Log In

Reset Password
  • MENU
    Tuesday, December 06, 2022

    The Lonesome Polecat: BRACKETOLOGY (v. 2.0)~!


    Let’s cut to the chase and get right to BRACKETOLOGY~!


    1. The (unofficial) qualifiers should be correct because we cross-checked them with Sean Patrick Bowley and Michael “Pucks” Fornabaio of the GameTimeCT/Heart Monolith, for which we thank them.

    REMEMBER NO ONE officially qualifies until the CIAC football committee says so. They’ll rubber stamp everything the day after the end of the regular season, whenever that is.

    2. We had to predict the winners of 81 games to do this. That’s obviously the crappiest of crap-shoots.

    We went with our gut (and The Voices) for picking winners in the majority of the games.

    We also used Ned Freeman’s computer model at CalPreps to help with some of the more difficult games to pick. The model has an 80.7% accuracy rate this year and has an uncanny way at times of recognizing quality teams and ranking them higher before voters do in both The Day coaches’ or GameTimeCT media polls. And did you know that it’s used to seed California’s state playoffs?

    3. We’re going to be wrong about some of these predictions. Like, really, really wrong. That’s because things get exponentially more bonkers the closer we get to Thanksgiving week. Then things really sail off a cliff.

    Factor in, too, that it’s been a chaotic season because there’s no dominant team(s) as there have been in past years.

    One wise, state championship-winning coach has opined that the state’s 18th best team could beat the No. 1 team on the right day this year. YEP.

    4. Just because we didn’t pick your team to qualify doesn’t mean we hate you.

    Hell, we don’t even know you, man.

    5. A team receives 10 bonus points for any win by a team it beat.

    There’s also schedule strength points that award a team five points for every win by an opponent even if it lost to said opponent.

    That, and the schedule strength points, means that programs that play winning teams gain more playoff points than programs that don’t.

    All that means is that the better the schedule, the more points a team gets.

    6. Let me remind you — this is not a competition. It’s only an exhibition. Please, no wagering.

    The state quarterfinals (Tuesday, Nov. 29) and semifinals (Sunday, Dec. 4) are hosted by the higher seeds.

    The finals are on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Arute Field at Central Connecticut State and Rentschler Field. Both will host three games at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

    HEY, HO — LET’S GO!




    No. 1 Greenwich (9-1)

    Games left: at Staples (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    It’s clinched a home quarterfinal, too.

    No. 2 West Haven (9-0)

    Games left: at Fairfield Prep (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.


    No. 3 Southington (8-1)

    Games left: at Cheshire (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

    It will earn a home quarterfinal with a win over the Rams.

    No. 4 Staples (8-1)

    Games left: vs. Greenwich (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    Gets a home quarterfinal with a win over the Cards.

    No. 5 Hamden (8-1)

    Games left: vs. Notre Dame-West Haven (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Green Bowl sure looks even more fun this usual.

    No. 6 Trumbull (7-2)

    Games left: at St. Joseph (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Eagles are headed to states for the first time in 12 seasons.

    No. 7 Fairfield Prep (6-3)

    Games left: vs. West Haven (9-0), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    It’s the Southern Connecticut Tier 1 champs (Prep) vs. the SCC Tier 2 champs.

    No. 8 Glastonbury (7-2)

    Games left: at Simsbury (3-6), Nov. 19.

    The Guardians make state’s after stunning Maloney in overtime last Thursday, 28-21. The latter was ranked No. 1 in The Day coaches’ poll.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 West Haven (10-0) vs. No. 8 Fairfield Prep (7-3); No. 2 Greenwich (9-1) vs. No. 7 Trumbull (7-3 — THE REMATCHENING); No. 3 Southington (9-1) vs. No. 6 Staples (8-2); No. 4 Hamden (9-1) vs. No. 5 Glastonbury (8-2).



    No. 1 St. Joseph (8-1)

    Games left: vs. Trumbull (7-2), Thanksgrabbing.

    It’s clinched a home quarterfinal and earns the top seed with a win.

    No. 2 Naugatuck (8-1)

    Games left: Ansonia (9-0), Thanksgrabbing.

    Has the best shot among the rest of the field to be seeded no lower than second with a win.

    No. 3 Newtown (8-1)

    Games left: at Masuk (7-2), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Wavering on our pick for Panthers vs. Nighthawks. The Danger Birds earn a home quarter with a win.

    No. 4 New Canaan (8-1)

    Games left: at Darien (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

    Can earn a home quarter with a win but it will be close between it and Maloney if both they, St. Joes, Naugy and Newtown all win.

    No. 5 Maloney (8-1)

    Games left: at Platt (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

    See above.


    No. 6 Cheshire (6-3)

    Games left: vs. Southington (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    All the Rams need to do is beat the Blue Knights. All we need to do to attract supermodels is become Chris Evans.

    No. 7 Darien (6-3)

    Games left: vs. New Canaan (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    It was 9-0 going into the New Canaan game the past four seasons and lost them all.

    No. 8 New Milford (6-3)

    Games left: vs. New Fairfield (8-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    The Green Wave knocked off Barlow last Thursday, 31-21, to put themselves on the cusp of their first trip to states. Cool.


    No. 9 Shelton (5-4)

    Games left: vs. Xavier (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    It wasn’t that long ago that the Gaels were ranked No. 1 in the state. Now they need help to make states.

    No. 10 Middletown (6-3)

    Games left: at Berlin (9-0), Nov. 18.

    That 7-6 loss to Wethersfield last Saturday was very damaging to the Blue Dragons.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 St. Joseph (9-1) vs. No. 8 Shelton (6-4); No. 2 Naugatuck (9-1) vs. No. 7 New Milford (7-3); No. 3 Newtown (9-1) vs. No. 6 Darien (7-3); No. 4 Maloney (9-1) vs. No. 5 New Canaan (8-2).



    No. 1 Sports & Medical Sciences co-op (9-0)

    Games left: vs. Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby (3-5), Friday.

    It’s clinched a home quarterfinal and will be numero uno with a win.


    No. 2 Northwest United (8-0)

    Games left: vs. Platt Tech (3-5), Friday; vs. Abbott Tech/Immaculate (7-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Workhorses are a win away from their first playoff appearance in just their second season.

    No. 4 Killingly (8-1)

    Games left: vs. Woodstock Academy (4-4) at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., Thanksgrabbing.

    Nichols is 14 minutes (7.2 miles) from Woodstock Academy and 21 minutes (16 miles) from Killingly High, in case you’re not from The Quiet Corner and were wondering.

    No. 4 Wethersfield (8-1)

    Games left: vs. Newington (2-7), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Starting running back Jova’n Hill was knocked of last Saturday’s 7-6 win over Middletown.

    No. 6 Masuk (7-2)

    Games left: vs. Newtown (8-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Worth reminding everyone that the Panthers gave St. Joseph one of its toughest games this season in a 24-21 loss (Sept. 24).

    No. 7 North Haven (7-2)

    Games left: at Amity (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Nighthawks can use a week of rest after a very physical 17-13 loss to Fairfield Prep last Thursday.

    No. 8 Platt (6-3)

    Games left: vs. Maloney (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Panthers would’ve been in great shape had they knocked off Bloomfield last Thursday. They rallied from a 27-point deficit to tie the game but lost, 40-34. They also tied Xavier for the seventh largest comeback in state history, according to the Connecticut High School Football Record Book and, oddly enough, they lost, too (North Haven, 50-49 in overtime, Oct. 28, 2017).


    No. 5 Thames River (8-0)

    Games left: vs. O’Brien Tech (2-6), Friday; vs. Quinebaug Valley (5-4), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Crusaders are first in the state in average points per game (49.1) and points against overall (13). The problem is that they’ve played five teams with two wins or less, which has prevented them from collecting more playoff points and may cost them a home quarterfinal, even they finish the regular season 10-0.


    No. 9 Windsor (6-3)

    Games left: at Bloomfield (7-2), Saturday.

    Said it last week and we’ll say it again — y’all don’t want Windsor making states, fellow Class MM contenders.


    No. 10 Guilford (5-3)

    Games left: vs. Hand (2-7), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Mentioned last week that the Grizzlies had lost 14 in a row to Hand. Their odds don’t look as daunting because the Tigers continue to struggle. They lost to Sheehan last Saturday, 17-14, which had lost its previous three games by a combined score of 143-14.

    No. 11 Wilton (7-3)

    Games left: Season over.

    Can’t be fun waiting around for two weeks to both wait for everyone else finish and find out if you made states.

    No. 12 E.O. Smith (6-3)

    Games left: vs. Tolland (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    It’s four spots out of eighth but it has a winnable game, and the previous five teams all have difficult season finales.


    No. 13 Fitch (5-4)

    Games left: vs. Ledyard (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    It can only catch Windsor.

    No. 14 Bunnell (5-4)

    Games left: at Stratford (3-6), Thanksgrabbing.

    Ditto and needs Fitch to lose.

    No. 15 Wilcox Tech/Kaynor Tech (4-4)

    Games left: vs. Abbott Tech/Immaculate (7-1), Friday; vs. VG Techs (0-8), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    It needs both Windsor and Fitch to lose. It can pass Bunnell even if it wins, too.

    No. 16 Cheney Tech (5-4)

    Games left: at Bullard-Havens/Kolbe Cathedral (4-5).

    Needs Windsor, Fitch, Bunnell and Wilcox/Kaynor to lose.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 SMSA (10-0) vs. No. 8 Wilton (7-3); No. 2 Wethersfield (9-1) vs. No. 7 Windsor (7-3 — THE REMATCHENING); No. 3 Killingly (9-1) vs. No. 6 North Haven (7-3); No. 4 Northwest United (9-1) vs. No. 5 Thames River (10-0).



    No. 1 Berlin (9-0)

    Games left: vs. Middletown (6-2), Friday.

    Its clinched the top seed, too.

    No. 2 Law (8-1)

    Games left: vs. Foran (9-0), Thanksgrabbing.

    You’ll be able to listen to the battle for Connecticut Post Mall thanks to the lovable George DeMaio over at WELI.

    No. 3 Rockville (6-2)

    Games left: vs. Stafford/East Windsor/Somers (3-5), Friday; at Ellington (6-2), Thanksgrabbing.

    It ended Cromwell/Portland’s 22-game winning streak with a 21-14 win to rocket itself up the rankings.

    No. 4 Notre Dame-West Haven (6-3)

    Games left: vs. at Hamden (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    The heavy favorite to win it all having both played and thrived in the always vicious Tier 1 of the Southern Connecticut Conference.

    No. 5 Abbott Tech/Immaculate (7-1)

    Games left: at Wilcox Tech/Kaynor Tech (4-4), Friday; at Northwest United (8-0), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The UNITED will be big fans of Hamden on Thanksgrabbing because an ND loss, coupled with two UNITED wins, earns it a home quarterfinal.

    No. 6 RHAM (6-3)

    Games left: vs. Bacon Academy (1-8), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Raptors punched their ticket to states for the first time after beating Avon on Monday night, 28-14.


    No. 7 Hartford Public (4-3)

    Games left: at New Britain (4-4), Friday; vs. Weaver (2-7), Thanksgrabbing.

    It could finish anywhere between 109.4 and 117.8 points with wins depending on bonuses. And we divided its point total by nine because it’s Nov. 5 was postponed and still listed as such at the CIAC’s website. ... but there’s no conceivable way it can be squeezed in when the Owls already have two regularly-scheduled games to play.

    No. 8 Branford (3-5)

    Games left: at Bassick (0-9), Friday; at East Haven (2-6), Thanksgrabbing.

    Yep. The Hornets are 3-5 and ranked EIGHTH because Class M. That written, its floor and ceiling with two wins are much lower than Woodstock Academy’s — it could finish anywhere between 905 and 970 points depending on bonuses.

    No. 9 Woodstock Academy (4-4)

    Games left: at Enfield (1-6), Wednesday; vs. Killingly (7-1) at Nichols College, Thanksgrabbing.

    It can finish anywhere between 995 and 1,075 points with wins depending on bonuses.

    No. 10 East Lyme (4-5)

    Games left: vs. Waterford (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

    It can finish anywhere between 900 and 980 points depending on bonuses with a win.

    Here’s where it gets fun — say Woodstock loses to Killingly, Public loses to New Britain and beats Weaver, Branford beats Bassick and East Haven AND East Lyme beat Waterford.

    Branford would have a floor of 90.5 points, Public 91.7 and East Lyme 89 (we’re using division because Public has nine games).

    On paper, however, East Lyme’s bonuses look better and it could give it enough points push it ahead of the Owls and Hornets.

    Put it this way — Branford and Public should root for Waterford.

    USELESS ADDENDUM — there is no game I’ve wavered on more than East Lyme-Waterford.


    No. 11 Bullard-Havens/Kolbe Cathedral (4-5)

    Games left: at Sheehan (4-5), Thanksgrabbing.

    It can finish anywhere between 880 and 975 points depending on bonuses with a win.

    No. 12 Lyman Hall (4-5)

    Games left: at Sheehan (4-5), Thanksgrabbing.

    It can finish anywhere between 835 and 920 points depending on bonuses with a win.

    No. 13 Avon (4-5)

    Games left: at Lewis Mills (1-8), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    It’s 4-5 and still alive because it’s Class M.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 Berlin (10-0) vs. No. 8 Branford (5-5); No. 2 Law (9-1) vs. No. 7 Hartford Public (6-4); No. 3. Abbott Tech/Immaculate (9-1) vs. RHAM (7-3); No. 4 Rockville (8-2) vs. No. 5 Notre Dame-West Haven (6-4).



    No. 1 Foran (9-0)

    Games left: at Law (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    Refreshing to see both it and the Lawmen doing so well at the same time given both have endured hard times in the past. It will clinch the top seed with a win.

    No. 2 Windham (8-1)

    Games left: vs. Montville (1-8), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    From the desk of Whippets head coach Randall Prose — sophomore linebacker Malachi Fowler had 16 tackles, an interception AND forced a fumble in last week’s 35-6 win over Weaver. He also hasn’t left the field for one play over two seasons which is, um, something else. Oh, yeah — the Whips clinch a home quarterfinal with a win.

    No. 3 Cromwell/Portland (8-1)

    Games left: vs. Rocky Hill (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Last season’s Class S champs also clinch a home quarterfinal with a win.


    No. 4 Ledyard (8-1)

    Games left: at Fitch (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Colonels haven’t made states since Jim Buonocore retired after the 2015 season and have also lost five straight to Fitch. A win over the Falcons earns it Colonel Ledyard’s sword, a trip to states and perhaps a home quarterfinal. Stay tuned.

    No. 5 Barlow (7-2)

    Games left: at Weston (4-5), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Last Friday’s loss at New Milford may cost it a home game.

    No. 6 Granby/Canton (7-2)

    Games left: at Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial (1-8), Friday.

    Pencil the Bears in for states.

    No. 7 Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic (7-2)

    Games left: vs. St. Paul (4-5), Thanksgrabbing.

    Safe bet that the Yellowjackets are headed back to states (no offense, St. Paul).


    No. 8 Valley Regional/Old Lyme (7-1)

    Games left: vs. Old Saybrook/Westbrook (0-8), Thursday; at Haddam-Killingworth (5-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    It and Ellington could tie if the latter gets all four of its bonuses and the latter would win the tiebreaker. The chances that the Knights get all those bonuses doesn’t look good, though.


    No. 9 Ellington (6-2)

    Games left: vs. CREC (3-6), Thursday; vs. Rockville (6-2), Thanksgrabbing.

    Ledyard will be big Rockville fans on Thanksgrabbing, whereas Ellington will be hoping that Fitch wins the Sword.

    No. 10 Rocky Hill (6-3)

    Games left: at Cromwell/Portland (8-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Must beat the Panthers to have a shot which, as one knows, is easier said than done. Especially when it’ll have had almost two weeks to ruminate about its loss to Rockville.


    No. 11 Waterford (5-4)

    Games left: at East Lyme (4-5), Thanksgrabbing.

    One more win by Valley/Old Lyme finishes the Lancers.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 Cromwell/Portland (9-1) vs. No. 8 Valley Regional/Old Lyme (9-1 — THE REMATCHENING); No. 2 Windham (9-1) vs. No. 7 Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic (8-2); No. 3 Foran (9-1) vs. No. 6 Granby/Canton (8-2); No. 4 Ledyard (9-1) vs. No. 6 Barlow (8-2).



    No. 1 Ansonia (9-0)

    Games left: at Naugatuck (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    It’s already clinched the top seed, as its done pretty much every year since, like, 1876.

    No. 2 Holy Cross (7-2)

    Games left: at Wolcott (2-7), Thanksgrabbing.

    Already earned a home quarterfinal.

    No. 3 Bloomfield (7-2)

    Games left: vs. Windsor (6-3), Saturday.

    There may not be a bigger game this weekend than this one. Also already earned a home quarterfinal.

    No. 4 Woodland (7-2)

    Games left: at Seymour (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    In one week, the Hawks went from shutting down down Holy Cross (20-7, Nov. 4) to getting ripped by Naugatuck (41-0, Nov. 11). Life changes fast. Still (unofficially) clinched, though and will get a home quarterfinal with a win. It could get that home game with a loss, too.

    No. 5 New Fairfield (7-2)

    Games left: at New Milford (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Gets a home quarterfinal with a win and a Woodland loss.


    No. 6 East Catholic (6-3)

    Games left: vs. Northwest Catholic (2-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    It will be quite the upset if it doesn’t beat Northwest.

    No. 7 Seymour (6-3)

    Games left: vs. Woodland (7-2), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Seymour v. Woodland is yet another game we’re struggling to pick. Wildcats can still make states if they lose because of the number of three-and-four loss teams contained here.


    No. 8 Haddam-Killingworth (5-3)

    Games left: vs. Capital Prep/Achievement First (3-6), Friday; vs. Valley Regional/Old Lyme (7-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    Cougars must, must win out because Pequot Football Conference rival North Branford can bound past them.


    No. 9 Oxford (4-5)

    Games left: at Derby (0-9), Thanksgrabbing.

    They’ll win, but last Saturday’s 18-14 loss to Crosby may have ruined their playoff hopes and dreams.

    No. 10 North Branford (4-4)

    Games left: at Morgan (2-6), Nov. 18; vs. Coginchaug/Hale-Ray/East Hampton (1-8), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Thunderbirds better send Crosby a bunch of those fresh fruit bouquets or pizzas or some sort of token of appreciation for knocking off Oxford.


    No. 11 Griswold/Wheeler (5-4)

    Games left: vs. Plainfield (1-5), Thanksgrabbing.

    Wolverines can only catch H-K. ... but it looks nigh unpossible because its relying on so many losing teams to win and earn them bonuses.

    No. 12 Waterbury Career Academy (4-5)

    Games left: at Wilby (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    It can only catch H-K, too.

    No. 13 Notre Dame-Fairfield (4-5)

    Games left: vs. Pomperaug (2-7), Nov. 22.

    The Lancers ruined just about any chance it had at qualifying by losing to Weston, 3-0, on Monday night.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 Ansonia (9-1) vs. No. 8 North Branford (6-4); No. 2 Holy Cross (7-2) vs. No. 7 New Fairfield (7-3); No. 3 Bloomfield (7-3) vs. No. 6 East Catholic (7-3); No. 4 Woodland (7-3) vs. No. 5 Seymour (7-3 — ONE MORE TIME).

    • • • •

    BEHOLD, The Day of New London Top 10 state coaches' poll: 1. West Haven (11 first-place votes); 2. Greenwich (one first-place vote); 3. Southington; 4. St. Joseph (one first-place vote); 5. Maloney; 6. New Canaan; 7. Hamden; 8. Newtown; 9. Fairfield Prep; 10. Ansonia.

    • • • •

    The New Haven Register/GameTimeCT.com Monolith Top 10 media poll: 1. Southington (eight first-place votes); 2. Greenwich (four first-place votes); 3. West Haven (10 first-place votes — HOW were more voters not impressed by its 27-23 thriller over Hamden last Saturday?); No. 4 Maloney (two first-place votes); 5. St. Joseph; 6. New Canaan; 7. Hamden; 8. Ansonia; 9. Staples; 10. Newtown.

    Staples was No. 11 in the coaches’ poll.

    Prep was 13th in the media poll.

    • • • •

    Ned Freeman’s cold, calculating computer rankings for CalPreps and MaxPreps: 1. Greenwich; 2. West Haven; 3. St. Joseph; 4. Southington; 5. New Canaan; 6. Fairfield Prep; 7. Staples; 8. Newtown; 9. North Haven; 10. Notre Dame-West Haven.

    Maloney was No. 11, Hamden No. 13 and Ansonia No. 24.

    Fairfield Prep continues to have the state’s most difficult schedule. It finished 6-0 in the Southern Connecticut Conference’s Tier 1, the state’s toughest division. It’s losses were to Belen Prep of Miami (15-14), New Canaan (14-7) and Hamden (42-27).

    • • • •

    Dig the ballot Polecat HQ filed for the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT media poll:

    1. West Haven: We were the first to start voting West Haven two weeks ago after listening to reports from two wise, state-championship winning coaches. Yet Hamden was 38 seconds away from becoming our new numero uno before Nick Conlan, Armani Reid and the Westies pulled off a wild 27-23 win.

    2. Southington

    3. Greenwich

    4. Hamden: Had high expectations for the Green Dragons based on everything we’d been told. They were even better than were told.

    5. St. Joseph

    6. Fairfield Prep

    7. North Haven

    8. Maloney: Were flat in the first half of last Thursday’s game against Glastonbury (it trailed 10-0) and it was costly.

    9. New Canaan

    10. Staples

    11. Trumbull

    12. Newtown

    13. Notre Dame-West Haven

    14. Masuk

    15. Windsor: Preemptive move getting it back on the ballot because it could certainly win Class MM if it qualified.

    • • • •

    That’s all for now.

    Thanks for reading.

    More soon.

    Listen to PUPIL SLICER.


    Comment threads are monitored for 48 hours after publication and then closed.