Editor’s note: Walter Woodie is a longtime sports writer who now teaches at Van Buren High School but still covers some Van Buren events as well as helping the coaches (and sports writers)[more] in Class 7A and 6A by figuring out the complicated formula that determines post-season bids and seeding in all sports. Here’s his take on the baseball, softball and soccer scenarios going into the final week of conference play. For points standings, schedules for the week and State brackets, see the pertinent posts under the respective sports in the Index on the left side of the page, put up on BryantDaily.com on Sunday night. Many thanks to Mr. Woodie.
By Walter Woodie
First, a simple explanation of how the power ratings are applied:
In 7A, the conference standings coming first, then the power ratings are used to merge teams together. For example, the 7A-West will use standings first (including the traditional AAA tiebreaker format) to settle spots, and then use the power rankings to slot Bryant in (Should Bryant not be part of the top 6, then the 7A-West standings are solely used). In the 7A-Central, standings and tiebreaks in the Central and East respectively will be settled and then the power ratings are used to merge the teams in.
Secondly, my scenarios are UNOFFICAL, yet fun to ponder. There may be some outer-worldly scenario (or one that is stupidly simple) that I haven’t got around to thinking of. Also, these scenarios can/will be altered (some minor, some radical), day-by-day, game-by-game.
Now that you have an idea of how this works, let us take a look at who is in and what is needed for 7A teams to get in and for all teams to move up/down.
7A-Central – Fayetteville, Bryant, Bentonville, Springdale Har-Ber and Rogers High are in. Rogers Heritage and Van Buren are the only teams that are vying for the final spot.
Right now, Fayetteville has won the West. Bryant is tied with Benton in the South and the Hornets currently own the tiebreaker.
All Fayetteville has to do to clinch the West’s top seed is the win one game against Bentonville. Bryant can be the top seed if it wins out and Bentonville sweeps Fayetteville.
Bentonville cannot be the 1 seed, but it could become the 2 seed by sweeping Fayetteville and then have Bryant lose it last two games of the season, which would drop the Hornets to the 3 seed.
Rogers High and Springdale Har-Ber are both 8-4 with two games left. Currently, Har-Ber owns the tiebreaker (they split a DH – Har-Ber won by 3, Rogers by 2).
For the final seed, Heritage (5-7) is in with a sweep of Rogers or a Siloam Springs sweep of Van Buren (4-8). However, Van Buren is in if it sweeps Siloam and Rogers High sweeps Heritage. Now, should Van Buren and Heritage end with the same record (6-6 or 5-7), the head-to-head tiebreaker is used. The teams split a doubleheader in Van Buren. VB won by 5+ runs while Heritage won by 1 run. So Van Buren owns the tiebreaker and would take the final seed.
7A-Central – This is a two-conference, 4-4 split between the East and Central. Right now, NLR 10-0 (7A/6A-East) is in control for the top seed, but they still have 4 tough games left with LR Central and second-place Jonesboro, who is battling Greenwood for the 6A-East top seed. Conway (10-2, 7A/6A-Central) leads the other conference and can get the 1 seed if NLR stumbles. No matter, both control their fates for a first-round byes.
LR Catholic looks to be the 3 seed currently, but if Catholic wins out and Conway loses one of its last two games, then the Rockets can win the 7A/6A-Central and take a first-round bye from Conway. If that should happen, the NLR needs to win only 2 games to claim the 1 seed, leaving Catholic 2 and Conway 3.
Right now, Cabot, LR Central, Northside and Southside are battling for the final 3 spots. There are between 2 or 4 games left for these teams.
7A-West – In short, a wild mess of a finish awaits here. Right now, only Rogers and Fayetteville have clinched a spot. Seven teams are truly vying for the six seeds. Because of rainouts in the West, Fayetteville still has 4 games left to play while the others contenders have three. With Bryant also in the mix, this will not be settled (weather permitting) until Friday night.
7A-Central – Just like in baseball, the winners of the two conferences (Central, East) look to be the likely top two seeds, earning each time a 1st Round bye.
Both NLR (10-0, East) and FS Southside (11-0, Central) control their respective destinies in terms of winning their conference and getting a first round bye.
Conway and Cabot have also clinched berths while Mount St. Mary and FS Northside are close. LR Central and West Memphis are both winless, but each has five games left and could possibly sneak into the postseason by getting on a winning streak and getting a little help.
7A-West – The two Springdale schools (Springdale High and Har-Ber) are both 6-0 and will play a winner-take-all game for the 1 seed on Friday. The loser will try to take the second seed, but Bryant (11-1, South) will make a run for spot as well. These are the top 3 seeds.
Heritage is in and a win over Rogers clinches the 4th seed. Fayetteville, Rogers and Bentonville are all fighting for the final two spots.
7A-Central – Northside is a win away from wrapping up the Central title and the top seed. Catholic and LR Central are battling for the 2-3 seeds. NLR, Conway, FS Southside and Cabot are fighting for the final three spots.
7A-West – Bentonville (6-0, West) and Bryant (8-0, South) are fighting for the top seed with Fayetteville lurking. If Bentonville beats Fayetteville, then the Lady Tigers are the 1 seed. Bryant is no worse than a 2 seed with a win over El Dorado to clinch the South title. Now, if Fayetteville beats Bentonville, and Bryant wins at least 1 game, the Fayetteville and Bryant will be the top 2 seeds and Bentonville drops to the 3 seed.
If Bentonville wins along with wins by Springdale Har-Ber and Rogers High, then there will be a 3-way tie for 3rd between Fayetteville, Har-Ber and Rogers High. Then the AAA tiebreaker will settle the 3-4-5 seeds. Rogers Heritage is in, but can get higher than the sixth seed with a win over Rogers High.
7A-Central – Cabot (6-0, East) can be the top seed with a win over Searcy. A loss, however, puts them in a tie with Searcy and the Lady Panthers would NOT get the 10-point bonus for winning the East. In the Central, there is a 3-way tie at 9-2 between Conway, Mount St. Mary and FS Southside. With three games left there, there is no telling how the 4 seeds will play out. North Little Rock can also be in the 4 seed mix with a win and some help. Central and Northside are battling for the sixth seed, though a Central win over NLR could move the Lady Tigers to fifth.