WHITE HOUSE — One of the messiest regions in TSSAA high school football will have a clearer picture in two weeks when playoff positions are decided in a trio of week 11 matchups.
Currently in Region 5-4A, there is a two-way tie for first between Springfield and Pearl-Cohn, and a four-way tie for third between White House, Macon County, Maplewood and Portland. Things got difficult on Friday when the region-winless Panthers of Maplewood defeated the Panthers of Portland, who had controlled their own destiny into the playoffs but have dropped three straight region games.
Week 10 games will have no bearing on the playoff race. Five contests are non-region affairs and Springfield is off with an open date. But in week 11, the teams will decide their own fate and clean up the playoff picture in a matter of hours.
The week 11 schedule:
- White House (1-3) at Maplewood (1-3)
- Macon County (1-3) at Portland (1-3)
- Springfield (4-0) at Pearl-Cohn (4-0)
Plain and simple, the winners get in, and the loser of Pearl-Cohn versus Springfield is the second place team. Where teams are seeded becomes the tricky part. So let’s play out some scenarios for week 11 and see how the region breaks down. Not to look ahead – but week 10 won’t change a thing except overall record.
- Region unbeaten collide at Pearl-Cohn when Springfield plays there in week 11. The Yellow Jackets hold the region’s best overall record at 7-2 following a forfeited victory awarded over Clarksville to improve their overall standing by one win. The Jackets had lost the game, 21-17, but Clarksville self-reported an ineligible player to the TSSAA. In week 11, the Firebirds and the Yellow Jackets will play for first place. The winner is the Region 5-4A champion and the loser is second. No other scenarios apply. Both teams will host a first round Class 4-A playoff game against the third and fourth place teams from Region 6-4A. Possible opponents include Hillwood, Kenwood, Montgomery Central or Clarksville Northwest. Lipscomb Academy or Kenwood will be the Region 6-4A champion, but Lipscomb cannot fall below second. Kenwood potentially could finish anywhere from first to fifth (and miss the playoffs if upset by Creek Wood and the right pieces happen elsewhere).
- Macon County plays at Portland. The Tigers win, they are third if Maplewood beats White House by virtue of a region win over Maplewood. The Tigers win, they are fourth if White House beats Maplewood by virtue of a loss to White House. If Portland wins, they are third if White House beats Maplewood by virtue of a win over White House. If Portland wins, they are fourth if Maplewood beats White House by virtue of a loss to Maplewood.
- White House plays at Maplewood. As mentioned above, White House wins, they are third if Macon County beats Portland by virtue of a win over Macon County. If White House wins, they are fourth if Portland beats Macon County by virtue of a loss to Portland. If Maplewood wins, they are third if Portland beats Macon County, by virtue of a win over Portland. If Maplewood wins, they are fourth if Macon County beats Portland by virtue of a loss to Macon County.
So it’s simple. The winners are in. Seeding is by who won the head-to-head match up between the third and fourth place teams.
Now, let’s break down Region 6-4A. This one is a little tougher.
- No one can win the region except Lipscomb Academy or Kenwood, because Lipscomb only has one remaining region game against Kenwood and is undefeated, and Kenwood is the only team with one region loss.
- If Lipscomb Academy beats Kenwood, Lipscomb Academy is first.
- If Kenwood beats Lipscomb Academy and Creek Wood, Kenwood is first, Lipscomb Academy is second.
- If Kenwood beats Lipscomb Academy but Kenwood loses to Creek Wood, Lipscomb Academy is still first.
- Kenwood can only finish second if after beating Creek Wood or Lipscomb Academy if Montgomery Central beats Hillwood, or if three or more teams finish in a tie for second and Kenwood holds the best overall record.
- Hillwood can finish second if in a two-way tie with Kenwood by head to head matchup.
- Montgomery Central can finish second by beating Clarksville Northwest and Hillwood, AND Kenwood losing both games. If Montgomery Central wins out and Kenwood goes 1-1, Kenwood is second.
- Clarksville Northwest can finish second by beating Montgomery Central and Creek Wood, AND Kenwood losing both games, because of a head to head tiebreaker over Hillwood.
- Creek Wood MAY can finish second but only through multiple tiebreakers by beating Kenwood and Clarksville Northwest, AND Kenwood losing to Lipscomb Academy, AND Montgomery Central beating Hillwood AND Clarksville Northwest beating Montgomery Central. In this scenario, Creek Wood would be 2-3 (5-5), Kenwood 2-3 (5-5), Montgomery Central 2-3 (5-5), Hillwood 2-3 (4-6 or 3-7), and Clarksville Northwest 2-3 (5-5). A five-way tie for second would ensue. Hillwood would be eliminated in a five-way tie and one other team would be eliminated by other tiebreakers to be determined.
- Third and fourth place has so many scenarios that it is impossible to list them until the games are played and tiebreakers are determined.
The 2015 playoff system remains less complicated than the Z-plan-style system eliminated after 2014, but the scenarios still leave a lot to unfold. The top two region teams host, the third and fourth place travel. There are no mysterious quadrants and wild card seeds.
Week 10 for Region 6-4A is very important, but for Region 5-4A is of no consequence.
Week 11 for both regions will decide playoff seeding.
Let the games begin. Don’t try to do the math, because it doesn’t work until the finals are in.
Go Blue Devils.