8-Man Football Week 5 Playoff Predictions
This week we move into mainly Playoff Predictions/Projections. I will look at all the leagues and go thru their team involved in the playoff hunt. We have updated Polls for all 4 Rankings involved in the CHSAA Seeding Index.
Ark Valley League
3 teams remain in the playoff hunt in the Ark Valley League. Fowler, Crowley County, and Holly are all still in the battle for playoffs. We take a look at each of them.
Fowler will face their biggest two games of the season to end the year. Fowler will face Crowley County and Holly in back to back weeks and a lot to still be determined in these games. Fowler needs these games for their RPI. I cannot pick a lock in the Ark Valley league due to the big games upcoming. Fowler sits at #13 in the RPI, #5 in the Maxpreps, #2 in the Coaches, and #6 in the Packard Poll. They are a near lock and with a win over Crowley County I think you can lock them in.
Crowley County sits at 3-0 and a huge game against Fowler this week. A win locks them into the playoffs and a loss will put them more in a wait and see. Crowley County will not play Holly I believe this season unless they schedule a game next week. Crowley County sits at #12 in the RPI, #15 in the Maxpreps Poll, #7 in the Coaches Poll, and #8 in the Packard Poll. This game against Fowler win or lose will help their computer numbers.
Holly has their final scheduled game of the year this week against Fowler. I would not doubt it if Holly gets one more schedule next week, but we will wait and see. Holly will benefit from this game win or lose. It’s hard to figure out Holly especially if they schedule another game next week. Holly sits at #9 in the RPI, #10 in the Maxpreps, #8 in the Coaches Poll, and #10 in the Packard Poll. They are right on the bubble.
The Central could be in danger of not qualifying any teams into the playoff field. Elbert, Byers, and Lyons are the 3 teams to keep an eye on. Elbert plays Byers and Lyons in the final weeks of the season. Byers plays Elbert and Denver Christian, and Lyons plays Simla and Elbert. Lyons could be eliminated with a loss to Simla this week and desperately need to pull the upset. Elbert and Byers have a much better shot at getting in but Elbert sits at #18 in the RPI, Byers sits at #22, and Lyons is at #26. Right now, I have 0 teams getting in from the Central but lets keep an eye on the winner of Elbert and Byers and see if their numbers go up after this week.
I think we have narrowed the playoff contenders down to 3 teams. Sanford, Mancos, and Dove Creek all must be considered for the playoffs. I am not including Norwood unless they upset Dayspring Christian this week.
Sanford passed their first big test of the season beating Dove Creek 36 to 12. Sanford defense proved to be the difference in that game. Sanford still has two tough games against Sargent and Mancos to end the year. I think if Sanford beats Sargent and Mancos beats Dove Creek, we can move Sanford into the lock category regardless of what happens in the Mancos game. Sanford sits at #1 in the RPI, #3 in the Maxpreps Poll, #4 in the Coaches Poll, and #3 in the Packard Poll.
Mancos will face their first big test of the season when they face Dove Creek this week. This will give us a true glimpse of how good Mancos is and should be a great game. If Mancos beats Dove Creek you can nearly lock them into the playoffs regardless of how the Sanford game goes next week. Of course I will have to look at those numbers more closely after this week. Mancos sits at #8 in the RPI, #2 in the Maxpreps, #5 in the Coaches Poll, and #2 in the Packard Poll.
Dove Creek fell to Sanford last week in a hard-fought game. Dove Creek has a chance to avenge that loss this week against Mancos and this is a huge game. Dove Creek ends the year against Norwood and I am not sure if Dove Creek can get in without winning this game against Mancos. Dove Creek sits at #6 in the RPI, #7 in the Maxpreps, #9 in the coaches, and #4 in the Packard Poll. Still lots to be figured out for Dove Creek but we will look how the numbers look after this week but I think the Mountain has a good shot at getting 3 teams into the playoffs.
I am only going to list 2 teams for being in the playoff hunt and that is Rangely and West Grand. Vail Christian currently sits at #19 in the RPI and unless they can upset both Rangely and West Grand I am not sure if they can get in. If Vail Christian can pull an upset this week we will look at reading them into the discussion. Gilpin County would probably need to upset Rangely in the final week of the season and even then, with their RPI sitting around #29 they would need a ton of help.
Rangely is a near lock for the playoffs and I think a win over Vail Christian locks them up for the playoffs (as long as they avoid being upset by Gilpin County in the final week). Rangely has the big head to head win over West Grand earlier in the year and that win was crucial. Rangely sits at #5 in the RPI, #6 in the Maxpreps, #6 in the Coaches, and #5 in the Packard. A win over Vail Christian should lock them in.
West Grand plays Soroco and Vail Christian to end the season and must win both to have any shot at the playoffs. West Grand may need some help to get in, but they are in the discussion. West Grand sits at #14 in the RPI, #8 in the Maxpreps, #10 in the Coaches, and #9 in the Packard. West Grand must take care of their own business first and hope some things can fall their way.
The Plains League a few weeks ago was being talked about possibly 3 or 4 teams pushing for the playoffs but now we may be down to just 2 teams. Sedgwick County and Merino are near locks for the playoffs, and we will talk about them more. Dayspring Christian plays Norwood this week which is a solid matchup, but I think for Dayspring Christian to put their name into the hat they will probably need to upset Sedgwick County in the final week of the season. Haxtun plays Akron and Caliche to end the season so we should see their record go to 3-3. If their numbers change in the computer polls I may re-add them but right now they sit way out in most of those polls.
Sedgwick County is all but locked into the playoffs unless they lose two straight games, but I don’t see that happening. Sedgwick County plays Merino this week and Dayspring Christian next week. A pair of wins and Sedgwick County will be in the hunt for the #1 seed. All eyes are on their game against Merino this week!
Merino vs Sedgwick County another top battle between two powerhouses in the Plains League. Winner of this game I think locks up a top 3 seed. Merino is a near lock for the playoffs if they don’t lose to Akron in the final game they should get into the playoffs. Merino is sitting at #7 in the RPI, #4 in the Maxpreps, #3 in the Coaches Poll, and #7 in the Packard Poll. Merino I think will get into the playoffs regardless of the game between them and Sedgwick County, but they cannot fall to Akron in the final game.
I thought the Southern League was very cut and dry especially with Pikes Peak Christian beating Simla. Dolores Huerta decided to change everything when they upset Pikes Peak Christian and now the league is a mess. Dolores Huerta is probably the only team eliminated from playoff contention. They jumped up in the polls but not enough to put their name in the hat this week. We will keep an eye on them.
Pikes Peak Christian
Pikes Peak Christian with the loss to Dolores Huerta changed things but they are still in control of their own fate. Pikes Peak Christian plays Swink this week and South Park next week. The Swink game is massive now for Pikes Peak Christian. Another loss will drop them in most polls, but a win should nearly lock them in and will be watching their numbers. Pikes Peak Christian sits at #3 in the RPI, #11 in the Maxpreps, #12 in the Coaches, and #14 in the Packard Poll. I do think if Pikes Peak Christian falls to Swink they will probably be on the outside looking in.
Swink is 3-1 on the season and now hoping to pull the upset of Pikes Peak Christian this week. Swink end the year with Calhan which is also vitally important. Swink needs to win both games to have any shot of making the playoffs. Swink sits at #11 in the RPI, #17 in the Maxpreps Poll, #14 in the Coaches Poll, and #17 in the Packard Poll. Swink has only 1 path into the playoffs and beating Pikes Peak Christian and Calhan is it.
Simla, also sits at 3-1 on the season and they face Lyons and Dolores Huerta to end the season. Simla must win out to have any shot at the playoffs as well. Simla will probably need some help to also get in but they are still in the hunt. Simla sits at #4 in the RPI, #9 in the Maxpreps, #11 in the Coaches Poll, and #13 in the Packard Poll. I will be watching their computer numbers if they can beat Lyons this week.
I included Calhan in the contenders this week. Calhan numbers don’t look terrible, but they will have to beat both Dolores Huerta and Swink to have any shot. Calhan sits at #10 in the RPI, #13 in the Maxpreps, NR in the Coaches, and #16 in the Packard Poll. Watching what happens with their computer numbers will be key.
After going league by league, we look at the playoff projections/predictions.
Near Locks can lock up with a win this week
Sedgwick County, Merino, Rangely, Sanford, Mancos
Near Locks but big games still loom
Fowler, Crowley County
Holly, Dove Creek, West Grand, Pikes Peak Christian, Simla, Swink, Calhan
In the 8-Man ranks I cannot lock up any teams right now. Big games this week and we should have locks after this week. I think we are down to just 14 teams in the playoff hunt which is still high and after this week we could see the field narrow.
#1 Sedgwick County
#7 Dove Creek
#8 Crowley County
Note: Simla, Holly, Crowley county, and Pikes Peak Christian will be in a fight for that last spot. Dove Creek this week is far enough away.
#1 Sedgwick County vs #8 Crowley County
#4 Merino vs #5 Rangely
#2 Sanford vs #7 Dove Creek
#3 Mancos vs #6 Fowler
Note: I expect this to continue to change especially if Fowler beats Crowley County