It must be nice to make picks every week without the pressure of the world on your shoulders, the pressure of knowing a bad week could make your bosses look at you differently, wondering if you are smart enough for the job, wondering if they should replace you, leaving your family without health insurance and food on the table in the cardboard box you now call home, if home can really be called a dry underpass you share with some guy named Chauncey who believes the ice cooler you salvaged from your home to keep the baby formula refrigerated is a urinal. Well, I sure hope correspondents Eric Muskatevc and Chris Girandola, the two finalists in the 2005 Survivor Picks, are happy. I really do.
All games at 7:30.
Brad. Bayshore (4-4) at Boca Ciega (6-2)
LAST MEETING: None.
THE SKINNY: It doesn't get any more simple than this - win and you go to the playoffs, lose and next week's meaningless season-ender really really really stinks to have to play.
Girandola: Bogie Muskatevc: Bayshore
Dixie Hollins (6-2) at Gibbs (4-4)
LAST MEETING: Dixie Hollins 21, Gibbs 8 (2004)
THE SKINNY: Jerrel Young has over 1,000 yards in his last six games alone, and the Gladiators aren't too different from Stella, who as you know also got her groove back.
Girandola: Dixie Muskatevc: Dixie
Sara. Cardinal Mooney (5-3) at CCC (5-2)
LAST MEETING: CCC 28, Cardinal Mooney 24 (2004)
THE SKINNY: Both teams have clinched a playoff spot, so this is just to see who plays at home and gets the runner-up from District 5, which has only one team with a winning record - The Villages. Which by the way, is the worst ... name ... ever for a high school.
Girandola: CCC Muskatevc: CCC
East Lake (4-4) at Countryside (8-0)
LAST MEETING: Countryside 48, East Lake 14 (2004)
THE SKINNY: East Lake was probably caught looking ahead to this game when it lost to PHU. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that renders the game completely meaningless as they were eliminated from playoff contention, ending a five-year postseason run.
Girandola: Countryside Muskatevc: Countryside
Clearwater (2-7) at Tarpon Springs (7-2)
LAST MEETING: Clearwater 31, Tarpon 12 (2004)
THE SKINNY: The Spongers have wrapped up a district championship and end their season tonight, a week earlier than most everyone else. Except for Clearwater, which is also done after tonight, but for good.
Girandola: Tarpon Muskatevc: Tarpon
Palm Harbor U. (2-6) at Dunedin (5-3)
LAST MEETING: Dunedin 35, PHU 0 (2004)
THE SKINNY: The Hurricanes may be 2-6, but they are the best 2-6 team in the whole darned state. Okay, that's an overstatement, but since this is for a playoff spot, they are certainly one of the luckiest.
Girandola: Dunedin Muskatevc: Dunedin
Lakewood (1-7) at Brad. Southeast (6-2)
LAST MEETING: Southeast 28, Lakewood 14 (2004)
THE SKINNY: Southeast will be the fifth team the Spartans played this year with a .500 record or better. Next week, it's off to undefeated Countryside. Lucky lucky!
Girandola: Southeast Muskatevc: Southeast
Largo (6-2) at Pinellas Park (1-7)
LAST MEETING: Largo 31, Pinellas Park 19 (2003)
THE SKINNY: Dexter McCluster needs 450 yards to reach 2,000 to become the first player in county history (as far as we can tell) to reach that mark, if you're wondering why you should check this game out. Oh, and Largo can clinch the district title, too.
Girandola: Largo Muskatevc: Largo
Osceola (2-6) at Northeast (3-5)
LAST MEETING: Northeast 28, Osceola 6 (2002)
THE SKINNY: The Vikings still have a shot at .500. Beef O'Brady's should sponsor this game, with both teams wheeling out the tried and true wing-T offenses.
Girandola: Northeast Muskatevc: Northeast
Northside Chr. (3-5) at Shorecrest (4-4)
LAST MEETING: Northside 36, Shorecrest 14 (2004)
THE SKINNY: Shorecrest is already in the playoffs after last week's thrilling 1-0 win over Tampa Baptist, in which a half-safety decided the game. Northside is hoping to avoid sole possession of the district cellar. (P.S. We know Shorecrest won by forfeit ... It was a joke).
Girandola: Shorecrest Muskatevc: Shorecrest
St. Petersburg (3-5) at Seminole (4-4)
LAST MEETING: Seminole 15, St. Petersburg 12 (2004)
THE SKINNY: The Green Devils missed a lot of things last week, like Dexter McCluster (multiple times) and a golden opportunity to grab control in the playoff race. They still have slim hopes, but it's out of their hands now. Kind of like, well, McCluster was last week.
Girandola: St. Petersburg Muskatevc: Seminole
Lake Placid (2-6) at SPC (6-3)
LAST MEETING: None.
THE SKINNY: There's only one undefeated team left in 2A-5. And one winless team. They meet tonight. We don't expect much to change.
Girandola: SPC Muskatevc: SPC
Bishop McLaughlin (1-5) at Calvary Chr. (3-5)
LAST MEETING: None.
THE SKINNY: First-year Bishop McLaughlin could get caught looking ahead to next week's game against CCC. Or rather, looking ahead to ways to make the bus break down on the way there.
Girandola: Calvary Muskatevc: Calvary
IRC (3-5) at Admiral Farragut (3-4)
LAST MEETING: AFA 13, IRC 0 (2004)
THE SKINNY: Talk about your unfortunate schedules - IRC is 0-4 against playoff teams, and those playoff teams have a combined record of 26-6. Ouch. Admiral Farragut is not a playoff team. Soooooooo...
Girandola: AFA Muskatevc: AFA
Keswick Chr. (6-2) at Temple Hts. (0-8)
LAST MEETING: Keswick 48, Temple Heights 0 (2004)
THE SKINNY: Keswick is licking its wounds after a loss to Berkeley Prep last week. No better antidote than Temple Heights, which might be the worst team in the state.