It is now that time of year with only three weeks of the season left to begin the playoff discussions. The Road to Wheeling for some teams starts now. Let’s be real, you train 3/4 a year for a couple of games. It’s what makes football incredibly captivating- every game counts. This is a characteristic on every level whereas other sports can be more forgiving.
Our report has not been analyzed by Harvard’s mathematicians so we could be slightly wrong on the narrowest of possibilities. It’s not too technical. Points are mentioned but the math is not. Teams that are IN, well, are in. Teams that are PROBABLE have a very straight path in. Teams that on the BUBBLE must battle to get in and some need help. LONGSHOTS are possible but would require either massive upsets or a chain reaction of events.
*Teams ordered by our ranking- not by ratings or probability of getting in*
#1 Martinsburg (8-0)
#2 Huntington (7-0)
#3 Capital (5-2)
#4 University (8-0)
#7 Musselman (6-1)
#8 John Marshall (6-2)
#5 Spring Valley (5-2) Lacking quality points, one more win will be safe. They have Capital and Cabell Midland before a pud Greenbrier East team.
#6 Cabell Midland (4-3) Hurricane and Parkersburg give many points. Huntington and Spring Valley still left. 5-5 could probably get them in, possibly even 4-6.
#9 Hurricane (4-3) Big Spring Valley win and three favored games remaining (not easy ones though).
Morgantown (4-4) The Riverside loss creates a lot more stress. However, they will be offered plenty more quality points with John Marshall. Taking down University would be icing on the cake.
Hedgesville (5-3) Two winnable games left with one probably being enough. They need a bounce back to make it back-to-back.
Spring Mills (4-3) Two out-of-states and Hedgesville remain. One might get them in, all three would be best.
#10 George Washington (4-3) A huge lack of quality points and two unfavored games left (Hurricane/Capital) plus a tough Riverside team. 5-5 might not cut it.
Parkersburg (4-3) They’ll probably beat South (though don’t count on rivalries). Picking off either Hurricane or Riverside could have them in great shape. Again, winning all three launches their stock.
Riverside (4-4) Playing two of the teams above, they do have a shot. Picking off one could possibly be enough, but doubtful. Time for some more Mark Scites magic.
Wheeling Park (3-4) Some dropped games has everyone doubting, but they have two winnable games and then a rivalry with John Marshall- who hasn’t played the schedule they have.
St. Albans (4-4) After a great game with University and beating South Charleston, they remain Hurricane and Cabell Midland. Two stud of teams. If they upset one, they could make it.
Buckhannon-Upshur (3-4) The Buccaneers could make things VERY interesting. They have three favored games left. However, their 6-4 record would lack serious quality points.
South Charleston (3-4) Definitely possible but would require two insane upsets of Huntington and Capital plus an up-in-the-air Woodrow Wilson game. Definition of longshot.
#1 Bluefield (8-0)
#2 Mingo Central (7-0)
#3 Fairmont Senior (7-0)
#4 Bridgeport (7-1)
#5 James Monroe (7-1)
#6 Liberty (H) (7-0)
#7 Wayne (6-1) Plenty of quality points under their belt and three favored (though one tough Sissonville) matchups left.
#8 Point Pleasant (6-2) Also, good in quality wins alongside two very winnable final games. They are in great shape.
#9 Keyser (5-2) A win this week against tough Bridgeport will most likely do the trick but in the large AA, winning their two other favored games is best.
#10 Winfield (5-2) Doing well on quality points with two favored games before Mingo Central, Winfield is in good shape.
North Marion (5-2) Plagued with few quality points, they will need to beat three incredibly tough teams (Braxton, Grafton, RCB) with potentially all three needed to get in.
Robert C. Byrd (4-3) They remain #6 Liberty (H), Philip Barbour, and North Marion. That is a bundle of opportunity right there. Losing one will probably boot them, but even with one more loss, they could potentially get in at 6-4 depending on their win.
Sissonville (5-2) With a stellar Wayne and tough Braxton County left (one favored game), it’s going to be close. Lose both, you’re out. Lose one, you still might be out.
Lincoln (5-2) They have some good wins including a AAA dub. A good amount of points and potential points with Elkins and Philip Barbour- they are fighting still too. This is before facing Bridgeport.
Weir (5-3) Beating AAA John Marshall was a season-saver. They have one out-of-state and one AAA Brooke team to beat. It seems like they have good odds.
Braxton County (5-2) They have good wins and a bunch of points possible with Sissonville and North Marion, both good teams with East Fairmont in between. It won’t be easy, but they control their own destiny.
Nicholas County (5-2) Westside provides a good amount of points. Two single A’s remain, both being worthy opponents (Midland Trail and Richwood) with a fierce Pikeview team as well. They will most likely need all three wins.
Pikeview (6-2) Single A wins hurt their points, that is also with Mount View left. Beating them and then losing to Nicholas County will not be enough most likely.
Philip Barbour (5-2) They fall in the same boat as many. With so many Single A’s on their record, they will need to go 8-2 to get in. This will require beating Lincoln and Robert C. Byrd.
Clay County (5-2) Unimpressive wins will require them to win all three remaining games against a decent Shady Spring, lowly A Calhoun County, and bubble A Webster County. Could be the most unworthy 8-2 team in years.
Chapmanville (4-3) In a league where six wins won’t be enough especially with the Tigers scrap wins, it would take a Mingo Central upset and then some to get in.
Oak Hill (5-2) Holding so few big wins, Oak Hill would need to upset #1 Bluefield, upset #4 Single A Midland Trail, and take down a hard Westside team. The run most likely ends this week.
Elkins (3-4) By our math, 6-4 would be crazy to get in. However, they could get a slew of points from Lincoln, Grafton, and AAA Buckhannon-Upshur. Long shot for sure.
Westside (4-3) Even with a Point Pleasant upset and defeating yet another Single A and Oak Hill probably won’t be enough to beat out other 7-3 teams or even some 6-4’s.
#1 St. Marys (6-0)
#2 East Hardy (8-0)
#3 South Harrison (7-0)
#4 Midland Trail (8-0)
#5 Madonna (7-0)
#6 Cameron (6-1) Clay-Battelle gives good points, and they have three very favored games left. Looking solid.
#7 Doddridge (6-2) Valley will give them a tough test but a good reward, then they face lowly Parkersburg Catholic. Good shape.
#8 Tug Valley (6-1) Only needing one more to be secure, they have an out-of-state, one-win Man, and lowly AA Lincoln County.
#9 Fayetteville (5-2) Losing a rivalry game hurts, but they can mend their wounds with bottomfeeders Buffalo and Greenbrier West. This should be enough but a win over up-and-coming Summers County will seal the deal.
#10 Webster County (6-1) Three very unchallenging games are left, and they already have some quality wins. Their loss to Summers County looks better every week. They have a great chance of getting in and perhaps a home field.
Sherman (5-2) Though lacking quality wins, they have three “easy” games left. They can easily go 8-2 if they do not slip up. 7-3 or 6-4 gets into risky territory.
Clay-Battelle (5-1) 6-4 is not a given this season. They’ll need to get an out-of-state, beat a solid Notre Dame, and then take down Madonna. They have a good shot but little room for error.
Summers County (4-3) They have their hands absolutely full. Battling other bubble teams, they must defeat Pocahontas County, Richwood, and Fayetteville. Perhaps 2/3 gets them in, but it’s not a given.
Pocahontas County (6-2) They are on the bubble because Summers County might be legit and AA Shady Spring is a worthy team. A lack of big wins could keep them out at 6-4.
Richwood (4-3) Two decent wins will set them up with an important four quarters with Summers County, a bottom Valley (Fayette) team, and then AA Nicholas County. It’s possible but will not be easy.
Valley (Wetzel) (5-2) Knocking off both Doddridge County and Tyler Consolidated are not easy tasks. Paden City is a favorable win. They control their fate.
Wheeling Central (3-4) With a dastardly schedule, they need to win all three to have a chance at 6-4. They’ll need to go out-of-state, beat undefeated Madonna, then AA Oak Glen. We think they’re a good team, and this might not be that much of a long shot.
Williamstown (4-4) Worse enough, Williamstown is a solid team with little control of its future. Two games remain with no quality points to be grabbed. It seems as if fate is out of their hands.
Tyler Consolidated (4-3) Lacking crucial wins, they might need to go 3-0 to finish the year. Two of the games are very winnable but the final will be against #2 St. Marys. Best of luck.
Mount View (4-4) Their season will be decided this week against Pikeview. It is the team to offer them a chance of getting in at 6-4, however, the odds are not with them. Meadow Bridge will give little Week 10.
Ravenswood (4-3) With only four wins, they still must face #2 St. Marys and AAA Ripley. It most likely will be a 5-5 season, but hey, miracles can happen.
Wirt County (3-4) With a losing record, they could get to 6-4 behind two big wins against Williamstown and Sherman. They are not favored, however, it is still possible yet a definite longshot.
As you can see, it’s very blurry right now. A lot of teams clawing for a few spots. Luckily, many of them play each other and the outright winners will get in. The playoffs begin now. This isn’t to say the top teams get to coast out because it can very difficult to rev the engines back up after laying off the gas. We can’t wait to see how it all plays out.