PARKERSBURG -Seven weeks into West Virginia's 11-week high school football season, talk is starting to center on the playoffs -specifically who's in, who's out and what are the chances of your favorite team advancing to the postseason.
While there still is plenty of football left to be played, let's take a preliminary look at where each Mid-Ohio Valley contender stands with a month to go before the 48-team playoff field is announced.
Obviously, if South wins out it will qualify for the 16-team playoff field. The Patriots remaining games all are at home with Brooke (1-5), Wheeling Park (4-3) and John Marshall (2-4) providing the opposition. The major stumbling block is Wheeling Park, whose only losses are to St. Clairsville, Ohio, and two teams that also beat South -University and Morgantown.
Normally, at 6-4 South would be in the playoffs. But its win over Class A Linsly has netted the Patriots just eight ratings points -or four less than than they would have received for beating a winless Class AAA school. That may spell trouble for South if it suffers another loss. Even if a 6-4 South team did make the playoffs, it would be relegated to a first-round game at Cabell Midland, GW or Martinsburg.
Wins in all three games would clinch a playoff berth, while going 2-1 would have PHS battling for one of the final postseason positions.
Two or three wins and Ritchie County is in. At 8-2, the Rebels might well be at home for the opening round.
At 6-4, Ritchie would be on the playoff bubble, trying to earn one of the berths.
Roane would be in at 7-3, on the bubble at 6-4 and out at .500 or less.
Wins in all three games likely would allow Wahama never to leave home until the Super Six championships week in Wheeling. Two more wins and
While it's likely the next win will lock up a playoff berth, wins in three of the last four should land a top 8 ranking and a first round home game. At 9-1, it's possible the Blue Devils could finish in the top 4 and play a pair of games at Imlay Field.
If the Tigers run the table, they will play at home in the first round. A 3-1 finish could keep them at home, but the road is more likely. Going 2-2 likely keeps them in the playoffs, but on the road. Anything less and Wirt will be out.
Three wins and the Yellowjackets will qualify for the postseason. Four and its possible Williamstown will be at home for the first round.