WCAC Football Week Ten: Mumbo Jumbo Playoff Gumbo?

It’s officially getting real in the WCAC.  It has been an outstanding football season so far and it can only get better if you are lucky enough to be one of the teams on the verge of competing for the title.  It is feast of famine time in November.  One of the ways you can look at it is through the scores today: two of the league games were blow-outs and the other two were really close.

Only four teams get to make it to the playoffs though so this week was mixed bag, of sorts, when it came to results: historical favorites didn’t matter and recent trends continued.  Of course there is a certain amount of trepidation among coaches that are victims of recent trends, but also limited assurances for those coaches that are able to understand how difficult of a league that they are coaching in.

DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor summed up some of the coaches doubts after the win against sudden WCAC contender Bishop O’Connell last week when he said, "It was a great win for us and it’s nice to know we’re in the postseason."  In the following breath, McGregor said that the win "doesn’t change our mentality though, and we can’t take anything for granted."  Both of these quotes bode well for the Stags, and they are preparing to make a run for their sixth WCAC title in a row. 

The DeMatha Stags locked up the second seed in the WCAC playoffs with a monster win over Saint Johns College, 34-6.  The DeMatha Stags are almost completely set on their course to face the Good Counsel Falcons in another championship showdown in a couple of weeks.

Good Counsel utterly destroyed Gonzaga 45-0 and the Falcons have me wondering if anybody’s defense is good enough to limit them to under 30 points in a game.  Interestingly enough, Gonzaga came into this game a known loser and somehow emerges to vie for a spot in the three-way tie developing for the fourth playoff position!

In what was supposed to be a coming of age, if not a coronation, for the Bishop O’Connell Knights they were beaten in an offensive shootout 36-35 by Bishop McNamara.  The Mustangs are now in a position to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot even if they lose to DeMatha next week, provided that Paul VI and Gonzaga are also unable to secure a victory.  (McNamara’s win over Bishop O’Connell was immensely important to the playoff picture.)

But Paul VI certainly has the edge in the momentum department after their 34-0 blowout of Archbishop Carroll.  Paul VI junior running back Idreis Augustus carried the ball 20 times and had four touchdowns while proving that he is one of the best backs in the WCAC for the second year in a row.

Dandini’s 2008 WCAC Week 10 Power Rankings*

1. Good Counsel (9-0, 6-0)
2. DeMatha (7-2, 5-1)
3. Saint Johns College (6-3, 4-2)
4. Bishop McNamara (5-4, 3-3)
5. Bishop O’Connell (5-4, 2-4)
6. Paul VI (4-5, 2-4)
7. Gonzaga (2-7, 2-4)
8. Archbishop Carroll (1-8, 0-6)

There is an apparent log jam between the 2-4 teams and Bishop McNamara for the final WCAC playoff spot.  Bishop McNamara plays DeMatha in the final regular season game next week, and they have traditional played the Stags tough.  Bishop McNamara controls their own destiny and could end all of the speculation with a win.  The following scenarios are explored with the assumption that the Mustangs will not win against the Stags next week, however: 

Mathematically speaking there will be at least two teams with a 3-4 conference record if McNamara loses to the Stags, but because the Mustangs already have wins over Paul VI and Bishop O’Connell this season, McNamara only has to worry if Gonzaga should beat Saint Johns in their final contest.

Should Gonzaga pull the upset over Saint Johns, there would be a third 3-4 team added to the mix.  As a result of the Purple Eagles notching a win against McNamara earlier this season, and losing to both Paul VI and Bishop O’Connell, all possible hell would have proverbially broken loose in the WCAC.

I think that it would go to a tie-breaker of points scored or some other arbitrary method for determining the fourth spot.

*Bold ranked teams have clinched a birth in the WCAC playoffs.

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