Making sense of district standings
This past weekend was a rare one in the crazy world of football. Not one team in our coverage area played a home game. It’s the only time this happens all year.
So, rather than analyze one particular game from Friday night, I decided to examine the playoff scenarios for each team (yes, all four have a shot) now that we’re four weeks away from the statewide playoffs.
Surprisingly, the Panthers have the easiest path to the playoffs.
In MHSAA 4A, the top four teams from each district advance to the playoffs. Yazoo County is 1-1 in district 4A-3, with three games left to play. This week they face Humphreys County, who hasn’t won all year.
With a 14-point victory over Amanda Elzy, Yazoo County sits in fourth place (out of six teams). Should the Panthers win Friday night (as I expect them to), they could lose the last two games and still make the playoffs.
After starting the season off with four straight wins, it’s a little bit surprising to learn that if the playoffs started today, the Indians would be on the outside looking in.
Yazoo City is 5-2 overall, but only 1-2 in district play, putting them at fifth in district 5A-2 (that features eight total teams). The Indians lost to Neshoba Central (3-0 in district) and Provine (2-1) and beat Canton (0-3). Games against Starkville (3-0), Lanier (0-3), Ridgeland (2-1) and Callaway (1-2) remain.
Making the playoffs for the Indians isn’t entirely impossible, but it won’t be easy (that’s the life of a 5A school, though). The easiest path is for Yazoo City to finish the year with four wins, but that would include beating Starkville which isn’t an easy task.
The Indians’ playoff lives may come down to the seasons’ second-to-last game against Ridgeland. Win that game and at least two others and Yazoo City is in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
It’s not the Mavericks fault I’m not as confident about predicting their playoff chances. It’s the MAIS’s fault for having a wild card based on complicated formula (too complicated to go into detail here, but Manchester looks to be a favorite for one of the spots).
In the MAIS AA playoffs, the top two teams from each district advance to the playoffs, as well as two wild cards from both the north and south halves. That’s where the power point rating system comes into play and where my head begins to spin.
Fortunately, the Mavericks are in a position where to earn one of the two automatic playoff berths, but will need to defeat Immanuel Center (shouldn’t be too hard) and Canton (might be a hard one) to do so.
To put it simply, the Raiders have the toughest road ahead of them, in terms of making the playoffs just because they’ll need help to do so.
In the MAIS A playoffs, only the top two teams from each district advance to the post season. So far, it looks as if nobody will be able to slow down undefeated Tri-County. To make matters worse, Winona Christian is undefeated as well.
Where Benton’s troubles begin is they have already played both schools. Benton sits in fourth place right now with two district games left to play (third-place Greenville Christian and fifth-place Central Holmes). The Raiders will need either Winona or Tri-County to lose two or three district games and Benton win their final two games to reach the post season.
While there is a chance Benton makes it, the probability of the Raiders playing deep in November is highly unlikely.