This weekend is shaping up as one of the best of the season.
It’s the final night of the regular season in high school football. County rivals clash, teams vie for playoff bids and favorable seeds, and in the case of East Lincoln, the Mustangs take aim at the first unbeaten regular season in school history.
On the college gridiron, choice matchups abound. One of the biggest unfolds at Norman, OK, where the once-beaten Sooners take on undefeated Notre Dame. In Chapel Hill, N.C. State tries to make it six in a row over the Heels.
Time to look into the crystal ball:
Cherryville at East Lincoln: Which Cherryville team will show up, the one that was trounced by Lincolnton or the one that nearly upset Lake Norman Charter? My guess is it will not matter. East Lincoln accomplishes what no Mustang squad has done at a school that opened its doors in 1967 … East Lincoln 49-14.
West Lincoln at Lincolnton: West has the talent to make this rivalry game competitive. Only trouble is the Rebels struggle against the run (Bessemer City amassed 400 yards plus last week) … Lincolnton 35-21.
North Lincoln at Bessemer City: Knights have played well in their last four games, and a win here generates momentum going into the off-season … N. Lincoln 21-14.
Highland Tech at Lake Norman Charter: LKN Charter should make some noise in the 1A playoffs ... LKN Charter 56-6.
South Point at Crest: Major upset special! I am going with my gut on this one … Crest 42-38.
Hunter Huss at Ashbrook: The victory bell in this traditional cross-town rivalry stays with the Green Wave … Ashbrook 35-14.
Kings Mountain at Forestview: Jaguars are one of the best 6-4 teams in the state. Make that 7-4 … Forestview 42-21.
West Meck at East Gaston: Warriors are out of the running for the playoffs … West Meck 32-13.
Draughn at Maiden: Blue Devils (4-0) are unbeaten at home this season. Don’t think they will get a fourth straight shutout, though … Maiden 21-6.
Tennessee at South Carolina: The Gamecocks were embarrassed last week at Florida, so a bad Tennessee team is just what the doctor ordered … South Carolina 24-14.
N.C. State at North Carolina: Yes, the Tar Heels have shown the ability to stage second-half comebacks; trouble is, State has owned this series under Tom O’Brien … N.C. State 27-23.
Duke at Florida State: Duke’s schedule is grueling from here on out, but the Blue Devils already have their six wins for bowl eligibility. Great coaching job by David Cutcliffe … Florida State 49-28.
BYU at Georgia Tech: Yellow Jackets have been one of the biggest busts in the ACC … BYU 31-24.
Maryland at Boston College: Terps lost to N.C. State because they could not kick a chip-shot field goal at the end. This one will not be that close … Maryland 27-10.
Notre Dame at Oklahoma: Never though the Irish would get this far without a loss. Their defense is terrific, but ND has not faced an offense as explosive as Oklahoma’s … Oklahoma 35-24.
Mississippi State at Alabama: Bulldogs are unbeaten thanks to a soft schedule. The Tide exposes MSU as a pretender, not a contender … ‘Bama 35-12.
Texas Tech at Kansas State: This may be the last hurdle for KState on the way to 12-0 … KState 42-27.
Florida at Georgia: Gators are back in the national title chase … Florida 21-12.
Oregon State at Washington: Ducks get all the pub with their space-age offense and neon unis, but the Beavers are unbeaten too… Oregon State 35-9.
Last week’s record: 19-4. The season to date: 123-32.