Friday, April 22, 2016

Varsity Cup Semi-final Preview & Predictions

Things are about to get interesting in the Varsity Cup. Yes, there were close matches in the first few rounds but of the team that have reached this point they have almost exclusively done so on lopsided wins. Now the top four go head to head in what should be an intense two matches.

BYU vs. Arkansas State

Some have suggested that Arkansas State may be able to pull an upset in this match. While they certainly have good players and a good program it's hard to see them getting past the Cougars. It's not so much about how Arkansas State play as it is about how dominant BYU has been this year. All the way from players like Calvin Whiting and Tua Laei to Kevin Schofield the team is deep and talented. They are going to be hard pressed to be beaten by anyone this year. Factor in that Arkansas State have to go on the road to South Field, a place where BYU has never lost, and that makes for a tough ask.

Take the jump to read more.
Cal vs. Central Washington

We estimate that the closer round of the match is going to be between Cal and Central Washington. Normally Cal would come in as the overwhelming favorites given the two team's histories but Cal were pushed by a tough Army team last week and showed some vulnerabilities. Cal on the other hand went down three men at one point to Utah, didn't give up a point during that time, and emerged with a big win. As much as Cal have tested themselves this year with a brutal schedule, Central Washington have also tried to make a tough schedule even though they played as an independent. They faced some tough club teams in Seattle and Olympic Club and met the University of Victoria, one of the top two school teams in Canada.

Both teams are deep at several positions and have standout players. Harry Adolphus and Nick Salabar have been playing well for Cal. The Schirmer brothers, Aladdin and Maverick, have been doing the same for Central Washington. The Wildcats also have Seth Halliman and Josh Bower at their disposal. Halliman has shown what he can do in 7s but he also does well in 15s.

We still give the edge to Cal to make the final once again but we think it will be close.

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