By Samuel Houseworth
(9-16-19) It’s time to stop ignoring Westerville Central, who is 3-0, outscoring their opponents 195-13, and en route to their first winning season since 2015. The Warhawks began the season ranked 36th out of 72 D-I schools. They have since soared to #10 in D-I. While their game at Pickerington North this Friday won’t be a cake walk, their real test on the schedule comes in Week 6 when they host fellow undefeated Olentangy Liberty.
Another team who has made impressive strides is D-II’s Turpin Spartans down in Cincinnati. With only an 18% chance of making the playoffs in the preseason rankings, the Spartans have handed Lakota East and Troy their only losses so far and are the favorites to earn the #1 seed in Region 8.
Trotwood-Madison has jumped back up to #2 in D-III, just like they were when the season started. Their projection of 5.9 wins, thanks to a schedule that includes 8 D-I teams, makes them a playoff bubble team.
There are several key games this coming week that will create shock waves across D-IV. First, Van Wert continues their brutal early season schedule as they heads to St. Mary’s to face a Roughriders team that has been slow out of the gate. Up north, Bellevue puts their undefeated record on the line at Clear Fork. Then out east, Struthers finds themselves in a must-win scenario as they host Hubbard in Northeast 8 action.
Saying in the Northeast 8, D-V’s South Range has turned heads in the northeast with back-to-back dominant wins over Columbiana Crestview and Canton Central Catholic. Their contest at Poland will provide a good measuring stick for both teams.
With no disrespect intended to Coldwater and Minster, the focus of D-VI can actually turn away from the MAC for one week. Two of the best teams in the division who aren’t in the MAC square off as Lima Central Catholic has a 2-1/2 hour drive to Mogadore on Saturday in what will be a barn burner.
But back to the MAC, as there’s only one bubble team in the conference: D-VII’s New Bremen Cardinals. Their playoff lives will depend on winning at least one, if not both, of their next two contests: hosting Fort Recovery and at St. Henry the following week.
Midwest Athletic Conference
Western Buckeye League