Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Celina, Coldwater and Marion Local currently in top eight
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 have at least half as many computer points as the eighth-place team, they have very little chance of making the playoffs.
There is the occasional exception, with the last one locally being the 2010 Minster team that started the season 1-4 before sneaking into the playoffs with a 5-5 final record.
Using these guidelines, three teams in both the Western Buckeye League (Lima Bath, St. Marys and Van Wert) and the Midwest Athletic Conference (New Bremen, St. Henry and Versailles) are out of realistic contention, though the eighth and final playoff spot in region 22 looks to be wide open enough that a late run could save the season for those three MAC squads.
On the other end of the scale, the WBL has four teams currently in the top eight of their regions (Celina, Defiance, Kenton and Wapakoneta). Of the remaining three teams, Elida is still well positioned in their region while Lima Shawnee and Ottawa-Glandorf almost need to win out to contend for the postseason.
For the MAC, Coldwater and Marion Local are the only two teams currently in one of the top eight positions in their respective regions. Three of the other five MAC teams (Anna, Minster and Parkway) are in region 22 where the eighth and final spot seems to be waiting for whichever MAC team steps up to claim it. Delphos St. Johns is in good shape due to the weakness of the competition in its region while, conversely, Fort Recovery will have trouble overcoming the greater level of teams in its region.
The WBL is short on crucial computer ranking matchups this week. Wapakoneta (4-1) vs Defiance (3-2) is a game where the winner will get a nice bump in its computer points. The only other big game is Kenton (5-0) hosting Ottawa-Glandorf (3-2) in an important contest for the Titans.
In the MAC, the top game is Marion Local (5-0) traveling to Delphos St. John's (2-3) on Saturday night. The Flyers are secure at the top of their region but the Blue Jays could really use a big victory. The same applies to Anna (2-3) and Minster (2-3) as the loser of this matchup will likely see the end of its playoff hopes, while the winner will keep its postseason dreams alive for another week. Parkway (3-2) is another team in this same region which can't afford a loss to Versailles (1-4).
Below is a listing of how all the local teams currently stand in the computer rankings. The computer points for the four regions involving most local teams can be found throughout the season at: http://www.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/football.htm
Team - Ranking (Computer Points)
Wapakoneta - 2nd (9.70)
Celina - 5th (7.75)
Tipp City - 8th (6.40)
New Richmond - 9th (6.25)
St. Marys - 25th (0.00)
Celina only dropped one position this week after Wapakoneta passed the Bulldogs after last Friday's dramatic win at Harmon Field. The Bulldogs' cause was helped when both Lima Bath and Defiance picked up wins. Games during the next two weeks against a pair of winless teams - St. Marys and Van Wert - are likely to cause more small drops in the rankings no matter the results.
Wapakoneta can improve its ranking in the region with two big computer-point games in the next two weeks against Defiance and Ottawa-Glandorf.
Loudonville - 1st (8.05)
Coldwater - 4th (7.40)
Creston Norwayne - 8th (6.75)
Huron - 9th (5.75)
Ottawa-Glandorf - 17th (4.00)
Van Wert - 26th (0.00)
Coldwater's win over Minster, combined with victories by Columbus Bishop Hartley and Delphos St. John's, moved the Cavaliers up two positions in the region. The Cavaliers are tied for the most total points in the region and they are not far from being the top seed.
Ottawa-Glandorf is the lowest ranked of the 17 teams with winning records in this region because its three victims are a combined 2-10 in their other games.
Williamsburg - 8th (4.80)
Anna - 9th (3.70)
Parkway - 10th (3.60)
Minster - 15th (2.00)
Versailles - 17th (1.50)
St. Henry - 22nd (0.80)
New Bremen - 23rd (0.00)
None of the six local teams have cracked the top eight in this region. Anna remains the closest in ninth with Parkway just one spot further back. There are seven teams with one or fewer losses in the region, and the odds are good that at least six of those teams will still be in the top eight at the end of the season. So the local teams will be fighting each other for a chance to secure the one or two playoff spots still available.
Therefore, the most important games for teams in this region are the ones they play against each other. Anna and Parkway both have such a game this week. The Rockets travel to face Minster while the Panthers also go on the road to play Versailles.
St. Henry's first win of the season last week keeps its slim postseason hopes alive but they may need to defeat Coldwater to avoid a disastrous fifth loss.
Marion Local - 1st (9.20)
Portsmouth Notre Dame - 8th (5.40)
Manchester - 9th (3.00)
Fort Recovery - 15th (1.75)
Undefeated Marion Local currently has over three times as many points as the ninth-place team in the region, so the Flyers' playoff spot is, for all intents and purposes, already secured. With eight teams in the region with four or more wins, the Flyers still have a little more work to do to secure a first round home game. A win over Delphos St. John's would get them most of the way there.
Fort Recovery actually moved up one spot in the standings when Edgerton won its first game of the season last Friday. A victory over winless New Bremen this week will likely only move the Indians up a few spots in the standings.
Other Regions of Interest:
There are five teams with four or more wins in region 8. Defiance is the best of the rest and currently in sixth place in the rankings. Elida's victims have struggled, thus leaving the Bulldogs in 10th place with barely more than half as many points as Defiance. Lima Shawnee still has no second-level points and are one more loss from dropping out of postseason contention.
In region 12, Kenton (5-0) moved up to second place, but as one of eight undefeated teams in the region the Wildcats' margin for error is not great.
There are only seven teams with winning records in region 24, so Delphos St. John's was able to move up to ninth place with its win over Anna. A win over Marion Local this week could be good enough to virtually lock up a playoff berth for the Blue Jays.