Unbeaten Darien and Staples are at the head of the table, with Trumbull, Ridgefield, Stamford, New Canaan all getting a seat.
We’ll take a quick look at scenarios below.
Unless we get another massive round of upsets, A team with two losses is almost assuredly out. So we’ll just focus on the 1-loss teams right now.
Here’s what the contenders have left:
DARIEN (5-0, 610, 122.0): vs. Bassick (0-6), at Westhill (1-5), vs. Norwalk 2-4. Synopsis: Very winnable games vs. Bassick and Westhill. Norwalk might decide to show up in that final game. Darien’s favored to win all three and clinch.
STAPLES (6-0, 720, 120.0): vs. Ludlowe (0-6), at Wilton (3-2), vs. Trumbull (5-1). Synopsis: Controls its own destiny. Favored to win all three games, but the Trumbull game is still pretty close. A loss there would muddle up the race for second place, depending how Trumbull fares against its remaining opponents.
TRUMBULL (5-1, 640, 106.7): at Danbury (2-4), at Ridgefield (4-1), at Staples (6-0). Synopsis: The toughest road of all the one-loss teams, but controls its own destiny. However, with two of the top contenders left on its schedule, winning out will almost assure the Eagles a spot in the playoff.
RIDGEFIELD (4-1, 470, 94.0): at McMahon (3-3), vs. Trumbull (5-1), vs. Wilton (3-2). Synopsis: Will probably have to win out and hope Trumbull beats Staples and maybe get somebody else to upset Trumbull. They’re longshots.
NEW CANAAN (4-1, 430, 86.0): vs. Wilton (3-2), vs. Greenwich (4-2), vs. Central (4-2). Synopsis: Yes, 4-2 Stamford is ahead of the Rams on point average because New Canaan’s four defeated opponents so far have just 4 victories between them (thanks Warde!). If they win out, that should change. But not enough to outpoint, 1-loss Ridgefield, Staples or Trumbull.
THE SWC PLAYOFF RACE
Here’s the breakdown.
MASUK (6-0) — Has Bethel (4-2), Oxford (4-2) and Immaculate (0-6) at home to finish up its schedule. They’d need to lose twice to miss the SWC title game. Two more wins will clinch it.
NEWTOWN (5-1) – Has New Fairfield (2-4), Barlow (2-4) and Stratford (2-4) left. If they win out they’d be close to clinching a title game, but might have to wait to see if it can outpoint Pomperaug in playoff points. (The two teams don’t go head-to-head).
POMPERAUG (5-1) – Has Barlow (2-4), Brookfield (4-2), New Fairfield (2-4) left. Will have to win out and hope to outpoint an 8-1 Newtown.
BROOKFIELD (4-2), BETHEL (4-2), BUNNELL (4-2) and OXFORD (4-2) are all long shots. Newtown and Pomperaug would both have to lose at least one game to give any of these teams a chance.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say, unless you have a death wish or are hoping to claim a No. 1 statewide ranking at season’s end, vying for this championship game is probably the least of your concerns.
To wit: You have the championship on Friday, Nov. 19 at Trumbull. Then you play six days later on Thanksgiving. But you’re also in the state playoffs and, five days later, you play in the CIAC quarterfinals. Win that, and four days later you’re playing in the semifinals. Win that, and seven (or six) days later you’re playing in the state championship game.
That’s potentially five games in 3 weeks. Ouch.
With just four state playoff divisions and three rounds to hoist the trophy, a state championship trophy means more than it ever has since the CIAC started hosting them. League title games are obsolete now, especially since these leagues are so large, it’s impossible to give competing teams equal roads to get there (never mind excluding the Thanksgiving Day opponent).
I have this dream where, say, Staples qualifies for the league title game and then declines to play in it. Imagine Marce Petroccio of Staples declining to play in the FCIAC championship, boldly stating, “We play for state championships here.”
If anybody remembers how beat up the Wreckers were coming out of last year’s 14-10 league championship win over Central, they’d understand that logic.
It’ll never happen, but I can dream can’t I?