OPENING WEEKEND OF PREP PLAY OFFS

    There are 19 teams from mid Michigan in the 256-team field of the state high school football tournament.  There are 32 teams in each of the eight divisions.  Some of the area teams have rugged openers, such as Everett at Lowell, Williamston at Goodrich and Charlotte at Stevensville-Lakeshore to name three which could put the local team out in a hurry.  In fact one national poll this week has Lowell ranked number one in the nation.

     Grand Ledge is 9-0 and should win at home over 5-4 Battle Creek Central, but then Rockford likely would be next and the Comets might have problems getting past the district final.  There are some good local games Friday-- I'm intrigued by Haslett's chances to win at East Lansing.  They met at Haslett in the first game of the season and East Lansing was impressive in a 28-7 win.  But Haslett seems to have improved since then.  DeWitt is at Sexton.  I thought Sexton might be the best team in the area, but quarterback Drew Valentine went out during the season's first game never to return and the Big Reds have never been in synch ever since.  DeWitt doesn't have its best team ever, but I kind of like for DeWitt to survive this Friday.  DeWitt throws the ball and the weather should be good for doing just that.

     Adrian, 7-2, is at Mason, 8-1.  Both are good teams.  Mason has improved over the course of the season.  Mason might have a playoff run in it, providing it gets past the first game which might not be easy.

     Reminder, tickets remain for sale for Saturday's noon kick off, Wisconsin at Michigan State.  The Spartans are down to being four point favorites.  The winning team has scored at least 37 points in each of the last five meetings.  Wisconsin won 37-34 in Madison a year ago.  Wisconsin has won five of the last seven meetings and two of the past three in East Lansing.  Wisconsin could still run the table and finish 8-4 and play in Tampa on New Year's Day.  But that requires a win over the Spartans which of course, probably won't be easy.

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