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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Bracketology: Playoff Picture, Week 2

By Chris Bradley

With the introduction of the points system in the new MIAA Football State Championship this fall, each Tuesday ESPNBoston.com will post an updated look at the current playoff picture on a statewide scale. Here are a couple things to note before looking through the playoff picture each week:

1. The top EIGHT teams in each division go to the playoffs out of the North, South, and Central regions, while the top FOUR teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs in the West Region.

2. In the North and South regions, leagues with five or more members will automatically send the top two teams in each league to the playoffs. Leagues with less than five members will be given one automatic playoff qualifier.

3. No MIAA team has played more than two games, while many have only played one. Therefore, projecting AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS will begin in next week’s Playoff Picture edition (September 24).

4. Some regions below will include more than the FOUR (West) or EIGHT (North, South, Central) teams, which is the simple indicator of a tie at the current point in time.


All comments and corrections can be sent to Chris Bradley at Christian.Bradley@gordon.edu, or on Twitter: @_ChrisBradley

For a refresher on how the playoff system will work, check out our three-part "Taking the Field" series from the preseason HERE.

Division 2 Central
T-1. Leominster (1-0), 10 points
T-1. Shrewsbury (1-0), 10 points
T-1. Marlboro (1-0), 10 points
T-1. Nashoba (1-0), 10 points
T-5. Algonquin (0-1), 1 point
T-5. Fitchburg (0-1), 1 point
T-5. North Middlesex (0-1), 1 point
T-5. Saint John’s (0-1), 1 point
T-5. Wachusett (0-1), 1 point
T-5. Westboro (0-1,) 1 point

Analysis: Four of the ten teams in Division 2 Central picked up wins last week, creating a four-way tie for the number-one seed. The six teams in Division 2 Central who lost this past week are all awarded one point for each win that their opponent has allotted. Look for somebody from that top group of four to rise to the top soon, notable games this week include Leominster at Lowell, Shrewsbury at Nashoba, and Marlboro at Algonquin—all of which are on Friday night.

Division 4 Central
T-1. Doherty (1-0), 12 points
T-1. Hudson (1-0), 12 points
T-1. Shepherd Hill (1-0), 12 points
T-1. St. Peter-Marian (1-0), 12 points
T-5. Grafton (1-0), 10 points
T-5. Groton-Dunstable (1-0), 10 points
T-5. Quabbin (1-0), 10 points
T-5. Tantasqua (1-0), 10 points

Analysis: There is a lot of depth in what should be a very tight race in Division 4 Central. There will be plenty of shuffling in the standings this week, as St. Peter-Marian will travel to Grafton while Hudson, following a blowout victory over Auburn, has a Mid Wach B showdown with Groton-Dunstable. The key for Doherty will be to not overlook the next few weeks as they play Holy Name, Tantasqua, and South leading up to perhaps their biggest game of the season: a date with Leominster on October 11.

Division 5 Central
T-1. Northbridge(1-0), 10 points
T-1. Bartlett (1-0), 10 points
T-1. Lunenburg (1-0), 10 points
T-1. Leicester (1-0), 10 points
T-1. Uxbridge (1-0), 10 points
T-1. Tyngsboro (1-0), 10 points
7. Auburn (1-1), 5.5 points
T-8. Gardner (0-1), 1 point
T-8. Clinton (0-1), 1 point
T-8. David Prouty (0-1), 1 point
T-8. Oxford (0-1), 1 point
T-8. Millbury (0-1), 1 point

Analysis: Division 5 Central is a six-way tie at the top that is dominated by the SWCL. Northbridge, Bartlett, Leicester, and Uxbridge all picked up wins last week and got themselves off to a good start in the standings. Bartlett faces Millbury on Friday night, Northbridge will travel to Tantasqua, Leicester will be on the road against Oxford, and Uxbridge play Southbridge on Saturday afternoon.

Division 6 Central
T-1. Sutton (1-0), 12 points
T-1. Maynard (1-0), 12 points
T-1. Monty Tech (1-0), 12 points
T-4. St. Bernard’s (1-0), 10 points
T-4. Narragansett (1-0), 10 points
T-4. Littleton (1-0), 10 points
T-4. Worcester Tech (1-0), 10 points
T-4. Assabet (1-0), 10 points
T-4. Blackstone Valley (1-0), 10 points

Analysis: An impressive first week for the Sutton Sammies, they wasted no time making a statement to start off what is the first season of football in school history, beating Burncoat 33-8. Maynard won big over an Inter-High squad as well, beating Worcester South 53-8 at home. Sutton and Maynard share first place with Monty Tech, but look out for shuffling in the standings this week: Monty Tech will travel to Keefe Tech, Sutton will try to get a win streak going against Worcester North, and Maynard will play Mid Wach D rival Murdock on Friday night.

Division 2 West
T-1. East Longmeadow (2-0), 6 points
T-1. Westfield (1-0), 6 points
T-1. West Springfield (1-0), 6 points
T-1. Putnam Vocational (1-0), 6 points
T-1. Minnechaug (1-0), 6 points

Analysis: The reason for the five-way tie in Division 2 West is simply because all of the five teams’ wins have come over Division 4 opponents, constituting 6 points for each win divided by the number of games played. Westfield immediately gained attention when they annihilated Amherst 60-14 in week 1, while Putnam put up 46 on Commerce last Friday to insert themselves into our top 25 poll. East Longmeadow has a huge statement game on Friday night against Springfield Central, while West Springfield will head to Westfield. With Putnam also set to take on Minnechaug—needless to say, expect some shuffling out West this weekend.

Division 4 West
1. Agawam (2-0), 15 points
2. Wahconah (2-0), 10 points
T-3. South Hadley (0-2), Chicopee (0-1), Amherst-Pelham (0-2), Northampton (0-2), Commerce (0-2), Chicopee Comprehensive (0-2), 0 points

Analysis: Agawam and Wahconah are the only two who have separated themselves in Division 4 West at this point. The Brownies have knocked off a pair of Division 2 opponents, Longmeadow and Holyoke, in the opening two games of their season—good for 14 points for each win, plus two points give Longmeadow’s one win; this gives Agawam 15 points after dividing the number of games played (2). Wahconah, with wins over two Division 4 opponents—both of whom have yet to win a game, sit in second place with 10 points.

Division 5 West
T-1. Pittsfield (2-0), 11 points
T-1. Mount Greylock (2-0), 11 points
T-3. Hoosac Valley (2-0), 10 points
T-3. Ludlow (2-0), 10 points

Analysis: Pittsfield and Mount Greylock reign supreme early on in the season, but count on Hoosac Valley and Ludlow to make a bid for a higher seed in the coming weeks. Mount Greylock faces a very challenging two weeks, as they travel to Hoosac Valley this Friday and Pittsfield in Week 4. Pittsfield will take on Chicopee Comprehensive this Friday night, while Ludlow travels to Montague for a game with Turners Falls.

Division 6 West
1. McCann Tech (2-0), 11 points
T-2. Pioneer Valley (2-0), 10 points
T-2. Turners Falls (1-0), 10 points
4. Greenfield (1-1), 7 points

Analysis: McCann Tech is the leader in the clubhouse heading into Week 3, following back-to-back wins over Division 6 opponents Pathfinder and Mohawk Regional. Mohawk’s one win adds two more points to McCann Tech’s point total, therefore giving them the slight edge over Pioneer Valley and Turners Falls after dividing McCann’s point total (22) by games played (2).

Division 1 North
1. Acton-Boxboro (1-0), 11 points
2. Central Catholic (2-0), 10.5 points
3. Methuen (2-0), 10 points
4. Lowell (2-0), 8 points
5. St. John’s Prep (1-1), 6 points
6. Everett (1-1), 5.5 points
7. Chelmsford (1-1), 5 points
8. Andover (1-1), 4.5 points

Analysis: A-B sits has the slight edge over Central Catholic after two weeks of play. The Colonials, with one win over Cambridge (8 points) plus three points for Cambridge’s win over Greater Lawrence Tech, will be looking to make a statement this Friday when they travel to Natick, the No. 7 team in our latest Top 25 poll. Central Catholic has a big week ahead too after a blowout win over Haverhill. The Raiders will take on St. John’s Prep in Lawrence on Friday night, with a chance to climb to the top spot in Division 1 North if they can pull off the upset; the bragging rights over beating the No. 4 team in the state isn’t a bad motivator either. Keep an eye on Lowell and their showdown with Central Mass. power Leominster this week, with a win over the Blue Devils they can pick up a little ground on Methuen, Central, and A-B.

Division 2 North
1. Lynn English (1-0), 12 points
2. Cambridge (1-1), 6 points
T-3. Haverhill (1-1), 5 points
T-3. Lincoln-Sudbury (1-1), 5 points
5. Lynn Classical (0-2), 2 points
6. Westford Academy (0-2), 1.5 points
T-7. Billerica (0-2), 1 point
T-7. Malden Catholic (0-2), 1 point
T-7. North Andover (0-1), 1 point
T-7. Waltham (0-2), 1 point

Analysis: Division 2 North doesn’t have much to show after two weeks of play, with Lynn English, Cambridge, Haverhill, and Lincoln-Sudbury as the only teams with a score in the win column. English heads to Wakefield this Friday with a chance extend their lead even more, while Cambridge heads to Methuen. Don’t count out Haverhill and Lincoln-Sudbury, both squads have byes this week and will be back in action in Week 4. Reading, the heavy favorite in this field going into the season, has yet to play a game. The Rockets open the season Friday against Dracut.

Division 3 Northeast
1. Tewksbury (2-0), 15 points
2. Marblehead (2-0), 12.5 points
3. Gloucester (2-0), 11 points
4. Danvers (1-1), 6 points
T-5. Revere (0-2), 2 points
T-5. Dracut (0-2), 2 points
T-5. Salem (0-2) 2 points
T-8. Somerville (0-1), 1 point
T-8. Beverly (0-2), 1 point
T-8. Wilmington (0-1), 1 point
T-8. Masconomet (0-1), 1 point

Analysis: Tewksbury narrowly escaped Lincoln-Sudbury on the road last Friday night, and have the number-one seed in Division 3 Northeast to show for it. Marblehead will take on Salem on Friday, who took a hard loss to 2-0 Gloucester last week. The Fishermen will in Topsfield on Friday versus Masco, while Tewksbury will play MVC-foe North Andover. With two wins over Division 1 opponents (12 points for each win) plus three points for each win that Chelmsford and L-S have (6 points total), the Redmen take have a strong hold on the top spot heading into Week 3.

Division 3 Northwest
T-1. Burlington (1-0), 12 points
T-1. Concord-Carlisle (1-0), 12 points
T-1. Wakefield (1-0), 12 points
T-1. Woburn (1-0), 12 points
5. Boston Latin (2-0), 11 points
T-6. Arlington (1-0), 10 points
T-6. Medford (2-0), 10 points
T-6. Melrose (1-0), 10 points
T-6. Winchester (1-0), 10 points

Analysis: Burlington, Concord-Carlisle, Wakefield, and Woburn head what is set to be an extremely close race in Division 3 Northwest, all of whom have gathered 12 points after wins over teams in a higher division. Burlington takes on Woburn on Friday night, while Wakefield could separate themselves if they can knock off Lynn English on Friday.

Division 4 North
1. Stoneham (1-0), 12 points
T-2. Lynnfield (1-0), 10 points
T-2. North Reading (1-0), 10 points
T-2. Triton (2-0), 10 points
T-2. Watertown (1-0), 10 points
T-2. Winthrop (1-0), 10 points
T-7. Arlington Catholic (1-0), 8 points
T-7. Bedford (1-0), 8 points

Analysis: Another close race in the North. Stoneham, at 1-0, has the early lead in the point standings after an easy 28-0 victory over Division 3 Belmont last Thursday. Stoneham, however, has a trio of Cape Ann squads chasing them down, plus Watertown and Winthrop in that five-way tie for second place in Division 4 North.

Division 5 North
T-1. Bishop Fenwick (1-0), 12 points
T-1. St. Mary’s (1-0), 12 points
3. Austin Prep (2-0), 11.5 points
T-4. Brighton (1-0), 10 points
T-4. Lowell Catholic (1-0), 10 points
6. Northeast (2-0), 9 points
7. Whittier Tech (1-1), 6 points
8. Greater Lawrence Tech (1-1), 5.5 points

Analysis: Fenwick and St. Mary’s both showed off their high-octane offenses last week, with Fenwick putting up 54 points on Hamilton-Wenham and St. Mary’s scoring 64 against Swampscott. The two don’t face each other until October 19, so expect a tight race until then. Keep a close eye on Austin Prep, they’ll heave a chance to unseat St. Mary’s one week from Friday, when they meet up on September 28.

Division 6 North
1. Latin Academy (2-0), 12.5 points
2. Dorchester (1-0), 12 points
3. Cathedral (2-0), 11 points
T-4. Minuteman (1-0), 10 points
T-4. New Mission (1-0), 10 points
T-4. O’Bryant (1-0), 10 points
T-4. St. Clement (1-0), 10 points
T-4. Chelsea (1-0), 10 points

Analysis: It’s going to take a couple more weeks to see the top teams rise to the top in Division 6 North, given each team has only played one game (besides Latin Academy) combined with a pretty even playing field in the division this year, nobody has had the opportunity to separate themselves from the pack quite yet. Top-seeded Latin Academy will take on second-seeded Dorchester this Friday, however, with a chance at the number-one seed and separation from the rest of the field on the line.

Division 1 South
T-1. Catholic Memorial (1-0), 13 points
T-1. Xaverian (1-0), 13 points
3. Bridgewater-Raynham (2-0), 12 points
4. Franklin (1-0), 10 points
T-5. Attleboro (1-0), 8 points
T-5. Newton North (1-0), 8 points
7. BC High (1-1), 7 points
8. Brookline (0-1), 2 points

Analysis: The Catholic Conference holds strong at the top in Division 1 South, while Bridgewater-Raynham, the No. 1 team in our latest top 25 poll, follows right on the heels of CM and Xaverian. Xaverian and B-R will face off this Saturday in what could end up being the biggest game of the year in Division 1 South. If Xaverian can pull the upset, they’ll finish the week with 14.5 points, putting them in sole possession of the top seed in D1 South…regardless of whether or not Catholic Memorial beats St. John’s of Shrewsbury on Friday.

Division 2 South
1. Braintree (1-0), 13 points
T-2. Natick (1-0), 12 points
T-2. Taunton (1-0), 12 points
4. King Philip (2-0), 11 points
5. Mansfield (2-0), 10.5 points
6. Duxbury (1-1), 6.5 points
7. Quincy (1-1), 5.5 points
T-8. Barnstable (0-1), 1 point
T-8. Durfee (0-1), 1 point
T-8. Needham (0-1), 1 point
T-8. Wellesley (0-1), 1 point

Analysis: King Philip and Mansfield both have byes this week, with KP set to take on Taunton one week from Friday and Mansfield on the same night versus North Attleboro. Braintree holds the top spot in Division 2 South after a 17-16 win over Quincy, while Natick should see quite a challenge when an upset-minded Acton-Boxboro team comes to town on Friday night.

Division 3 Southeast
1. Plymouth South (1-0), 12 points
T-2. Dartmouth (1-0), 11 points
T-2. Falmouth (1-0), 11 points
4. Plymouth North (2-0), 10.5 points
5. Nauset (1-0), 10 points
6. Silver Lake (1-1), 6.5 points
7. Dighton-Rehoboth (1-1), 5 points
8. Whitman-Hanson (0-2), 1.5 points

Analysis: Beating Division 2 Marshfield gives Plymouth South the edge over Dartmouth and Falmouth, at least for now. Dartmouth will face quite a challenge on Friday, when they go on the road to take on Attleboro, the No. 24 team in our top 25 poll. Plymouth South plays Sandwich at home on Friday, and Nauset will travel to Falmouth with a chance to move up in the Division 3 Southeast standings.

Division 3 Southwest
1. North Attleboro (1-0), 15 points
2. Oliver Ames (1-0), 13 points
3. Walpole (1-0), 11 points
T-4. Hopkinton (1-0), 10 points
T-4. Stoughton (1-0), 10 points
6. Medfield (1-0), 8 points
7. Hingham (1-1), 5.5 points
T-8. Milton (0-1), 2 points
T-8. North Quincy (0-2), 2 points
T-8. Norwood (0-1) 2 points

Analysis: North Attleboro had the week off last week after knocking off BC High the week before. With BC High’s win over Andover, NA now has 15 points early on—good for first in Division 3 Southwest. This week, they’ll head to Bishop Feehan, a squad who took a 35-3 beating from Attleboro last week. Keep an eye out for Walpole to potentially hold strong in the rankings next week, they’ll face a talented Needham squad on Friday night.

Division 4 South
1. Norton (1-0), 13 points
2. Apponequet (2-0), 11.5 points
3. Holliston (2-0), 10 points
4. Hanover (1-1), 8 points
T-5. Dennis-Yarmouth (1-1), 7 points
T-5. Westwood (1-1), 7 points
T-7. Scituate (1-1), 6.5 points
T-7. Foxborough (1-1), 6.5 points

Analysis: After a close 28-27 win over Scituate, Norton now has the top seed in Division 4 South, with Apponequet and Holliston quickly approaching. Apponequet has outscored opponents 74-0 in their first two games, and will look to continue their stellar defensive performance against Case on Friday. Holliston has been similarly dominant, outscoring their first two opponents 83-6, but they have a tough slate on the horizon in the next three weeks: Milford, Hopkinton, and Westwood.

Division 5 South
T-1. Dover-Sherborn (1-0), 15 points
T-1. Rockland (1-0), 15 points
3. Archbishop Williams (1-0), 12 points
4. Old Rochester (2-0), 11.5 points
5. East Bridgewater (1-0), 11 points
6. Cardinal Spellman (1-0), 10 points
7. Ashland (1-0), 8 points
8. Greater New Bedford (1-1), 7 points

Analysis: Dover-Sherborn and Rockland were the big winners in Division 5 South last week, with D-S beating Division 4 Weston and Rockland beating Division 4 Hanover. Weston and Hanover are both 1-1, so D-S and Rockland hold a 15-all tie at the top of the point standings going into Week 3. Dover-Sherborn will take on Hull at home this Friday, Rockland will play Cohasset at Noon on Saturday.

Division 6 South
1. Cohasset (1-0), 15 points
T-2. Blue Hills (1-0), 13 points
T-2. Diman (1-0), 13 points
T-2. West Bridgewater (1-0), 13 points
5. Bishop Connolly (1-0), 12 points
T-6. Pope John Paul II (2-0), 10 points
T-6. Bistol-Plymouth (1-0), 10 points
T-6. Hull (1-0), 10 points
T-6. Monomoy (1-0), 10 points

Analysis: There is a lot of parity in Division 6 South thus far, so the standings will certainly be clearer after this weekend’s slate of games. For now though, Cohasset holds on to first place in the point standings, with a chance to keep their number-one spot and 15-point total if they can pick up a win over Division 5 Rockland on Saturday. Blue Hills, Diman, and West Bridgewater will all be in pursuit, though; West Bridgewater can distance themselves this weekend with a win over Bishop Connolly, while Blue Hills and Diman will play Upper Cape and South Shore Voke, respectively, on Saturday.