BUCKHANNON – Well, the WVSSAC has an interesting dilemma on their hands, or at least another one.
Bernie Dolan, executive director and the face of the WVSSAC said several weeks ago, that the WVSSAC would be forthcoming about a minimum number of games a school could play and still be able to make the state play-offs.
Well, we are still waiting for that number (although Dolan was set to be a guest on the WV Metro News High School Sportsline last night and was going to be asked that question).
It will be interesting to see what that number will be when its finally revealed because of what happened in the recent WVSSAC rankings that were released this week.
Sitting atop the Class AAA rankings are the University Hawks, with a 1-0 record.
You see, Monongalia County has been color-coded red for the last several weeks, meaning University, along with Morgantown, Clay-Battelle and Trinity lost their first four games of the year.
Teams in Kanawha County had it even worse as they lost their first five games of the season. Friday night will be their first action of the year.
Now the players on those teams in Monongalia and Kanawha Counties certainly had no say in half their season getting wiped out, and should they be punished by not being allowed to make the play-offs on a decision by WVSSAC?
The easy answer is of course not.
But let’s take a hypothetical look at say a team like Wheeling Park this week. They are ranked eighth which means if the season ended today, they would get a home first-round play-off game. Now let’s say Capital, like what UHS did last week, wins their opener over Parkersburg South Friday night and then moves in front of them in the standings, dropping them to ninth and making them go the road for a play-off game.
So, now Wheeling Park has suited up for every game, risking a loss in those games, and gets bumped down in the rankings by a team that only played one game, or will only risking a loss in half of the games played by the Patriots.If that makes sense.
Is that really fair for Wheeling Park, or any other team that has played a full schedule getting bumped down in the ratings by a team that only played five or six game like a University of Capital?
Not picking on the teams that will only play half a season, as I said, it isn’t there fault, but just asking the question. I guess your definition of what ‘fair’ means in these crazy times is really at the core of it.
It will be interesting to see what decision the WVSSAC comes to about this situation.
In the Fearless Football Forecast contest with No. 1 Auto Sales manager Shea Phillips, we both went 4-1 last week.
For the season, I still hold a lead as I own a 16-7 record while Shea checks in with a 14-9 mark.
Now, onto our games this week.
Elkins (3-2) at Tygarts Valley (5-0)
This game came together last weekend as Randolph County wound up as a gold county. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the varsity football field. Tygarts Valley is putting together a wonderful season as they are 5-0 and ranked fourth in Class A rankings. The Bulldogs have averaged 52 points per game in their five outings, but their five opponents are just a combined 5-17. I think the step-up in schedule for the Bulldogs gives the edge to Elkins. Shea sees Tygarts Valley winning a very close game.
Duane: Elkins, 35-20; Shea: Tygarts Valley, 28-27.
Jefferson (1-3) at University (1-0)
For University, your first four games are canceled, you beat Albert Gallatin (Pa.) by a 46-14 score and you wind up first in the WVSSAC rankings. Not a bad gig if you can get it. Jefferson has a nice win over Greenbrier East but a brutal schedule with losses to Musselman, Spring Mills and Frankfort have the Cougars at 1-3.
Look for the Hawks to improve to 2-0.
Duane: University, 42-21; Shea: University, 17-7.
Preston (0-5) at Lewis County (3-2)
Lewis already has a forfeit win over Preston earlier in the season. Lewis was supposed to play B-U and Preston was to meet Bridgeport, but with Upshur and Harrison teams unable to compete, these two schools will try again. Preston is one of five winless teams remaining in Class AAA. When you are 0-5, not much is going right, but the Knights have really struggled offensively. Preston has been shutout twice and have scored just 25 points in their four games played.
Lewis wins this game in a blow-out.
Duane: Lewis County, 42-6; Shea: Lewis County, 21-7.
Morgantown (0-1) at Wheeling Park (4-1)
Morgantown got their season off to a rough start last week in a 42-9 loss to Musselman, while Wheeling Park picked up a nice win over Oak Glen last Friday.
Look for the Patriots to send Morgantown to 0-2.
Duane: Wheeling Park, 35-14; Shea: Wheeling Park, 42-21.
Marshall (2-0) at Western Kentucky (1-2)
Marshall gets back to action after having been off the last two weeks following an impressive 17-7 win over then No. 23 Appalachian State. Marshall rolls in this one.
Duane: Marshall, 31-10; Shea: Marshall, 38-21.