Postseason football has arrived for Divisions I through V so it's time to weigh in as an expert based on my prowess at or near the top of the prestigious Tackle the Trib leader board during the recently completed regular season.
The forthcoming first-round predictions are — in humility — picks the world can take to the bank.
DIVISION I — #1 Mountain Pointe over No. 16 Boulder Creek; No. 8 Highland over No. 9 Red Mountain; No. 5 Westview over No. 12 Brophy; No. 4 Desert Ridge over No. 13 Desert Mountain; No. 3 Hamilton over No. 14 Millennium; No. 6 PInnacle over No. 11 Mesa Mountain View; No. 7 Horizon over No. 10 Basha; No. 2 Chandler over No. 15 Skyline.
Misgivings: Red Mountain could prevail over Highland if Highland's defense has an average or below night. Basha might upend Horizon, but the Bears have been inonsistent week to week. Brophy's strength of schedule earned it a berth. If Broncos can corral Westview's speed on offense might pull off an upset.
DIVISION II — No. 1 Salpointe over No. 16 Cibola; No. 9 Liberty over No.8 Marana Mtn. View; No. 12 Deer Valley over No. 5 Sunnyslope; No. 4 Centennial over No. 13 Tucson; No. 2 Chaparral over No. 14 Tolleson; No. 6 Marcos de Niza over. No. 11 Ironwood Ridge; No. 7 Campo Verde over No. 10 Sahuaro; No. 2 Mesquite over No. 15 Buena.
Misgivings: None. Teams with negative average opponent ratings generally raise a red flag — see Sunnyslope.
DIVISION III — No. 1 Williams Field over No. 16 Agua Fria; No. 9 Higley over No. 8 Canyon del Oro; No. 5 Peoria over No. 12 Bradshaw Mountain; No. 4 Queen Creek over No. 13 Cactus; No. 3 Desert Edge over No. 14 Thunderbird; No. 6 Shadow Ridge over No. 11 Catalina Foothills; No. 7 Sabino over No. 10 Tempe; No. 2 Saguaro over. No. 15 Washington.
Misgivings: Perhaps home cooking will benefit CDO against Higley. Just think Higley's a bit more tested.
DIVISION IV — No. 1 Show Low over No. 16 Payson; No. 8 Estrella Foothills over No. 9 Safford; No. 5 Coolidge over No. 12 Fountain Hills; No. 4 Blue Ridge over No. 13 Monument Valley; No. 3 Snowflake over No. 14 Rio Rico; No. 6 River Valley over No. 11 Page; No. 7 Winslow over No. 10 Sahuarita; No. 2 Seton Catholic over No. 15 Combs.
Misgivings: None. Give Fountain Hills some kudos. The Falcons faced a brutal schedule playing six teams in the D-IV playoffs and losing to Show Low, Blue Ridge, Snowflake and Coolidge. That's four of the top five seeds. TheFalcons gave Coolidge a decent game in mid-September (losing 27-14) so perhaps there is room for an upset in the rematch.
DIVISION V — No. 1 Arizona Lutheran over No. 16 Hopi; No. 8 Bourgade over No. 9 Pusch Ridge; No. 5 Northwest Christian over No. 12 Tempe Prep; No. 4 Round Valley over No. 13 Benson; No. 3 Yuma Catholic over No. 14 San Tan Foothills; No. 6 St. Johns over No. 11 Williams; No. 10 Morenci over No. 7 Thatcher; No. 2 Joy Christian over No. 15 Scottsdale Prep.
Misgivings: None. Selecting Morenci over Thatcher – the second week in a row the teams have faced each other — is more for Morenci's six-game winning streak of late. Thatcher has suffered back-to-back losses and may have a confidence problem.