(08/23/2010)
By Gaylen Duskey
realfang@citlink.net

Well, it's that time of the year again the time where people (like me) look foolish trying to predict the outcome of the upcoming football season.

How foolish?

Last year for instance I said Calhoun could go 10-0.

Oops.

The Red Devils were 6-4 and missed the playoffs for the first time in a couple of seasons.

You can look at it any way you want and try to rationalize things out - such as being rooked by the referees at Roane County and giving one to Wirt County - but still it comes out this way: I was wrong.

This year I have listened to the experts - the former players, the media wonks, the hangers-on, the foppish fans, etc. - and what I hear isn't pretty.

The Devils, they say, is in for a trip behind the woodshed.

How bad could it be?

I have had it pointed out to me that Gilmer County has a great passing game and in transfer Terrell Hill the Titans now have a great running game. Gilmer beats Calhoun.

How about Ritchie? Yet another usual "W" for the Red Devils is gone since former Calhoun runner Darrenger Fluharty will run all over his old teammates.

Nobody said much of anything about Doddridge, so maybe that is a game Calhoun can win.

On the other hand, Parkersburg Catholic always beats Calhoun they say and Williamstown forget it.

I can agree on Williamstown since Calhoun has not beaten the Yellowjackets since 1998 when the Red Devils went 1-9, beating Williamstown.

The rest, quickly, according to "them."

South Harrison, Roane and St. Marys have too much talent and while Wirt lost a lot to graduation it got a lot back too.

Nobody said much about Braxton County either. Maybe that is one Calhoun could win according to "them."

That makes the season record 2-8 and that's only if the lack of talk about Doddridge and Braxton transfers in to a winnable game.

Two-and-eight I didn't quite buy that.

And, despite getting their clocks cleaned in the Midland Trail Grid-O-Rama by Pikeview and Greenbrier West Saturday, I still see a better record than 2-8.

So I went to the on-line experts - Massey Ratings (www.masseyratings.com) and "played" Calhoun's upcoming football season based on the computer-generated rankings.

I was much happier with that since Massey had the Red Devils going 7-3 with losses coming to Williamstown (by a lot) and Parkersburg Catholic and Wirt in close games.

One thing I noticed when playing Calhoun's schedule on Massey Ratings was that the Red Devils had a potent offense and a porous defense.

But that's just computer-generated thing and a computer has yet to actually play a football game.

I, not the computer or "them" see Calhoun winning anywhere from five to nine games.

It depends on injuries and attitudes.

If the attitudes are good and the injury bug doesn't hit too often, or certain key people, Calhoun can beat just about anyone they play.

If I were to go out on a limb I'd say 7-3 or 6-4 was a good bet with 7-3 getting Calhoun into the playoffs and 6-4 putting the Red Devils right in the "maybe" category.

The season starts Friday night when Calhoun travels to Gilmer. Let's sit back and see what happens.


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