By David Keech
October 11, 2016
Stevens Point— With one week to go in the high school football season, the WIAA football playoff field is still in the balance. Teams that have already earned berths are fighting for playoff positioning, improving their potential seedings, which shapes home field advantage.
To be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, teams must finish with a better than .500 conference record. Each year, many teams with .500 records qualify, but they are lumped together and tie breaking criteria are applied. That being said, finish with a .500 conference record, and it’s HIGHLY likely a team makes the playoffs. We’ll call these teams ‘Slightly on the bubble, but they’re pretty much in.’
Finish with a conference record of say, 4-5 or 3-4 means a plethora of tie breaking procedures are applied, no certain thing.
Here is a preview of area conferences and teams heading into Week 9. The final playoff field will be announced late Friday night, with playoff brackets shared on Saturday. Check back with CWS for complete playoff analysis.
Cloverbelt— Regis(7-0), Stanley-Boyd(6-1), Spencer/Columbus(6-2), and Altoona(5-2) are already in. Colby(3-4) travels to Osseo-Fairchild and with a win, is likely in the playoffs.
Cloverwood— Abbotsford(8-0), Loyal (7-1), Assumption (5-3), McDonell Central (5-3), and Owen-Withee (5-3) all are in. Athens(3-5) and Thorp(3-5) give themselves a chance with wins in Week 9. Thorp must win at Newman, and Athens must win at home against Loyal.
CWC-8— Amherst(5-0), Iola-Scandinavia(4-1), and Bonduel are all in. Weyauwega-Fremont(2-3) and Shiocton(2-3) will likely qualify with wins in Week 9. W-F must win at Iola-Scandinavia, while Shiocton needs a win at home against Pacelli.
CWC-10— Wild Rose(5-0), Manawa(4-1), and Almond-Bancroft(4-1) are all in. Tigerton/Marion(2-3) and Tri County(2-3) play what is essentially a play-in game – as the winner of the game hosted by Tri County moves to 3-3 and a likely playoff berth.
Marawood— Stratford(7-0), Marathon (6-1), and Rib Lake/Prentic(6-2) have already secured spots in the playoffs. Edgar(4-3) is guaranteed a spot with a win over Chequamegon. Auburndale (3-4) needs a win over Tomahawk to move to 4-4 and move to the bubble. Pittsville(3-4) must win against Marathon to move to the bubble, no small task.
South Central— Nekoosa and Adams-Friendship are both in with 4-0 conference records, and play Friday at A-F for the conference championship. Wautoma(2-2) and Mauston(2-2) square off in what ends up a play-in game at Mauston on Friday.
VFA North— Kimberly(7-0), Appleton West(5-2), Wausau West(5-2) are all in. Appleton North(4-3) hosts DC Everest(4-3), with the winner in for certain but the loser likely in anyway.
VFA South— SPASH(6-1), Fond du Lac(5-2), and Hortonville(5-2) are in. Oshkosh North(4-3) hosts Wisconsin Rapids (4-3) with the winner gaining a spot, but the loser is likely in anyway. Neenah(3-4) would likely get in with a win over visiting Oshkosh West.