I can hear the music triumphantly playing now.
“It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN!”
You know, that hilarious Geico commercial where the band Europe is performing its hit song while employees are “counting down” how long it takes their lunch to cook in the microwave.
OK, I guess I’m still the only person left with cable television, and commercials, especially from Geico, are downright gut-busting.
Yes, it’s the final countdown to the end of the 2016 area football regular season.
For the fourth straight year, the Southern Lakes Conference title could be shared.
Waterford, Lake Geneva Badger and Wilmot are all in position to finish in first.
Delavan-Darien has one more game before a potentially favorable Division 3 playoff run.
Westosha Central, Elkhorn, Burlington and Union Grove will be staying home for the postseason, but they have a chance to beat up on each other this week.
I had another 4-1 record in my predictions last week, with my random guess of 33-10 very close to the 35-9 actual score of Wilmot and Westosha.
It seems like only yesterday football was beginning in August, but fall has finally hit, it’s darker earlier and the playoffs will be here soon.
Then Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Green Bay Packers picked up a victory Sunday night, but Aaron Rodgers and the offense continued their inconsistent play.
Packer Nation must be a tad concerned with the Tony Romo-less Dallas Cowboys, who sit pretty at 4-1 and visit Lambeau Field Sunday.
In other news, the Chicago Cubs, yes, the Chicago Cubs, own a 2-1 lead in their National League Divisional series against San Francisco.
I know there’s plenty of Chicago love around here, but for the sake of us Brewers fans, can a goat please show up at Wrigley if the series extends to five games?
Thanks for following my predictions this season, hopefully I wasn’t too harsh on these great athletes.
Stay entertained, and let’s get down to business:
Last week: 4-1
(all games 7 p.m. Friday unless noted)
Game of the Week
Lake Geneva Badger (8-0, 6-0 SLC) at Waterford (7-1, 5-1)
In last year’s season-ending showdown, Badger won at home to share the SLC crown, when Waterford had a shot to win it outright.
This year, Division 1’s No. 5, Badger, takes on D2’s No. 9 in a classic matchup of physical, athletic teams that rely on running the ball and hitting hard with play-making defenders.
Waterford crushed Delavan-Darien and played Wilmot tough on the road. Badger struggled to get past the Comets and survived Wilmot at home in overtime.
Waterford may have found a passing game, as Aaron Chapman broke out last week.
Badger’s defense is the only one in the conference that can stack up with Waterford.
Both teams should have a strong postseason, but the Wolverines have the slightest edge at home.
PREDICTION: Waterford 17, Badger 14
Burlington (3-5, 2-4) at Union Grove (4-4, 2-4)
The Demons put it all together last Friday against Elkhorn, and the Broncos bucked for 35 points and a near-upset at Lake Geneva.
Burlington quarterback Nick Klug and Union Grove signal-caller Matt Nelson are two of the best in the SLC.
Expect plenty of offensive fireworks.
I’m thinking a late turnover or defensive stop could be the difference.
PREDICTION: Union Grove 38, Burlington 35
Delavan-Darien (5-3, 4-2) at Wilmot (7-1, 5-1)
Quarterback A.J. Frisby and the SLC’s leading rusher, Robert Brent (967 yards) can tie for the SLC championship with a win and a Waterford victory.
Delavan’s high-powered passing attack was held to six points last week by Waterford, and the Panthers employ a similar run-first, ball-control attack.
Expect Wilmot to take care of business at home.
PREDICTION: Wilmot 30, Delavan-Darien 21
Westosha Central (1-7, 0-6 SLC) at Elkhorn (1-7, 0-6)
The cellar isn’t where any team wants to be, but either the Falcons or Elks will finish the season there.
Let’s go against the conventional wisdom of home-field advantage and take Central.
PREDICTION: Westosha 23, Elkhorn 20
Catholic Central (1-7, 1-5 MCC) at Racine St. Cat’s (6-2, 5-1), 7 p.m. Thursday
The Hilltoppers continue to improve each week, but this simply isn’t their year.
St. Cat’s features quarterback Da’Shaun Brown, who has nearly 2,000 total yards this season (1,115 passing, 803 rushing).
Central quarterback Chad Zirbel has a newfound chemistry with receiver Cole Pankau.
The Toppers will fight to compete, as the tough Angels are the MCC’s top team.
PREDICTION: St. Cat’s 35, Catholic Central 14