Halloween has come and gone. Deciduous trees are dropping leaves like anvils.
The weather can’t quite figure out what to do with itself. Mom’s been digging out her favorite Turkey marinades and pumpkin pie recipes.
And, were those Christmas commercials I started noticing on TV?
Time’s-a-flying by. Seems like everybody’s been getting ahead of themselves. So let’s pump the breaks and get to more pressing ‘NOW’ issues, shall we?
Who will be playing in the three major league championship games in a little under three weeks?
Only the FCIAC, SWC and NVL partake in such league title game shenanigans, which, unless they’re decided by two Thanksgiving rivals, make less and less sense every year:
The chances of a Thanksgiving title game has been eliminated in the SWC (for the first time since 2009) and in the FCIAC (for the first time since 2010). The NVL’s chances at a Thanksgiving title game are all but finished, too.
It’s looking like we’ll get a bunch of lousy rematches.
And, of course, remember that all of our championship participants could end up playing 15 games this year — including FIVE in a three-week span — if they want to win a state title.
So, yea. League title games are a cool idea, but in the long run, they’re silly.
But as long as they’re going to play them, let’s take a look at who’s in line to qualify.
New Canaan (6-0) is in the drivers seat. It will clinch one spot with a victory, which it will assuredly get against either Wilton or Trinity Catholic.
But you knew that.
McMahon (6-0) is in line to clinch the No. 2 spot. It controls its destiny. But due to its schedule strength, it will need two wins to clinch (or have everybody below them lose). The Senators play their two toughest games of the year in Ridgefield and St. Joseph over the next two weeks.
Potentially, there could be five 1-loss teams, which makes predicting the wealth of scenarios at the moment next to impossible without an advanced mathematics degree (Anyone here versed in String Theory?)
So we’re left to try and predict all of the winners of the next two weeks’ games so we can get a realistic estimate of what should happen if McMahon happens to lose one of its final games.
If the Senators lose, they will be dumped back into a horde of one-loss teams and their point potential will put them at a serious disadvantage. We’ll call it now: If McMahon loses they’re out.
Of the other one-loss teams, Staples and St. Joseph are in the best position to advance if they win out.
St. Joseph will get a ton of points for beating Warde (2-4) and McMahon (6-0), which could propel it into the final for the first time (Yes, St. Joseph has never played for the FCIAC title in its 19 years as a member).
Staples plays Norwalk (2-5) and Central (0-7). Neither team will get the Wreckers a bunch of points, but at least they have plenty stockpiled to have a chance.
St. Joseph has a slight edge in points over Staples. Conservative estimates say the Hogs would outpoint all one-loss teams if they win out. Staples would need an upset from Westhill or Danbury (vs. Greenwich) or Wilton (vs. Ridgefield or New Canaan), to surpass the Hogs.
Trumbull (vs. Danbury, vs. Central) and especially Darien (vs. Harding) are cooked unless St. Joseph and Staples lose again. Neither team is getting enough points to surpass Staples or St. Joseph in a multi-team tie.Trumbull holds the point edge over Darien. So the Wave are technically eliminated unless everybody loses.
We’ll have this all figured out when this week’s games conclude on Saturday.
Remaining FCIAC league schedule
WEEK 9: Stamford at Norwalk | McMahon at Ridgefield | New Canaan at Wilton | St. Joseph at Ffld.Warde | Danbury at Trumbull | Staples at Bridg.Central | Westhill at Greenwich | Bassick at Trinity Cath. | Darien at Harding.
WEEK 10: Stamford at Ffld.Ludlowe | Ffld.Warde at Bassick | Trinity Cath. at New Canaan | Greenwich at Danbury | Bridg.Central at Trumbull | Norwalk at Staples | Ridgefield at Wilton | St. Joseph at McMahon | Westhill at Harding.
The SWC is much more clear-cut, since everyone in the league plays the same amount of games.
Newtown has clinched a berth in the league final. The Hawks hold tiebreakers vs. Barlow, Brookfield and Bethel and will be granted a forfeit vs. Immaculate. So they’re in.
Brookfield and Barlow are on a collision course for a winner-take-all showdown for the final spot at Western Connecticut State in Week 10. Barlow plays Notre Dame-Fairfield and Brookfield plays New Milford this week.
Even in the unlikely event both teams lose this week, the winner of the Week 10 showdown still will be for a spot alongside Newtown in the SWC championship. The points awarded from that game would keep the winner ahead of both Bethel and Masuk in power points.
So, this is it: It’s going to be Newtown vs. the winner of Brookfield vs. Barlow in two weeks.
Newtown beat both teams during the regular season. So it’ll be a rematch. Hoo. Ray.
SWC remaining league schedule
Week 9: New.Fair. at Bunnell | Bethel at Oxford | New Milford at Brookfield | Stratford at Newtown | Joel Barlow at ND-Ffld | Pomperaug at Weston | Masuk at Immaculate.
Week 10: Brookfield at Joel Barlow | Immaculate at Newtown | ND-Ffld at Bethel | Oxford at Bunnell | Pomperaug at New.Fair. |Stratford at New Milford | Weston at Masuk
The good news: No silly point systems here. Just good ol’ fashioned STANDINGS. Incredible concept.
The bad news: This could have been wrapped up last week. Alas, Woodland lost to Holy Cross keeping the Copper Division victory — um — apple juice on ice.
The good news: Holy Cross can now wrap this thing up on Thursday.
Now the Crusaders, who looked firmly in rebuilding mode earlier in the season when they lost to Derby, now has a shot at facing Ansonia (again) for the league title.
Holy Cross faces Naugatuck on Thursday night to give itself a chance to clinch outright. A victory there makes the Crusaders the NVL Copper champs since they would hold a tiebreaker with Woodland.
Should Naugatuck win, Woodland’s back in control. Should all three teams win in Week 10, a three-way tie would be decided on overall NVL record and Holy Cross would lose due to its three losses then Naugatuck would lose due to its loss to Woodland.
For Naugatuck to somehow win the Copper title, it would have to beat Holy Cross and then hope Woodland (somehow) loses to Torrington. Then we’d go to Thanksgiving.
But that probably won’t happen. Nope. The Holy Cross-Naugatuck game decides if it’s the Crusaders or the Hawks.
NVL remaining schedule:
- Week 9: Ansonia at Seymour | Naugatuck at Holy Cross | Wolcott at Wilby | Derby at Watertown | Torrington at Woodland | Kennedy at Sacred Heart | St.Paul at Crosby.
- Week 10: Crosby at Ansonia | Seymour at Wilby | Kennedy at Naugatuck | Sacred Heart at Torrington | Derby at Woodland | Wolcott at Watertown | Holy Cross at St.Paul.
- GameTimeCT / Register Top 10 Poll: We have a new No. 1
- Regional football notebook: Guilford has sights on first division title
- Tuesday Morning Quarterback: Top Players, teams of Week 8; Look ahead to Week 9
- State Football beat: The Week 9 FCIAC, SWC, NVL championship scenarios
- Ray Curren’s Inside the SCC: The Week 8 running diary