Football Friday Ramblings

The football season is winding down. The NFL playoffs start this weekend. I’m really surprised that the NFL got through an entire 16-game schedule without any COVID forfeits or cancellations. They did have to shuffle the schedule a few times with some but every team managed play the entire schedule with either no fans or a small group of fans in attendance. Last year I watched our local Tennessee Titans surprise everyone with wins over New England and upset top-seeded Baltimore before losing to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game. It’s a different scenario this year with Baltimore traveling to Nashville for the wildcard playoff game. Although the Titans are the home team, the Tennessee defense makes me nervous. I’m really not confident that the Titans can repeat the task of knocking off the Ravens. In fact, the Titans are the underdogs in this game even playing at home. So how do I see the games in this “super” wildcard weekend?

  • Buffalo Bills over Indianapolis Colts
  • Seattle Seahawks over Los Angeles Rams
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Washington Football Team
  • Baltimore Ravens over Tennessee Titans
  • New Orleans Saints over Chicago Bears
  • Pittsburgh Steelers over Cleveland Browns

In college football, Alabama will play Ohio State for the national championship. I don’t even care enough to make a comment on this.

In high school football, the team I used to follow for many years – Warner Robins – finally won the state title after in their fourth straight championship appearance. There were heartbreaking losses in the past three years but they broke through in a big way with a 62-28 win over Cartersville to claim the school’s fifth state title. I only wish they would change their nickname. I’m not comfortable with supporting a team with “Demons” for their nickname.

IMG Academy from Bradenton, Florida finished as the nation’s top high school football team according to USA Today. Here are the final rankings:

  1. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
  2. Duncanville (Texas)
  3. North Shore (Galena Park, Texas)
  4. Grayson (Loganville, Georgia)
  5. St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  6. Chandler (Arizona)
  7. Thompson (Alabaster, Alabama)
  8. St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
  9. Austin Westlake (Texas)
  10. Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah)
  11. Center Grove (Greenwood, Indiana)
  12. American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)
  13. Katy (Texas)
  14. Miami Columbus (Florida)
  15. Trinity (Louisville, Kentucky)
  16. Oakland (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
  17. Dutch Fork (Irmo, South Carolina)
  18. Carthage (Texas)
  19. Buford (Georgia)
  20. Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colorado)
  21. Bixby (Oklahoma)
  22. Cathedral (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  23. Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
  24. Pine-Richland (Gibsonia, Pennsylvania)
  25. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, New Jersey)

This season I have been trying a new football simulation game call Pro Football Strategy 2021. Not much with graphics on the actual game but a very good simulator for stat nerds like me. It is also a good customizable league which allows you to create your own team, team names and league. The best one I created was the Tennessee Football League with eight teams. Here were the final standings in my league:

In the playoffs, Chattanooga beat Nashville 30-14, Clarksville defeated Jackson 30-27. Clarksville won the league championship beating Chattanooga 30-27.

I really had my doubts that there would be any football played this season. Football isn’t the most important thing right now. It has been a strange season for sure. I’m hoping that the football season will be back to normal next fall.