The Rick, Week 4 – 2018

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1077-304 overall, .779 winning percentage)

Vegas Baby!

So did every one enjoy last week’s visit from Paul from Yuma? I didn’t. He didn’t either! Wow those were some BAD picks! Worst weekly record of the year so far.

I mean The Rick needed a little break from the high life, but this witness protection thing just ain’t for me. So I am headed to Vegas this week – literally – with my crew from back home. It’s gonna be party time in the Sin City for a few days as I try to get my mojo back.

You won’t find out what happens because after all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But I will tell you that it’s straight Money Team with this crew. Luca Donazzi headlines The Rick’s crew, along with Tahiti John, Dr. James, Andre (the Giant), Mitchell Ma, Hoover and Tiger Woods.

No one is going to tell The Rick what to do.

However, I am going to tell you what to do – and that is to make sure you get to a game this week because there are some very good matchups on the schedule. Scranton Prep is at Valley View, West Scranton is at Lakeland, Dunmore is at Trail, Honesdale is at Delaware Valley, Berwick is at Valley West, Dallas is at Pittston Area and Williamsport is at Hazleton Area. That pretty much covers every geographical area of District 2. So don’t complain about having nothing to do on Friday night. Head out to see one of our young gladiators play on the local gridiron.

The winners of those games will undoubtedly make an appearance in our weekly Rickter Scale. And speaking of the Rickter Scale, you may notice some changes this week. The first three weeks of the rating system were based upon The Rick’s predictions for the 2018 season. This week’s scale uses the actual data from the first three weeks of the season.

Remember, the Rickter Scale is a mathematical formula based on the strength of a team’s schedule and its victories. Opponents are rated by wins, one point for three wins, 0.75 points for two wins, 0.25 for one win, and 0.00 for no wins. ( If a team hasn’t played three games, then their rating is based on a 0-0.50-1.0 scale.) That total, the “SR” is added to your “SZW” total. The SZW is determined by your wins. You beat Hazleton, you get six points because they are a 6A school. You lose to Hazleton, you get zero points.

The Rickter Scale will play itself out over the course of the year. Just because your team may be better on the field right now, doesn’t mean they won’t end up ahead of someone you may see in the ratings this week. So be patient. If your team keeps winning, you’ll end up there by season’s end.

 

Ok. Here’s this week’s Rickter Scale, then we will pick some games….

WEEK 4 RICKTER SCALE…. Record Rating LR
1. Dallas (3-0) 19.75 7
2. Valley West (3-0) 19.25 2
3. Berwick (3-0) 18.75 3
4. Valley View (3-0) 18.25 5
5. Scranton Prep (3-0) 17.50 8
6. North Pocono (2-1) 13.75 6
7. Western Wayne (2-1) 13.75 17
8. Pittston Area (2-1) 13.50 12
9. Nanticoke Area (2-1) 13.25 34
10. Lakeland (3-0) 12.50 13
11. Lackawanna Trail (3-0) 12.50 16
12. Lake-Lehman (2-1) 10.50 18
13. Wyoming Area (3-0) 10.25 11

Teams to Watch: Honesdale, West Scranton, Dunmore, Wallenpaupack

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (12-6)

May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 1-2

Williamsport at Hazleton

A huge game in Hazleton this weekend as Williamsport visits the Cougars in a game that both teams desperately need. Both teams are in the midst of two-game losing streaks that frankly, The Rick didn’t see coming. I thought this would be a battle of unbeatens when the season started. Now, it’s a game that could be a tell-tale of a season won or lost. The Rick’s head is telling him to pick the Millionaires but his gut is telling him Hazleton Area. Trust The Gut!

Hazleton Area 31, Williamsport 27

 

The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 2-1

Berwick at Valley West

A clash of the titans is taking place on the West side of the Susquehanna River, when undefeated Berwick takes on undefeated Wyoming Valley West. The Dawgs fully expected to be at this stage of the game in Week 4, and it would have been tough to argue with them. The Spartans probably felt the same way in their locker room but many outside wouldn’t have agreed. I think it’s safe to say Valley West is The Rick’s surprise team at this point of the season. Unfortunately for the Spartans, surprises are usually followed by disappointment.

Berwick 42, Valley West 28

 

Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 2-1

Prep at Valley View

The Scranton Prep defense has not allowed a point in three games this season. The Cavaliers offense is averaging just over 33 points per game. But that doesn’t scare Valley View. The Cougars defense isn’t so shabby itself, surrendering just seven points per game while its offense is scoring just over 31 points per contest. To say this game will be epic is an understatement. Prep has played a slightly tougher schedule at this point of the season, while Valley View is ranked ahead of the Cavaliers on the Rickter Scale. Expect the best game of the night to be at Papa Bear’s Place, and expect it to be defensive.

Valley View 9, Scranton Prep 7

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 2-1

West at Lakeland

Lakeland started slow last week but finished strong by inflicting its will against Riverside. West Scranton is at a crossroads. After a tough two weeks after upsetting North Pocono to open the season, the Invaders need a victory to get in position to finish strong. After next week’s matchup with Scranton Prep, West has five very winnable games to end the season – games that The Rick sees that they could easily be favored in. But before all of that they face the Chiefs. Lakeland has the ability to beat you up front with the run game, and the ability to go to the air to move the football. The Chiefs also have great team speed that could negate the athletic ability of West Scranton’s playmakers. This game is at Lakeland where the Chiefs are very tough to beat. A trip to Chapman Lake can be somewhat like a trip to  outer space for some people. The dip in temperature. The wind. The purple fog. The Rick doesn’t like outer space.

Lakeland 20, West Scranton 15

 

Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 3-0

Dunmore at Trail

You want a small-school big game? Well here is the headliner for you. Undefeated Lackawanna Trail welcomes once-beaten Dunmore. The Lions have cruised through the first three weeks of the season while the Bucks have become the Bucks again after losing badly to Prep in Week 1. The question in this game will be, is Trail ready to roar. A win by the Lions would be a statement victory for the experienced group from Tunnel Hill. A close loss would also send a message to the rest of the contenders in Class 1A. However, a blowout loss would just be more of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol when it comes to Dunmore and its games against those in its own classification and below. Don’t get The Rick wrong. The Lions are a good football team. Just not Dunmore good.

Dunmore 32, Trail 19

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 2-1

Holy Cross at Northwest

Wow, two weeks in a row Holy Cross is our featured game here in the Class 1A slot. The Crusaders were the area’s shooting stars after starting out 2-0 but crashed back down to earth last week in a loss to previously winless Mid Valley. Northwest is really struggling, having lost its third straight to open the season last week against Wyoming Area. But the Rangers are ready to pick themselves up off the mat and get back in the race. We’ll see now if Holy Cross is ready to bounce back from adversity or if the fast start was only a product of a soft schedule. Ranger Rick was always good to Yogi and Boo Boo. I think he will be good to The Rick as well.

Northwest 27, Holy Cross 13

 

Time to settle all family business (33-8)

North Pocono over Abington Heights

Delaware Valley over Honesdale

Scranton over Wallenpaupack

Western Wayne over GAR

Lake-Lehman over Carbondale

Susquehanna over Mid Valley

Meyers over Montrose

Old Forge over Holy Redeemer

Riverside over Hanover Area

Coughlin over Tunkhannock

Pottsville over Crestwood

Dallas over Pittston Area

Wyoming Area over Nanticoke

 

Top 10 Hardest Schedules (Per The Rickter Scale)

For fun, to give you an idea if how hard a team’s schedule is, I am going to post every week the top 10 hardest schedules based on the Rickter Scale. The OR is the combined record of a team’s opponents.

RANK TEAM RATING OR
1t. Western Wayne 6.75 (20-10)
1t. Coughlin 6.75 (20-10)
3. Carbondale Area 6.25 (18-12)
4t. Dallas 5.75 (18-12)
4t. West Scranton 5.75 (17-13)
4t. Dunmore 5.75 (17-13)
4t. Crestwood 5.75 (18-12)
4t. Mid Valley 5.75 (17-13)
4t. Abington Heights 5.75 (18-12)
10t. Scranton Prep 5.50 (16-14)
10t. Pittston Area 5.50 (18-12)
10t. Lakeland 5.50 (16-14)
10t. Hanover Area 5.50 (15-15)

5.25: Valley View (16-14), Nanticoke (17-13), Honesdale (16-14), Northwest (16-14)