Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
Playoff contenders starting to separate from pack
By Bruce Monnin
With the high school football regular season halfway over, recent history tells us that if teams are not currently in the top 16 of their region, or at least have earned half as many computer points as the eighth-place team, they have very little chance of making the playoffs.
Using these guidelines, half of the teams in the Western Buckeye League (Defiance, Lima Bath, Lima Shawnee, St. Marys and Van Wert) are out of realistic contention. Ottawa-Glandorf and Elida are the only two WBL schools currently ranked in the top eight in their regions, while Celina, Wapakoneta and Kenton still have hopes of joining them.
For the Midwest Athletic Conference, it appears that only New Bremen and Parkway are probably not in contention for the postseason. Six teams (Coldwater, Anna, Delphos St. Johns, St. Henry, Marion Local and Minster) are currently ranked in the top eight in their regions, while Versailles and Fort Recovery are hoping to either add to the conference qualifiers or take one of their spots away.
The WBL is short on crucial computer-point games this week. There are two games involving undefeated teams (5-0 Ottawa-Glandorf traveling to 3-2 Wapakoneta and 5-0 Elida visiting 3-2 Kenton) where the underdogs desperately need a win to get back into the playoff hunt.
In the MAC, the top game is Coldwater (5-0) hosting St. Henry (4-1), but neither team should be in any playoff trouble even with a loss. Marion Local (4-1) hosting Delphos St. John's (3-2) involves two teams which are a little less secure in the computer points, but neither team will be crippled by a loss.
Another big game for playoff hopefuls is Minster (3-2) visiting Anna (3-2). A win for either team should move them up significantly in their respective region, but a loss for either (especially Anna) will require them to put together a winning streak to work their way back into postseason contention.
Here is a listing of how all the area MAC and WBL teams stand in the computer rankings after the fifth week. The computer points for the four regions involving most area teams can be found throughout the season at: http://www.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/football.htm
Team - Ranking (Computer Points)
Western Brown - 8th (7.12)
Celina - 9th (5.93)
Wapakoneta - 13th (5.22)
Celina is the lowest-ranked of the nine teams with records of 4-1 or better. The Bulldogs gained few points from defeating winless St. Marys but did get a little more help from wins by Versailles and Wapakoneta. Do not look for the Bulldogs to move up much the next two weeks as few points are available from Van Wert (0-5) and Lima Shawnee (1-4).
Wapakoneta stays near playoff contention as only 14 schools in this region have winning records. A win over undefeated Ottawa-Glandorf should vault the Redskins over Celina and into the top eight.
Elida - 3rd (8.10)
Col. Bishop Watterson - 8th (6.33)
Defiance - 18th (2.25)
Lima Shawnee - 26th (0.90)
St. Marys Memorial - 29th (0.00)
Elida is looking secure as one of only six teams with four or more wins and one of only 12 teams with three or more victories. However, Elida has defeated five teams with a combined record of 6-19. Their last five opponents, who currently have a combined record of 16-9, will provide a greater test.
Ottawa-Glandorf - 1st (9.20)
Huron - 8th (6.15)
Kenton - 19th (3.35)
Lima Bath - 21st (2.70)
Van Wert - 28th (0.00)
There are still 18 teams with a record of 3-2 or better in this region. Undefeated Ottawa-Glandorf moved into the top position after its win over Kenton and the Wildcats dropped into a precarious playoff position. A win over unbeaten Elida may be necessary for Kenton, though it might be able to overcome a loss by winning its last four games.
Coldwater - 1st (9.65)
Anna - 6th (5.95)
Madison Plains - 8th (5.65)
Versailles - 11th (5.30)
Parkway - 30th (0.00)
There are five undefeated teams in this region, but Coldwater is far ahead of all of them due to its victims having a combined record of 14-11. With St. Henry, Anna and Marion Local coming up in the next three games, the schedule gets no easier for the Cavaliers.
There are nine one-loss teams in this region, but Anna has more computer points than all of them. Many of the Rockets' points come from Division IV Brookville, which sports a 4-1 record. Versailles (3-2) is closing fast on playoff contention as the Tigers are now ahead of five of the one-loss teams. The Tigers' win last week over Marion Local (4-1) was huge for their postseason hopes.
Anna has a great opportunity to move higher in the standings if it defeats Minster this week. Versailles has little opportunity to move up the next two weeks with games against Parkway (0-5) and New Bremen (1-4) looming.
Delphos St. John's - 4th (5.65)
Toledo Christian - 8th (3.75)
Delphos St. John's has a tough test against Marion Local this week, but even if the Blue Jays lose, they should still be looking good in this region. The weakness of this region is highlighted this week by Toledo Christian occupying the eighth and final playoff spot. Earlier this season, Toledo Christian lost to Fort Loramie 54-6.
St. Henry - 1st (7.20)
Marion Local - 3rd (6.50)
Minster - 7th (4.40)
Southeastern - 8th (4.30)
Fort Recovery - 10th (3.65)
New Bremen - 23rd (0.80)
St. Henry vaults to the top of this region, despite the few points gained from its win over New Bremen. However, Marion Local's loss as well as wins by Mariemont and Eaton allowed the Redskins to rise above the Flyers and stay ahead of undefeated Ada. A win over Coldwater would allow St. Henry to widen its lead over the rest of the region.
Marion Local falls to third place after losing to Versailles. With their next four opponents all having winning records, the Flyers will have plenty of opportunities to stay near the top in this region.
Minster's loss to Coldwater (and very little help from their previously conquered opponents) dropped the Wildcats three spots to seventh place. Conversely, Fort Recovery's win over Parkway (and help received from wins by Edgerton and Waynesfield-Goshen) moved the Indians up three positions to 10th in the standings.
Should Fort Recovery finish the season 0.70 computer points or less ahead of Minster, the Indians will have Waynesfield-Goshen to thank. Their 28-20 win over Fort Loramie not only gained the Indians 0.35 points, but a win by Fort Loramie would have given those points to Minster instead. With Fort Loramie currently sixth and Waynesfield ninth in the standings, that one game will likely have a major bearing on the final playoff teams in this region.
Fort Recovery plays New Bremen and Delphos St. John's before a big week eight showdown against Minster. The Wildcats start a stretch where four of their last five opponents have 3-2 records.