Heading into Week 6 of high school football season, it's time to take a look at the playoff possibilities for Section II football.
First, here's the Section II playoff primer:
— In Classes AA and D, there are only four teams in the playoff, so both have eight-game regular seasons. The top four teams (or in the case of Class D, there are only four teams) meet in semifinals in Week 9.
— Class D teams play non-playoff Class C teams as crossover games in Week 8. Class AA concludes its regular season in Week 8.
— Classes A and B have traditional eight-team playoffs, with the top four teams in each division playing through quarterfinals and semifinals. The champion of each division hosts the fourth-place team from the opposite division, and so on.
— Class C has three divisions, so the three division champs are automatically the top three seeds. However, the next five spots are determined by throwing everyone else into a pool and using a football points system to order them. I'll explain it when I get to Class C.
I'll break it all down for you division by division, beginning with the small schools, Class D:
Class D — With only four teams in this class this season, the seedings come down to Friday night's game between Warrensburg (2-0, 4-1) and Chatham (2-0, 4-1), under portable lights at Warrensburg. Whitehall (1-2, 3-2) will be the No. 3 seed and Helderberg Valley (0-3, 0-5) is fourth. All four play non-league games in Weeks 7 and 8. The semifinals are usually at Schuylerville and will likely be played on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Class C North — Cambridge-Salem (4-0, 4-1) has the inside track to the division title, with only a game at Granville (2-1, 3-1) remaining on Oct. 19 (the Indians play at Whitehall in a non-leaguer Saturday). Greenwich (3-1, 4-1) is right behind, with a head-to-head loss to C-S and a win over Granville, and only a game at Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne (1-2, 2-3) left on Oct. 19 (the Witches host Corinth-Fort Edward in a non-leaguer on Friday). Granville has games left against Hoosick Falls (0-3, 1-4) and C-S. LG/H-L finishes with winless Hoosic Valley and Greenwich.
Class C Central — Unbeaten Stillwater (2-0, 5-0) and Fonda (3-0, 5-0) don't meet until Week 7 at Stillwater, so there's still some jockeying in this five-team division. Stillwater hosts Mechanicville (0-2, 2-3) in their annual Indian Bowl on Friday, while Fonda has a non-leaguer at Class B Johnstown. Canajoharie-Fort Plain (1-2, 2-3) and Tamarac (0-2, 2-2) square off on Friday night at Canajoharie.
Class C South — Watervliet (2-0, 2-2) took the edge over Voorheesville (2-1, 3-2) with a 22-0 road win over the Blackbirds on Saturday. The Cannoneers host Taconic Hills (2-1, 2-2) this week. Voorheesville takes on winless (and playoff-ineligible) Cairo-Durham/Catskill this week. Coxsackie-Athens (1-3, 1-4) has completed its Class C South schedule.
NOTE: All of the teams in Class C that were scheduled to play Rensselaer automatically get 7 quarter points, as though it was a forfeit victory. The Rams pulled the plug on their season in the first week of preseason camp, too late for most teams to find replacement games.
Class C seeding criteria explained:
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(Note: In tiebreakers, the winning team from a head-to-head matchup cannot be seeded below the team they beat.)
1. The three division winners will be seeded 1-2-3, determined by the Football Points system. Any ties in football points will be broken by quarter points vs. common opponents. Coin toss is the last resort.
2. The remaining five seeds 4-8 will be determined by the five highest Football Points system totals from any of the three divisions. Again, any ties will be broken by quarter points vs. common opponents.
The Class C Football Points system is basically a strength of schedule reward system. Points are awarded based on the following situations:
— 2 points for a win in any classification.
— Bonus points are awarded for the following:
— 3 points for defeating a team with 6 wins in any class, 2.5 points for win vs. a team with 5 wins in any class, 2 points for a win vs. team with 4 wins in any class, 1.5 points for win vs. a team with 3 wins in any class.
— 2 points for losing to a team with 7 wins in any class, 1.5 points for losing to a team with 6 wins in any class, 1 point for losing to a team with 5 wins in any class, 0.5 points for losing to a team with 4 wins in any class.
— For tied teams, points are added up and divided by the number of games to develop a quotient, which will be used to seed teams 4-8 for sectional purposes. Teams will be seeded according to the quotient for the top team. The 2 and 3 seed would be separated based on head-to-head. If 1 and 2 are tied, No. 3 is eliminated from the tiebreaker. Seeding for playoffs is based on their head-to-head results.
Class B North — Glens Falls (3-0, 5-0), ranked No. 1 in the state, closes with Broadalbin-Perth (2-1, 3-2) on Friday at home and at Hudson Falls (1-2, 1-4) in the Jug Game on Oct. 19. Schuylerville (4-1, 4-1) has completed its Class B North schedule and is the likely No. 2 seed. Barring a monumental upset of Glens Falls, B-P is probably the third seed, with winless Lansingburgh as its Week 7 opponent. Hudson Falls hopes to lock up the fourth seed with a win over Lansingburgh on Saturday at home.
Class B Reinfurt — Holy Trinity (4-0, 5-0) has the inside track to the division title, with games remaining against Albany (non-league) and Schalmont (2-1, 3-2). Cobleskill (3-1, 3-2) has a non-division game against Schuylerville on Friday, then plays at Hudson (1-2, 2-3) next week. Schalmont plays Ravena (0-3, 1-4) and Holy Trinity the next two weeks, while Hudson takes on Ichabod Crane (0-3, 1-4) and Cobleskill. Holy Trinity is the favorite to wrap up the division, and the Cobleskill-Hudson game looms large in Week 7.
Class A Grasso — Queensbury (4-0, 5-0) faces South Glens Falls (1-3, 2-3) and Burnt Hills (4-1, 4-1) in its final two games as the Spartans try to repeat as division champs. Ballston Spa (3-1, 3-2) already lost to Queensbury and defeated Burnt Hills, so they have a good shot at second place with games remaining against Scotia and South High. Burnt Hills plays at Class AA Bethlehem this Friday, then gets the annual showdown at Quensbury. If Queensbury, Ballston Spa and Burnt Hills end up in a tie, it would be broken by quarter points (lowest quarter-point total is out of the tie, then it goes back to head-to-head between the remaining two teams). Scotia (2-2, 3-2) finishes with Ballston Spa and winless Gloversville as it chases fourth place. South High is just behind Scotia, with games remaining against Queensbury and B. Spa. Mohonasen (1-4, 1-4) has a head-to-head win over South High, but not much else.
Class A Capital — Troy (4-0, 4-1) is the odds-on favorite to take the division, having already defeated Averill Park (4-1, 4-1) and Amsterdam (3-1, 4-1) head-to-head. Troy finishes its schedule with Columbia and winless Albany. Averill Park plays at Amsterdam in a showdown for second place, which also completes Averill Park's Class A Capital schedule. La Salle (2-2, 3-2) finishes with Green Tech (1-3, 1-4) and Amsterdam as they have the inside track to fourth place — a win over Green Tech would seem to seal it. Columbia (1-3, 2-3) and Green Tech are likely out.
Class AA — Class AA still has three weeks left in its regular season, but it looks like Shaker (4-0, 5-0) has the league all but sewed up, with games remaining against Schenectady (2-2, 3-2), CBA (3-1, 4-1) and winless Colonie — only CBA has a realistic shot at dethroning the defending champs. Shenendehowa (4-1, 4-1) faces CBA this week, then finishes with Class A Averill Park and Saratoga Springs (1-3, 1-4). CBA has to run a gauntlet to hold onto a playoff spot — the Brothers face Shen, Shaker and Guilderland (3-2, 3-2) over the final three weeks. Guilderland's next two games are a lot easier than CBA's, as the Dutchmen face Saratoga and Colonie. Bethlehem (3-2, 3-2) has a non-leaguer against Burnt Hills, then finishes with winless Niskayuna and Schenectady, which also has a rugged next two games vs. Shaker and Saratoga.