-up and it was; Del Oro won by two on a late field goal.) Once again, I went against Placer High and it cost me; two of the four games I’ve lost involved the Hillmen. But I won’t make that mistake this week– I have their game a toss-up.
Last week: 4-1; Season: 13-4.

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