Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
MAC has six teams in contention for playoff berths
By Bruce Monnin
Only two Western Buckeye League teams (Celina and Ottawa-Glandorf) are currently in the top eight in their respective regions, but three other teams (Lima Bath, Kenton and Elida) are still alive with a legitimate chance to move up during the final three weeks.
By contrast, the Midwest Athletic Conference currently has six teams in the top eight of their regions. Coldwater is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, while Marion Local is about 99 percent assured of a postseason berth. Delphos St. John's, Versailles, St. Henry and Minster are also in good position while Anna and Fort Recovery still have slim hopes remaining.
There are a couple of big games in each conference this week. Celina (6-1) vs Kenton (4-3) is a huge matchup for both teams, although Celina still has postseason potential even with a loss. Elida (5-2) vs. Lima Bath (5-2) could be a postseason elimination game for the loser.
In the MAC, Coldwater (7-0) against Marion Local (6-1) will likely determine the conference champion. The loser of Versailles (5-2) against Delphos St. John's (4-3) will have difficulties earning a playoff berth while the winner will be feeling good about their postseason chances.
An article projecting the final top eight in each region featuring a local school will appear in Thursday's sports section.
The following is a listing of how all the local MAC and WBL teams (and some of their competitors) stand in the computer rankings this week. The entire list of the computer points for the four regions involving most area teams can be found at: http://www.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/football.htm
Team - Ranking (Computer Points)
Trotwood-Madison - 7th (10.56)
Celina - 8th (9.94)
Western Brown - 9th (9.86)
Wapakoneta - 13th (7.03)
Celina is one of 12 teams with a 5-2 record or better in this region. All of these teams are in the top 12 of the computer points and are likely the pool from which the eight playoff teams be determined.
As expected, the Bulldogs' win over Lima Shawnee (1-6) did not provide a great number of points. On the other hand, Celina received a boost in points because of wins by Versailles, Defiance and Wapakoneta. Celina's win along with losses by Cincinnati Anderson and Trenton Edgewood, moves the Bulldogs up one position in the standings and they would qualify for the postseason if the season ended today.
Unfortunately, the season still has three weeks remaining and the schedule toughens up quite a bit for Celina. However, the computer-point rewards for wins against Kenton (4-3), Elida (5-2) and Lima Bath (5-2) will also rise significantly.
Wapakoneta (4-3) stayed in 13th place with its victory over winless St. Marys, but it does not appear that there are enough points available on the remainder of the Redskins' schedule to make the postseason a possibility.
Col. St. Francis DeSales - 8th (8.95)
Elida - 11th (7.69)
Defiance - 17th (4.30)
Lima Shawnee - 28th (0.64)
St. Marys Memorial - 30th (0.00)
Elida lost to Ottawa-Glandorf (7-0) by one point and probably lost a sure shot at the playoffs, dropping four positions in the standings. Elida has many opportunities to rise again in the rankings with its last three games against teams with a combined record of 14-7.
Defiance (3-4) held steady with a victory over winless Van Wert, and if the Bulldogs win out, including a win of Elida in week 10, they still have the slightest of playoff hopes.
Ottawa-Glandorf - 1st (16.20)
Lorain Clearview - 8th (9.43)
Lima Bath - 15th (6.14)
Kenton - 16th (5.79)
Van Wert - 28th (0.00)
Ottawa-Glandorf secured its playoff spot with a win over Elida last week. With two winless opponents remaining on their schedule, the Titans are likely to slide from their top spot. They are likely to host a playoff game no matter what happens, but they will have to defeat Lima Bath to guarantee not having to travel during the first week of the playoffs.
Lima Bath kept its slim playoff hopes alive by defeating Kenton and put a huge dent in the Wildcats' chances at the same time. Bath faces three teams with a combined record of 18-3 and may need to win all three games to stay alive for the postseason. Kenton falls four spots in the standings and needs to win its last three to have any chance of working back into the top eight.
Coldwater - 1st (15.11)
Versailles - 7th (7.56)
Triad - 8th (6.95)
National Trail - 9th (6.84)
Anna - 10th (6.64)
Parkway - 30th (0.00)
Coldwater solidified its position at the top of the standings with the win over Anna (3-4). The Cavaliers are already guaranteed to host a first round playoff game, and even with a complete three-game collapse should still finish in the top two or three in this region.
Versailles remained stuck in seventh place, gaining some points from defeating New Bremen and getting some unexpected help from Graham's first victory of the season. The Tigers still need to win out against Delphos St. John's, Minster and St. Henry to be certain of a playoff berth, although two out of three ought to get the Tigers very close.
Anna is still in the top 10, but has so few points available in two of their last three games that running the table against New Bremen, Marion Local and Parkway will not likely be good enough.
Delphos St. John's - 5th (6.54)
Toledo Ottawa Hills - 8th (5.92)
Delphos St. John's remained in fifth place after defeating Fort Recovery. There are only four teams with a 5-2 mark or better in this region, so the Blue Jays' 4-3 record against MAC competition has them looking fairly good by comparison. A win over Versailles this week should lock up a playoff spot for the Blue Jays.
Marion Local - 1st (10.47)
St. Henry - 4th (9.34)
Minster - 7th (7.74)
Dayton Jefferson - 8th (6.67)
Southeastern - 9th (5.91)
Fort Recovery - 14th (3.37)
Ridgemont - 16th (2.79)
New Bremen - 20th (2.17)
Marion Local charged into the top spot thanks to its win over St. Henry. It appears the Flyers have still not mathematically guaranteed themselves a position in the playoffs, but it would take upsets of biblical proportions to keep Marion Local out of the postseason. Two wins in their remaining three games against Coldwater, Anna and New Bremen should earn the Flyers a home playoff game.
St. Henry's loss to Marion Local drops the Redskins three positions, partly due to Fort Loramie defeating a division two team from Indiana this week. Wins the next two weeks against Parkway and Fort Recovery should be enough to get the Redskins back in the postseason.
By contrast, Minster also dropped three positions in the rankings despite a win over Parkway. With a few breaks, a Wildcats' win over Fort Recovery this week should propel them into the playoffs, though a win over Versailles or Delphos St. John's may also be necessary.
Fort Recovery fell one position this week and needs three wins against Minster, St. Henry and Coldwater to keep any postseason hopes alive.
There is one final note of interest. In 16th place you will find Ridgemont (5-2). It is believed they are only team in the history of the computer points to have five wins this late in the season, all against winless opponents.