Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Down Year for the Eastern Conference
Team A beats Team B by 30 and Team B beats Team 3 by 21 and people immediately assume that Team A should beat Team C by 50+. But it almost never works out that way. I remember hearing about Rochester beating Monessen by 2 TD's and the following week Clairton beat Monessen 46-0 and immediately assumed that Clairton was 3-4 TD's better than Rochester.
But when I look at the Eastern Conference as a whole, I've noticed a plethora of tightly battled contested games. The only school that really stuck out to me was Bishop Canevin. Other than North Catholic(19-0 win) and Springdale (7-6 win) they've blown out the competition including a 33-6 win over Avonworth.
Fast forward to the playoffs, Avonworth beat California 28-16 in a tougher than expected game where the halftime score was only 7-2 in Avonworth's favor.
Springdale needed 65 points to put a beat up Monessen team into the mercy rule and gave up 30 points in the process.
Beth Center-whom I consider the one team that stood out- needed Chartiers Houston mistakes to win on a 27-23come from behind victory.
Northgate, in the Eastern Conference's only loss, took one in the chin losing 48-22 to Rochester.
Northgate played everyone tough in the Eastern except for Bishop Canevin(42-0) and Springdale(26-12).
I know its easy to look at their 3-1 record in the first round and think that's impressive with the naked eye. But when the Top 3 schools struggle with perceived lessor competition that raises my eyebrow just a little. And Northgate getting smoked by Rochester is a testament to that.
First glance could be that the TCS may have gotten a little better when its competing a little better but with its blow out losses to Sto Rox(beat Frazier 69-25) and Fort Cherry. I have to point the fact that the Eastern Conference just isn't its usual self this season.
I'm fully anticipating all 3 schools from the Eastern Conference to go down this week in possible blowout fashion. If Springdale is giving up 30 to a beaten up Monessen team, how many points will a much better Clairton team score on them. If Avonworth is struggling with California, how well can we expect them to compete with a much better Rochester team. If Bishop Canevin barely beat Chartiers Houston, what can we expect against Fort Cherry-who blasted Char Houston 37-13 just 2 weeks ago).
Its definitely a down year for the Eastern Conference. It happens to all leagues. It'll most likely be back with a vengeance next season.
But until then I'm sticking with my picks of Clairton over Springdale; Rochester over Avonworth; Sto Rox over Brentwood; and Fort Cherry over Bishop Canevin to set up Clairton vs Rochester and Sto Rox vs Fort Cherry for the right to play at Heinz Field.