CINCINNATI -- The final week of the Ohio high school football regular season is here, so let the suspense begin.
Multiple storylines highlight Week 10 including several teams in position to make the playoffs with victories on Friday night.
Longtime projections analyst Steve Shuck offered insight into the latest scenarios for WCPO.com this week and will have updates late Friday night and early Saturday.
In Division I, Region 4, Colerain (9-0), Lebanon (7-2), Mason (6-3) and Elder (6-3) are in the playoffs, Shuck said.
Colerain, ranked No. 5 nationally by the MaxPreps computer rankings and No. 1 in the Associated Press statewide poll, is widely expected to be the No. 1 seed.
If Mason wins at Sycamore, then the Comets are projected to host a first-round home game. (The top eight spots in each region make the playoffs with the top four hosting first-round games).
“A Sycamore win over Mason would not put them in the top four and probably would not move them higher than where they are now, but would give them separation from others on the fence,” Shuck said.
If Elder defeats La Salle Friday night, the Panthers could move to the No. 3 position.
St. Xavier (4-5) plays host to Louisville St. Xavier Friday night and the Bombers must win to feel comfortable about clinching their eighth consecutive playoff appearance.
Fairfield (6-3) plays host to Hamilton (5-4) also Friday night. A win by Hamilton could move the Big Blue up significantly. Fairfield could still make the playoffs with a loss, but may need St. Xavier, Sycamore and Springboro to lose.
In Division II, Region 8, Turpin (9-0) and Troy (8-1) will host first-round games, Shuck said. La Salle (7-2), Miamisburg (7-2) and Kings (7-2) have clinched spots.
Harrison (6-3) is favored over host Northwest (5-4), but the Wildcats could be safe even with a loss.
Edgewood (7-2) could be in trouble if it loses at home to Mount Healthy (8-1).
The battle for the eighth spot in Region 8 should prove to be very interesting with Anderson (6-3) and Princeton (5-4).
Princeton is favored at Middletown Friday night and Anderson is favored at home over Walnut Hills.
Two games to watch will be Dunbar against Belmont (at Welcome Stadium) and Lakota East at Lakota West.
But, Shuck said Lima Senior (6-3) could knock both teams out with an upset of Toledo Central Catholic. And if Vandalia Butler (4-5) defeats Tippecanoe, it could throw havoc into the situation.
In Division III, Region 12, New Richmond (8-1) plays host to Norwood (8-1) and the winner is in the playoffs.
“If you look closer, there is a chance both are in if Norwood wins the game,” Shuck said. “New Richmond would drop to a high 19 (points total). Looks good on the chart but there are two schools below the eighth spot than can pass them with wins this week.”
A win by Mount Healthy (8-1) over Edgewood would do wonders for the Owls. Wilmington (7-2) and Belmont (6-2) are also in the mix.
In Division IV, Region 16, the most interesting storyline is a projected matchup between No. 7 Indian Hill (8-1) at No. 2 Wyoming (9-0). That would be a rematch of the Sept. 16 double overtime game in which Wyoming won 34-27 at Indian Hill.
The No. 8 spot will be contested by Mariemont (7-2), Taft (6-3), Fenwick (5-4) and Middletown Madison (6-3).
In Division V, Region 20, Aiken (6-3) is in a good position. The Falcons are seeking their first playoff appearance in school history .
Blanchester (6-3) has the final spot but six teams have a mathematical chance to overtake the Wildcats.
A Madeira (5-4) win over Mariemont would be worth almost fourth points.
In Division VI, Summit Country Day (6-3) is favored over St. Bernard-Elmwood Place, but several schools are still mathematically alive.
In Division VII, Region 28, Hillcrest (7-2) is eighth but has little cushion. Lockland (4-4) could make it close with an upset over North College Hill.
Of the 716 OHSAA member schools playing varsity football this fall, the largest 72 schools are in Division I, while the remaining schools are divided equally in Divisions II-VII (approximately 108 schools in each division).
The top eight teams in each region will qualify for the playoffs. Use the drop-down menu to look through each region.
The official OHSAA first-round schedule will be announced at 3 p.m. Sunday.