The Rick, Week 9 – 2019

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1348-365 overall, .786 winning percentage)

Horseshoes and hand grenades…..

There is an old saying that goes something like this, “’Almost’ only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” Well we may have to add, “… and in the Wyoming Valley Conference” to that saying sometime soon.

The Rick ‘almost’ didn’t have to write about Wyoming Area and Southern Columbia again. But here we are.

The WVC was at it again this past week as The Rick learned that the much talked about and over-hyped Wyoming Area-Southern Columbia game WILL NOT COUNT in the District 2 Power Ratings Formula for the Warriors.

Say what?

It seems the WVC has a stipulation with D2 that says something to the effect that if any games are added after the schedule has been approved then that game will not count toward a team’s power rating. Imagine that. So Wyoming Area really had nothing to lose when they played Southern Columbia. It was simply an exhibition game according to the WVC.

I guess what baffles me – besides the fact this game was even allowed to happen – is that District 2 is allowing the WVC to dictate what games count and don’t count. Pretty soon schools will be dictating to their leagues what games count and don’t count.

‘Hey LFC, the Old Forge loss to Dunmore doesn’t count. It’s not a division game, so it really doesn’t matter. Take the Blue Devils’ loss away so they can remain undefeated,’ – some idiot prognosticator in Old Forge.

There is absolutely NO reason for that game not to count. The bad precedents set over this game – which the Warriors lost 42-0 – continues to affect every football playing school in District 2, and will continue to do so in the future.

Just off the top of my head there are two schools that should be outraged – Western Wayne and Lackawanna Trail. The Rick sees these two schools as those that have the most to lose in the power ratings.

First off, depending on how the math works out, the Wildcats could very well be the top seed in Class 3A if the Warriors were charged with a loss. What’s the difference between being No. 1 and No 2 – Western Wayne’s current ranking – well how about a home game in the title tilt. Instead of potentially traveling from Lake Ariel to West Pittston to face WA in a potential championship game, the Wildcats could host the Warriors at home at the Sharkey Rosetti Sports Complex.

Now let’s go to Class 1A where Trail is fighting with Northwest for one of the two seeds remaining should Old Forge remain unbeaten (remember the Dunmore loss doesn’t count because The Rick says so) the rest of the season. Trail which lost to Northwest in the first week of the season is already behind the Rangers in the ratings. Those ratings could potentially be different as Northwest lost to WA early in the year. Looking with the naked eye at the definition of the power rating system on the D2 website (http://piaad2.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018-2020-DII-Power-Rating-System.pdf) it can be surmised that a loss to an undefeated team is worth more points than a loss to a team with one loss. So is Trail potentially being cheated by the WVC rules that District 2 seemingly has bowed to?

The Rick would love to see the spreadsheet that computes all of these numbers and what the results would be if the Wyoming Area loss to Southern Columbia was actually counted. If any of my readers have access to that please email it to me! I sure hope for the sake of Western Wayne and Lackawanna Trail that there wouldn’t be a difference. Because if there was, then someone should have to answer to why District 2 would agree to cheat student-athletes out of what they earned on the field.

This is ‘almost’ unbelievable.

Let’s make some picks, but first let’s take a look at what the District 2 playoffs would look like if they started today.

 

Class 6A: Williamsport at Delaware Valley and Scranton at Wilkes-Barre Area

Class 5A: Wallenpaupack at Southern Lehigh and Pocono Mt. East at East Stroudsburg South

Class 4A: West Scranton at Dallas, Pittston Area at Valley View, Tunkhannock at Berwick and North Pocono at Crestwood

Class 3A: Hanover Area at Scranton Prep and Lakeland at Lake-Lehman (Western Wayne and Wyoming Area would earn first round byes.)

Class 2A: Carbondale Area at Dunmore and Mid Valley at Riverside

Class 1A: Northwest at Old Forge

 

Let’s make the weekly picks!

 

THE RICK’S PICKS

(101-27 Overall, 75-53 ABPI)

 May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 7-1 Overall, 4-4 ABPI

Valley View at Scranton (+15 ½)

Scranton High is on a roll. The Knights have won six straight after starting 0-2 with close losses to Valley West and Wilkes-Barre Area. To say Scranton could easily be 8-0 is not overstating things. But how good are those six wins? We’ll see tomorrow night. Valley View rolls into town fresh off its only loss of the season, a 37-7 shellacking by Dallas. And the Cougars are not happy. Valley View’s last four opponents, including Scranton, have combined for 28 wins. Scranton’s previous four opponents, not including Valley View, have a combined six wins. The Rick thinks this is an easy pick.

Valley View 33, Scranton 18

 

The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 6-2 Overall, 5-3 ABPI

Wallenpaupack (+8) at Hazleton Area

Hazleton Area gave Scranton all it could handle last week before succumbing in overtime. Wallenpaupack has lost two in a row after winning two in a row. The Buckhorns are fighting for a berth in the District 2/11 Class 5A Subregional. A win here would pretty much clinch a spot in the post-season. But the Rick likes the Cougars in this matchup.

Hazleton Area 21, Wallenpaupack 15

 

Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 4-4 Overall, 3-5 ABPI

Berwick at Dallas (-5)

Dallas sent a message last week that they are in fact the top dog in Class 4A and the road to earning that crown will indeed go through the Back Mountain. The road could start Friday night when Berwick visits the Mountaineers. A Dawgs win would really throw things into whack as then each of the top three teams would have beaten each other. But The Rick just doesn’t see that happening. Dallas has been dominant all season – and dominated a Valley View team that was only challenged by Berwick through the first seven weeks of the season.  This game will be close and give the winner the claim of best WVC team of 2019, but both know it will be a precursor of a possible bigger matchup in the playoffs in a few weeks.

Dallas 27, Berwick 20

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 7-1 Overall, 5-3 ABPI

Scranton Prep at Lakeland (+22)

Scranton Prep is probably having the quietest 6-2 season of anyone in recent memory. The Cavaliers only two losses are to Wyoming Area and Valley View, and those teams are a combined 14-2. Otherwise, The Prep has been nothing short of solid – especially defensively where they are sixth overall in the LFC in yards allowed per game. Lakeland has been somewhat of a disappointment as injuries have slowed the Chiefs. Lakeland does have five wins, but only one of those victories – against high-flying Riverside – is against a team at or above the .500 mark. Needless to say, this should be a defensive battle at Chapman Lake.

Scranton Prep 26, Lakeland 13

 

Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 6-2 Overall, 6-2 ABPI

Western Wayne at Dunmore (+11)

Western Wayne responded to its first loss of the season by thumping West Scranton last week. Dunmore blasted Susquehanna one week after suffering a loss that stopped a four-game winning streak. We’ll see this week which team puts a winning streak together to finish the season. The Wildcats have pounded everyone not wearing a Valley View jersey and that’s nothing to be disappointed in as the Cougars have been the target for the past two seasons. Dunmore started slow and then rebounded. The Bucks are in position to claim home field throughout the D2 playoffs, but they can ill afford to slip as Riverside can earn that distinction if Dunmore loses out – which could happen! The Rick never thought he would type these words out, but yes – he’s INZANE!

Western Wayne 24, Dunmore 14

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 6-2, Overall, 3-5 ABPI

Northwest at Old Forge (-23)

It’s Homecoming for Old Forge and the Blue Devils have won 15 consecutive games on Homecoming. Northwest doesn’t want to be victim No. 16. The Rangers come into the contest with wins in two of their last games and more than likely need a victory against the Blue Devils or next week against Riverside to secure a playoff berth. Running back George May leads a ground assault for Northwest that held onto the ball for the entire first quarter in an early season loss to Wyoming Area. The Rangers will have to have the same type of game plan this week to keep the ball away from an Old Forge offense that is averaging almost six touchdowns per game. The Rick never scored a touchdown for the Blue Devils, but is an OFHS alum, Class of ’89

Old Forge 36, Northwest 12

 

Time to settle all family business (77-15 Overall, 53-36 ABPI)

Delaware Valley over Valley West (+53)

North Pocono (-8) over Honesdale

West Scranton (-1) over Abington Heights

Tunkhannock over Mid Valley (+9)

Riverside (-35) over Montrose

Trail (-48) over Holy Redeemer

Carbondale over Susquehanna (+13)

Wilkes-Barre (-12) over Williamsport

Crestwood (-6) over Pittston Area

Lake-Lehman (-33) over Nanticoke

Wyoming Area over Hanover (+50 ½)

The Ricktor Rankings
Big School Ricktor (6A, 5A, 4A)
1. Delaware Valley (7-1) 8.87 1
2. Dallas (8-0) 8.45 2
3. Berwick (7-1) 8.37 4
4. Scranton (6-2) 8.17 5
5. Wilkes-Barre (5-3) 8.00 7
6. Crestwood (6-2) 7.57 6
7. Valley View (7-1) 7.40 3
8. Williamsport (3-5) 7.22 8
9. Valley West (2-6) 6.55 NR
10. North Pocono (4-4) 6.47 10

Small School Ricktor (3A, 2A, 1A)
1. Western Wayne (7-1) 6.52 1
2. Wyoming Area (7-1) 5.27 2
3. Scranton Prep (6-2) 5.17 3
4. Lake-Lehman (5-3) 4.77 4
5. Lakeland (5-3) 4.65 5
6. Old Forge (6-1) 3.91 6
7. Dunmore (5-3) 3.90 7
8. Lackawanna Trail (5-3) 3.86 8
9. Northwest (4-3) 3.44 NR
10. Hanover (3-5) 3.37 10