After Friday night’s action, the playoff picture in the SVL got a bit clearer. 2 Teams had the chance to clinch an automatic berth into the 2016 Playoffs and both completed that mission. Let’s take a look at SVL Playoff Picture after 6 weeks. Please keep in the mind that the projections and probabilities are for automatic berths only and doesn’t consider their chances at an At-Large berth, we can look at that aspect once we hit the final week of the regular season.
Davison and Midland Dow all moved to 6-0 with victories on Friday night and officially are in the playoffs.
5 WIN TEAMS
Lapeer hosts (6-0) Davison (Underdog), hosts (3-3) Midland High (Favorite) and then will finish off the regular season on the road against (4-2) Carman-Ainsworth (Push). The Lightning face the daunting task of taking on undefeated Davison, a struggling but still talented Midland High club and then against one of the most talented teams from top to bottom in the league, on the road at Carman-Ainsworth. It’s almost as if Lapeer is having a quiet 5-1 season because of the noise Davison has created but a win this Friday night and Lapeer would be in the drivers seat for both the SVL Blue Red title and a playoff spot. A loss severly hampers any chance they have at winning the league but would still have plenty to play for, during the final two weeks. I see them as being favorites in Week 8 and then we should have ourselves potentially one whale of a game to end the regular season. Both Lapeer and Carman-Ainsworth could be sitting at 5 wins come Week 9 with a playoff spot on the line for the winner. The last two Lapeer/C-A clashes have both been decided by one score. Playoff Probability = 60%
4 WIN TEAMS
Carman-Ainsworth hosts (3-3) Heritage (Favorite), then goes on the road to (6-0) Midland Dow (Underdog) and then finishes the season off against (5-1) Lapeer (Push). You aren’t going to get a much more difficult luck of the draw to end the season as far as strength of schedule goes. The Cavs will go up against teams that are a combined 14-4 to end the season, needing to win 2 of 3 to get into the post-season. They will be heavy favorites this week but then flip roles the week after (Dow) and it may all come down to Week 9 against Lapeer, as what may decide their playoff fate. Playoff Probability = 50%
3 WIN TEAMS
Bay City Central travels to (0-6) Flint Northwestern (Favorite), then hosts (3-3) Heritage before finishing off the regular season against cross-town rival (2-4) Bay City Western (Favorite). They odds are greatly in BCC’s favor to pick up win #4 next week but after that, even though I have them as being the favorite the next two weeks, the margin is razor thin. Both the Hawks and Warriors could hand Central a loss if the Wolves get away from what got them here today, which is a steady passing game and a rushing attack led by one of the best players in the Valley this year, RB Dequez Weathers. That and the final game against Western is the game circled by each other every year and you can toss the records out. Playoff Probability = 60%
Heritage is on the road against (4-2) Carman-Ainsworth (Underdog), stays on the road against (3-3) Bay City Central (Underdog) and then finishes the season off against (2-4) Mt. Pleasant (Push) at home. The Hawks have a long road ahead of them to get to the post-season and it all starts against a team fighting for the League title. If they could pull off the upset against the Cavs that could set them off on a run to rail off 3 wins but it’s also a schedule that could send them in the other direction. Gut check time for the Hawks. Playoff Probability = Outside Looking In
Powers hosts (0-6) Flint SWA (Favorite), goes on the road to (0-6) Flint Northwestern (Favorite) and then finishes the season off against (6-0) Davison (Underdog) on the road. Powers will be heavy favorites in the first 2 of those 3 games and then be a heavy dog in Week 9. Picking up 2 wins in the next two weeks could be a great confidence booster, before facing off against maybe the hottest team in the entire area right now. Playoff Probability = Outside Looking In but that’s strictly based upon an automatic berth. I would think Powers would have quite a few Playoff points when it comes time to place the 5-4 teams.
Midland High hosts (1-5) Saginaw High (Favorite), travels to (5-1) Lapeer (Underdog) and then finishes the season against cross-town rival (6-0) Midland Dow (Underdog) at Midland Community Stadium. The Chemics are likely to get to 4 wins then then have the challenge of their lives in front of them, facing 2 teams with a combined record of 11-1 to close out the season. I’m still not sure what answer Midland will have for Lapeer, although this is not the Lapeer of the last 2 years but they are getting there (reloading). In regards to Week 9 However, it’s the rivalry game for both clubs and while Dow may be supremely favored, the emotions and momentum will play a huge factor in that one. Playoff Probability = Outside Looking In