By Chris Rossetti
OK, so we know everyone wants to know what is going on in the Class A and Class AA playoff races.
I spent some time tonight/this morning trying to sort it all out. I believe I have come up with the outlook, although I am going to stress that this is all very unofficial. I will also stress that any team, for any reason, can opt out of the District 9 playoffs in Class A and Class AA. We saw that last year when no one wanted to be the No. 8 seed opposite of Port Allegany and the Gators got a bye on their way to the District 9 title.
In Class A, let’s start with what I believe I know.
Six of the eight spots have been clinched.
From the KSAC Small School Division, Clarion and Redbank Valley have secured automatic berths.
From the AML, Curwensville and Brockway have secured automatic berths with Brockway edging out Smethport by 10 power points after both teams finished AML play 5-3 without facing each other.
Smethport and Sheffield have also secured berths. Sheffield will claim an automatic AML berth if it beats Kane in the AML Title game or a Wild Card spot if it loses. Smethport gets an AML automatic berth with a Sheffield loss to Kane but is still a Wild Card team with a Wolverines win.
That leaves three teams vying for two sports – Coudersport, Union and Ridgway – with two of the three – Union and Ridgway in action this week.
Coudersport’s regular season is done. The Falcons are 4-5. Ridgway and Union are also both 4-5. Therefore, if both Ridgway and Union both win – Ridgway hosts St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy out of Boalsburg, who is 4-5 after gaining a forfeit victory last week, while Union hosts Cambridge Springs, a District 10 team with a 7-2 record – then both teams secure a spot in the postseason leaving Couderpsort on the outside looking in.
But, if either Ridgway OR Union loses, then Coudersport secures a spot.
Ridgway can also get in with a loss and Union loss because in a two-way tie the Elkers will end up with more power points than Union. Even if there is a three-way tie at 4-6 between Ridgway, Union and Otto-Eldred, which faces Cowanesque Valley, the Elkers will still end up with the most power points (plus a win over Otto – although that win may not play a role since three teams would be tied).
As far as seeding, that is a little murkier.
I know this for sure. Clarion is the top seed and Redbank Valley is the No. 3 seed.
If Sheffield loses the AML Title game, then Curwensville, which is idle, will be the No. 2 seed and Brockway, which plays at Moniteau, the No. 4 seed. if Sheffield wins the AML Title game, the Wolverines would be the No. 2 seed and Curwensville would fall to the fourth seed. After that, much depends on what happens in the rest of the games Friday night.
Now on to Class AA. It’s a little clearer here but not completely clear.
We know this. Kane, Karns City and Brookville are in for sure with either Kane or Karns City as the No. 1 seed.
St. Marys can qualify with a win over Bellefonte.
Moniteau can qualify with a perfect storm.
That perfect storm would include this:
Moniteau beats Brockway while St. Marys loses to Bellefonte. Then, Union beats Cambridge Springs, Keystone loses to Penns Manor, Brookville loses to Clarion and Bradford loses to Clearfield. That would leave both teams with either 640 or 650 power points depending on what Punxsutawney does against Northern Bedford (but it doesn’t matter because both Moniteau and St. Marys beat Punxsy and would get the 10 extra points for a Chucks win over Northern Bedford).
Now, logic would dictate that since the two teams played each other the result of that game would determined the final Class AA playoff spot, which would give it to Moniteau thanks to a win over St. Marys. But alas, this is District 9, and the rules aren’t written that way – although one may think that the committee could take a look at this situation and change the rules.
No, in District 9 the rules sent out in September say that selection in seeding in Class AA follows first the PIAA Ranking System based on all games and then a COIN FLIP. Yes, despite the fact that four of the five teams vying for playoff spots in Class AA play each other, head-to-head competition is not a tie breaker. That would mean, by the rules they way they are currently written, a coin flip would determined whether St. Marys or Moniteau makes the playoffs if the two teams end up tied.
Ok, now that that is out of the way. Let’s look at seeding.
This much we know. if Karns City wins (it plays Marion Center) and Kane loses (it plays Sheffield) then the Gremlins are the top seed. Likewise if Karns City loses and Kane wins then Kane is the top seed. Also, if both teams lose Karns City is the top seed.
But what if both win? Then it comes back down to what teams the two have beaten end up doing.
A Kane win over Sheffield guarantees the Wolves 1,220 power points (The 1,080 they currently have plus 130 for beating Kane plus 10 from the winner of the St. Joseph’s-Ridgway game).
A Karns City win over Marion Center guarantees the Gremlins 1,220 power points as well (The 1,110 they currently have plus 100 for beating Marion Center plus 10 from the winner of the Oil City-Franklin game).
That would mean the outcome of games of teams both Kane and Karns City beat earlier in the year would come into play.
Those games for Kane would include Otto-Eldred from Cowanesque Valley and Brockway vs. Moniteau which could give the Wolves up to 20 extra points.
The games to watch for that affect Karns City include St. Marys vs. Bellefonte, Brockway vs, Moniteau, Union vs. Cambridge Springs, Keystone vs. Penns Manor, Punxsutawney vs. Northern Bedford and Brookville vs. Clarion. Those games could give the Gremlins an additional 60 points.
If the teams tie with the same number of power points, then a coin flip will determined the seed between one and two.
Brookville, meanwhile, would get the third seed with a St. Marys loss or a win over unbeaten Clarion, while St. Marys would grab the third seed with a win and Brookville loss. Moniteau can only be the fourth seed.
Now I know that is a lot to digest. Trust me. I always worry that I may have messed something up. And that is possible, which is why I emphasize again this is all unofficial (and if I messed something up it definitely was not on purpose or from a lack of time put in to trying to get it right). As the week goes on, I will try to verify by calculations with the District 9 folks. Any changes will be noted on the blog. We will also have full playoff standings up during the week as well including the Class AAA and Class AAAA regional playoffs.