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State-wide football: Like a crazy quilt crossword puzzle

By Bob Madison - For the Chronicle | Oct 9, 2020

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Across the state, some Class AAA high school football teams have played five games, others have yet to play any games. University and Morgantown from Monongalia County have now played one game since they were allowed to begin their seasons on Friday.

There are only 24 Class AAA schools in the state. When this season began, wholly 16 of those schools were going to make the Class AAA playoffs. That means only eight schools would be kept away from the playoffs.

There are five Class AAA schools in Kanawha County, and none of them has been allowed to play a game. Deducting those five schools from the original list of 24 schools, means that only 19 Class AAA teams are playing games. If the coronavirus continues to play havoc in Kanawha County, only three schools will miss the playoffs.

Hedgesville, Huntington, Preston and Morgantown are currently winless. Should that trend continue to the end of the season, which of those winless teams would be selected to join the 16-team playoffs with their 0.00 power rating?

The Kanawha County Class AAA schools are Capital, George Washington, South Charleston, St. Albans and Riverside. Would one of those schools be selected to join the playoffs since none has lost a game? But if the virus continues to keep games from being played there, could any team be allowed to play?

It seems likely some team with a losing record will reach the playoffs. Any team winning four times would also likely be included, since some teams will be playing six games, others seven, a few eight, nine or 10.

No matter which teams are drawn into the playoffs, the likely state champion will emerge from Cabell Midland, Spring Valley, Martinsburg, Bridgeport or Hurricane.

Some total mismatches are also likely to occur in the Class AAA playoffs.

Just last weekend, there were a total of 27 games statewide that were decided by at least 22 points with the most lopsided being Clay County 79, Webster County 0; Spring Mills 56, Hedgesville 0; Martinsburg 55, Washington 0; Keyser 54, Hampshire 0; Tygarts Valley 62, Richwood 13; Robert C. Byrd 48, Lewis County 0; John Marshall 55, Buckhannon 7; Greenbrier West 47, Scott 0; Van 51, Montcalm 15; Wahama 67, Hundred 22; Princeton 58, PikeView 14 and Cabell Midland 62, Poca 20. Six other lopsided winners scored at least 51 points.

As of tonight, there are 14 schools in Class AAA that have won once or not at all — that’s counting the five Kanawha County teams that have not been allowed to play. The regular season ends the first weekend in November unless more changes are coming.

The Class AAA schools do not have to play at least half their schedule against other Class AAA schools this season. Any scheduled game counts.

At least one or two extraordinarily low power ratings should be enough to get some team(s) into the postseason. But if that team came into the 16-team postseason with wins over Class AA teams or even a Class A school, it won’t want to see Cabell Midland, Spring Valley, Martinsburg or Bridgeport on the other side of the field.