Third & Long – Week Ten


There has been a fascination with teams’ schedules recently. Criticisms and comments from all over the state with who is playing who and playing what. I guess this has been a phenomenon for all of time and one that will not go away any time soon. My favorite quote is when people say, “They don’t play anybody”. I am aghast when that is spoken publicly. It is funny most of the time and nine out of ten times, not true. It typically comes from a place of jealousy or envy of why one team can’t have that schedule- that it is simply not fair.

The other thing that is funny about schedules is the evolution of the programs over the years. When these contracts are drawn up, they go for two to four years- sometimes even longer. There is also the element of conference scheduling and local rivals that will give schools a good gate (that will provide for all the other sports because football is the one paying the bill, but that is another post for another day). You can’t really predict where a program will be in the next 3-4 years. Outside of a handful of perennial powers in the state, it’s a rollercoaster ride of having talent or not.

People get way too worked up over the whole schedule debate. Are there teams that play a softer schedule than you would expect? Sure, but maybe they are scheduling schools of similar status. The best example of the evolution theory of a school and their schedule is Parkersburg South. Not too long ago, if you saw Capital, University, Morgantown, Bridgeport, Parkersburg, and Wheeling Park on the schedule, you would say that it was a difficult schedule. This year a few of those teams are a tad down and not on the same level as they have been in the past. Next year, those programs may be back up, but you can’t really predict where they will be in a year, much less a few.

Key Games

Parkersburg South vs Wheeling Park – Expecting a shootout in this one with two high-powered offenses going at it. I believe it will fall on which QB will make more plays- potentially vaulting one into the favorite for the Kennedy ahead of the postseason.

Ridgeview (VA) vs Bluefield – For those that don’t know, Ridgeview is a good program out of southwestern Virginia. They are undefeated on the year and will be coming to Mitchell Stadium. Bluefield has a chance to get in the playoffs, but they need a win here to slide in to the dismay of teams vying for a top seed.

Scott vs Winfield – The Battle for the #1 seed will be happening Friday night. Both teams are undefeated in AA play and feature an interesting contrast of styles. A win here gives them the upper hand and home playoffs throughout the entire postseason.

Williamstown vs Doddridge County – Not only is this an annual rivalry game, but this also has huge implications come playoffs. A win puts either team in the Top 5. A loss could see either team drop to between 12-15. It feels as if Williamstown is a very strong favorite here.

Tucker County vs Petersburg – What a sneaky group of teams we have. Tucker County is sitting at 8-0 with a signature win over East Hardy. Petersburg is at 7-1 with plenty of blowouts on their resume. Not sure when this specific game had this much riding on it- if it ever has.

Playoff Prognostics

If there is a tool that is going to be worn out in the next two weeks, it will be the playoff prognosticator. To be honest, it’s a wonderful creation by some good folks on WV Tailgate Central. There is no way on planet earth that I would be able to do the math that is required to figure any of that out. Thankfully with a click of a button, we are able to get an insight of who will make the playoffs and who will be sitting at home. Here are my current playoff predictions for the three classes.

Parkersburg South82033963312.900
Wheeling Park82035933112.800
George Washington82031963112.700
Spring Valley82033902712.300
Cabell Midland63022722210.444
Woodrow Wilson6401569118.400

From the looks, it’s pretty cut and dry on who gets in. Woodrow vs Oak Hill is a playoff game this week. Bonus points are going to play a huge part in who doesn’t have to play Martinsburg in rounds two and three.

North Marion91035873512.200
Roane County100035841511.900
Fairmont Sr.73034663410.000
Clay County810206999.889
Herbert Hoover7202263229.444
Nicholas County7302360178.300
Chapmanville Regional7302360168.300
East Fairmont7301666168.200
Pt. Pleasant5501151116.200

Another clear split at the bottom with Point Pleasant getting in. There could be some moving around from 2-4 depending on how the bonus points work out. This sets up an interesting matchup in the second round with a 2021 state title rematch.

James Monroe100042694211.100
Wheeling Central8102260229.111
Greenbrier West9102957298.600
Tucker County9102560258.500
East Hardy8203048307.800
Doddridge County8202548257.300
St. Marys7302342236.500
South Harrison6402045206.500

Bonus points come in strong for Single A this year with Summers County just missing the playoffs. 7 wins is still on the bubble, and 8 may not be safe! You have two dangerous teams there with St. Marys and Doddridge County in the bottom half. We also have five undefeated teams entering the postseason. While it may be a two-horse race with Williamstown and Wheeling Central, there does seem to be a few sleepers lingering around.

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