Welcome … to the LA-BOR-ATORY.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Connecticut high school football season. It’s Thanksgiving Week — the greatest day on the Connecticut sports calendar. Do not argue with us on this point. You will lose.
Not only does it mean family, friends, and loads of turkey and stuffing. It also means it’s time to figure out who’s in and who’s out of the state playoffs.
That means it’s time break out your slide rules, beakers and Bunsen Burners and dabble in some playoff formulas. Amaze your your teachers. Stun your parents. Impress your friends. Figure out what you need to get into the state playoffs or one of the coveted home quarterfinals and semifinals.
So let’s start rolling these out. Here’s who’s in and who needs what in the Class LL playoff race.
Here’s how the CIAC’s state playoff formula works for Class LL teams:
- Teams get 100 points for a victory.
- Teams get 10 points for every defeated opponents’ victory (These are called ‘bonus points.’ When a team has beaten both teams of a Thanksgiving matchup, those 10 point are ‘guaranteed.’)
- All league wins and wins vs. fellow Class LL schools equal 100 points. Out-of-league wins over schools from lower divisions are less: Class LL schools get 90 from an out-of-league win over a Class L school, 80 from a Class M win and 70 for a Class S win.
- The total points are divided by the number of games played to get your average.
- Top eight averages reach the state playoffs. Top four averages get home quarterfinal games.
The teams are listed in their current order, with record and points accumulated so far.
Below that shows their remaining games, the guaranteed points it will get and then the bonus points available. Teams will earn 10 “bonus points” if the team with the asterisks wins, helping the total point potential.
Finally, the MAX portion of the points shows a team’s total potential with a victory. The MIN portion of the points shows a team’s total potential with a loss. The number of bonus games are shown next to it.
And THE SKINNY is what we think a team needs to climb up the ladder. By all means, let us know if we missed anything.
Top 8 are in. Everyone else can start thinking about hockey, basketball or wrestling. Or whatever.
The quarterfinals begin Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Here we go…
(Clinched a home quarterfinal game)
SHELTON (9-0) 1270
Remaining Game(s): 11/26 @Derby (S-6w – worth 130 points)
- MAX – (20 bonus available): 1450 (145.0) – 1430 (143.0)
- MIN – (20): 1320 (132.0) – 1300 (130.0)
- THE SKINNY — Shelton has clinched at least a home quarterfinal and will likely get the top seed and get two home games with a victory over Derby, whom the Gaels have owned for the last 12 years. Darien has a shot to outpoint them for the No. 1 seed, but only if the Blue Wave win and get half of their 60 bonus games. Southington can at least tie Shelton, but Shelton has the edge in tiebreaker points.
SOUTHINGTON (9-0) 1260
Remaining Game(s): 11/26 @Cheshire (LL-4w – worth 140 points)
- MAX — 10 — 1420 (142.0)
- MIN — 10 — 1280 (128.0)
- THE SKINNY — Southington has already clinched a home quarterfinal and will likely get the No. 3 seed with a victory over Cheshire, unless Darien (with a win over New Canaan) only gets one of its six bonus games to come in. If Darien gets two bonuses, the Blue Wave will clinch at least a No. 2 seed over Southington.
(Has clinched a state playoff spot, position pending)
DARIEN (8-0) 1070
Remaining Game(s): 11/26 v.New Canaan (L-8w – worth 190 points)
- MAX — 60: 1320 (146.7) – 1260 (140.0)
- MIN — 60: 1140 (126.7) – 1080 (120.0)
- THE SKINNY — As mentioned, Darien will be at least the No. 2 seed with a win over New Canaan. If half (30) of their 60 bonus games come in (which can happen), they will likely get the No. 1 seed over Shelton 143.3 to 143.0. A loss to New Canaan and Darien will probably drop to either the No. 4 or No. 5 seed. A few bonus games and Glastonbury comes to them.
NEWTOWN (8-1) 1080
Remaining Game(s): 11/25 @Masuk (L-6w – worth 160 points)
- MAX — 20: 1290 (129.0) – 1270 (127.0)
- MIN — 20: 1130 (113.0) – 1110 (111.0)
- THE SKINNY — If all goes to form above it, Newtown will clinch at least No. 4 seed and a home quarterfinal with a victory over Masuk. It will likely get the No. 3 seed if Darien loses. A No. 2 seed is a long shot. A loss to Masuk will drop Newtown no lower than No. 5
GLASTONBURY (8-1) 1080
Remaining games: None.
- MAX — 10 — 1100 (122.22)
- THE SKINNY — Glastonbury is far above the teams below it, and far below the teams above it. So the Tomahawks, who are done with their schedule, will likely be the No. 5 seed if everything stays status quo. They can creep up to No. 4 if Darien loses and the Blue Wave miss out on 40 of their 60 bonus games. Glastonbury and Darien could tie for the 4/5 game and it would come down to tiebreakers. Glastonbury holds the edge there. If both Darien and Newtown lose, they can get as high as No. 3, but will most likely be No. 4.
CONARD (8-2) 1020
Remaining Games: None
- MAX — 10 — 1050 (105.0) – 1040 (104.0)
- THE SKINNY — Conard has actually clinched a state playoff spot despite what you might have seen before today. It’s one of those things that you don’t notice when wracking your brain over this stuff. See, either Ridgefield or Staples can catch Conard at 104.0, but not both since they share different sides of the same bonus games. The Chieftains can get anywhere between No. 6 or No. 8, depending on who gets in below them. They’ll likely be the No. 6 seed.
WIN AND HELP
(There are 2 spots remaining and winning won’t quite cut it…)
RIDGEFIELD (6-2) 1020
Remaining Game(s): 11/25 v.Danbury (LL-1w – worth 110 points)
- MAX — 40: 940 (104.44) – 900 (100.00)
- MIN — 40: 830 (92.22) – 790 (87.77)
- THE SKINNY — Ridgefield needs to win to get in and either see Staples or West Haven lose (which is the road they should be hoping for), or max out on bonuses. They probably won’t get any more than 20 bonus games, which would put the Tigers at 102.2 and won’t be enough to beat West Haven or Staples. So the Tigers are just *praying* one of those two teams lose. Otherwise, they’re in trouble.
STAPLES (6-2) 780
Remaining Game(s): 11/26 v.Greenwich (LL-4w – worth 140 points)
- MAX — 60: 970 (107.78) – 910 (101.11)
- MIN — 60: 830 (92.22) – 770 (85.56)
- THE SKINNY — Staples is behind Ridgefield, but the Wreckers are actually in a better position to capture a playoff berth over the Tigers if they beat Greenwich. They’ll start 10 points ahead of Ridgefield (910 – 900) and their bonus teams are more likely to win. Plus they share the opposite of Ridgefield’s bonuses. If a Ridgefield team loses, Staples will gain (and vice versa). So if Staples beats Greenwich and gets 20 or 30 bonus points, it’ll clinch over Ridgefield. If Staples loses, however, they’d better pray West Haven loses, too. And then it becomes a bonus battle with the Westies again, one Staples should be able to win. Otherwise, they’re toast.
WEST HAVEN (6-3) 860
Remaining Game(s): 11/26 @Ffld.Prep (LL-5w – worth 150 points)
- MAX — 30: 1050 (105.0) – 1020 (102.0)
- MIN — 30: 900 (90.0) – 870 (87.0)
- THE SKINNY — West Haven, too, is in a better spot than Ridgefield, if not Staples. They’ll start ahead of the Tigers. Since Foran is favored to beat Law, that would put the Westies at 103.0, which Ridgefield will struggle to get. If either Ridgefield or Staples loses, West Haven will clinch with a win. If West Haven loses, then they need one of those teams to lose.
TRUMBULL (5-3) 600
Remaining Game: 11/26 @St. Joseph (M-6w – worth 160 points)
- MAX — 50: 810 (90.0) – 760 (84.44)
- THE SKINNY — Trumbull would need both Staples and West Haven to lose and somehow best both on bonuses. They’re mathematically alive but statistically… it’s a longshot.