Jared Lankford: Week 10 playoff race shaping up
With the final regular season football week upon us, and as we look to the district playoffs beginning in Week 10, the picture is nearly set in stone.
The current Class 3, District 4 point standings look like this: No. 1 Seneca, 48.25; No. 2 Reeds Spring, 43.09; No. 3 Cassville, 37.61; No. 4 Mt. Vernon, 35.05; No. 5 Aurora, 31.2; No. 6 Monett, 25.5; No. 7 Hollister, 21.45; and No. 8 East Newton, 15.01.
Over the last few days, I have poured over the numbers, and since so many people ask me how I see the district shaking out, I thought I would share my thoughts.
First, what you must know when looking at the final week is that a team, at most, can only gain roughly 3 points in the standings.
Basically, the number of district points a team can score declines each week due to the division of the total number of teams in the equation. Stop me in public sometime and I’ll bore you with the details that cause me to consume large doses of ibuprofen.
Using the basic understanding that 3 points, in a perfect setting, is the largest swing a team can obtain here is what becomes obvious.
Seneca has locked down the No. 1 seed and cannot be caught. Monett, Hollister and East Newton are locked into the No. 6, 7 and 8 seeds respectively.
This leaves Reeds Spring, Cassville, Mt. Vernon and Aurora as the unsettled seeds.
The Wolves will not be the No. 2 seed. Win or lose against Springfield Catholic on Friday, they will be the No. 3 seed.
Now, before you say, “But Jared, they have a 6-point lead on Cassville and that flies in the face of the 3-point rule.”
Cassville and Mt. Vernon play on Friday. Since both the Mountaineers and Wildcats own regular season wins over the Wolves, the automatic switch rule comes into play.
Should Cassville win, they would flip over the Wolves and be the No. 2 seed.
Reeds Spring would be dead and could no longer be switched again per the rule.
Mt. Vernon, which would technically be in the No. 4 spot, would fall to the No. 5 seed and be switched due to the head-to-head loss with Aurora.
Should Mt. Vernon defeat Cassville, the Wildcats would host the Houn’ Dawgs as the No. 4 seed and Mt. Vernon would hop to the No. 2 seed.
My prediction is the Wildcats take care of business
and the finals seeds will be as follows:
3. Reeds Spring
5. Mt. Vernon
8. East Newton
That would mean the first round district games would be East Newton at Seneca, Hollister at Cassville, Monett at Reeds Spring and Mt. Vernon at Aurora.
Am I right? I guess we will find out on Friday.
Jared Lankford is the sports editor of the Cassville Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 417-847-2610.