With only four Group 1 teams overall in playoff contention from the Big Central, we’re combining our unofficial projections for North and South 1 into one story. Take a look below:
NORTH GROUP 1
Brearley: The only team from the Big Central in this supersection, the Bears already have played their Week Nine game, dispatching of Dayton in Kneilworth 40-6 to improve to 7-2. The win didn’t move the needle, though, so Brearley gains a spot to 11th place with an 11.2 UPR, and their finish is at the mercy of the teams below them. A win by Weequahic could drop them to 12th, since they would gain in power points, even though they’re behind Brearly significantly in that department; that’s the system! We think they’re around a 12 or 13 even if everyone behind them wins.
SOUTH GROUP 1
South Hunterdon: The Eagles (6-1) sit in 11th place at the moment, with a 12.2 UPR. Believe it or not, a win over Morrisville (PA) drops them to 12th, one place behind Middlesex, all on its own. So, South Hunterdon isn’t in any danger of getting a first-round home game. A loss – unlikely as it may be – could move them squarely out of the playoff picture entirely. If tragedy struck, they could get back in with a Glassboro loss to Woodstown, and/or maybe some other help.
MORE CUTOFF WEEKEND COVERAGE: A team-by-team breakdown of every Big Central team’s postseason standing and chances heading into Week 9
Middlesex: The Blue Jays sit in 12th, and we’ve already documented their move up even if South Hunterdon beats Morrisville. A win over Bernards could vault Middlesex into the top eight, and give them a first-round home game, if they get a little help from behind, In particular, an Asbury Park (4-3) loss at Manasquan (5-2), not out of the realm of possibility. A loss to Bernards keeps the Blue Jays in the bottom eight, starting the playoffs on the road.
Manville: Ah, the cause celebre for a couple of weeks, the Mustangs (6-1) sit in 16th place, currently “in,” but will they stay there? Let’s look at the two scenarios. Should Manville beat 2-6 Metuchen at home Friday night, they pull up into 14th just on that. Maple Shade and Glassboro could both pass them with wins and knock them out. If Manville loses, we think they’re out. So it’s “lose and your out” and “win and wait” for the Mustangs.