The more things change, the more they stay the same.
In the first year of the NJSIAA's "bowl games" - semifinal matchups without a final that are seen as a prelude to a system where New Jersey plays to overall group champions in football - the two standby powers of the Greater Middlesex Conference - Piscataway and Sayreville - will participate.
Both will play their bowl games at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands over the next couple of weeks.
First, Sayreville (10-1) will take on Williamstown (12-0) in the South Group 5 bowl game. That will be on Black Friday, November 23rd, at 7:05 pm at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
Each team won their sectional championship in completely different fashions. The Bombers took the Central Jersey Group 5 title Saturday afternoon by beating North Brunswick 6-0 at Sayreville War Memorial Stadium. The Braves won the South Jersey Group 5 title with a 56-20 home win over Rancocas Valley Saturday. It will be the first-ever meeting between the schools
As for Piscataway, it'll be two weeks before their bowl game, because they have to play archrival Franklin on the road this Thanksgiving, in what will likely be the final Turkey Day tilt between the teams due to the NJSIAA's new playoff schedule.
The Chiefs (11-0) will play Ridgewood (9-2) in the North Group 5 bowl game. That's scheduled for Saturday, December 1 at 10 am at MetLife.
Piscataway has been simply dominant all season long, and won the North Jersey, Section 2-Group 5 title Saturday afternoon by shutting down 2nd-seed Union City 28-7 behind two touchdowns from Nasir Best and a solid defense against the Soaring Eagles. Ridgewood, the 2nd-seed in North 1-Group 5, upended top-seed Montclair on the road Saturday afternoon 27-7. The Maroons and Chiefs have never faced each other.
Keep checking here at wctcam.com for updates on our broadcast schedule and coverage plans for the bowl games, or follow Mike Pavlichko on Twitter at @mikepavlichko.
And don't forget to tune in to the WCTC Thanksgiving Day Round Robin, this Thursday at 9:35 am, for coverage of four traditional Turkey Day rivalries: Piscataway-Franklin, East Brunswick-Old Bridge, Edison-JP Stevens, and the "granddaddy of 'em all," Perth Amboy and Carteret - a series that dates back to 1927.