Euless Trinity. Out. Manvel High. Out. I'm not sure that I have much of a rooting interest left in anyone for the remainder of the high school football playoffs. I'm starting to scope out what I might have to look forward to at the JerryWorld High School Football Woodstockapalooza later this month. For a day, though, I'm greiving the loss of the two schools I wanted to see play there.
That said, the games left in 5A-D1 to settle on half of the bracket are each marvels in scheduling. Allen vs Dallas Skyline and Southlake Carroll vs Desoto will only end up with one team in the championship game. With apologies to HISD's Lamar High, I'd expect Galena Park's North Shore to be on the other side of the field for that last game. Even if they manage to get upset, I think there's going to be a good team from the DFW area crowned for this title. All along, this was a tough bracket for Euless Trinity to get to JerryWorld from in a year when they didn't have as solid of an offense to go any deeper. My standard M.O. is to root against whoever's playing against Southlake Carroll. And for the record, the only loss on SLC this season was at the hands of Allen High. If there's a rematch of that game, I'm hunting down an internet radio feed. And rooting for Allen.
In 5A-D2, Katy is the 800-pound gorilla. They'll likely face Cibolo Steele the week after next. That's essentially a title game for all intents and purposes. I'd love to see that scheduled at Reliant, but it probably won't happen. Austin Westlake is likely coming out of the other side of the bracket. That should make for another great title game, if it pans out that way.
The entire 4A field in both divisions strikes me as far more of an unknown this year. In large part, that's because so many of the interesting teams in years past have either moved up to 5A (Manvel) or down to 3A (Stephenville, La Marque). Nederland pulled off a nice upset of Pearland Dawson at Reliant this weekend, so maybe they're playing a hot hand. We'll see who makes it to Arlington. Sometimes the games you know the least about end up being among the more entertaining.
The 3A fields will end up with championship games on two separate weekends. That means I'll miss out on the D1 game, which is likely to have a better matchup. I'll pick this as ending up with Carthage vs Stephenville. Two great football towns that will miss out on playing in front of 30-40,000 people. But they're at least more proximate to Arlington, so they should travel well and maybe play in front of 10-12,000. Division 2 has a few solid programs still in the hunt. No chance of seeing La Marque play for a championship again, though.
For the smaller school brackets, it's a study in contrasts. 2A has a lot of programs left playing that I'm not terribly studied up on. But both 1A brackets still have potential for a rematch of both games played last year. As much as I like to see new schools from time to time, I think I'd find a complete 1A rematch setup pretty interesting for once.
In memoriam, here's the profile KHOU ran on Manvel High. I'm not ready to call it a jinx, but I'm not over the narrow loss they suffered Saturday, either.
In better news, there seems to be a fair chance of Baylor being offered an invite to the Meineke Bowl here in Houston. One of the other predictions out there seems to suggest West Virginia as a possibility, instead. Either way, I think Art Briles or Dana Holgorsen coming back to Houston for a game would be some fun football to watch.