With two weeks left in the regular season, the high school football playoff picture is still quite murky.
Part of this is because there are so many big matchups set for the end of the season. The one of greatest local interest, Clinton-Massie and Wilmington, will go a long way in setting the playoff standings in Region 10 and 14.
We’ll look at Wilmington and Clinton-Massie’s cases separately.
Before we begin, here are the usual disclaimers. I used Joe Eitel’s excellent website for putting this together. Any scores that have been reported incorrectly to him would influence projections.
In addition, to make this projection, the outcome of over 100 games was predicted. While many of those won’t change the projection much (like two similarly-sized schools where Wilmington or Massie have beaten both), these projections are based on those guesses.
These are for entertainment purposes only, and will certainly change based on the week nine games.
Let’s take a look at Wilmington first:
Likely to finish ahead of Wilmington regardless of Massie outcome: Wapakoneta, Tippecanoe, Trotwood-Madison and New Richmond.
While it isn’t written in stone that these four will definitely finish ahead of Wilmington, if things go according to plan, they likely will. It is certainly possible that if Wilmington runs the table and a handful of results go the Hurricane’s way, they could end up in top four.
One thing is almost certain: If Wilmington wins out, they should make the playoffs.
Also certain: If Wilmington doesn’t win at least one of their final two games, they will likely miss the playoffs.
If Wilmington loses to Clinton-Massie and beats Chillicothe, I’m projecting them to finish at 16.8000. If they beat Massie and lose to Chillicothe, I’m predicting 17.7000.
We’ll use 16.8000 for now. By my count, besides the four teams listed above, there are potentially (at least) six more schools that could finish ahead of that number if they win out.
Those schools are Mount Healthy, Piqua, Celina, Belmont, Goshen and Franklin.
However, it is far from certain that those teams will win out either. Mount Healthy closes with 7-1 Edgewood and 6-2 Northwest. If they split but lose to Edgewood, they would finish around 16.0000.
Piqua has a higher chance of winning out, as they close with 5-3 Sidney and 2-6 Troy. A split of the final two games with a loss to Sidney, and Piqua will finish around 16.1500.
Celina is the surest bet of those teams listed to win out. They close with 0-8 Shawnee and 2-6 Kenton.
Belmont is an interesting case, because according to Joe Eitel’s website, they don’t have a week nine opponent. So the only game they have left is against 4-4 Dunbar. A loss to the Wolverines would put them around 16.0736.
If Celina is the surest bet to win out, the second best bet is Goshen. They close with 1-7 Amelia and 5-3 Western Brown. Unless the Broncos get Chaiten Tomlin back prior to that game, the Warriors will be favored to win. A loss to Western Brown puts the Warriors around 15.8969.
Franklin has a tough road ahead, with games at Valley View (4-4) and Brookville (8-0). A loss to Brookville leaves them likely out, with an average of 14.4500.
In summary, the Wilmington playoff picture will be much clearer after week nine. We should have a much better idea what they have to do in week 10, and what some of the teams around them have to do. But a loss to Clinton-Massie doesn’t eliminate them nor would a win against the Falcons guarantee them a spot.
Things are a little clearer for the Falcons. A win against Wilmington and they are in, and likely would host a first-round playoff game.
If the Falcons lose, they could still get into the playoffs. First, they would need to beat East Clinton. After that, it would depend on what the teams do around them.
If they lose to Wilmington and beat East Clinton, I have them finishing at 19.7061. According to Joe Eitel’s standings, the following teams will have at least that total if they win out: Fenwick, Indian Hill, Alter, Wyoming, Reading and Logan Elm.
So if all six of those teams win out, they would finish ahead of the 19.7061 the Falcons would have in this scenario.
Then it would be up to how the other teams around the Falcons do. Badin would finish between 18.8980 and 24.4030 if they win out. Monroe and Taft have similar point ranges if they win out. However, there is nobody below Logan Elm that can reach 19.7061 with a win out according to Joe Eitel’s site.
So a loss to Wilmington wouldn’t guarantee the Falcons would miss the playoffs, but it certainly would tighten things up heading into week 10.
So we will wait on the Wilmington vs. Clinton-Massie winner, then sort out the pieces as they fall heading into week 10.
Follow Matt on Twitter @mattsports.