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FOOTBALL: Kosmo's state semifinal forecast

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Itís the state semifinal round, which annually leads to some disappointment from fans wondering why they have to drive so far to places and what the true meaning of halfway points are.

You see, when the semifinals take place, the idea is to find a place halfway between the two schools so it can be ideal for both teams and their fan bases.

The problem is this is easier said than done.

Itís not a lot of fun for administrators at a school to give up a Saturday to host a game that doesnít involve their team, so finding schools willing to host isnít easy.

Itís also not easy to find schools that have turf fields, case in point why Rockford and Catholic Central for the second straight year agreed to play in Battle Creek instead of Lansing, because Battle Creek Central has a nice turf field while Lansing schools have grass.

So keep that in mind when making longer than hoped for drives on Saturday.

Above all else though, be thankful you have the chance to follow your teams in the semifinals. Many around the state would love to be in that position, so relish the moment.

There are five Oakland County teams one win away from Ford Field.

So who exactly will be there?

Without further hesitation, here are the semifinal picks from your all-knowing one. All games are Saturday at 1 p.m.

Division 1

Lake Orion vs. Detroit Cass Tech at Troy Athens Ė For the second time in three years, Lake Orion and Cass Tech meet in a semifinal at Athens. Kosmo still remembers the forced fumble caused by Andrew Shafkalis inside the 5-yard line with 30 seconds remaining that preserved Lake Orionís win two years ago, and this game could come down to a similar play. As Kosmo wrote about in his blog, the key will be whether Lake Orion can run the ball. Kosmo has the feeling the Dragons will and take out the champs. Pick: Lake Orion by 3.

Novi Detroit Catholic Central vs. Rockford at Battle Creek Central Ė Do you realize the last four state champions in Division 1 are in the semifinals? Wow. Just like Lake Orion-Cass Tech, this is another semifinal rematch, as the Shamrocks and Rams played an overtime classic last year at the same location. Catholic Central got it done then, and the ĎRocks will find a way to get back to Ford Field. Pick: CC by 6.

Division 2

Birmingham Brother Rice vs. Wyandotte Roosevelt at Gibraltar Carlson Ė Kosmo wishes he could drum up some brilliant analysis of the game, but he simply canít. Brother Rice is just way better and this likely will end in a rout. Pick: Brother Rice by 14.

Division 3

Orchard Lake St. Maryís vs. Battle Creek Harper Creek at Chelsea Ė The home of Jeff Daniels will see another rematch of a semifinal last year, which St. Maryís surprisingly won in close fashion. That probably told St. Maryís all it needed to know about Harper Creek, which means itíll be fully focused and on to Ford Field after this one. Pick: OLSM by 10.

Division 4

Birmingham Detroit Country Day vs. Saginaw Swan Valley at Ortonville Brandon Ė Great job by Country Day to get back to the semifinals for the first time since 2008. Even better is that the Yellowjackets will also get back to the state finals for the first time since 2008. A healthy Richie Wilson plus a red-hot quarterback in Tyler Wiegers equals big trouble for Swan Valley. Pick: Country Day by 13.

E-mail Kosmo at kosmo@oakpress.com

Last Updated: 11/16/2012 4:42:30 PM EST

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