Playoff (and mental) breakdown (not Karl Rove approved), STORYTIME, a correction, and 1,860 other words


Once more into the abyss — here's YOUR latest CIAC playoff forecast.

Karl Rove has disputed Polecat HQ's numbers, and in this case, he's probably right about half. Remember that the wacky happens more-and-more as the regular season closes in on its end.

One has to be a bit daft to predict the future performance of football teams, but we embrace daffiness.

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


Projected cutoff: One loss.

1. Southington (8-0)

Remaining games: Friday at Manchester (6-2), Nov. 22 v. Cheshire (5-3).

Outlook: Lock. Qualifies with a win Friday and a Hartford Public loss.

2. Staples of Westport (6-0)

Remaining games: Nov. 10 at Fairfield Warde (1-6), TBA v. Westhill (4-3), Nov. 22 at Greenwich (6-0).

Outlook: Lock.

3. Greenwich (6-0)

Remaining games: Nov. 9 at McMahon (4-3), Nov. 15 v. Danbury (2-5), Nov. 22 v. Staples (6-0).

Outlook: Lock.

4. Norwich Free Academy (8-0)

Remaining games: Saturday v. Waterford (3-5), Nov. 22 at New London (6-2).

Outlook: Lock.

5. Newtown (7-0)

Remaining games: Friday v. Bunnell (2-5), Nov. 17 at Immaculate (0-7), Nov. 21 v. Masuk (7-0).

Outlook: Lock.

6. Xavier of Middletown (7-1)

Remaining games: Friday v. West Haven (7-1), Nov. 22 v. Middletown (7-1).

Outlook: Lock.

7. Glastonbury (7-1)

Remaining games: Friday v. Hall (4-4), Nov. 17 at Simsbury (5-3).

Outlook: Lock.

8. West Haven (7-1)

Remaining games: Friday at Xavier (7-1), Nov. 22 v. Fairfield Prep (5-2).

Outlook: Unknown. A win Friday would almost put it over the top. If not, then the Prep game is a Class LL qualifier.

11. Fairfield Prep (5-2)

Remaining games: Friday v. Notre Dame-West Haven (2-5), Nov. 15 v. Branford (4-3), Nov. 22 at West Haven (7-1).

Outlook: Unknown. The West Haven game is going to be huge.

12. Ridgefield (5-2)

Remaining games: Nov. 8 v. Harding (0-7), Nov. 16 v. Bridgeport Central (1-5), Nov. 21 at Danbury (2-5).

Outlook: Not good. The Tigers can't catch up as they'll get few points beating their remaining opponents. They need some of those teams above them to lose.

The eight: No. 1 Staples v. No. 8 West Haven; No. 2 Southington v. No. 7 Newtown; No. 3 Xavier v. No. 6 Greenwich; No. 4 NFA v. Glastonbury.


Unofficially qualified: Avon, Hand of Madison and Windsor.

Projected cutoff: Two losses.

1. Hand of Madison (7-0)

Remaining games: Friday v. Shelton (5-3), Nov. 15 at Notre Dame-West Haven (2-5), Nov. 21 v. Guilford (3-4).

Outlook: Already qualified.

2. Windsor (7-0)

Remaining games: Friday v. RHAM (2-6), Nov. 17 at Hartford Public (6-1).

Outlook: Already qualified.

3. Avon (8-0)

Remaining games: Saturday v. Ellington/Somers (7-0), Nov. 17 at Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (1-6).

Outlook: Already qualified.

4. Masuk of Monroe (7-0)

Remaining games: Friday v. Barlow (7-0), Nov. 15 at Weston (6-1), Nov. 21 at Newtown (7-0).

Outlook: Lock.

5. Middletown (7-1)

Remaining games: Friday v. Hartford Public (6-1), Nov. 22 at Xavier (7-1).

Outlook: Good. It would qualify with a win Friday, along with wins by both Bristol Central (E.O. Smith) and Farmington (Bulkeley of Hartford).

6. Fitch of Groton (6-1)

Remaining games: Friday at St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (0-7), Nov. 15 at Bacon Academy (1-6), Nov. 22 v. Ledyard (6-2).

Outlook: Good. It's not going to get many points for beating its next two opponents, but it might be enough. More later.

7. New Canaan (6-1)

Remaining games: Nov. 9 v. Stamford (2-5), TBA at Trumbull (3-4), Nov. 22 at Darien (4-3).

Outlook: Lock. Wouldn't be surprised if the Darien game was a nail biter, tough.

8. Platt (6-2)

Remaining games: Saturday at East Catholic (1-7), Nov. 22 at Maloney (2-6).

Outlook: Lock.

9. Farmington (6-2)

Remaining games: Friday at Bulkeley (2-6), Nov. 22 v. Plainville (2-6).

Outlook: Not good. It'll finish 8-2, but won't have enough points to pass the teams above it. It needs help.

10. Platt Tech of Milford (5-2)

Remaining games: Saturday at Abbott Tech (4-4), Nov. 15 v. Prince Tech (6-1), Nov. 22 v. O'Brien Tech (1-6).

Outlook: Unknown. The Panthers are the wild card. They'll qualify if they win out. They're toast if they don't. And they haven't proven yet that they can beat the Constitution State Conference's top teams, such as Prince Tech.

The eight: 1. Hand v. 8. Platt; 2. Windsor v. 7. Middletown; No. 3 Masuk v. No. 6 Fitch; No. 4 Avon v. No. 5 New Canaan.


Projected cutoff: Two losses.

1. Ellington/Somers (7-0)

Remaining games: Saturday at Avon (8-0), Nov. 17 v. Housatonic/Wamogo (0-7), Nov. 22 v. Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton (5-2).

Outlook: Lock. Qualifies with two wins.

2. Wolcott (7-1)

Remaining games: Friday v. Woodland (6-1), Nov. 22 at Holy Cross (5-3).

Outlook: Good. Woodland is on a tear, so that game doesn't look good. Holy Cross has had its issues, and recently had one of its best players, Isaiah Wright, bounced out of school for disciplinary issues.

3. Barlow of Redding (7-0)

Remaining games: Friday at Masuk (7-0), Nov. 15 at Brookfield (5-2), Nov. 22 v. Weston (6-1).

Outlook: Lock. It could lose its next two games and still qualify.

4. Berlin (7-1)

Remaining games: Friday at Bloomfield (6-2), Nov. 21 at New Britain (2-6).

Outlook: Lock.

5. Bullard-Havens of Bridgeport (7-1)

Remaining games: Nov. 5 at O'Brien Tech (1-6), Saturday at Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement (8-0), Nov. 20 at Bassick (1-6).

Outlook: Unknown. It should be 8-1 when it plays HCCA, but will be the underdog in that game. The Bassick game is a tough call as the Lions have lost to much better teams in the FCIAC than Bullard-Havens has beaten in the Constitution State Conference.

6. Weston (6-1)

Remaining games: Saturday v. Bethel (2-5), Nov. 15 v. Masuk (7-0), Nov. 22 at Barlow (7-0).

Outlook: Not good. The Masuk game won't end well, so the Thanksgrabbing game at Barlow should be a Class M qualifier.

7. Hillhouse of New Haven (6-2)

Remaining games: Friday v. Sheehan (2-5), Nov. 22 at Wilbur Cross (1-6).

Outlook: Good. It's an overwhelming favorite in its next two games and should move up while other teams are taking their lumps.

8. New London (6-2)

Remaining games: Saturday at Ledyard (6-2), Nov. 22 v. Norwich Free Academy (8-0).

Outlook: Not good. Thanksgrabbing with NFA is a make-or-break game. The Whalers just lost to Fitch (39-27), and the only team the latter lost to was NFA (34-27).

9. Montville (6-2)

Remaining games: Friday v. East Lyme (1-6), Nov. 21 at St. Bernard/Norwich Tech (0-7).

Outlook: Good. It won't collect many points from its next two opponents, but could move up if, say, a Bullard-Havens, Weston or New London stumbled.

10 Ledyard (6-2)

Remaining games: Saturday v. New London (6-2), Nov. 22 at Fitch (6-1).

Outlook: Not good. It's playing better, but Fitch has played better the entire season.

11. St. Joseph of Trumbull (5-2)

Remaining games: Saturday v. Bassick (1-6), TBA v. Trinity Catholic (7-0), Nov. 21 at Trumbull (3-4).

Outlook: Good. We're bullish on The Hogs. Trinity could, of course, ruin that optimism and the Cadets' postseason dreams.

12. Brookfield (5-2)

Remaining games: Friday v. New Fairfield (4-3), Nov. 15 v. Barlow (7-0), Nov. 22 v. Bethel (2-5).

Outlook: Good. Yep — we're predicting that the Bobcats win their final three games.

The eight: No. 1 Berlin v. No. 8 Montville; No. 2 Ellington/Somers v. No. 7 Barlow; No. 3 Wolcott v. No. 6 Brookfield; No. 4 St. Joseph v. No. 5 Hillhouse.


Unofficially qualified: Ansonia.

Projected cutoff: Two losses.

1. Ansonia (8-0)

Remaining games: Friday at Wilby (4-4), Nov. 22 v. Naugatuck (5-3).

Outlook: Lock.

2. Trinity Catholic of Stamford (7-0)

Remaining games: Nov. 8 v. Darien (4-3), TBA at St. Joseph (5-2), Nov. 22 at Wilton (3-4).

Outlook: Lock.

3. North Branford (7-0)

Remaining games: Friday v. Nonnewaug (1-6), Nov. 17 at Lewis Mills (0-7), Nov. 21 v. Hyde (8-0).

Outlook: Lock.

4. Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement (8-0)

Remaining games: Saturday v. Bullard-Havens (7-1), Nov. 20 v. Prince Tech (6-1).

Outlook: Lock.

5. Hyde of New Haven (8-0)

Remaining games: Nov. 17 v. Nonnewaug (1-6), Nov. 21 at North Branford (7-0).

Outlook: Lock.

6. Woodland of Beacon Falls (6-1)

Remaining games: Friday at Wolcott (7-1), Nov. 21 v. Seymour (5-3).

Outlook: Lock. The Hawks are white hot.

7. Rocky Hill (7-1)

Remaining games: Friday v. Tolland (4-4), Nov. 22 v. Northwest Catholic (6-2).

Outlook: Unknown. The Thanksgrabbing game with Northwest is a Class S qualifier.

8. Prince Tech of Hartford (6-1)

Remaining games: Friday at Cheney Tech (4-4), Nov. 15 at Platt Tech (5-2), Nov. 20 at Hartford Capital/Classical/Achievement (8-0).

Outlook: Lock. It qualifies with wins over Cheney and Platt Tech.

9. Northwest Catholic of West Hartford (6-2)

Remaining games: Friday at Rockville (2-6), Nov. 22 at Rocky Hill (7-1).

Outlook: Unknown. See Rocky Hill.

10. Bloomfield (6-2)

Remaining games: Friday v. Berlin (7-1), Nov. 16 v. Fermi (0-8).

Outlook: Not good. Needs to win out and get help.

11. Stonington (6-2)

Remaining games: Friday v. Plainfield (5-2), Nov. 22 at Westerly (R.I.) (5-4).

Outlook: Not good. See Bloomfield.

12. Plainfield (5-2)

Remaining games: Friday at Stonington (6-2), Nov. 15 at Law (3-5), Nov. 22 v. Griswold (3-5).

Outlook: Not good. See Stonington and Bloomfield.

14. Cromwell (6-2)

Remaining games: Friday, at Valley Regional/Old Lyme (5-2), Nov. 22 at Coginchaug (3-4).

Outlook: Not good. See Stonington, Bloomfield and Plainfield.

16. Oxford (5-2)

Remaining games: Saturday, v. Stratford (2-5), Nov. 17 v. Bunnell (2-5), Nov. 21 at Pomperaug (2-5).

Outlook: Not good. See Stonington, Bloomfield….

17. Valley Regional/Old Lyme (5-2)

Remaining games: Friday, v. Cromwell (6-2), Nov. 16, at East Hampton/Vinal Tech (1-7), Nov. 21, v. Haddam-Killingworth (4-3)

Outlook: Not good. Ditto.

The eight: No. 1 Ansonia v. No. 8 Woodland; No. 2 HCCA v. No. 7 Hyde; No. 3 North Branford v. No. 6 Prince Tech; No. 4 Trinity Catholic v. No. 5 Rocky Hill.

■ ■ ■ ■


Brian and Kyle, The NVL Blog, "Week 8 Wrap", and, "Week 9 Predictions".

Kyle Brennan, Waterbury Republican-American, "Difference reactions from NVL finalists", "Power rankings", and, "Playoff contenders: The NVL's Big 3".

Gentleman Bryant Carpenter, Meriden Record-Journal, "Playoff Peek".

Ray Curren, Milford-Orange Bulletin, "Inside the SCC Football: Hurricane Sandy gives moment to reflect on life's priorities", and, "Week 8 Power Rankings".

Mark Jaffee, Waterbury Republican-American, "What we learned in Week 8 games".

Pooch Diggity Dogg, New Haven Register, "Football notebook: North Branford putting it all together", and, "Tuesday Morning Quarterback".

■ ■ ■ ■

Polecat management regrets the following error in the previous blog — former New London coach Jim Buonocore Sr. was credited with leading the Whalers to two CIAC state titles.


Buonocore led New London to FOUR CIAC state titles (1983 Class MM, 1989 Class SS, 1991 Class S, and 1992 Class S).

Again, we regret the error.

We sometimes marvel that anyone here at Polecat HQ can manage to dress themselves in the morning.

Vaya con dios….

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