A question for accountants everywhere — how haven't you all become depraved drunks?
Everyone here at Polecat Worldwide is a math failure, as YOU could tell if they could see our bank statements. It has made deciphering CIAC playoff points a painful process. Imagine a migraine, coupled with that inner-ear itch that you cannot scratch.
Bonus points. Guarantees. Tiebreaker points. TYLENOL.
Here is our second-to-last attempt to dissect the four races as simply as possible.
1. These predictions are not to be taken as gospel. They were done in 16 seconds.
2. Just because we didn't pick your team to qualify doesn't mean we hate you. Hell, we don't even KNOW you. Should you choose to believe that this is the worst insult you've ever suffered, use it as motivation, and go on to win a state title, then we expect a free meal at your year-end banquet for providing the extra incentive you needed.
3. We plan on being wrong on about half of these and, in fact, look forward to it. To err is human. To laugh at one's self is divine.
Quote David Letterman, "Remember — this is an exhibition, not a competition. Please, no wagering."
We cannot stress enough that YOU MUST follow Matt Fischer's wondrously magical ROBOABACUS. It details every team's potential playoff points, and updates in real time. You're a fool if you haven't checked it out.
We also IMPLORE you to follow all the craziness the next three daze at Twitter at @MetalNED and #cthsfb.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
Before we proceed, a quick explanation about "bonuses":
■ A team receives 10 points for every win and five points for each tie earned by any opponent it beat.
■ A team receives five points for each victory and 2.5 points for each tie earned by an opponent it tied.
We'll update this after today's games. Ditto Wednesday, provided that anyone decides it doesn't want to make $$$$ at the gate and opts to play in a monsoon.
(We still haven't found a good underdog pick yet. This angers us.)
Remember, kids — the top eight teams in each division qualify.
IN: Newtown (11-0), Norwich Free Academy (8-1), West Haven (9-1), Glastonbury (10-1), and Hall (9-1).
Newtown earns a home quarterfinal. It will be the top seed if it wins at Masuk (7-3) tonight. It cannot finish lower than third.
NFA will be seeded no worse than third if it beats rival New London (8-2) on Thanksgiving in the 152nd edition of the nation's oldest rivalry. It will also have to call on one of its ECC neighbors to use their field because it doesn't have the permanent lighting required for CIAC playoff games. The Wildcats would drop no lower than sixth if they lost.
West Haven plays at Fairfield Prep (8-2) on Thanksgrabbing. A win ensures it at least a three seed. A loss drops it no lower than sixth (just like NFA).
Glastonbury concluded its regular season and has earned a home quarterfinal.
Hall finished its regular season, too. It will be seeded between third and sixth.
WIN-AND-IN: Southington (8-1).
Southington plays at Cheshire (4-6) on Thanksgrabbing. A win will seed it anywhere between third and sixth. The Blue Knights will need help if they lose.
MAD SCRAMBLE: Ridgefield (8-2), Fairfield Prep, Staples (8-2), Xavier (7-3) and Trumbull (8-2).
Ridgefield plays host to Danbury (3-7) on Thanksgrabbing Eve. A win gives it a 114.54-point average.
Fairfield Prep will have a 119.09 average if it beats West Haven.
Staples plays host to Greenwich (7-3) on Thanksgrabbing. A win gives it a 117.27 average.
Trumbull plays at St. Joseph (9-2) on Thanksgrabbing. A win gives it a 115.45 average.
BONUSES will decide who qualifies if all four teams win.
Prep has the biggest maximum average — 123.64. Three of its five bonuses don't look good, though.
Staples' max is 122.73. Three of its six bonuses look good. One of its bonuses is Danbury, which plays Ridgefield.
Trumbull's max average is 120.91. Four of its six bonuses aren't good. One of them is Greenwich, too.
Ridgefield's max average 120. Four of its six bonuses look promising.
All four are also relying on some of the same bonus games:
■ Fairfield Warde (3-7) at Fairfield Ludlowe (6-4): Ridgefield and Staples need Ludlowe. Trumbull needs Warde.
■ Harding (3-7) at Bridgeport Central (0-10): Staples and Trumbull need Central to win. Ridgefield needs Harding.
■ Norwalk (4-6) at McMahon (7-2): Staples and Trumbull need Norwalk.
■ Stamford (2-8) at Westhill (5-5): Prep and Ridgefield need Stamford.
■ Wilton (3-7) at Trinity Catholic (0-10): Ridgefield, Staples and Trumbull all need Wilton.
Xavier needs three of four teams to lose — Prep, Ridgefield, Staples or Trumbull. Five bonuses will give it a 113-point average. Three of its five bonuses look good.
SEND HELP: McMahon, and Greenwich (7-3).
Please don't make us explain. HAVEN'T WE SUFFERED ENOUGH.
FORECAST: No. 1 Newtown vs. No. 8 Ridgefield; No. 2 NFA vs. No. 7 Staples; No. 3 West Haven vs. No. 6 Southington; No. 4 Glastonbury vs. No. 5 Hall.
• • • •
IN: New Canaan (11-0) and Platt (10-0).
New Canaan will be the top seed if it beats fellow L contender Darien (9-1) on Thanksgrabbing. A lot will have to go wrong for it not to get a home quarterfinal, even if the Rams lose.
Platt gets a home quarterfinal if it beats Maloney (1-8) on Thanksgrabbing. Seems like a safe bet.
WIN-AND-IN: Middletown (9-1), Darien, Naugatuck (9-1) and New London.
Middletown plays at Windsor (6-3) tonight.
Naugatuck plays host to Ansonia (11-0) on Thanksgrabbing.
Darien plays at New Canaan.
New London plays at NFA on Thanksgrabbing.
All four could still qualify with a loss. We don't recommend that any go that route, though.
MAD SCRAMBLE: Farmington (8-2), Bristol Eastern (8-2), Hand (7-3) and North Haven (8-2).
BONUSES will likely sort out this foursome.
Farmington plays at Plainville (4-5) on Thanksgrabbing. A win and its five bonuses will give it a 123.64 average.
Bristol Eastern plays Bristol Central (4-5) on Thanksgrabbing. A win and six bonuses will give it a 121.82 average.
Hand plays at Guilford (5-5) on Thanksgrabbing Eve. A win and five bonuses will give it a 120 average.
North Haven visits Amity (5-5) on Thanksgrabbing. A win and five bonuses will give it a 120.91 average.
SEND HELP: Windsor, Wethersfield (7-3) and Masuk.
Windsor's max is 110 if it wins and earns all five of its bonuses. It cannot catch Middletown, Darien, Naugatuck or New London under any circumstances.
Wethersfield and Masuk can only finish eighth if all goes right for either. They cannot catch Middletown, Darien, Naugatuck, New London or Farmington under any circumstances.
FORECAST: No. 1. New Canaan vs. No. 8 Naugatuck (edges out North Haven on tiebreaker points); No. 2 Platt vs. No. 7 Hand; No. 3 Middletown vs. No. 6 Bristol Eastern; No. 4. Darien vs. No. 5 Farmington.
• • • •
IN: Valley Regional/Old Lyme (10-0), St. Joseph (9-2), Brookfield (9-2), Barlow (8-2), and Gilbert/Northwestern Regional (8-2).
VR/OL will be seeded no worse than second. It will earn the top seed with a win at winless Haddam-Killingworth tonight.
St. Joseph has earned itself a home quarterfinal, no matter what happens against Trumbull. It will be seeded third or higher.
Brookfield gets itself a home quarterfinal with a win at Bethel (8-2) on Thanksgrabbing and will be seeded second or third. A loss can drop it as low as eighth.
Barlow gets a home quarterfinal if it wins at Weston (3-7) on Thanksgrabbing and will likely be seeded fourth.
G/NR plays host to winless Housatonic Regional/Wamogo on Thanksgrabbing. Looks like it's taking a road trip during the quarterfinals unless Barlow and Bethel both lose. It can use a Ledyard loss, too, but can beat the Colonels on bonuses.
WIN-AND-IN: Ledyard (8-2), Bethel and Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech (8-2).
Ledyard qualifies with a win over Fitch (4-6) on Thanskgrabbing. It will also qualify if Montville beats St. Bernard/Norwich Tech tonight, and if Woodland beats Seymour (one of Wolcott's bonuses) on Thanksgrabbing Eve.
The Colonels will also qualify if both Stonington AND Wolcott lose on Thanksgrabbing. A loss doesn't ruin them, either. It will need just one bonus to beat out Stonington and two to edge Wolcott.
Ledyard has a mathematical chance at a home quarterfinal, but will need Barlow, G/NR, Bethel and P/T/E to all lose. Ain't no way G/NR is losing its game given the state of Housatonic/Wamogo.
If Bethel loses, then it will need three of its four bonuses to hold off Stonington. It will need two to block Wolcott.
Putnam/Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech plays host to Killingly (4-6) on Thanksgrabbing. It will qualify with a win, or losses by both Stonington and Wolcott.
MAD SCRAMBLE: Stonington (7-3), Wolcott (7-3).
Stonington must beat Westerly (3-7) on Thanksgrabbing, AND have either Bethel or P/T/E lose.
Mathematically, Wolcott can catch the Bears with a win over Holy Cross (7-3). Both will have 1,130 points without bonuses.
Stonington has a maximum of five bonuses — Griswold (5-4) over Plainfield (5-5), Killingly over P/T/E, winless Woodstock over Windham (6-4), Ledyard over Fitch, and Bacon Academy (2-8) over RHAM (3-7).
Wolcott has three bonuses — Crosby (1-9) over Kennedy (2-8), Derby (5-5) over Shelton (6-4), and Seymour (6-4) over Woodland (9-2).
Wolcott's most realistic shot to qualify is a win and losses by P/T/E AND Stonington.
SEND HELP: Foran (7-3).
Foran needs to beat Law, collect all of its bonuses, have P/T/E, Stonington AND Wolcott lose, and hope that P/T/E doesn't collect its two bonuses.
FORECAST: No 1. Valley Regional/Old Lyme vs. No. 8 Stonington; No. 2 St. Joseph vs. No. 7 Bethel; No. 3 Brookfield vs. No. 6 Gilbert/Northwestern Regional (Brookfield and Ledyard are going to finish within a point of each another); No. 4 Barlow vs. No. 5 Ledyard.
• • • •
IN: Capital/Classical/Achievement (11-0), Ansonia, Rocky Hill (9-1), Woodland (9-2), Morgan (9-1), and Prince Tech (9-2).
C/C/A is the top seed.
Ansonia has clinched a home quarterfinal. It will be No. 2 if it beats Naugy.
Rocky Hill will earn a home quarterfinal if it wins at Northwest Catholic (7-3) on Thanksgrabbing. Its maximum is 143.64 with eight bonuses.
Woodland gets a home quarterfinal with a win at Seymour (6-4) on Thanksgrabbing Eve. Its max is 141.82 with six bonuses.
Morgan plays host to Old Saybrook/Westbrook (5-5) on Thanksgrabbing Eve. Its max is 134.55, so the only way it gets a home quarterfinal is if Rocky Hill or Woodland lose.
ALMOST THERE: Bloomfield (9-2).
All it needs is one of its eight bonuses. They're not great bonuses, but Berlin over New Britain is realistic.
WIN-AND-IN: Coginchaug (7-2).
The Blue Devils play at Cromwell (4-6) on Thanksgrabbing.
SEND HELP: Holy Cross, Canton (7-3), Montville (6-4), Northwest Catholic (7-3).
These four need to win, Coginchaug to lose, and to cash in on bonuses (Holy Cross could mathematically catch Bloomfield, but won't).
Holy Cross has the best chance of this group — it has four bonuses for a 111.82 max.
Canton has four bonuses for a 106.36 max.
Northwest has seven bonuses for a 106.36 max. Dems bad odds.
Montville has the worst chance of them all. It has four bonuses for a 100.91 max. That's also Coginchaug's minimum. So if even if Cromwell beat the Blue Devils, all they'd need is one of its six bonuses to eliminate Montville.
FORECAST: No. 1. Capital/Classical/Achievement vs. No. 8 Bloomfield; No. 2. Ansonia vs. No. 7 Coginchaug; No. 3. Rocky Hill vs. No. 6 Prince Tech; No. 4. Woodland vs. No. 5 Morgan.
• • • •
YOUR Thanksgrabbing week itinerary:
■ Middletown (9-1, 4-0 CCC D-II West) at Windsor (6-3, 2-2), tonight, 6:30 p.m.: A Class L play-in game, and its unlikely Windsor will qualify even if it won.
■ Brookfield (9-1, 3-0 SWC Yankee) at Bethel (8-2, 3-1), Thanksgrabbing Day, 10 a.m.: THE Class M transmogrifier. It's also of great interest to Ledyard and G/NR as it should affect their travel plans.
■ Greenwich (7-3, 3-1 FCIAC West) at Staples (8-2, 4-0), Thanksgrabbing Day, 10 a.m.: Staples returns to LL with a win. The Cardinals have a faint hope, but most likely are playing for pride and to ruin the Wreckers' day.
■ New London (8-1, 2-0 ECC Large) at NFA (8-1, 2-0), Thanksgrabbing Day, 10 a.m.: The nation's oldest rivalry remains as vital as ever. NFA has already qualified for LL and is playing for a home quarterfinal. A win gets New London a Class L berth.
■ Rocky Hill (9-1, 3-0 CCC D-III West) at Northwest Catholic (7-3, 2-1), Thanksgrabbing Day, 10 a.m.: Class S transmogrifier. Rocky Hill gets a home quarterfinal with a win. Northwest is a long shot.
■ West Haven (9-1) at Fairfield Prep (8-2), Thanksgrabbing Day, 10 a.m.: The biggest dang game of the week and a Class LL transmogrifier. West Haven has already qualified and is ranked third, Prep eighth. The Westies will earn a home quarter with a win. Prep will get a road quarterfinal if it wins, but is toast if it loses. It could also benefit three-time reigning champion Xavier, which needs the Jesuits to lose in order to have a chance to get in.
■ Ansonia (11-0) at Naugatuck (9-1), Thanksgrabbing Day, 10:30 a.m.: Ansonia has qualified for S and is playing for a home game. Naugy needs the win to get a Class L berth, but will still have a shot if it loses. The two teams are also a contrast in styles — Ansonia loves to ground-and-pound, the Greyhounds are unpredictable and willing to try anything.
■ Holy Cross (7-3) at Wolcott (7-3), Thanksgrabbing Day, 10:30 a.m.: Both need a win and lots of help to play next week.
■ Darien (9-1, 4-1 FCIAC East) at New Canaan (11-0, 5-0), Thanksgrabbing Day, 10:30 a.m.: Class L transmogrifier. Darien qualifies with a win, and would be on the edge if it lost. The Rams have already locked up a berth and would likely get a home quarterfinal no matter what happens here.
■ Trumbull (8-2) at St. Joseph (9-2), 10:30 a.m.: Trumbull must win to have a chance at LL. The Cadets have already qualified for M. This could be the daffiest game of the week as both teams have given up a lot of points to top offenses.
• • • •
This high school football season has been arguably the most unpredictable in years, forcing voters in The Day's Top 10 state coaches' poll to deal with a numerous conundrums on almost a weekly basis.
There was one question that voters had to answer this week - where to vote St. Joseph (9-2).
The Cadets lost to top-ranked New Canaan in last Friday's FCIAC championship game (31-20), their second loss to the Rams this season. But St. Joseph beat Darien, ranked eighth last week, back in Week 4 (28-14).
The vote evened itself out as Darien and St. Joseph tied for seventh this week.
It's was an otherwise uneventful Top 10 as the same teams remain. New Canaan (11-0) received 10 of 13 first-place votes. It will play host to Darien (9-1) on Thanksgiving.
Ansonia holds at No. 2 and received the other three first-place votes. It plays at Naugatuck (9-1) on Thanksgiving in the 115th meeting between the two Valley rivals, the state's third-oldest rivalry.
YOU can find the poll by looking to YOUR right. We've also posted a swell graphic that you can find by clicking the arrow under our state playoff map.
• • • •
The New Haven Register media poll: 1. New Canaan (24 first-place votes); 2. Ansonia (four first-place votes); 3. Newtown; 4. West Haven; 5. Glastonbury; 6. NFA; 7. St. Joseph; 8. Southington; 9. Middletown; and, 10. Platt.
• • • •
Sorry, but no Ned Freeman computer rankings for CalPreps.com or MaxPreps.com this week. The results of the SWC championship (Newtown 28, Brookfield 14), and FCIAC championship (New Canaan 31, St. Joseph 20) haven't been inputted into the database yet. Dang.
• • • •
Behold, the ballot Polecat Worldwide submitted to Pooch Diggity Dogg, comptroller of the New Haven Register Top 10 media poll (notes added where necessary):
1. New Canaan
4. West Haven
5. St. Joseph: Yeah, it has two losses. To NEW CANAAN.
7. Fairfield Prep
11. North Haven
15. Valley Regional/Old Lyme
• • • •
Ansonia defense: Hassled Woodland QB Tanner Kingsley during last Wednesday's 48-7 win in the NVL championship game. Kingsley completed just 10 of 27 passes for 76 yards with three interceptions and no touchdowns. He averaged 271 yards with 41 touchdowns prior to running into the Chargers.
Avon defense: Forced five turnovers, including Jimmy Murphy's fumble recovery in the end zone, to down Ellington/Somers last Saturday, 30-13.
Bulkeley: Beat the St. Bernard/Norwich Tech co-op last Wednesday, 34-7, and finished with more wins this season than the last four combined. The Bulldogs finished 5-6, the program's most wins in a single-season since 1994 (6-4).
Nick Cascione, New Canaan: Returned from a two-game absence (concussion) to play in last Friday's FCIAC championship. He earned MVP honors by completing 10 of 23 passes for 141 yards with a TD and INT and ran 19 times for 117 yards and two TDs to lead the top-ranked Rams to a 31-20 win over then-No. 6 St. Joseph, 31-20.
Ty Ebdon, Ledyard: Completed 8 of 12 passes for 143 yards with three touchdowns and three picks and had 14 carries for 89 yards and a score as the Colonels beat Waterford last Thursday, 41-20.
Bennie Fulse III, Capital/Classical/Achievement: Ran 16 times for 169 yards and three second-half touchdowns as the unbeaten Trailblazers blanked Prince Tech last Saturday, 27-0, and clinched their third straight Constitution State Conference title.
Jeremy Gannon, Sheehan: Ran nine times for 146 yards and three touchdowns and completed 6 of 8 passes for 151 yards and a score as the Titans thumped Branford last Friday, 49-13.
Jose Garcia, New London: Had 132 receiving yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 64-yard punt return and a 99-yard kickoff return during last Thursday's 44-24 win over East Lyme.
Cooper Gold, Newtown: Ran 27 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns to earn MVP honors in the Nighthawks' 28-7 win over Brookfield last Thursday.
Timmy Maher, Law: Quarterback ran 24 times for 142 yards and four touchdowns to pace the Lawmen past Plainfield last Thursday, 36-20.
Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia: Ran 22 times for 222 yards and four touchdowns and caught a 29-yard touchdown to earn MVP honors.
Zach Poirier, Stonington: Ran 13 times for 158 yards and three touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard kickoff return to lead the Bears to a 41-18 win over Killingly last Friday to clinch the Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium title.
Brett Sparaco, Old Saybrook/Westbrook: Ran 20 times for 160 yards and four touchdowns as the Rams beat Stafford/East Windsor last Friday, 41-22.
Valley Regional defense: Held Gilbert/Northwestern Regional to 135 yards of offense during last Friday's 35-0 win. Gilbert averaged 257 yards rushing prior playing the WARRIORCATS. David Peck returned an interception for a 48-yard touchdown while Peter Barry and Christopher Jean Pierre each recovered a fumble. Tyler Cheverier added a sack and Jack Anthony Giaconia blocked a quick kick early in the third quarter to give the Warriors the ball at the Yellowjackets' 18 to set up their fourth touchdown.
Jake Ward, Morgan: Ran for 345 yards and five touchdowns as the Huskies trounced Sports Medical/University last Friday, 40-16, and clinched a Class S playoff berth.
Windham: Scored 14 points in the first 21 seconds during last Friday's 54-15 rout of Bacon Academy.
• • • •
■ Kountry Kyle Brennan (SOLO), Waterbury Republican-American: 10 local teams with best seasons to date; Nine top games of 2013 (so far); Seven area teams with postseason chances; and, Six of the best Thanksgiving rivalries.
■ Kountry Kyle Brennan and Remmington, NVL Blog: Their Thanksgrabbing predictions.
■ Bryant Carpenter, Meriden Record-Journal: Heavy favorites stand on guard (Mssr. Carpenter is referring to Platt vs. Maloney); 'Do your best and leave no regrets' (Lyman Hall vs. Sheehan); Carini Case Study: Sheehan's Jordan Lytle; and, area notebook.
■ Rich DePreta, Hearst Inc.: Frank Robotti: The man behind the trophy.
■ Gerry deSimas Jr., Collinsville Press: Area previews (Gerry is the eyes and ears of Farmington Valley sports).
■ Mike DiMauro, TEAM DAY: Area previews.
■ Scott Ericson, Hearst Inc.: FCIAC-SCC challenge an overwhelming success. Yeah. Especially if you're the FCIAC.
■ John Holt, WFSB: Profile of Alyn Strums of Capital/Classical/Achievement. Dude wants to be a pilot. And, yes, we know this story has sound and moving pictures.
■ Mark Jaffee, Waterbury Republican-American: Holiday games mean so much more; and, area notebook.
■ Someone, Norwich Bulletin (no bylines were listed): Destiny in Pride's hands; Putnam content in Constitution State Conference; New London vs. NFA preview; area previews; and, area notebook.
■ Pooch Diggity Dog, JRC Amalgamated: Foran trying to play way into Class M field; and, Tuesday Morning Quarterback.
■ Sean Patrick Starfish, JRC Amalgamated: He goes through all the playoff possibilities and gets a migraine like the rest of us. Class LL, Class L, Class M, and Class S.
■ Tom Yantz, Hartford Courant: Undefeated Newtown High Plays For Green And White.
■ Some dude, TEAM DAY: Studying the ins and outs of high school football playoffs (intended for our eastern Connecticut viewers).
• • • •
Thanks for reading. More later.
Vaya con dios....