PVL Football Playoff Scenario: Whitney's In But After That...

Five Teams Still Alive For Remaining Two Spots
By: Mike Ray Gold Country news Services
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By Mike Ray Gold Country News Services While the possibilities are endless and the probabilities still numerous, one sure sign that the high school football playoffs must be around the corner is when coaches are quoted after games noting: “We control our own destiny.” No fewer than three Pioneer Valley League grid mentors were caught using the timeless cliché after last weekend’s PVL games but regardless of what anyone other than Whitney, Bear River and El Dorado are saying, no one else in the PVL actually controls their own destiny. We think. But with that in mind, how about this one: Can you imagine a five-way tie for the PVL’s third playoff spot between Colfax, El Dorado, Placer, Lincoln and Mesa Verde, all with 2-4 records? Don’t laugh, it could happen. With three weeks left in the regular season, and with three teams only having two PVL games remaining, Whitney’s Wildcats are the only team that has secured one of the league’s three playoff berths. By virtue of its 40-6 defeat of Mesa Verde Saturday night, the Wildcats are 4-0 in the PVL and just need to defeat El Dorado this Friday to grab a piece of its second straight PVL title and nail down the league’s No. 1 playoff berth. Even with two losses in its final two PVL games (El Dorado and Placer), Whitney is assured of at least one of the league’s three playoff spots. After that, it’s roll the dice time and see what comes up. So, let’s take a look at what could, not should, happen with the remaining PVL football teams’ playoff hopes with three weeks left: Bear River (2-1) – The Bruins are knocking on the playoff door but still have a little work to do. Bear River can move closer to the post season with a win over Mesa Verde Friday but in all actuality, the Bruins probably won’t be able to cinch (barring a Mesa Verde win over El Dorado next week or a Colfax loss to Placer on Nov. 7) until the Bruins play El Dorado in Week 10 on Nov. 14. However, with three straight wins the Bruins are in at the worst has the league’s No. 2 team. El Dorado (2-1) – If any one team benefited by the recent Placer forfeits, it was the Cougars. Despite the hurt administered by Colfax in last Friday’s 42-7 drubbing, the Cougars still do control their own destiny. Wins over Whitney, Mesa Verde and Bear River would give the Placerville school its first playoff berth in 22 years. The Cougars will be underdogs in the Whitney and Bear River contests but favored most likely against Mesa Verde. Which brings up the question, can a 3-3 El Dorado team still reach the playoffs? Yes and no. If the Cougars end up tied with either Lincoln or Placer, they would hold the first tiebreaker by virtue of its wins (1-0 over Placer and 35-28 over Lincoln). However, a 3-3 three-way deadlock with Colfax and Placer would bring the CIF’s 13-point tiebreaker into effect. The key to that tiebreaker would be the final point margin in the Colfax-Placer game on Nov. 7. Currently, the Cougars are plus one over the Hillmen and negative 13 against Colfax. Colfax (2-2) – The Falcons – with one of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s longest streaks of 11 straight years of making the playoffs on the line – need to win and have a little help to reach the post season. With season ending wins over Placer and Lincoln, Colfax could finish 4-2. However, in order for Colfax to reach the top three, the Falcons need El Dorado to lose at least one more game. In the event of a head-to-head tie with the Cougars, Colfax is in. In another strange twist, Colfax now becomes fans of the Bear River Bruins. Unless Bear River is going to lose three games in a row, the Falcons need for the Bruins not to have at least two or three losses. In any tie with Bear River, the Falcons are out. The other big question for Colfax is: Can a 3-3 Falcons team still make the playoffs? The answer is yes. That could happen by Placer defeating Lincoln and Colfax, El Dorado losing to Bear River and Whitney, Colfax defeating Lincoln and Whitney defeating Placer. On the other hand, two losses for Colfax to Placer and Lincoln and the Falcons can only hope for that five-way (2-4) third place tiebreaker miracle. Lincoln (1-2) – The Zebras face a bear of a stretch of games – Placer, Bear River and Colfax – the next three weeks and with three straight wins – and two El Dorado losses, would make the playoffs. The Zebras lose out in any tiebreaker with El Dorado. In another interesting finish, Lincoln could lose to Placer this week and still make the playoffs if the Zebras win their final two games, Placer defeats Colfax and then loses to Whitney, and El Dorado loses its final three games. Placer (0-3) – If the cards fall into place, remarkably, despite at this point being winless in league, the Hillmen still do have playoff hopes. However, even three straight wins (Lincoln, Colfax, Whitney) won’t guarantee Placer a post-season berth unless El Dorado loses all three of its games. The Hillmen’s best bet to reach the post season is to win out and then hope that its 3-3 record earns a tie with either Colfax or Lincoln – both who still have to play each other. In that instance, Placer would hold the tiebreaker in head-to-head games with the Falcons and Zebras. However, in a three-way tie at 3-3 with El Dorado, Colfax and or Lincoln, the 13-point tie-breaker comes into play. Placer benefits in this because it’s forfeit loss to El Dorado went down as a 1-0 score making the Hillmen point differential against Lincoln and Colfax very pivotal . Mesa Verde (1-3) – The Mavericks, mathematically, are still alive but only in the 2-4 five-way finish. If the Mesa goes 3-3, they would lose out in any- tie-breakers with Colfax and Lincoln.