By Keith McShea
Section VI sent out some very helpul information about its playoff picture as we head into this weekend's Week Six action -- all of a sudden we just have two weeks to go in the regular season.
First, a reminder that the first tiebreaker is head-to-head; then it is point differential in league games (that is, in leagues where everyone plays each other). We'll save the super-specific headache stuff for later for now (three-way ties, common opponents, imbalanced schedules, etc.).
Also keep in mind that some teams have one league game to play and some teams have two.
Classes AA, C and D are fairly straightforward. Class A, with its three divisions, is a little more involved, but based on the matchups this weekend, that situation seems fairly clear as well. Class B has a lot to be settled over the next two weekends.
Here's what we know as we head into this weekend's Week Six games:
*-Jamestown (4-0); *-Frontier (4-1); *-Orchard Park (3-1); *-Lancaster (3-2); *-Kenmore West (3-2); Niagara Falls (1-3); Clarence (1-3); Lockport (1-3); West Seneca West (0-5).
With nine teams competing for eight spots, it's more about seeding than who's in/out here.
Right now West Seneca West is in the only "out" spot, but it is certainly not eliminated from contention. Lockport hosts Kenmore West this week; if Lockport loses, it could possibly set up a Week Eight game at West Seneca West which would determine the final playoff spot.
Seeding-wise, your if-the-season-ended-today stat would be that Lancaster would get the tiebreaker over Kenmore West (and thus the No. 4 seed and a home quarterfinal game) due to Lancaster's Week One head-to-head win.
Fans may remember the three-divisional format from recent years in Class B: The top two teams in each division make the playoffs. The remaining two teams will be the best two of the remaining third-place teams: league record is first determining factor, then league point differential.
One good thing here is that we'll know most, if not all, of the Class A playoff picture following this weekend. There is only one league game in Week Seven (Hutch-Tech at West Seneca East in A South).
There are some major matchups this weekend in each division which will determine how things end up.
*-The five teams with asterisks below have clinched playoff spots.
The final second-place slot to be determined is in A North, which Grand Island would claim with a win at Starpoint.
Looking in good shape for the last two spots (and residing those spots heading into the weekend) are A Central's Will North (2-2 heading into home game with Riverside Saturday) and A North's Kenmore East (3-1 heading into home game with Sweet Home).
A South's Hamburg (2-2) will need to upset visiting division champion South Park on Friday night to go to 3-2 and put it the mix.
*-Sweet Home (4-0); Grand Island (3-1); Kenmore East (3-1); North Tonawanda (1-3); Starpoint (1-3); Niagara-Wheatfield (0-4).
Sweet Home has clinched a playoff spot, but nothing else will be set until the conclusion of three 2 p.m. Saturday games: Sweet Home at Kenmore East, Grand Island at Starpoint and North Tonawanda at Niagara-Wheatfield.
Sweet Home is in because even if it lost, it would either be second place, or in a three-way tie for first, in which case all three would make the playoffs (the third-place 4-1 team would have a better record than the other divisions' third-place team).
*-Williamsville South (4-0); *-McKinley (4-0); Williamsville North (2-2); Williamsville East (1-3); East (1-3); Riverside (0-4).
One of the biggest games of the entire weekend is McKinley's visit Friday night to Williamsville South for the divisional championship; both are assured of playoff spots as they'll be in the first two spots. Williamsville East is at East on Friday night while Williamsville North tries to wrap up third place with a home win over Riverside Saturday.
*-South Park (4-0); *-West Seneca East (3-1); Hamburg (2-2); Iroquois (1-3); Lake Shore (1-3); Hutch Tech (1-3).
South Park is already the champion based on last week's victory over West Seneca East (SP would own the head-to-head tiebreaker). South Park finishes at Hamburg Friday night. lroquois is at Lake Shore Friday night while, as mentioned above, Hutch-Tech visits West Seneca East in Week Seven.
The top four make the playoffs in each division.
*-Burgard (5-0); Cheektowaga (4-0); Bennett (2-2); Lew-Port (2-2); Medina (2-2); Albion (2-2); Maryvale (1-3); Amherst (1-3); Barker/Roy-Hart (0-5).
Burgard is at Cheektowaga Saturday for the division title; Cheektowaga (which is at Maryvale in Week Eight) may not have mathematically clinched a playoff spot yet but it is very likely to be first or second. Then there are six teams for two remaining spots, with big games this weekend: Albion at Lew-Port and Amherst at Maryvale on Friday night and Medina at Bennett on Saturday.
Alden (4-0); Depew (4-1); Pioneer (3-1); Eden (2-2); Springville (2-2); East Aurora (1-3); Olean (1-3) Dunkirk (0-5).
Alden, Depew and Pioneer are obviously in good position. Depew hosts Eden this week in a huge game for the Raiders; other big games in this league are: Dunkirk at East Aurora and Springville at Pioneer on Friday; while Alden makes the trip south to play an Olean team (7:30) which has been very competitive despite its record.
Again, the top four in each division make the playoffs.
Cleveland Hill (4-0); Akron (3-1); Lackawanna (2-2); Tonawanda (2-2); JFK (1-3); Wilson (0-4); Newfane (0-0; 1-4 overall; B school playing in C division).
This weekend will shake up the standings as Cleve Hill is at Tonawanda and Akron heads to Lackawanna on Friday.
Note: Newfane could have made the B playoffs if its record had met certain qualifications, but it did not).
Fredonia (5-0); Salamanca (3-1); Southwestern (2-2); Falconer (2-3); Allegany-Limestone (1-3); Silver Creek/Forestville (1-3); Gowanda (1-3).
Fredonia is in, but league games Friday night will help clear things up (A-L at Salamanca, Silver Creek at Southwestern and Gowanda at Fredonia.
Class D division
Randolph (2-0); Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake (2-1); Portville (2-1); Ellicotville/West Valley (1-2); Cassadaga Valley (0-3).
The top three teams will recieve byes in a division which went from six to five teams when Westfield/Brocton called off the rest of its season.
Class DD division
Sherman (4-1); Frewsburg (3-1); Cattauragus/Little Valley (3-1); Panama (3-1); Franklinville (1-3); Clymer (1-4); Pine Valley (0-4).
Everyone makes the playoffs in this bracket (in which the winner does not advance to the state playoffs), so just seedings are up for grabs.
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