I’m a stickler for giving playoff berths at this time of year. To get the little “x” by your school’s name in the paper, you have to be 100 percent guaranteed to make the playoffs.
Not 99.999 percent. I know Munday or Graham won’t lose out. I know Archer City or Olney won’t win out. But if I can find a feasible way – however ridiculous – to make a team even have to have a coin flip to break a three-way tie for two playoff spots, I will.
So call me stingy. Most of these so-so-close issues will be resolved by Friday night at 10 p.m. anyway. And while I’ve spent a few hours crunching the numbers, I can’t 100-percent guarantee I have all the scenarios.
But it’s as comprehensive as I can come up with:
IN: Denton Guyer, Rider
IN WITH A WIN: The Azle-Nelson victor
PRACTICALLY OUT: Denton (There’s a scenario where Denton wins out and gets in a three-way tie with Lake Dallas and Nelson for the final playoff spot. The Broncos first would need to beat Rider (not happening) and then max out on points against Nelson to have a chance. But they do have a chance).
HOW I SEE IT PLAYING OUT: Rider locks up the top seed in Division II with a win. This week’s Azle-Nelson winner locks up a playoff berth as well. If Nelson wins (my pick) and so does Lake Dallas over Brewer, then Azle-Lake Dallas plays a de-facto playoff game for fourth in Week 10.
IN: Vernon (Of the 16 possible scenarios, Vernon will advance in 15, some of them based on points. The other is if a five-way tie at 2-2 happens, which would mean Iowa Park wins out and Graham loses out. I’ll bet a paycheck that won’t happen. Furthermore, if it does, Vernon should have one of the top three +/- points. They’re a +18 right now. That’s good enough for me to put them in).
IN WITH A WIN: Graham and Burkburnett
HOW I SEE IT PLAYING OUT: Graham knocks off Hirschi and gets in, then beats Burkburnett next week for district title. If Bulldogs beat IP, they are in. If the Hawks win, I really don’t see Graham or Vernon losing next week. Which means a three-way tie for third at 1-3 between Hirschi, Burkburnett and IP. Under this scenario, Hirschi is the third playoff team. No matter how much the Hawks beat the Bulldogs, they can’t win that points tiebreaker. Which means Iowa Park must win out to make playoffs.
DISTRICT 5-2A DIVISION I
IN: No one.
PRACTICALLY IN: Whitesboro (I’ve seen some people giving Whitesboro the nod. They’re about as close as you can get. But there is a scenario where Boyd wins out at 5-1 and Whitesboro, Callisburg and Pilot Point end in a three-way tie at 4-2. If that happens, PP ends as a +1. Currently Callisburg is a -13 and Whitesboro is a +12, but a 13 or 14-point Callisburg win over Whitesboro this week could put Whitesboro in danger. So as long as they lose by 12 or fewer Friday, they’re good. Or if Bowie beats Pilot Point.
OUT: Ponder and Paradise
WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN: A lot of things are up for grabs. Any of the five teams can make it. Realistically, it’ll be hard for anyone to get in with three district losses but a 4-2 mark should be enough. That means this week Bowie-Pilot Point is an elimination game. And assuming Callisburg loses to Whitesboro, then Bowie-Callisburg the next week is another elimination game.
DISTRICT 5-2A DIVISION II
IN: Nocona, Jacksboro
PRACTICALLY OUT: Alvord (Henrietta can’t get into a three-way tie at 2-3 with Holliday and City View because it lost to both. But if Holliday lost badly to City View and Alvord maxed out against City View, then there would be a three-way tie at 2-3 with the points tied at 0. Again, this is pretty much 99.99 not going to happen).
WIN AND THEY’RE IN: Holliday.
WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN: Holliday beats City View to make playoffs. Playoff seeding will be determined by Nocona-Jacksboro (this week) and Jacksboro-Holliday (next week).
DISTRICT 3-A DIVISION I
PRACTICALLY IN: Windthorst (Olney would have to not only beat Quanah this week but max out. Then Quanah maxes out against Windthorst. That puts three teams tied at 2-2 with 0 as point tiebreaker. This won’t be an issue).
OUT: Surprisingly no one. Archer City and Olney – both 0-8, 0-2 – can conceivably win out to go 2-2 and take third place. But Quanah would have to lose out, which won’t happen. The Wildcats and Cubs are dangling by a thread.
WIN AND THEY’RE IN: Quanah. That would also bump Windthorst (on a bye) into the guaranteed range.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Quanah breezes by Olney and locks up last two playoff spots. Then Quanah-Windthorst decides second-third next week.
DISTRICT 8-A DIVISON II
PRACTICALLY IN: We all know Munday probably won’t win these last two games by fewer than 45 points. But it’s mathematically possible for the Moguls to lose out, get into a three-way tie with Electra and Perrin-Whitt. If PW maxes out Electra and Electra maxes out Munday, then we’d have three teams tied for 2nd/3rd.
WIN AND THEY’RE IN: Muenster and Electra.
OUT: Petrolia. Maybe there is a way Petrolia can get in a crazy tie at 2-3 but I’m just not seeing it.
WHAT I THINK WILL HAPPEN: Muenster wins and gets in; the Electra-Perrin winner will take third place.