As the regular season of high school football comes to a close this week, there are plenty of remaining question marks surrounding the area teams and what the postseason future holds.
@5NEWSBobby takes a look at every #5NEWSFFN area team and what’s on the line in week 10 and what the playoff picture could look like by the time Saturday morning arrives.
This might be the easiest conference in the state to figure out heading into the final season. There will be no need for math to help break this one down.
1/2 Seeds – Bentonville and Bentonville West have already secured first round byes in the 7A playoffs and they’ll meet in Centerton with a league title on the line. Winner gets the No. 1 seed, and more importantly, will be on the opposite side of the bracket than Bryant. Loser will be the No. 2 seed.
3/4 Seeds – Har-Ber and Fayetteville will both be at home in the first round of the playoffs in 7A and they’ll meet one another on Friday to determine who gets the higher seed. The Bulldogs get this one at home. Both teams lost head-to-head to Bentonville West so no matter a tie with the Wolverines as West would own the tie-breaker should Bentonville win in week 10.
5 Seed – It’s Van Buren no matter what happens on the final night of the regular season. The Pointers lost head-to-head to both Fayetteville and Har-Ber while all the teams below Van Buren can’t catch up in the win column.
6 Seed – In all likelihood, Rogers will get the final playoff spot from the 7A-West. A Mounties win over cross town rival Heritage secures them of the postseason berth. The War Eagles are winless this season and have lost 50 of their last 52 games. Springdale has a chance at the final playoff spot as they would need to beat Van Buren at home on Friday and then need Heritage to beat Rogers. The Red Dogs lost to Rogers 27-17 in week seven.
Eliminated – Heritage.
Bryant is the heavy favorite to repeat as state champion and for the first time in a while, North Little Rock could be playing in the first round. It’s been a rough year in Fort Smith as Northside and Southside have a combined 3-15 record and have zero conference wins. They’ll meet on Friday but both will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1980.
1 Seed – It’s Bryant. The Hornets are a perfect 9-0 and have eight mercy rule victories. Their biggest (and only?) test came in week nine as they topped North Little Rock 35-21.
2/3/4/5 Seeds – Conway, North Little Rock, Cabot and Little Rock Catholic are all in play based on records and the results of Thursday/Friday night’s games. Conway hosts Bryant in the toughest test among the four teams that are in play here. North Little Rock travels to Cabot while Catholic will host Little Rock Central. There are too many scenarios to break down here and tie-breaker points could very well factor in. Key head-to-head tie-breakers to note: Catholic beat NLR 41-21, NLR beat Conway 17-7, Conway beat Catholic 38-31, Conway and Catholic both have a win over Cabot. Here’s a look at the playoff points heading into week 10: NLR 49, Conway 46, Catholic 22, Cabot 38. The max a team could earn would be 13. Got all that?
6 Seed – Little Rock Central is locked into that final playoff berth and could move no higher as it lost head-to-head with Cabot, the only team it could match in the win column. The Tigers face Little Rock Catholic this week before heading to northwest Arkansas for the opening round of the playoffs at either Fayetteville or Har-Ber.
Eliminated – Northside, Southside.
Benton wrapped up the league title as they handed both Greenwood and Lake Hamilton their first losses of the season over the past two weeks.
1 Seed – Benton clinched at least a share of the league title and the top seed thanks to the two wins mentioned above. The Panthers will get a first round bye and that No. 1 seed no matter the outcome of this week’s home game against Sheridan.
2/3 Seeds – Greenwood travels to Lake Hamilton with the No. 2 seed and a first round bye on the line. The loser will get a home playoff game but will have to play in the first round as the No. 3 seed.
4/5/6 Seeds – A three-way tie is likely as Sheridan would have to pull an upset at Benton to prevent that, but if they do, the Yellow Jackets would lock up the No. 4 seed. Siloam Springs at Russellville and Little Rock Hall at El Dorado are the two other games that will affect these seeds. Siloam has a win over Sheridan and will go a long way as a tie-breaker while El Dorado beat the Panthers to give them an advantage. The Wildcats get winless Hall. Playoff points heading into week 10: Sheridan 39, El Dorado 26, Siloam Springs 14, Russellville 13.
Eliminated – Little Rock Hall
Good luck trying to figure out the playoff seeding in this league.
1 seed – This spot is not the hard part. It’s Harrison. The Golden Goblins are a perfect 9-0 and will be the No. 1 seed no matter the result of this week’s home game against Farmington.
2 seed – Vilonia has the second spot and a home playoff game locked up as they cannot be caught in the win column by anyone in the standings behind them. The Eagles host Faulkner County rival Greenbrier.
3/4 seeds – I promised things would get hard to figure out and here it is. Farmington, Greenbrier, Morrilton and Alma all have matching 3-3 records. If you want to start with the easiest to figure out, Alma has a great chance of getting in as they face winless Huntsville on Friday. Morrilton faces Clarksville, who has one league win. That leaves Farmington and Greenbrier to face the top two teams in the league but crazy things happen in week 10. Notable head-to-head tie breakers to remember: Alma beat Morrilton, Farmington and Greenbrier, Morrilton beat Greenbrier and Farmington, Greenbrier has a win over Farmington. Based on those head-to-head results, Farmington essentially must pull the upset at Harrison to get into the playoffs. Here’s a look at the tie-break points in case of a three way tie: Morrilton 34, Greenbrier 33, Farmington 20, Alma 15. The max a team can receive each win is 13 and do not lose any for a loss.
Eliminated – Clarksville, Huntsville
The top of this conference is easy to figure out but the bottom two, not so much.
1/2 seeds – Pea Ridge travels to Shiloh Christian with the conference title and the No. 1 seed on the line. The loser will still be at home in the first round but gets the No. 2 seed.
3/4/5 seeds – This could be really easy to figure out or really difficult, depending on Friday’s results as all four teams with playoff hopes face each other. Gentry hosts Gravette while Lincoln travels to Prairie Grove. Three will get in and one will be left out. The easiest path is for Gentry as a win would give them the No. 3 seed. The Pioneers are guaranteed a playoff berth no matter the results on Friday as they own the head-to-head tie breaker with the Tigers and Wolves and can’t be passed by Lincoln in the win column. Notable head-to-head wins: Gravette beat Lincoln, Prairie Grove beat Gravette. Playoff points are as follows: Gentry 46, Prairie Grove 39, Gravette 39, Lincoln 18. The Wolves must win on Friday or they are guaranteed to be eliminated. A Lincoln win would likely cause a three way with PG and Gravette.
Eliminated – Berryville, Green Forest
The Hillbillies have the league title locked up and everything else seems to have fallen into place behind them.
1 seed – Ozark is the conference champ and will be the No. 1 seed no matter the result of Friday’s game at home against Elkins.
2/3/4/5 seeds – There are a lot of scenarios that could happen here but most involve playing the ‘what if’ game and who wants to read that? Dardanelle would be the No. 2 seed with a win over Mena. A Sand Lizards loss could create a three-way tie assuming Pottsville beats Subiaco. Dardanelle, Pottsville and Mena would have then all split with each other and then the tie-breaker points would be brought into play. Dardanelle can fall no farther than the No. 4 seed because Elkins cannot catch them in the win column. The Elks are guaranteed a playoff berth but would need a road upset of Ozark to get off the No. 5 seed line. Here’s a look at the playoff points heading into week 10: Dardanelle 65, Mena 52, Pottsville 49, Elkins 39. The max a team can earn is 13 per win and will not lose any points with a loss.
Eliminated – Subiaco Academy, Waldron, Dover
Booneville claims their second straight 3A-1 crown and third straight league title overall but after that, things get wacky.
1 seed – The defending 3A state champion Booneville Bearcats are set up for another big run as they’re the No. 1 seed and get a first round bye in the playoffs. Booneville will also have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
2/3/4/5 seeds – There is nothing easy about the way this playoff picture is going to shape up. Five teams are fighting for four playoff spots and they all face each other with the exception of Cedarville, who has to face league champ Booneville. Here are the week 10 matchups: Lamar at Charleston, Greenland at West Fork Mansfield at Paris, Cedarville at Booneville. The winner of the Lamar at Charleston game will be the No. 2 seed. If you want the easiest path after that first, Greenland is facing winless West Fork and Mansfield gets Paris, who’s lone conference win came against West Fork. Notable head-to-head wins: Charleston beat Greenland and Cedarville. Mansfield beat Charleston and Cedarville. Greenland beat Mansfield and Cedarville. Cedarville beat Lamar. Lamar beat Mansfield and Greenland. There’s a good chance the tie-breaker points come into play so here’s how they stand: Lamar 45, Charleston 41, Mansfield 30, Greenland 29, Cedarville 29. There’s a good chance that Cedarville is the team left out unless they pull the upset at Booneville.
Eliminated – West Fork, Paris
The Rattlers ran away with the league title and Hackett continues to prove the doubters wrong.
1 seed – Magazine wrapped up the league title as they went a perfect 5-0 in the conference. There are only six teams in the league as Western Yell County and Decatur have dropped to play eight-man football.
2 seed – Hackett is the No. 2 seed and gets the first round at home as they are 3-1 in the league but own the tie-breaker with the teams below. Hackett will face Johnson County Westside on Friday. An impressive road with at Mountainburg in week eight was certainly a huge step for first year coach Michael Meador.
3/4 seeds – Hector travels to Mountainburg Friday night to determine who gets the higher seed but both teams will be on the road in the first round due to the makeup of this year’s bracket. The loser will be the No. 4 seed and can drop no lower.
5 seed – Lavaca gets the final playoff spot thanks to their 49-28 win over JC Westside earlier in the year. The Golden Arrows get the tough task of taking on highly ranked Fordyce on the road in the opening round.
Eliminated – Johnson Co. Westside