Scheduling changes, YOUR playoff forecast, and 2,076 other words

Howdy,

Well, this week was particularly awful.

Here's hoping for a quick return to normalcy for you all.

In less important news, the state schedule required much shuffling. Many games will be played Saturday, with a few on Sunday and Monday.

The South-West Conference moved it's this weekend's games (Week 8) to the week before Thanksgrabbing, traditionally a bye week where the league holds its title game.

Bunnell of Stratford athletic director Dave Johnson told Mike Cardillo of Hearst Inc. that the league would decide whether there would be a title game after next weekend's games.

There are three unbeaten teams in the SWC — Barlow of Redding, Masuk of Monroe and Newtown.

Barlow plays Masuk next weekend. Masuk plays at Newtown on Thanksgrabbing Eve. Theoretically, if Masuk beats Barlow, then the Masuk-Newtown game could serve as the title game as it did last year.

A Barlow win over Masuk would require the league to figure something out quickly.

The Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference wasn't as sensible as the SWC. It did make one a wise call, pushing this weekend's games (Week 8) to next Thursday.

It gets dicey from there. The Week 9 games will be played Tuesday, Nov. 13.

FCIAC president Dave Schulz told the Stamford Advocate's Dave Ruden that if the league finalists are determined next Thursday, then teams could move their Nov. 13 games to Friday, Nov. 16 or Saturday, Nov. 17.

Still with us?

Should the league need to play a title game, it would be played that Saturday.

There's potential, then, that a team would have to play four games in 14 days because the regular season ends on Thanksgrabbing (Thursday, Nov. 22).

Say a Greenwich, Staples of Westport, and/or Trinity Catholic of Stamford (the league's three unbeaten teams) have to play those four games in 14 days. Should either of them reach a state final, they'd be playing seven games in 30 days.

That's not good.

The best thing that could happen for all parties involved is if Trinity lost to either Darien (Nov. 8) or St. Joseph of Trumbull (Nov. 13). Then Thanksgrabbing's Greenwich v. Staples game would serve as the FCIAC final, assuming both are unbeaten (and both should, given their respective schedules).

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Programming alert — next week's Day of New London Top 10 state coaches' poll has been canceled due to the number of rescheduled games. It will return Monday, Nov. 12.

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Here's YOUR latest CIAC playoff forecast.

To quote David Letterman, "Remember, this is not a competition, it is only an exhibition — please, no wagering."

CLASS LL

Projected cutoff: Two losses.

1. Staples (6-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Fairfield Warde (1-6); Nov. 10 v. Westhill (4-3); Nov. 22 at Greenwich (6-0).

Outlook: Lock.

2. Greenwich (6-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at McMahon (4-3); Nov. 9 v. Danbury (2-5); Nov. 22 v. Staples (6-0).

Outlook: Lock.

3. Southington (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Simsbury (5-2); Nov. 9 at Manchester (5-2); Nov. 22 v. Cheshire (4-3).

Outlook: Lock.

4. Newtown (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 3 at Immaculate (0-7); Nov. 9 v. Bunnell (2-5); Nov. 21 v. Masuk (7-0).

Outlook: Lock.

5. Norwich Free Academy (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Griswold (3-4); Nov. 10 v. Waterford (3-4); Nov. 22 at New London (6-1).

Outlook: Lock.

6. Xavier (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Shelton (5-2); Nov. 9 v. West Haven (6-1); Nov. 22 v. Middletown (6-1).

Outlook: Good. Let's give the Falcons wins over both Shelton and Middletown (although the latter's speed will give them fits). Should that happen, than it'll be in good shape regardless of what happens against West Haven.

7. Glastonbury (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. South Windsor (1-6); Nov. 9 v. Hall (3-4); Nov. 17 at Simsbury (5-2).

Outlook: Lock.

8. West Haven (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Wilbur Cross (1-5); Nov. 9 at Xavier (6-1); Nov. 22 v. Fairfield Prep (5-2).

Outlook: Unknown. The Westies would qualify with three wins. No duh.

12. Fairfield Prep (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Branford (4-3); Nov. 9 v. Notre Dame-West Haven (2-5); Nov. 22 at West Haven (6-1).

Outlook: Unknown. The West Haven game should end up being a Class LL play-in. Neat.

14. Ridgefield (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Harding (0-7); Nov. 9 v. Bridgeport Central (1-5); Nov. 21 at Danbury (2-5).

Outlook: Not good. It has very bad bonus games. Even it finished 8-2, it may not be able to outpoint Xavier, West Haven or Fairfield Prep should two of those three have the same record. So, yeah, it needs help.

CLASS L

Projected cutoff: Three losses.

1. Windsor (6-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Maloney (2-5); Nov. 9 v. RHAM (2-5); Nov. 17 at Hartford Public (5-1).

Outlook: Lock.

2. Hand (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Notre Dame-West Haven (2-5); Nov. 9 v. Shelton (5-2); Nov. 21 v. Guilford (2-4).

Outlook: Lock.

3. Avon (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Enfield (4-3); Nov. 10 v. Ellington/Somers (7-0); Nov. 17 at Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (1-5).

Outlook: Lock.

4. Masuk (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 3 at Weston (6-1); Nov. 9 v. Barlow (7-0); Nov. 21 at Newtown (7-0).

Outlook: Lock.

5. New Canaan (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Stamford (2-5); Nov. 9 at Trumbull (3-4); Nov. 22 at Darien (4-3).

Outlook: Good. The Rams have had to sweat out some games more than they're used to, but they should win out.

6. Middletown (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Farmington (6-1); Nov. 9 v. Hartford Public (5-2); Nov. 22 at Xavier (6-1)

Outlook: Lock.

7. Fitch (5-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at New London (6-1); Nov. 9 at St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (0-6); Nov. 15 at Bacon Academy (1-5); Nov. 22 v. Ledyard (5-2).

Outlook: Fair. The Falcons will defeat Bacon and the Saints. At worst, they must beat either New London or Ledyard.

8. Farmington (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Middletown (6-1); Nov. 9 at Bulkeley (2-5); Nov. 22 v. Plainville (1-6).

Outlook: Fair. It could withstand a loss to Middletown, as odds are it'll win its final two games.

9. Platt (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Berlin (7-0); Nov. 10 at East Catholic (1-6); Nov. 22 at Maloney (2-5).

Outlook: Not good. It must win out.

10. Platt Tech (4-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 3 at Wilcox Tech (1-5); Nov. 10 at Abbott Tech (3-4); Nov. 15 v. Prince Tech (5-1); Nov. 22 v. O'Brien Tech (1-5).

Outlook: Unknown. On paper, it beats Wilcox and O'Brien. Abbott is a wild card as it handed Prince Tech its first loss Saturday. Prince Tech won't be an easy match-up, either. The Panthers need to win out.

CLASS M

Projected cutoff: Three losses.

1. Wolcott (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Ansonia (7-0); Nov. 9 v. Woodland (5-1); Nov. 22 at Holy Cross (5-2).

Outlook: Lock. Didn't like the Eagles odds before it blew out Derby. Their schedule is vicious because they're playing the best the NVL has to offer, but it just has to beat one of the three.

2. Berlin (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Platt (5-2); Nov. 9 at Bloomfield (5-2); Nov. 21 at New Britain (2-5).

Outlook: Lock. The top seed.

3. Ellington/Somers (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 10 at Avon (7-0); Nov. 17 v. Housatonic/Wamogo (0-6); Nov. 22 v. Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton (4-2).

Outlook: Lock.

4. Barlow (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Brookfield (5-2); Nov. 9 at Masuk (7-0); Nov. 22 v. Weston (6-1).

Outlook: Lock.

5. Bullard-Havens (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 3 at O'Brien Tech (1-5); Nov. 10 at Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement (7-0); Nov. 20 at Bassick (1-6).

Outlook: Unknown. Don't like its odds against HCCA. Bassick may have just one win, but its had a worst record than the Tigers before and still won.

6. New London (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Fitch (5-1); Nov. 10 at Ledyard (5-2); Nov. 22 v. Norwich Free Academy (7-0).

Outlook: Good. Yeah, it has the ECC's most brutal finishing stretch, but pencil it in for two wins. You can guess which two.

7. Weston (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 3 v. Masuk (7-0); Nov. 10 v. Bethel (2-5); Nov. 22 at Barlow (7-0).

Outlook: Not good. Masuk is a loss. Don't like its odds against Barlow, either, as the latter has beaten better competition.

8. Hillhouse (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Lyman Hall (0-7); Nov. 9 v. Sheehan (2-5); Nov. 22 at Wilbur Cross (1-5).

Outlook: Lock.

9. St. Joseph (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Bassick (1-6); Nov. 10 v. Trinity Catholic (7-0); Nov. 21 at Trumbull (3-4).

Outlook: Good. "WHAT?," you exclaim. "St. Joes would have to win all three games, and Trinity is unbeaten," you yell. Yeah, we'll take the Cadets in that game.

10. Ledyard (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Bacon Academy (1-5); Nov. 10 v. New London (6-1); Nov. 22 at Fitch (5-1).

Outlook: Not good. The Colonels have shown signs of life the last two weeks, and it's hard to write them off given their talent and experience. On the other hand, New London and Fitch are better.

11. Brookfield (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Barlow (7-0); Nov. 9 v. New Fairfield (4-3); Nov. 22 v. Bethel (2-5).

Outlook: Good. The Bobcats became a forgotten team in the South-West Conference after they were nuked by Newtown. They'd get folks attention again if they beat Barlow and New Fairfield. It's a tough gig, but we have faith in Brookfield.

12. Montville (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Stonington (6-1); Nov. 9 v. East Lyme (0-6); Nov. 21 at St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (0-6).

Outlook: Fair. That forecast may be too optimistic, too. The Indians are capable of finishing 8-2 like many in this division. The problem is that hasn't picked up many points because too many of its opponents have losing records. Their final two games won't help matters either.

The eight: No. 1 Berlin v. No. 8 

CLASS S

Projected cutoff: Two losses.

1. Trinity Catholic (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 3 v. Darien (4-3); Nov. 10 at St. Joseph (5-2); Nov. 22 at Wilton (3-4).

Outlook: Lock.

2. Ansonia (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Wolcott (7-0); Nov. 9 at Wilby (3-4); Nov. 22 v. Naugatuck (4-3)

Outlook: Lock. Top seed, too.

3. North Branford (6-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 3 at Coginchaug (3-3); Nov. 9 v. Nonnewaug (1-5); Nov. 17 at Lewis Mills (0-6); Nov. 21 v. Hyde (7-0).

Outlook: Lock.

4. Hyde (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at East Hampton/Vinal Tech (1-6); Nov. 17 v. Nonnewaug (1-5); Nov. 21 at North Branford (6-1).

Outlook: Lock.

5. Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement (7-0)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Cheney Tech (4-3); Nov. 10 v. Bullard-Havens (6-1); Nov. 20 v. Prince Tech (5-1).

Outlook: Lock.

6. Woodland (5-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Holy Cross (5-2); Nov. 9 at Wolcott (7-0); Nov. 21 v. Seymour (5-2).

Outlook: Lock. Yeah, we think it wins out, so now you know it's not the team we think will be Wolcott's eighth win.

7. Rocky Hill (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Bristol Central (2-5); Nov. 9 v. Tolland (3-4); Nov. 22 v. Northwest Catholic (5-2).

Outlook: Lock. The Northwest game should be a black-and-bruise battle, but we'll take the Terriers. Feel free to accuse us of bias because Rocky Hill uses GOD'S OFFENSE.

8. Stonington (6-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 v. Montville (5-2); Nov. 9 v. Plainfield (5-2); Nov. 22 at Westerly (R.I.) (5-3).

Outlook: Not good. Like its odds to finish 8-2, but, unlike others, it hasn't beaten enough bigger schools to earn extra points.

9. Prince Tech (5-1)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech (3-3); Nov. 9 at Cheney Tech (4-3); Nov. 15 at Platt Tech (4-2); Nov. 20 at Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement (7-0).

Outlook: Good. It has the edge over Stonington based on playing bigger programs. It would get an extra 10 points for beating P/T/E and Cheney (Class M), and 20 for beating Platt Tech (Class L).

10. Holy Cross (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 2 at Woodland (5-1); Nov. 10 v. St. Paul (1-6); Nov. 22 v. Wolcott (7-0).

Outlook: Not good. The defending S champs don't have Woodland's firepower, and Wolcott has played better and more consistently.

13. Northwest Catholic (5-2)

Games remaining: Nov. 3 v. Bristol Eastern (4-3); Nov. 9 at Rockville (2-5); Nov. 22 at Rocky Hill (6-1).

Outlook: Unknown. Beat Rocky Hill or forget it, and even that may not be enough for the Indians.

Vaya con dios….

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