2014 Suburbs College/Prep – Week 7 Flag Football (July 20) – Playoff Preview

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Updated: July 25, 2014

We have arrived!  The best time of the Year is officially upon us!  It’s Playoff time gentleman and in just a few short weeks we will crown the 2014 College/Prep Champions.  There’s absolutely a ton left to do for the eventual Champion, starting with Opening Round Hoops this coming Sunday.  Before, we preview the Playoff Matchups, we’d like to Congratulate the 2014 College/Prep All-Star Team and MVP** (as voted on by the Players in the College/Prep League): MVP** Dillon Rudy of Team Valvassori, Brian Biggio and Michael Park of Team Saltzberg, Moses Park of Team Rubin, Captain Ethan Lutz of Team Lutz, Morris Greco of Team Maione and Ross Chuckerman of Team Deutsch. Congrats!

Also, here’s a Link to the Weekly Video Highlights with tons of Week 7 Flag Football action!

The Power Rankings turn into a true Playoff Preview this Week.. We are going to highlight the Playoff Matchups that are in-store for us on Sunday’s Opening Round – Hoops.

We are now down to our Sweet 16.  Remember, Teams seeded 13 through 16 will play an extra game against each other on Sunday for the right to stay alive and keep fighting.  It’s now win or go home.. With one exception, The Top 2 Teams will battle on Sunday.. Neither Team will be Eliminated, but the victor will get to choose their side of the Bracket for the remainder of the Playoffs and, thus, really dictate much of how the Playoffs will play out. Ok let’s Preview!

Playoff Preview

Opening Round 1 – Hoops (16 Teams Remain, 2 will be Eliminated)

13. Team Shapiro (BBQ Pit) v. 16. Team Deutsch (Highland Pop) – Winner plays 4. Team Watts

Both Teams had its ups and downs in 2014.. Team Shapiro is a Rookie squad in All Sports Series who experienced the usual “first year slow start”.. However, they found their stride as the Calendar turned to July did enough to earn a Playoff spot..  The Bracket has done them no favors though.. Team Deutsch might be seeded as the final Team in the Playoffs, but everyone is well aware of their Hoops prowess.. They are one of the best Hoops squads in the League and they know that they can beat anyone on the court.  Team Deutsch also possesses the experience factor as they have been through many All Sports Series Playoff runs.. Whoever does come out of this battle is a true threat to make it to the Elite8. Team Watts better be ready.. For 2 years running, since the College/Prep League expanded to 20 Teams, 1 of the 4 “play-in” Teams have gone on to win both of their Opening Round Hoops Games.. Would not be surprised in the least for the Winner of this Game to make a true run into August.

14. Team Gordon (Gordon Bros. Steel) v. 15. Team Liss (Testing Timers) – Winner plays 3. Team Sternberg 

Team Gordon and Team Liss have been mainstays in the College/Prep League for years.  In fact, once upon a time, Captain Jordan Liss actually set the single-game points record in Hoops w/ 54 while playing for Team Gordon (that record stood for years until Brad Reibel put up 63 earlier this Summer).  These 2 Teams know each other very well as their Captains grew up together.. Even through all the familiarity there is a bigger storyline in place here.. Both Teams will be competing in their first All Sports Series Playoff Game on Sunday afternoon.  Years have been leading up to this day for both Squads and fait has led their paths to cross.  This will no doubt be one for the ages.. One Team will advance to face the mighty Team Sternberg and the other will go home for the Summer..  The key here for both squads is to not be content with just being invited to the party.. It’s time to call mom and get curfew extended..

Opening Round 2 – Hoops (14 Teams Remain, 6 will be Eliminated)

3. Team Sternberg (ALX Salon) v. Winner of 14. Team Gordon v. 15. Team Liss

As stated above, Team Sternberg will draw the Winner of the 14/15 Game..  Team Sternberg will be fresh and be able to scout their potential opponents while the other 2 Teams battle in the hour leading up to this Game.. It’s a true advantage and one that is earned through finishing in the Top 4 of a 20 Team League.  Team Sternberg knows how to navigate the journey that is the All Sports Series Playoffs.  Twice, their Captain, along with a few teammates.. Have held the All Sports Series Crown. In 2012, it was a Cinderella ride from the #11 Seed to claim the College/Prep Championship and then again last Fall in Madison..  Not many individuals have held 3 All Sports Series crowns…  A very select few could be joined in just a few weeks.. As for the 2014 Team Sternberg — this could be the best crew Captain Sam has assembled. They have looked good in every sport and they have no glaring holes.. They just need to take it one game at a time and if they do, we’ll be hearing from them in the end.

4. Team Watts (Camp Ojibwa) v. Winner of 13. Team Shapiro v. 16. Team Deutsch

Team Watts is competing in their 3rd All Sports Series season.. They have made the Playoffs each year but 2014 will bring a new Challenge for them.. They are a Top 4 Seed and, thus, will be the hunted and not the hunter.  This is the best version of Team Watts we’ve ever seen as a couple key additions have pushed them from being a sleeper candidate in the middle of the pack to one of the true favorites to hold the Crown come August 10.   With Team Shapiro, a first time meeting on the All Sports Series court would be had.. With Team Deutsch we’d be in-store for a rematch from Week 6, where Team Watts won by 2 in the Game’s final moments..  Their road will not be easy, but they really do have what it takes to win the whole thing.  Good Luck Guys.

5. Team Kogan (First Bank of Highland Park) v. Team Kaplan (Michael’s Events)

In the last couple of weeks Team Kogan has been absolutely on fire. In their Week 6 Hoops double header they absolutely brought the hammer down to earn back to back wins. They are likely the best Hoops squad in the College/Prep League this Summer and frankly it’s a really tough draw for Team Kaplan.. Team Kaplan has struggled at times during the season, like any Rookie Team will, but showed their mettle in their shutout football win midway through the season.  They too have talent and it all it takes is 1 Game to knock out a Giant.  Team Kogan really is that Giant.. They are deep, big, can shoot from anywhere and will run on you at every opportunity they get..  Vegas might have this as the biggest spread of the day, and to no fault of Team Kaplan’s..  But, keep in mind 5/12 Games are always wacky…

6. Team Lutz (Poopie Palz) v. 11. Team Saltzberg (Danley’s Garage World)

The 6/11 Game is a battle of Two Rookie squads… That’s really where the comparisons end between these two crews. Team Lutz just wrapped up High School at GBN.  Team Saltzberg just wrapped up College and called Stevenson High School home way back in the day.. They didn’t meet in their first All Sports Series Regular Season so there’s not much to go on in that regard.. What we do know is that these Two Teams are both looking to make a serious run and both have the talent to do so.. So I guess there were a couple more similarities after all.. Team Lutz comes in with one of the most impressive Rookie Season resumes in recent memory.. Finishing 6th as one of the younger Teams in the field and in your first season is something to be very proud of..  That being said, it would look like Team Saltzberg is the underdog of this matchup with their 11th seed, but Team Saltzberg has seen a lot of success on the Hoops court this season.. Also forecasting a bit.. They took Team Sternberg to the limit in softball a few weeks back (a potential Elite8 rematch looms).. Should be a fun one.

7. Team Almeleh (Trifecta Grill) v. 10. Team Merritt (Sarkis Cafe)

This is likely to be one of the best matchups we’ve seen all season. Team Merritt is the youngest Team in the League (for the 2nd straight year) but are still one of the biggest threats, especially on the Hoops court. Their seed dropped in the last couple of weeks mostly due to a treacherous final schedule.. They played two absolute nailbiters this season, one that ended in an OT win over Team Rubin, the other ending in a 4 point loss to Team Kogan.. They will be able to draw on that if the Game gets close this Sunday.. Team Almeleh is one of the biggest teams in the League and could/will use that size to do some damage on Sunday. Team Almeleh has been counting down the days to the All Sports Series Playoffs.. It was about 8 months ago that they had their hearts ripped out in the Champaign League Final4 during an OT thriller on the Hoops Court.  Sunday will serve as potential redemption.. They are hungry.. All in all, this game could decide a lot of how the Playoffs will run going forward..

8. Team Rubin (Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Navy) v. Team Rijos (Tamales) 

Team Rubin got to the Playoffs off a recent three week surge that brought them wins in Football, Hoops and Softball, most impressively, with the Hoops Win coming against top ranked Team Maione. Team Rijos has had a more consistently strong season that has brought them into brush-ups with some of the toughest completion in the league. Their #8 Seed is actually surprising, considering just how well they’ve played, but that is how the cookie crumbles.. Enter #9 Team Rijos.. who are undefeated in Hoops this Season, and just like Team Rubin, possess an impressive win over a Top2 squad – Team Valvassori. The 8/9 Game is almost always the most entertaining and evenly matched Game of the afternoon. This is the odds on favorite to be the CEA Game of the Day.  This Game will also prove to be key in the decision making of whoever wins the Top2 Game..  Truly can’t wait for this one.

Top2 Game – Team Valvassori (Loree’s Closet) v. Team Maione (Baker Boys) – Winner’s Choice

Just to reiterate, the Top 2 Teams will battle on Sunday.. Neither Team will be Eliminated, but the victor will get to choose their side of the Bracket for the remainder of the Playoffs. This essentially means they can choose which Team they want to face in the Elite8 and also avoid until a potential Championship Game.

While no one will be going home after this contest, the stakes could really not be any higher… The Winner’s ability to line-up their ideal matchups is a rare and unique gift. Both of these Teams have fought hard all season and truly earned their places on top of the hill.. Interestingly enough, Hoops hasn’t been either of their strongest suits, so receiving a “Bye” in Hoops and moving on to Softball and (maybe/hopefully Football) is just huge for them.

Team Maione has players on its roster who held the College/Prep crown in 2013. They are looking to complete the rare Back2Back Championships.. Tons of work left for them to do in order to complete it.. As for Team Valvassori, they are entering their 3rd Playoff go-around.. Never have they been in such a strong position to succeed.. They know what’s at stake and they do not want to waste it.

The Winner of this Game will be in the best position to make the Championship Game out of any remaining Elite8 Teams.  Get ready because this one means a whole lot.

 

That’s it for us this week. Good Luck to everyone! See you Sunday!