7 Weeks are in the books and we have just 2 more regular season games left in 2016. Here’s a look at the playoff picture as it sits today and a look into the crystal ball. *Snooze2You projections for Division for those teams that are already in.
*D5 – Freeland (7-0)
*D5 – Frankenmuth (7-0)
*D5 – Ithaca (7-0)
*D4 – Alma (6-1)
*D6 – Millington (6-1)
5 WIN TEAMS
Garber travels to (3-4) Birch Run (Favorite) and then finishes up with (4-2) Reese (Push) on the road. After getting to within a win of post-season qualification, I would have placed theri probability at near lock status but it seems as if Birch Run has come back from the dead, having won three in a row and finding a powerful running game in the process. The Dukes will still be favored next week and have a great game in week nine against Reese but it won’t be a piece of cake. Playoff Probability = 80%
MLS hosts (5-2) Pinconning (Favorite), then finishes on the road (7-0) New Lothrop (Underdog). I have MLS as a favorite heading into Week 8 but by the slightest of margins, not takign anything away from the Cards, they have taken care of business on the field and gave Ithaca all they could handle but Pinconning is a team coming into Seminary with a lot of confidence and one of the area’s top rushing attacks. That is such a critical game for both 5 win clubs, with an automatic bid on the the line. Maybe even more so for MLS with the sense of urgency to get the W now, before they head to perennial power, New Lothrop, one of the most successful programs in the entire area. Playoff Probability = 70%
Pinconning heads on the road to (5-2) MLS (Underdog), and then will finish at home against (4-3) Whittemore-Prescott (Favorite) to end the regular season. The Spartans have passed one huge test already, with their road win last week against Hemlock in a battle of teams that both came in at 4-2 with high stakes. Now, Pinconning will face an even stiffer test on the road against MLS. I have them as slight underdogs to the Cardinals and favorites as of now, against Whittemore-Prescott in their Week 9 Match-Up. For all intents and purposes, the Spartans will not want to leave it up to one game to get the automatic playoff bid with a win, where anything can happen, especially when you factor in unpredictable Michigan weather, late in the Fall. With everything figured in, I feel the need to bump up Pinny’s percentage from 50% last week. Playoff Probability = 75%
4 WIN TEAMS
Carrollton on the road against (4-3) Swan Valley (Underdog), then at (2-5) Bridgeport (Favorite). The Cavs fell to Alma last Friday but put up one heck of a fight for 3 quarters before letting the game get away from them in the fourth quarter. Things aren’t going to get much easier this week against a Swan Valley club that took Freeland to the brink before some fourth quarter troubles of their own. Both teams will come into that game 4-3, needing to win their last two games, with only one team coming out with a 5th win. If Carrollton can score the upset on the road, they would still be on the road for Week 9 but as favorites. Playoff Probability = On The Bubble
Swan Valley hosts (4-3) Carrollton (Favorite) and then finishes the regular season against (3-4) Yale (Favorite) on the road. In my mind, Swan Valley’s playoff hopes rest on how well they handle last week’s tough loss to rival Freeland. If they can bounce back and realize they still have so much to play for, I like their chances. They have a potent rushing attack with one of the area’s best Running Backs but they have got to hang onto the football. If they can get past a very talented Carrollton team, I like their chances against Yale, a team that is most likely playing for pride and a potential spoiler now, after suffering their 4th loss last week. Playoff Probability = 65%
Shepherd on the road against (2-5) Standish Sterling (Favorite) and stays on the road at (7-0) Ithaca (Underdog) to finish the 2016 regular season. A week after having their offense stifled, the Bluejays got back to their high flying ways with a 52 point game in Week 7. Shepherd needs to take care of business first, in Week 8 but then they would face the challenges of challenges. Ithaca would be standing in the way of an automatic playoff bid. If I’m Shepherd I worry about scenarios later and take care of their own destiny, what they can control themselves. Even if they lost to Ithaca in Week 9 and finished with 5 wins, the hope of an At-Large bid still could be out there. Playoff Probability = On The Outside Looking In
Hemlock goes on the road to face (7-0) Ithaca (Underdog), before finishing the season on the road again at (0-7) Bullock Creek. We will learn a lot about Hemlock’s character and resolve this week. They are coming off of a tough loss last week against a very good Pinconning team, now they have to take on the defending State Champ on the road. The Huskies will be heavy underdogs but that may help get their mindset where it needs to be and focused on coming together to play the game of their lives. Playoff Probability = On The Outside Looking In
Both John Glenn and Nouvel need to win one of their last 2 games to get an automatic bid. Nouvel takes on 4-3 Montrose and 4-3 Sacred Heart, needing just one win between the two games. Montrose will present a tough challenge with a deceiving record. The Rams have suffered losses to teams that were a combined 18-3. Adrian would present an extremely tough challenge to get to 6 wins for John Glenn but they will have that opportunity to get 6 wins this week against an 0-7 Goodrich team. Both Nouvel and John Glenn’s chances to be playoff bound are extremely high right now.