By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — The high school football playoff picture becomes a little clearer each week.
With just two games left to play in the regular season, the websites joeeitel.com and fantastic50.net both predict Troy has the best chance of any of the 10 local football teams of making the playoffs. At 7-1, the Trojans may already have enough wins to earn a third-straight trip to the postseason. At least one more win in its final two games should ensure a playoff berth.
Two more teams, Troy Christian and Miami East, likely are facing all-or-nothing scenarios. The Eagles and Vikings would both appear to need wins in their final two respective games to make the playoffs. According to the two websites, both of which predict the playoff futures of all Ohio high school football teams, one loss likely would eliminate either team.
Several more area teams appeared to be pushed out of the playoffs with losses last Friday.
Here’s a look at the playoff futures of all 10 area high school football teams:
There are no Division I high school football teams.
According to fanstastic50.net, Troy likely will be going to the playoffs regardless of what the Trojans do in the final two games. One more win should guarantee Troy one of eight Region 8 playoff spots and a 90-percent change of hosting a first-round game. The top four teams in each region host playoff games in the opening round. Two more wins guarantees Troy a playoff spot and a home game. At this point, it’s probably a good time to start looking at Troy’s possible playoff opponents. One interesting scenario has the Trojans playing Cincinnati Anderson in the first round for the third year in a row.
Even with a win over Greenville last Friday, Tippecanoe remains an extreme long shot to make the playoffs. One more loss likely would mathematically eliminate the Red Devils from playoff contention. Even if Tippecanoe can win its final two games against Piqua and Butler, the Red Devils would have just a 29-percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Drew Pasteur, who operates the fantastic50 website. With Piqua in a similar situation as Tippecanoe — and both teams playing in Division III, Region 12, this week’s game between the two teams serves as a de facto playoff game. The loser almost certainly will be out of playoff contention.
If Piqua can win one of hits final two games against Tippecanoe and Troy, it will have just an 11-percent chance of making the postseason. Should the Indians win both games, however, the possibility of making the playoffs shoots up to 87 percent.
There are no Division IV teams in the area.
Miami East (6-2)
The Vikings almost have to win both of their final two games to make the playoffs. Winning one game leaves East with a 9-percent chance of reaching the postseason for the seventh year in a row. Should Miami East win both of its final two games, however, the Vikings have a robust 92-percent chance of making it to the playoffs this season.
Last Friday’s loss to Valley View likely cost the Bulldogs any chance they may have had of reaching the playoffs this year. According to fantastic50.net, Milton will not be going to the postseason, even if it does win its final two games and finish the season 6-4.
Troy Christian (7-1)
This week Troy Christian takes on state-ranked and undefeated Lima Central Catholic. The game should have a playoff atmosphere — and for Troy Christian, it essentially is a playoff game. Should Troy Christian win its final two games and finish the season 9-1, it will guarantee the Eagles a playoff spot. Should Troy Christian go 1-1 in its final two games, its chances of making the playoffs drops to 22 percent. As it stands, Troy Christian has just a 3-percent chance of making the playoffs if its loses it final two games.
After starting the season 0-3, Covington’s playoff chances were just 3 percent. Since then, however, the Buccaneers haven’t lost a game and have seen their playoff chances rise with each passing week. Should Covington win its final two games against Twin Valley South and National Trail, it would have an 88-percent chance of making the postseason. One more loss this season drops Covington’s chance to 17 percent.
Bethel’s playoff chances essentially ended last Friday with a loss to Tri-County North. The fantastic50.net website has the Bees not making the postseason, even if they were to win their final two games.
Lehman would appear to control its own destiny. If the Cavaliers win one more game, they have a 99-percent chance of making the playoffs. Should Lehman win its final two games, it would be guaranteed a playoff berth. Even with losses in its final two games, Lehman holds an 11-percent chance of making the playoffs.
Bradford has been mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong