CINCINNATI -- If last week’s area high school football results weren’t enough to make your head spin, then consider this:
Five of the projected eight qualifying teams in Division I, Region 4 lost last week.
Good luck, Steve Shuck.
Shuck, the area’s longtime playoff projections analyst and Greater Miami Conference commissioner, certainly knows Colerain (8-0) will win the region.
But after that is anyone’s guess. The order in Division I could certainly change significantly these final two weeks of the regular season.
“I could make a case where any of 14 teams could reach the top eight,” Shuck told WCPO.com Tuesday. “Of course, some would have to win games that are almost impossible to do.”
Lebanon (6-2) and Elder (5-3) appear to have clinched berths. If Mason (5-3) wins at home against Princeton (5-3) Friday night, the Comets appear to be safe.
St. Xavier (4-4) is an underdog at home to Cleveland Ignatius (7-1) Saturday (2 p.m. kickoff). So if the Bombers lose, St. X may have to defeat visiting Louisville St. Xavier Oct. 28 in order to get in.
Sycamore (4-4) is projected to finish eighth and the Aviators finish the season with two home games -- against Oak Hills Friday and against Mason Oct. 28.
Fairfield (5-3) plays host to Lakota East (4-4) Friday night and the Indians must win that and against visiting Hamilton (4-4) in Week 10 in order to clinch a spot.
Lakota East, Hamilton (4-4) and Oak Hills (4-4) still have opportunities.
Moeller (3-5) must defeat two-time reigning state champion Lakewood St. Edward (6-1) Saturday (5 p.m. kickoff at Lockland).
In Division II, Region 8, there are no predicted changes in the top seven spots.
Princeton (5-3) and Anderson (5-3) are very close in the eighth and ninth spots, respectively.
“The Princeton and Anderson battle will likely go down to the last score we need,” Shuck said. “Several games involving their defeated opponents may determine their fate.”
In Division III, Region 12, the Week 10 matchup with Norwood (7-1) at New Richmond (7-1) may have a significant impact. If Norwood loses, it could drop the Indians to ninth.
Mount Healthy (8-0) is at Harrison (5-3) and at Edgewood (6-2) to conclude the regular season, but it appears the Owls will qualify.
Wilmington (7-1) also has an opportunity but is projected at No. 10.
In Division V, Region 20, Madeira could gain three points by winning the final two games. The Mustangs (5-3) are projected to finish No. 11.
In Division VI, Region 24, Summit Country Day (5-3) must win this week at North College Hill to hold its spot at No. 7. A loss would drop the Silver Knights to below ninth.
In Division VII, Region 28, Hillcrest’s win over Miami Valley Christian Academy moved it to No. 7.
But the information offers a glimpse into what may be the first-round pairings when the playoffs start in November. The official pairings will be released Oct. 30.
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.