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It’s easy to pick winners in high school football. Just a tiny bit of homework and almost anyone can hit 70 percent.
But what about trying to pick upsets? We move into another week of this new feature by taking a look at several games from around the state in which a higher ranked team or favored team is picked to take a loss. Every team we are pointing at in this post has to be at least on the bubble in the various CIF state bowl game divisions.
With a contribution from Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens, here are this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Upset Alerts:
Upland over Rancho Cucamonga
It’s always nice to have the home team when trying to predict an upset and that is the case here as we will take 6-3 Upland to knock off 9-0 Rancho Cucamonga to earn a part of the Baseline League championship on senior night this Friday. Trailing the Cougars by one game in the Baseline League standings, Upland has won three straight since a 24-21 road loss to Glendora. While the Cougars made a huge jump in this week’s state rankings all the way to No. 7 and are unbeaten, they did have a close game two weeks ago against Los Osos in a 20-16 win one week after the Scots defeated the same Grizzlies’ team 27-10. It’s been a crazy week in the rankings after the top five in recent weeks and it doesn’t look like that is going to slow down any time soon.
Jesuit (Carmichael) over Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills)
Since suffering their first loss of the season to Folsom, the Trojans (8-1) have won three straight in the Delta River League, including a big 28-14 win last week over previously undefeated Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove. Like Rancho Cucamonga, we also jumped them up in this week’s state rankings to No. 11. In looking at upset alerts, however, they won’t be playing under the lights on Friday night this week and instead will go on the road Saturday afternoon to take on a Jesuit team (7-2) that we think may play similarly as when it hammered Franklin of Elk Grove early in the season. Jesuit’s defense is going to have to play much better to have a shot at this upset coming true. The Marauders gave up 40 points last week to Sheldon and the Oak Ridge offense obviously is much, much better.
San Dimas over Pomona
It has been a season of streaks for San Dimas since the Saints have won five straight after losing their first four games of the season to set the stage for the Valle Vista League championship. Two reasons we like San Dimas at 5-4 to knock off the 9-0 Red Devils. First, in the five games of league play so far, the Saints have a 262-55 scoring margin compared to 224-67 for Pomona. Second, San Dimas is used to winning Valle Vista League titles. The team went 6-0 last year in league games and in recent years has played well late in the season.
Bellarmine (San Jose) over Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)
Choosing this one is simply a case of having followed the West Catholic Athletic League for nearly 30 years in all sports. In the WCAL, it’s just the norm for the team that is up, in this case Mitty, which is sitting at 8-0 and in first-place, to get sent back down into the pack. The Bells (6-2) will have to play their best game of the season for this to happen, but the potential is there. Another loss and they could be looking at not even getting into the CCS Open Division. Last season, St. Ignatius went 5-2 in the WCAL and then came back to win the Open Division. If the Bells want to do the same, they have to win this game. Mitty (which jumped to No. 1 in the CCS and No. 10 in the state) will need to simply continue to get better and improve. Any step backward and it’ll be a Bellarmine win.
Last week’s top upsets
1. Citrus Valley (Redlands) 21, Rim of the World (Lake Arrowhead) 14
2. Godinez (Santa Ana) 46, Laguna Beach 24
3. Maxwell 35, Biggs 14
Upset Alerts So Far This Season: 8-10
Note: Pick your own upset alerts in the comments section below. Anybody think we’re off our rockers for going against our No. 7, No. 10 and No. 11 teams in the state? An upset alert contest also may be coming soon.
Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @CalHiSports
Patterson at Central Catholic – From what I’ve seen of Central Catholic they are a little over rated. Having big linemen helps, but they have no passing game. Patterson has to protect their QB, if they do they’ll win. And there is my upset pick.
Good call on Rancho Cucamonga. Hence the reason all those others had rightly ranked Vista Murrieta higher. We’ll see how they get ranked this weekend.