by Samuel Houseworth
(9-30-19) This week, I want to focus on the top teams in each division who are in real danger of missing the postseason, despite being one of the best teams in their respective divisions.
D-I: I’ve talked about St. Ignatius plenty, but standing at 2-3 midway through the season, the Wildcats only make the postseason in 11% of simulations. They need to win at least 4 of their last 5, but running the table would lock them into the playoffs. But given that their remaining schedule features Rockledge (6-0 in Florida), St Eds, & St X, the outlook isn’t positive.
D-II: Yes, La Salle is 5-0 and one of the top teams in Region 8. How are they on here? Because their remaining schedule is one of the toughest in the state. All 4 remaining in-state opponents have a Projection Index north of 90 and their one out-of-state opponent is Covington Catholic, the 4th best team in the state of Kentucky. 8 wins will get them in while 7 puts the Lancers on the bubble in a very deep Region 8.
D-III: Most schools would be 3-2 if they had the same schedule that St. Vincent-St. Mary has had. Moving forward, we will get a real look at how good this Irish team is. Warren G. Harding, Buchtel, and Hoover will all be coin-toss games. Like most teams, 8 wins gets the Irish in, 7 wins puts them on the bubble.
D-IV: Lake Catholic, despite being 2-3, is the 5th best team in D-IV, but even if they run the table (and Hoban says they won’t), that still may not be enough for them to make it into the playoffs. But let me also focus on Van Wert. The Cougars have a 43% chance of winning out, given the tough part of their schedule is behind them. However, that also means fewer points to earn moving forward. Van Wert needs to finish 7-3 and get some help from Bryan, their only non-conference game.
D-V: Heading back to the north shore, Elyria Catholic is in the middle of a 3-game losing streak, but sit in a little better position than the two D-IV teams just mentioned. The Panthers have a 30% chance of winning out which will be enough to make the postseason. The issue comes if they don’t. If they beat Valley Forge this week (whose own playoff hopes are hanging in the balance), then circle Senior Night where they face Holy Name, the toughest game left on their schedule.
D-VI: I would talk about Fort Recovery here, but despite being ranked as the 14th best team in D-IV, they failed to make the postseason in each and every simulation. So, let’s head a little ways north and east to Spencerville. The issue that the Bearcats have is that Region 23 is loaded. 10 teams in that region are 5-0 or 4-1 so far, leaving a tiny margin or error. If the Bearcats sweep Crestview and Columbus Grove, a playoff spot is a real possibility.
D-VII: Staying in northwest Ohio, Pandora-Gilboa has the opposite problem. Despite a 2-3 start, the Rockets don’t need to go perfect to make it into the postseason. If they can win 4 of their last 5, they gives them a better than 50-50 chance of playing into November. And if they can beat Liberty-Benton at home this Friday, they will control their own destiny the rest of the way.
Midwest Athletic Conference
Western Buckeye League