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Monday, October 17, 2011

Football: Playoffs a 99% Certainty

According to statistics guru Drew Pastuer (, the Orrville football team could actually lose their last two games and still have a 99% chance of making the OHSAA state playoffs. As of now, he says we have a 91% chance of hosting a home first-round game.

So it leads me to assume that a win over Clear Fork this Friday will lock up a first-round home playoff game regardless of the outcome of the Wooster game. Read below for more playoff talk, including my projections of where we'll end up in the region, and what team may be making the trip to Orrville in week 11.

First of all, let's look back at Orrville's previous 21 playoff appearances, and our regular season record in each.

10-0: 4 times (1984, 1987, 1988, 1995)
9-0: 1 time (1980)
9-1: 5 times (1985, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998)
8-2: 2 times (1999, 2006)
7-3: 6 times (1983, 1989, 1997, 2004, 2009, 2010)
6-4: 3 times (1992, 2003, 2005)

So almost half of our playoff appearances have come with a regular season record of 6-4 or 7-3.  But never, in the 21 prior appearances have we made it in at 5-5.  I sure hope that's not the case this year, but it's amazing that it's not only possible, but very probable that we WOULD make it as a 5-5 team.  As it stands right now, we'd be likely to host a home game with a 6-4 record.  That's only happened once before, in 2005 when we finished 3rd in the region with 19.95 points and lost to Akron St. V in the first round.

Since 1999 when the state started qualifying 32 teams per division (8 per region), only 31 teams have qualified for the playoffs with a 5-5 record.

Where will we finish?
I think the top 2 in this region are set, and Orrville isn't a part of the top 2 unless a few upsets happen.  If Norwayne wins out, they're the #1 seed, but easier said than done as they finish with Smithville and Hillsdale.  I think Girard will finish #2 and it will be very close between Orrville and Black River for 3rd and 4th place....but I think the Riders eek out the #3 seed when the dust settles.

Who will we play?
Currently, Fantastic50 says it's a 30% chance we host Brookfield in the first round, but I'm going to say it's going to be Canton Central Catholic who will finish as the 6 seed and travel to Orrville to face the 3rd seed Red Riders.

For all the area talk about the possibility of this matchup, I don't think it will happen until week 13 at the earliest..meaning both teams will need to win two playoffs games each to make this Wayne Co. dream matchup a reality.  That's tough for both teams.  If Orrville would fall to the 4 seed and Norwayne wins the region, each team would only need 1 win and a week 12 matchup would be a reality.

I'd love to see the matchup, but let's see each team earn a shot at it first.

That's how I see things....but all that could change in this season that's proved unpredictable so far.

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