Class 2A Football Week 8 League Breakdown
We are two games into the league schedule in most leagues and this week we will take a much deeper look at the RPI for each league and which teams have a shot at the playoffs or a league title. Next week I will probably grab the top 28 teams and try and figure out if they have any shot at the playoffs, I can do this by making a few assumptions and can figure out teams OWP.
Two teams remain at the top of the Colorado League. Machebeuf and Kent Denver both sit at 2-0 and a tie at the top. Kent Denver moved past Englewood last week 48 to 28 to knock Englewood out of the tie. Englewood now is hoping for Machebeuf upset and then a shot to make it a three-way tie. All 3 games in the Colorado League this week should have no bearing on the League title race as all three top teams play the bottom 3 teams. The top 3 teams RPI also won’t improve to much as they are playing either a 1 win or a 0-win team. Next week Englewood play Machebeuf which will be a huge game for RPI sake. Looking at the RPI I can say that Ridge View Academy, Alameda, and Riverdale Ridge are all eliminated from the playoff race. Englewood and Machebeuf are right on the edge of being Eliminated. Machebeuf is in a bit better shape with games remaining against Englewood and Kent Denver. Machebeuf will have to win at least 2 of their final 3 to have a shot. Englewood is in a bit of trouble with 2 of their final 3 games against 1-win teams. Englewood will have to beat Machebeuf for any shot at the playoffs. Kent Denver is currently in the Top 16 and winning out should help them keep a Top 10 spot and host a first round playoff game. Teams must finish in the Top 10 of the RPI to host a playoff game.
RPI: #10 Kent Denver, #26 Machebeuf, #27 Englewood, #33 Ridge View Academy, #38 Alameda, #41 Riverdale Ridge
Three teams remain tied atop the Flatirons League. Faith Christian, D’Evelyn, and Bennett all are undefeated in league. A couple big games this week in the Flatirons league. Game #1 is Middle Park vs Denver West. Middle Park is 0-2 in league play and essentially eliminated from winning the League title. Middle Park is still in the hunt for an At-Large berth and winning this weekend would help put them back on track. The main game this week in the Flatirons is between Faith Christian and Bennett. Both Faith Christian and Bennett are undefeated in league play and both sit outside the Top 16. The winner will of course stay tied for the league lead but also will have the leg up on the other team in terms of RPI. Bennett will hope to get their running game going strong and hope their defense can step up. Faith Christian will have to play great run defense but also be effective on offense. Both teams are on winning streaks and this should be a great game. Diving into the RPI we can see that Denver West and Arvada are eliminated from making the playoffs. D’Evelyn, Faith Christian, Bennett, and Middle Park are in the hunt for the playoffs. All 4 teams are also not locks for the playoffs. The League champions of course will have to automatic berth but the 3 remaining will have some work to do to get into the playoffs. Schedules will play a big role as well and seeing what the RPI looks like after this week will continue to give us a better look into the playoffs.
RPI: #12 D’Evelyn, #17 Faith Christian, #18 Bennett, #20 Middle Park, #36 Denver West, #35 Arvada
Two teams sit atop the Intermountain League standings and if they stayed tied won’t play till the final game of the regular season. The two top teams are Bayfield and Salida both are 1-0 in league. Bayfield had a bye last week but beat Alamosa two weeks ago for their win and Salida beat Pagosa Springs last week for their first league win. Pagosa Springs and Montezuma-Cortez are sitting at 1-1 and Alamosa is 0-2. This week both the league leaders are in action. Salida hosts Alamosa and Bayfield hosts Montezuma-Cortez. The Alamosa vs Salida game is a big game for both teams. Alamosa is in a bit of trouble after dropping their last game to Montezuma-Cortez. Alamosa is eliminated from winning the league title but an upset on Salida will have them right in the mix for the playoff hunt. Salida is hoping to keep pace with Bayfield with a win. Their defense is playing outstanding this year giving up just 43 points. Bayfield vs Montezuma-Cortez is also a big game. Montezuma-Cortez picked up a big win over Alamosa last week and keeps them in the hunt for a league title. Bayfield will play 3 very tough games starting with this game. They cannot over look Montezuma-Cortez and their explosive offense. In terms of RPI all 5 teams are still in the hunt. Alamosa is in the most danger at #22. They have only 2 games remaining against Salida and Pagosa Springs. Alamosa will need an upset in at least 1 of these final games for a shot at the playoffs. Montezuma-Cortez and Pagosa Springs both sit in the Top 16 but outside the top 10. Montezuma-Cortez has two league games remaining against Bayfield and Salida and then a non-league game to end the season. Cortez should win their final game but until I crunch the numbers more I am not sure if they can get in or not get in if they lose 2 of their final 3 games. Pagosa Springs has a bye this week and then end the season against Bayfield and Alamosa. Pagosa Springs will need a win in at least 1 of their final 2 games and should get into the playoffs. Salida and Bayfield are both in the Top 10 are both nearly locks. If both win this week they will locks for the playoffs. Bayfield end the year against Montezuma-Cortez, Pagosa Springs and Salida. Salida ends the year with Alamosa, Montezuma-Cortez, and Bayfield.
RPI: #2 Bayfield, #8 Salida, #11 Pagosa Springs, #15 Montezuma-Cortez, #22 Alamosa
Patriot East League
The Patriot East League still has a clear-cut favorite in Platte Valley, but Sterling is rising to challenge Platte Valley. Sterling and Platte Valley both sit at 2-0 in league and are the two favorites to finish first and second. The tie and possibly league title will be decided this week when Platte Valley travels to face Sterling. Sterling is on 2 game winning streak and 3-3 overall. Sterling played a tough non-league schedule playing the 9th toughest schedule in class 2A. Sterling will be battle tested coming into this game, but their defense is a huge question mark. Sterling offensively also must get things going and have struggled most of the season against top defenses. Platte Valley is undefeated overall and played the 16th toughest schedule. They have played outstanding defense giving up just 43 points but also scoring 231 points. Platte Valley will have to be ready for a balanced offensive attack from Sterling but also must get their offense going in the right direction. I am leaning towards Platte Valley in this game. One other game of interest is Brush at Valley. Both teams are 1-1 and both hoping to play for a league title. The winner of the Valley and Brush game still must play Platte Valley and will have a shot at a league title if Platte Valley Beats Sterling. In terms of RPI things are not looking great for the Patriot East. Weld Central, Fort Lupton, and Valley are eliminated from making the playoffs. Brush is at #31 but a win over Valley should move them back into the Top 28 and they still have a shot at Platte Valley. Sterling is at #19 and if they lose to Platte Valley they probably won’t drop at all. Sterling would then need to win their final 2 games to give them any shot. Platte Valley is #7 and a win over Sterling should cement them into the playoffs. Platte Valley was #2 in the RPI, but their weak league schedule has hurt their RPI.
RPI: #7 Platte Valley, #19 Sterling, #31 Brush, #34 Weld Central, #37 Fort Lupton, #40 Valley,
Patriot West League
The Patriot West may be one of the more competitive leagues in 2A. Two weeks into league play and we have a tie atop the league standings. Resurrection Christian and Eaton are tied at 2-0. Eaton and Resurrection Christian also play each other this week and possibly a league title may be given away. Eaton comes into the game on a 3-game winning streak. Eaton lone loss was the #1 Platte Valley. Eaton has played tough defense all year and their rushing attack has also been solid. Eaton last week beat a tough Academy team 34-18. The 18 points is their third game this season giving up over 15 points. Eaton defensively will have to play their best game to slow Resurrection Christian down. Resurrection Christian is undefeated on the season and have given up just 31 points all season. Resurrection Christian has yet to give up over 8 points and their defense has stopped some of the top offenses this season (Faith Christian and Berthoud). Resurrection Christian offensively is not a power house but are effective and disciplined enough to score points. They beat University last week 44-7. Resurrection Christian is my pick in this game and if Resurrection Christian win they lock up the league title. If Eaton pulls the upset, then the league title won’t be decided until they play Berthoud or unless Berthoud loses a game before their final game of the season. Speaking of Berthoud, they are tied in second place with The Academy and those two face each other as well. The Academy comes into the game at 3-3 and lost last week to Eaton 34-18. The Academy will have some things to fix on offense but must be happy with scoring 18 points on a tough Eaton defense. Berthoud is 4-2 and are coming off a 57-0 thumping of Prospect Ridge. Berthoud offensively should have success, but their defense must come to play. Berthoud has given up 80 points on the season and against top teams have yet to hold one under 15 points. Berthoud is my pick to stay in second place. Looking at the RPI only 1 team is eliminated and that is Prospect Ridge. The Academy and University are sitting outside the Top 20 and it’s getting to win or go home territory. University play Prospect Ridge and a loss to Prospect Ridge would eliminate them. University with the win should increase their RPI slightly but they will need probably to win 2 of their final 3 games. The Academy is also in a similar boat they have a tough 3 game stretch to end the year. They cannot go 1 and 2 in their final games and get in so may need an upset over Berthoud or Resurrection Christian. Berthoud is #13 in the RPI and winning 2 of their final 3 games should get them into the playoffs. If Berthoud is upset by The Academy or University things will get very interesting for them. Eaton and Resurrection Christian are both in the Top 10 and play each other so the loser will probably fall but stay inside the Top 10.
RPI: #4 Eaton, #6 Resurrection Christian, #13 Berthoud, #23 The Academy, #24 University, #33 Prospect Ridge
The Tri-Peaks League has a clear leader and that showed in their first and second week of league play. La Junta moved past Elizabeth this past week 40-7 and improved to 2-0 in league. La Junta has been the top team in league so far and impressive during the regular season giving up just 21 points on the season. La Junta is still tied atop the league standings with Classical Academy and they play each other next week. La Junta this week hosts Lamar and is one of the longest running rivalries west of the Mississippi. The crazy stat about this game is La Junta and Lamar have only not played each other 7 times out of 116 years. La Junta leads the rivalry series and will be the heavy favorite in the game. The main event in the Tri-Peaks is Classical Academy vs Elizabeth. Elizabeth is coming off a 40-7 defeat by La Junta. Before that loss Elizabeth had won 3 straight and were playing better football. Elizabeth now finds themselves in second place and hoping to jump back into second. Elizabeth must get their rushing attack going to find success against TCA. The Classical Academy is on a 3-game winning streak and are 3-3 overall. TCA also is playing better football and a win over Elizabeth could give them the boost they need to jump into the Top 16 of the RPI. TCA will have to stop the run or could be in for a long day. TCA also must get things going on the ground. I am leaving with Elizabeth in this game but could go either way. Looking at the RPI only La Junta is a near lock for the playoffs. La Junta is #3 in the RPI and a win over Lamar should lock them in. Elizabeth, TCA, Lamar, and Manitou Springs are all in the hunt, but that list could be trimmed down after this week. Manitou Springs has a must win against Woodland Park and a loss would Eliminate Manitou Springs. If Lamar loses to La Junta their RPI may go up but then Lamar would have to win out to have any shot at the playoffs. TCA faces a critical 3 game stretch against Elizabeth, La Junta, and Woodland Park. We will have to see if they beat Elizabeth what their RPI does. Elizabeth is #16 and a win over TCA should move them to a more secure spot in the RPI. Elizabeth will then need to win out to lock themselves into the playoffs.
RPI: #3 La Junta, #16 Elizabeth, #21 Classical Academy, #28 Lamar, #30 Manitou Springs, #39 Woodland Park
Western Slope League
We still sit with two teams atop the league standings, Basalt and Rifle. Basalt and Rifle do not play each other till next week and that could be for a league championship but first they must get by this week’s games. Both Rifle and Basalt have very tough games. Basalt hosts Delta this week. Delta is coming off a 34-7 defeat by Rifle. Delta and Rifle were close going into half time, but the second half was dominated by Basalt as they scored most of their points in the second half. Delta will have to find an answer for the running game as they gave up 312 yards rushing to Rifle. Basalt was also slowed in the first half scoring just 13 points against Coal Ridge. Basalt then scored 14 in the third quarter to give them some separation. Basalt should have some success rushing the ball, but their defense will have to be ready for a very good offense. Basalt is still my pick in this game, but this will be a good game. Rifle this week hosts Aspen. This will be the first time these two teams have played each other in a long time. Aspen has been explosive on offense and won 51-7 last week against Moffat County. Aspen passing attack has been leading the way for them, but their defense has also improved. Aspen will be facing a tough task of stopping a very good rushing attack. Rifle as mentioned started slow against Delta but pulled away in the second half. Rifle cannot afford to start slow against Aspen or could find themselves down quite a bit early. Rifle will have to be ready to stop the pass and must be effective stopping the pass. Rifle must find some ways to open the rushing attack up if Aspen crowds the box. I am going with Rifle in this game as well, but this could turn into a higher scoring game. Looking at the RPI no teams in the Western Slope are outside the Top 30. Coal Ridge is at #29 and their game with Moffat County is an elimination game. The loser will be eliminated from the playoffs. Moffat County is #25 in the RPI. Aspen is #14 in the RPI and are the closest to not making the playoffs they have 2 very tough games remaining against Rifle and Basalt and a winnable game against Coal Ridge. We will have to see what the RPI does if they lose this week, but Aspen will have to beat Coal Ridge at the minimum. Basalt, Rifle, and Delta are all in the Top 10. Delta has 1 more tough game against Basalt and then have Moffat County and Coal Ridge which are winnable games. If Delta goes 2 and 3 in their final 3 games, they should be playoff bound. Basalt and Rifle should be locks with wins this week. The league title will be the real crown and will determine who will have the higher seed.
RPI: #1 Basalt, #5 Rifle, #9 Delta, #14 Aspen, #25 Moffat County, #29 Coal Ridge