Now that the prep football season is past the halfway point, fans of the sport can get at least somewhat of a gauge as to how things are looking for their favorite area gridiron program.
One of the most interesting things to watch each year is how the ratings points play out every week, especially in the Class A ranks.
Veteran Williamstown head coach Terry Smith's Yellowjackets are in an unusual position and came in at No. 20 in this week's ratings.
After falling at home to St. Marys last week, the good news for WHS fans is the 3-3 'Jackets still have plenty of opportunities to earn more than enough points during the final four games to make the playoff field with ease. More than likely, a 6-4 record should put the Class A state runner-up from 2011 back into the dance.
Obviously, the goal of any team is to reach the top 16 and make the state playoffs and whenever possible try to finish in the top eight to secure at least one home contest in the postseason.
Looking at things in terms of Mid-Ohio Valley teams, the biggest contest on Friday night will see No. 8 Wirt County heading to No. 12 Buffalo in a showdown of 4-1 programs.
Much like Williamstown, it appears the Tigers from Elizabeth probably can make the postseason with a 6-4 record, but a victory versus the Bison on the road would be a big boost for head coach Jason Hickman's program.
No matter what happens to Wirt County on Friday, the orange and black can't worry much about the outcome for too long as the Tigers will hit the road the following week and make the trek to Williamstown.
With the probability that St. Marys has no more than one or two potential losses left on its schedule, the Blue Devils - currently tied with Wirt County at No. 8 with a 7.20 rating - hold their own destiny in terms of being the Class A Little Kanawha Conference champion.
That's taking into account the fact Wirt County doesn't run the table and finish 9-1. If both the Tigers and St. Marys win out, which is possible on paper, those two LKC squads are going to have a nice final rating.
Although it's true most everything at the moment is plain conjecture, things are beginning to line up and folks can at least have a pretty good idea of how things might play out in the not too distant future.
The biggest game in Class A this week, without a doubt, is No. 1 Tucker County (6-0) playing host to No. 6 and fellow unbeaten East Hardy (5-0).
The victor of this game is likely to finish unbeaten, although East Hardy still has to travel to Moorefield next week.
Of course, Moorefield is the only team to beat Wirt County and the only way for the Yellowjackets (No. 19, 3-3) to make the playoffs is to likely beat EHHS and then finish the year with what would be a five-game winning streak.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org