Nevada Union, Bear River need a new approach to winning

Bear River’s football team is playing for pride in tonight’s final game of the season at home against Center, which is playing for a better post-season playoff position. Center has the stronger incentive (and the better team), but my projections show the game should be decided by less than a touchdown.

br-mascotBut then I’ve been hit-and-miss when trying to predict Bruins’ games this season, so you shouldn’t be surprised if BR pulls a mild upset, bringing my season record on their games to 3-3.

This has not been a good season for our two local teams–if Bear River loses tonight, the Bruins and Nevada Union will have a combined record of 5-15. That’s San Francisco 49ers territory.

Both teams seem to have the same basic problem: They are overpowered by their opponents, and don’t have the depth to withstand injuries to their starters. At lot of this has to do with the schools’ tradition of playing a smash-mouth, run oriented game. That’s fine, if you have the size and manpower to play that style. But if you don’t (and they don’t), it becomes a battle of attrition that both schools are going to lose.

It’s time they opt for something different–a spread, pass-oriented offense that so many schools are going to. Interestingly, the basic concept that is taking over much of high school and college football was developed by ex-Baylor coach Art Briles when he was coaching high school football in Texas.

What makes the system workable at the high school level in that you don’ need a quarterback with the accuracy of Joe Montana or the arm of John Elway. Most of the throws are short and quick, and require little skill reading defenses. Spreading the field also opens up running lanes for the backs that can be maintained by quick, undersized linemen.

I know it’s hard for these guys to change–heck, Dennis Houlihan was hired at NU in part because he was a believer in the Wing-T, a formation that was just becoming trendy when I played high school ball in the late ’50s.

But it’s clear that both schools have reached the point of diminishing returns when it comes to power football. Time to join the second decade of the 21st century.

PIONEER VALLEY LEAGUE

My numbers project the following winners:

–Center over Bear River by 4 points;

–Colfax over Foothill by 19 points;

–Lincoln over Placer by 6.5 points.

SIERRA FOOTHILL LEAGUE

Nevada Union is done for the season, but here are my projections for the three remaining league games:

–Folsom over Oak Ridge by 21 points;

–Del Oro over Woodcreek by 21.5 points;

–Granite Bay over Rocklin by 2.5  points.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

I like three upsets this week:

–Navy (+6.5) over Notre Dame;

–Texas Tech (+3) over Texas;

–Northwestern (+7) over Wisconsin.

PRO FOOTBALL

This week’s picks are:

–Kansas City (-7) over Jacksonville;

–Detroit (+6.5) over Minnesota;

–Buffalo (+7) over Seattle.

THE SCOREBOARD

High School: Last week’s picks went 3-3, bringing the season record to 19-9, 68 percent. Not bad, but not as good as we did three years ago.

College: These picks went 2-2, bringing the season record to 4-6, 40 percent. We can do better–I hope.

Pros: We were a terrible 1-3-1 last week, dropping up to 5-7, 42 percent, for the season. The good news: There’s still plenty of time to get on the positive side.

NOTE: Point spreads for the college and pro games at the consensus numbers from VegasInsider.com at 11 a.m. this morning. The high school numbers are my projections of the margin of victory.

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This entry was posted in Bear River football, Nevada Union football, Pioneer Valley League, Sierra Foothill League, Sports, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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