Written by Corbett Smith
Breaking down six HS football matchups that could affect playoff brackets, seeding
This week is just the midway point of the 2012 season. But it’s never too early to try to figure out the UIL’s wacky Division I-Division II format. Certain games will have significant playoff implications for teams that aren’t playing, determining which brackets teams will eventually reside in at playoff time.
So, with a good bit of divination, here’s a snapshot of six games that could affect the playoff paths of area teams in 5A and 4A. In parentheses, I’ve placed where each team ranks in enrollment in its district.
Allen at Plano East
Friday, Oct. 12: There’s little question that Allen (2nd of 6) and Plano East (1st of 6) are playoff-bound, so how big is this game for seeding? The loser gets Skyline (1st of 8 in 9-5A) in the first round of the 5A Division I playoffs. Despite its loss to Coppell last week, Allen will be favored in this District 10-5A opener. Plano East, though, will enter undefeated and coming off back-to-back bye weeks — plenty of time to focus on Allen. Allen trailed at halftime in last year’s game, squeaking past Plano East with a 42-38 win.
Wylie at McKinney North
Friday, Oct. 19: Assume that Sherman (3rd of 8), Wylie East (4th of 8) and Lovejoy (8th of 8) are all playoff bound. Wylie (2nd of 8), McKinney North (1st of 8) and Denison would be the probable trio competing for the final playoff spot. If that’s the case, the Wylie-McKinney North winner stays in the hunt. Either Wylie or McKinney North getting in the playoffs would push Wylie East into a more palatable 4A Division II Region II bracket. If Denison is the final playoff qualifier, Wylie East and Sherman both go DI. The loser of Sherman-Wylie East (Oct. 12) could face Texarkana Texas High and Waxahachie in the opening two rounds of the Division I bracket.
Cedar Hill at Mansfield Timberview
Friday, Oct. 26: It’s hard to figure out much right now in a topsy-turvy 7-5A, besides No. 1 DeSoto clearly looking like the team to beat. But, if Cedar Hill (8th of 8) and Mansfield Timberview (4th of 8) are playoff-bound, this game might decide who gets the top seed in Division II. An extremely difficult playoff opener against Waco Midway awaits the district’s Division II runner-up.
Plano West vs. Plano
Friday, Nov. 2: In a six-team District 10-5A, two wins probably means you’re in. Whether Plano West (4th of 6) vs. Plano (3rd of 6) is for the top seed in Division II or between teams fighting for the last playoff berth, it should be big.
Either team could make a Mansfield Timberview-like run (to the state semifinal) in this year’s playoffs. Avoiding a bi-district game against Jesuit — the probable top seed in Division II out of 9-5A — would make that much more realistic. Apart from Lake Travis, the Division II bracket looks wide open. Allen, Plano East, Skyline, Sachse and Mesquite are all Division I locks in Region II.
Arlington Bowie vs. Arlington Martin
Thursday, Nov. 8: Not only could Arlington Bowie (3rd of 8) vs. Arlington Martin (1st of 8) possibly decide the District 3-5A title, but the winner probably writes its ticket to the third round.
It’s almost a certainty that the loser gets Southlake Carroll (2nd of 8 in 4-5A) in the Division I playoff opener.
Only Arlington Sam Houston (2nd of 8) making the playoffs, or the winner of Bowie-Martin losing two other district games could prevent that scenario.
The path for the Division I champ looks far more inviting — probably Justin Northwest and a second-round matchup against Midland Lee or Midland. In non-district, Midland got pummeled by Southlake Carroll, 63-3, and Lee lost to Hurst L.D. Bell, 30-21.
Adamson vs. Pinkston
Friday, Nov. 9: Adamson (2nd of 8) is the fulcrum for the Class 4A DISD playoff picture. In 11-4A, it’s a safe bet that South Oak Cliff (4th of 8), Carter (6th of 8) and Kimball (3rd of 8) are in.
Predicting District 12-4A also looks pretty clear: Bryan Adams and Woodrow Wilson in Division I, Lincoln and Hillcrest in Division II. Adamson is off to a 4-0 start with a key 11-4A win over Seagoville already under its belt.
A playoff-clinching win against Pinkston (8th of 8) pushes South Oak Cliff — a team with multiple-round aspirations — into Division II.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN