This is the time of the prep football season when I should be peaking, like a Vernon Fox-coached team.
Instead, I’m mired in mediocrity. I couldn’t figure out the Division I-A Sunset League with the high school version of the sports almanac from “Back to the Future Part II.” And my record against the spread is getting embarrassingly close to .500.
I haven’t been this bummed out since Skeet told me Stevie Wonder isn’t blind. (Seriously, if you’re into conspiracy theories and have an entire afternoon with nothing to do, look it up.)
Usually, I get desperate and throw my Hail Mary during the postseason, but I’m not waiting around any longer. It’s time to use Eric and Skeet’s power ratings.
In case you forgot, Eric and Skeet’s ratings are slightly out of the ordinary. Their system is weighted to favor teams that give out helmet stickers for good plays and has Pahranagat Valley and its 75-game winning streak ahead of Bishop Gorman, which is ranked No. 1 in every major national poll this week.
Believe it or not, Eric and Skeet’s ratings helped me go 6-2 ATS last season — those clowns nailed all four Division I Sunset Region quarterfinal games — and I’m so confident I can pull off something similar this time that I’m picking two (!!) games from the Division I-A Sunset League.
For more of this week’s picks, including a couple of small-school games with league title implications, be sure to visit Nevadapreps.com.
■ Spring Valley at Sierra Vista — Eric said I should embrace the chaos in the Sunset League, but it’s tough to do right now. After starting out 5-2 ATS in games involving teams from that league, I’ve gone 1-6 since. One and six! It’s a good thing I don’t attend one of the league’s schools or I’d never be able to show my face on campus.
This game would have meant more if Sierra Vista didn’t stumble at Faith Lutheran last week, but the Mountain Lions aren’t the first team to fall victim to Fox’s coaching in October. There’s still plenty on the line for the Grizzlies, who can clinch the league title with a win (likely) and losses by Cheyenne, Clark and Faith Lutheran (unlikely). … Spring Valley by 4.
■ Foothill at Basic — The Wolves handled most of their business last week by beating a much-improved Eldorado team. That means this game against rival Foothill is mostly for seeding purposes as both teams appear headed for the postseason.
The Falcons earned a character-building road win at Silverado last week and now own a modest two-game winning streak. Two-game winning streaks are always “modest,” just like quarterbacks with noodle arms are always “game managers.” … Foothill by 3.
■ Canyon Springs at Green Valley — The Pioneers rallied from a 20-point hole last week and nearly beat Las Vegas behind a makeshift offensive line, a reserve quarterback and a reserve running back. The problem was Canyon Springs forgot how to cover a slot receiver, a matchup the Gators are equipped to exploit again.
This could be the first of two meetings this season between the former Northeast League foes. Keep in mind, though, sequels are never as good. Except for “Bad Boys II.” That rocked. … Green Valley by 6.
■ Mojave at Clark — The Rattlers haven’t recovered from a disappointing loss to Faith Lutheran on Sept. 27 and are mired in a three-game tailspin. A loss here and Mojave, which was 4-0 at one point, probably would miss the postseason.
The Chargers have alternated wins and losses and are due for an L this week. But this is the Sunset League, after all, and nothing this season has followed a pattern. … Clark by 2.
Last week: 4-4, 3-5 (with points)
Season: 35-20, 29-25-1 (with points)
Contact Fielder at Fielder@nevadapreps.com. Follow @FielderNVP on Twitter.