After Friday night’s action, the playoff picture in the TVC got a bit clearer. 3 Teams had the chance to clinch an automatic berth into the 2016 Playoffs and all three completed that mission. Let’s take a look at TVC Playoff Picture after 6 weeks.
Freeland, Frankenmuth and Ithaca all moved to 6-0 with victories on Friday night and officially are in the playoffs.
5 WIN TEAMS
Alma travels to (4-2) Carrollton (Favorite), stays on the road against (2-4) Chesaning (Favorite) and then closes out the season at home against (3-3) Big Rapids (Favorite). Alma still has three tough games to end the regular season but now at 5-1, they just have to win only ONE of them. They should also be favorites in all 3. Playoff Probability = 95%
Millington heads to (2-4) LakeVille (Favorite), Hosts (2-4) Bridgeport (Favorite) and then finishes the season with Ursuline (Favorite) from Canada at home. Just like Alma, three games where they have to win just one and they will be sizable favorites in a few of them. Playoff Probability = 99%
4 WIN TEAMS
Garber hosts (2-4) Caro (Favorite), travels to (2-4) Birch Run (Favorite) and then finishes up with (4-2) Reese (Push) on the road. With 3 games left, the Dukes just need to take two of them and I see them as favorites in two of the games but against two teams that have played hard all year and seem to be improving each week. It won’t be a gimme for Garber but they have a great shot to get the 2 wins they need, if not win out if they play up to their potential. Playoff Probability = 85%
MLS is on the road at (0-6) Valley Lutheran (Favorite), Then hosts (4-2) Pinconning (Favorite), and finally, they finish on the road in a monumental task against (6-0) New Lothrop (Underdog). During their last three games, the Cards will be heavy favorites, slight favorites to a pretty even game against Pinconning and underdogs in the final game against GAC Power New Lothrop. The automatic bid most likely will fall on their game against Pinconning which could be a great one. The Spartans have been surging and seem to be getting better every week. MLS has great potential but I don’t think we have seen their best game yet. Playoff Probability = 60%
Carrollton home against (5-1) Alma (Underdog), @ (4-2) Swan Valley (Underdog), @ (2-4) Bridgeport (Favorite). The Cavs earned big win on Friday night and moved one step closer to playoff qualification but still face an uphill battle with their final three games. The margin for error is slim but they only need to take 2 of their final three games. Nothing is a given but let’s say they take care of business as favorites in Week 9 against Bridgeport, that still means they will need to get a win in either Week 7 or 8 against 2 teams still right in the thick of the TVC Central title race. Playoff Probability = Outside Looking In
Swan Valley on the road against (6-0) Freeland (Underdog), hosts (4-2) Carrollton and then finishes the regular season against (3-3) Yale (Favorite) on the road. The Vikings are playing their best at the right time and they will need that and then some against undefeated and rival, Freeland on Friday night. Swan Valley is still right in the thick of the TVC Central title chase and they would love to knock Freeland off of their perch, Alma would love that as well, with both teams a game behind the Falcons. But back to the playoff chase, Swan Valley chances are looking a bit better, even if they should fall this week, the would be at least slight favorites in Week 8 and after last week’s game from Yale, heavier favorites in Week 9. Playoff Probability = 70%
Hemlock hosts (4-2) Pinconning (Push) in a game that may decide each other’s playoff fate, then Hemlock goes back on the road to face (6-0) Ithaca (Underdog), before finishing the season on the road @ (0-6) Bullock Creek. Still look like this week’s game against Pinconning is going to be a monster, in terms of ramifications. With a win, Hemlocks chances for the post-season would be near 99% but with a loss, they could be on the outside, looking in, with Ithaca still looming as one of their final 2 games. Playoff Probability = 60%
Pinconning on the road to (4-2) Hemlock (Push), then they will come home to host (4-2) MLS (Underdog), and to finally, the Spartans will be at home against (3-3) Whittemore-Prescott (Favorite) to finish off the regular season. The Spartans have been one of the most improved programs in the area and continue to get better each week, led by a powerful running game but the backend of the schedule is pretty daunting. It’s a slate that they could realistically go 3-0 or 1-2, depending on which way the ball is going to bounce for them. As I stated above for Hemlock, the same could very well apply to Pinconning, with the huge match-up this week between the two, possibly deciding each other’s playoff fate. Playoff Probability = 50%
3 WIN TEAMS
Shepherd hosts (2-4) Chesaning (Favorite), on the road against (1-5) Standish Sterling (Favorite) and finishes up @ (6-0) Ithaca (Underdog). The Bluejays could very well be 5-3 come week 9 but then, the playoff bid would still be on the line against State Powerhouse Ithaca. They will first need to take care of business over the next two weeks before they can even think about pulling off the monster upset. Ithaca’s case for being one of the best in the state again is playing out in their favor but we have also found out that the Jackets, while unbeatable to this point, aren’t invincible. Having said that, a few more weeks with Joey Bentley running the offense with a punishing stable of Running Backs next to him will only continue to become more fearsome. Playoff Probability = On The Outside Looking In
Nouvel’s path to an automatic bid seems like it’s really within grasp now, reaching 4 wins on Friday night and with their slate of games left on the schedule, they could reach as many as 7 wins. I thought John Glenn’s path might rely on beating Alpena and the Bobcats did just that, squeaking out a win on the road way up North. They will be favorites in at least 2 of their final 3 games which should put JG on path for the post-season.