BUCKHANNON – Surprisingly, I am rant free this week. Sorry to disappoint anyone…lol.
The WVSSAC last week finally came out with their minimum number of football games played to be eligible for the playoffs at four.
It seems like most teams, but not all, will be safe from the minimum number with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Let’s take a look at who out of the 113 high school football teams could possibly be affected.
Only two schools at the Class AAA level have yet to play four games but those two teams are interesting cases though.
Both Capital and George Washington have only played three games, and with Kanawha County being gold this week, their respective games on Friday were called off.
As of press time, I don’t see where George Washington or Capital have found replacement games. (Gold counties can play other gold county teams).
The issue is, the two teams are supposed to meet next week. If Kanawha goes orange or red, that could leave the Patriots and Cougars left out of the play-off picture.
In Class AA, only Mingo Central and Logan are both currently under the four games as both teams have played three.
Mingo Central’s (1-2) game with Chapmanville was cancelled this week, so they only have a game left with Bluefield. Logan (0-3) probably doesn’t have a chance to move into the top 16 even if they meet the four-game minimum.
It would appear Tug Valley in Class A would have the most to lose. They are undefeated at 3-0 and ranked third in the latest WVSSAC rankings. With no game this week and just Wirt County left next week, if that game doesn’t get played, they would be the highest ranked team not to make the playoffs.
No. 14 Clay-Battelle is also at three games, but they are scheduled to play Montcalm this Friday to get to four games.
James Monroe (1-1) appears to be the one team that won’t qualify for the playoffs at this time.
Their game with Nicholas County this week has been called off, just leaving them with one more game. Ranked 26th they were a long-shot for the play-offs.
The two other teams in Class A under four games are also out of play-off contention with Hannah (0-3) and Paden City (0-2) both looking for their first win.
Onto the Fearless Forecast Front, I had a perfect 5-0 week last week while my counterpart, Number One Auto Sales Manager Shea Phillips, went 4-1.
For the season, I am now 29-9 while Shea sits at 24-14.
Onto our games this week!
Buckhannon-Upshur (1-4) vs. Preston (1-7) at University High
It’s great to see a Buckhannon-Upshur game listed again. And while no one wanted to see the Bucs lose a third of their schedule, the team was pretty beat up physically. I think the time off will help recharge the Bucs. Look for them to knock off Preston tonight.
Duane: Buckhannon-Upshur, 23-19; Shea; Buckhannon-Upshur, 28-7.
Fairmont Senior (5-2) vs. Elkins (4-2) at Tygarts Valley
A key game in Class AA. The Polar Bears are sixth and eyeing a home field first round game while the Tigers are hoping to be in the mix at the end of the season as they are currently 12th. A loss by the Tigers would leave them on that play-off bubble coming to Buckhannon-Upshur next week. Fairmont Senior is rolling and I don’t see that stopping Friday night.
Duane: Fairmont Senior, 42-23; Shea: Fairmont Senior, 35-31.
Robert C. Byrd (5-2) at North Marion (5-2)
Another key game in Class AA. These two teams couldn’t be any closer as the Huskies are ranked eighth while Robert C. Byrd is ninth as both teams want that home first-round play-off game. Robert C. Byrd kind of dredged their way to a win over Grafton last week. Look for this one to be close.
Duane: Robert C. Byrd, 28-24; Shea; Robert C. Byrd, 21-14.
University (2-2) at Morgantown (2-2)
The Mohawk Bowl once again has huge implications. With both teams missing the first part of their season, they will be limited to six games. With both teams ranked 16th this week, the loser is probably out of the play-off picture. Should be a good one.
Duane: University, 24-18; Shea: University, 35-10
Kansas State (4-1) at WVU (3-2)
Well…WVU certainly handed Texas Tech a win last week, as I predicted. Not sure WVU wins another game this year…maybe again TCU? Kansas State will win this one easily.
Duane: Kansas State, 31-13; Shea: Kansas State, 35-34.