Tag: Bridgewater-Raritan

Another split vote – but Hillsborough stays at the top of the heap – in the Big Central Media Poll

In the final Big Central Media Poll of the season before the playoffs wrap up, Hillsborough remains No. 1, but again split the six first place votes with Somerville and Union.

The Raiders capped a 9-0 season with a 41-0 win over North Brunswick at home last Friday night, and earned the top-seed in Central Group 5 in the process.

North Brunswick – on its third loss of the season – dropped out of the rankings, while Phillipsburg worked its way back in with a 13-0 win over Westfield.

Below are the Week 9 rankings:

Somerville closes regular season atop Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings

In the final Top Ten before the playoffs begin – and until the season is over – Somerville once again reigns supreme.

The Pioneers are Number One in the Week 9 Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings, with little change below them.

In fact, the only real change was Old Bridge bouncing out, although the Knights also received votes, along with St. Thomas Aquinas.

Below are the Week 9 rankings:

North Group 5 Week 9 Breakdown: Four teams in, one on the bubble, and is Union a top seed?

In the North Group 5 supersection, Central Jersey Sports Radio projects five Big Central teams already have qualified for the playoffs. Here’s a breakdown of their scenarios heading into the weekend:

Union: The Farmers are sitting at Number One overall in the section heading into Week Nine. They are almost assuredly going to get the overall Number One seed. While we never like to pick one team we cover over another, Union (7-1) travels to Flemington Friday night to play Hunterdon Central (1-7), and should the Farmers lose that game, it would be the upset of the year to date in the Big Central. Our guess – if you want to call it that – is Union wins, officially locking up the No. 1 seed. Should they get upset, and things break the wrong way, there’s a chance Union ends up third overall. Beating the Red Devils would make that a moot point.

Phillipsburg: The Stateliners (5-3) sit in 5th heading into their Week 9 home game against Westfield, no gimme by any stretch of the imagination. The Blue Devils (3-4) are solid defensively, the only team to hold Union this year to under 20 points. Even Millville – which beat the Farmers in Week Zero – allowed 28 to Union. Westfield lost to Union 14-3 on October 1 at Kehler Stadium. They appear to be in play for a top four seed, which would guarantee home field through the sectional finals, with a win over Westfield, and either a Ridgewood or East Orange loss. Should the Stateliners lose, they could drop out of the top eight, if both Bridgewater-Raritan and Montclair are winners this weekend.

MORE CUTOFF WEEKEND COVERAGE: A team-by-team breakdown of every Big Central team’s postseason standing and chances heading into Week 9

Bridgewater-Raritan: The Panthers (5-4) currently sit in 8th. The top eight teams get at least a first-round home game. Win or lose at South Brunswick (4-4) Friday, on their own, they appear to stay there. But with a win, they jump up in UPR enough that it appears no one would be able to catch them from behind. If they lose to the Vikings, it appears Westfield would be the only team that could catch them, if the Blue Devils are able to beat Phillipsburg at Maloney Stadium.

Westfield: You’ve got the Blue Devils’ story now. (If not, see Bridgewater-Raritan and Phillipsburg above.) Should Westfield win at P’burg, and Bridgwater-Raritan lose to South Brunswick, that’s Westfield’s path to a top eight seed. Otherwise, it looks like they’ll begin the postseason away from home.

Elizabeth: It appears Elizabeth is in the playoffs, and will finish in one of the final two spots, but where they end up will depend on last-minute jockeying by the teams at the bottom of the pack. The Minutemen (3-5) are looking like they’re in the 13-15 range, depending on what the teams around them do this weekend.

Plainfield: The Cardinals (3-4) host 3-5 Perth Amboy at Hub Stine Field Saturday afternoon. If the Cardinals win, there’s a chance they could sneak into the playoffs, but they would need a lot of help. North Bergen, Bayonne, Livingston and Watchung Hills would all have to lose for Plainfield to qualify. Even if they beat the Panthers, if any one of those four win this weekend, Plainfield would be out. All play Friday night, so it would appear the Cardinals would know well before kickoff Saturday, whether they’re out of the race, or still have a fighting chance.

Undefeated Hillsborough holds top spot in Big Central Media Poll for second straight week

Though it split the six first-place votes in the Big Central Media Poll evenly with Union and Somerville, Hillsborough held on to the top spot in the Week 8 Big Central Media Poll.

The Raiders got 53 points in the poll, edging our the Pioneers and Farmers, who had 53 apiece, and tied for second. Cranford held in fourth.

After some movement in the middle of the poll, Ridge re-entered the rankings at No. 8 after a 27-6 win at Westfield Saturday, while Bridgewater-Raritan made it back in at No. 9 following a 31-14 road win over Elizabeth.

Previous No. 7 Old Bridge, which blew out JP Stevens on the road Friday night, dropped out, but also received votes. Similarly, previously No. 9 Phillipsburg fell out, but picked up the same number of votes as the Knights, after a 42-0 home win over Connecticut’s Capital Prep Harbor.

Below is the Week 8 poll:

Few changes in Week 8 Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, with Somerville still leading the pack

Another Somerville rout – this one 43-13 at Warren Hills, and without their starting quarterback – keeps the Pioneers on top of the pack in the Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings for Week 8.

In fact, few teams moved at all in the latest Top Ten, with Woodbridge dropping just one spot from 5th to 6th after a loss to unranked Scotch Plains-Fanwood. Sayreville moved up one spot to fifth.

The Barrons are tied with Bridgewater-Raritan for sixth; the Panthers were previously No. 7. Phillipsburg – previously No. 9, are tied for eighth with North Brunswick.

Though St. Thomas Aquinas – previously in a three-way tie for tenth with Old Bridge and Ridge – dropped out, it was really just a math quirk, as the Trojans (7-0) still received a Top Ten vote this week; others who were tenth simply were ranked higher.

Delaware Valley (7-1) also received a vote.

Below is the full Week 8 Top Ten:

Union widens the gap slightly in North 5; Plainfield doesn’t suffer much despite upset by Franklin

Union has extended its lead for one of the top two seeds by 0.2 UPR points over Clifton, in the unofficial Week 8 UPR standings calculated by Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The Farmers weren’t damaged much by a 42-7 blowout win over one-win Watchung Hills, since Clifton lost Friday night.

Meanwhile, Bridgewater-Raritan and Phillipsburg flip-flopped in the standings, with the Panthers jumping two spots to seventh, thanks to a 31-14 win at Elizabeth. The Stateliners fell two to ninth, despite a 42-0 home win over Capital Prep Harbor (CT).

Westfield, which hosts Ridge tomorrow, remains between them in 8th.

Elizabeth dropped two places after its lost to Bridgewater-Raritan, falling to 15th, but the Minutemen still are a likely playoff team.

And Plainfield didn’t take as much of a hit as you’d think, despite a surprising road loss to Franklin, 34-27.

True, they dropped from 17th – two full UPR points behind 16th place Bayonne – to 18th. But they actually trail the Bees – who lost Friday night, too – by 0.8 UPR points. The problem is, there’s another team between them now: North Bergen is 0.2 UPR points ahead of Plainfield. They visit Newark West Side tomorrow.

Week 8 Analysis: Phillipsburg sees biggest gain in North 5 standings, and could jump more; Union still holding one of top seeds

A win Friday night against a solid Ridge team with a good Strength Index value helped propel Phillipsburg in the latest North Jersey Group 5 playoff standings, with the Stateliners jumping from 15th all the way to 12th.

Already with three losses, any win – and this is a good P’burg team, maybe one of the best three-loss teams in the state – will give the ‘Liners a huge boost, as they are double the value of losses in the OSI column. With an out-of-state home game against Capitol Prep Harbor (CT) this weekend, and Westfield at home the next, a couple of wins should solidify at least one playoff game at Maloney Stadium.

Meanwhile, Union holds at No. 2 in the standings, in line to get one of the top seeds in the playoffs. Whether they can stay there is another story.

After blanking a solid North Brunswick team last Friday night, the Farmers – whose only loss is to South Jersey power Millville – the next two weeks bring teams that have just one win a piece: Watchung Hills, then Hunterdon Central. Union ranks second in power points (22.29) and UPR (61.08). But the Warriors and Red Devils are only worth 14 power points each, which will bring down the Farmers’ average, even with a win. Watchung Hills has a 65.77 OSI value, while Hunterdon Central is worth just 55.3 OSI points. That might balance out in the long run, so the question remains: Will it be enough to keep Union in one of the top two spots?

That depends on the teams around them. Could West Orange (6-0), ahead of them, drop, too? Maybe. They rank first in both power points and OSI, and have a weak Bloomfield team but a good Irvington team ahead on the schedule

Clifton (6-1) is next in third, and has multiplier Delbarton this week (the Green Wave are only 3-4, so it could be a win) but then a weak Kennedy-Paterson team (0-6) the week after. Might the two balance out? Who knows.

One note is that our numbers differ a bit from Gridiron New Jersey’s. The site – which calculates the official power points, OSI and UPR for the NJSIAA – had announced after Week Five the updates to SI values for out of state teams and that it would use them going forward. As of the time of this post, it has not. Those values will change one more time anyway, next week, once SI values for all teams are locked in. Until then. we’ll continue to use the updated numbers.

The differences don’t affect the standings this week, as they didn’t result in an OSI rank change either for Clifton or Morristown, which both have played out-of-state teams this season –

Fourth is Passaic Tech (5-2), but they don’t stand to gain a whole lot by beating either Old Tappan (2-5) or Columbia (4-3) the next two weeks, either in power points or OSI.

Westfield and Bridgewater -Raritan stand 8th and 9th in the playoff chase this week. The Blue Devils are up one place, while the Panthers are down two, falling a bit after defeating winless Franklin, which brought only 11 power points (no residuals) and dropped their OSI, too. Like Phillipsburg, which propelled itself into the first round home game conversation with the win over Ridge, it’s too close to call as to whether they’ll be able to lock one up. They’re all in the game, and should all be in the playoffs, but whether they start on the road or at home is too early to tell right now.

Elizabeth held steady in 13th this week, and at 3-4 is likely to open the playoffs on the road. Like anyone else, opponents are a wide possibility right now, especially with the snaking system used for seeding. A move up or down one place could put a team in an entirely different bracket.

Plainfield made a jump, after the Cardinals improved to 3-3 Saturday afternoon with a home win over winless JP Stevens. They get another winless club in Franklin this weekend, so their only chance may be to beat Perth Amboy (4-3) next weekend. We’ll have to see how this week sets up Cutoff Weekend to let you know if they have a chance to make the playoffs.

Somerville holds steady in Week 7 Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten

A hard-fought 47-26 win at St. Joseph of Metuchen – Saturday’s Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland – was enough to keep Somerville in the top spot of the Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings.

The 5-1 Pioneers – a unanimous pick – are followed by Hillsborough (7-0) in second and Union (6-1) in third, with the top three all holding their positions.

But two blowouts and a tight Division 4 battle threw the rest of the rankings for a topsy-turvy ride in Week 7.

Cranford jumped to fourth from seventh after a 38-28 road win at then-No. 4 Woodbridge, while Old Bridge and North Brunswick fell after getting blanked a combined 86-0 by No. 2 Hillsborough and No. 3 Union.

Three teams re-enter the poll this week: Bridgewater-Raritan (7th), Phillipsburg (9th) and St. Thomas Aquinas (10th). In fact, the poll was so fractured this week, three teams – Aquinas, Old Bridge and Ridge – ended up tied for tenth.

Delaware Valley was the only team to drop out, after suffering its first loss of the season, 21-19 at Hillside.

Below are the full Week 7 Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings:

Week 6 North 5 Playoff Analysis: Union holds one of the top seeds… for now

A look at the Week 6 UPR standings has Union currently occupying one of the top two positions, meaning if they season ended today, they would get the top seed in either the North 1 or North 2 section.

But it remains to be seen if they’ll hold on to it, and it may be out of their control.

While the Farmers sit second overall in the supersection, the teams right above and below them – East Orange and Clifton, respectively – both have yet to play multipliers, while Union has already played theirs, St. Joseph.

Should all three teams win out – factoring in no other games – Union could very well end up with the overall number one seed. But there could be a scenario where they fall to third, depending on what other teams do.

Right now East Orange – which plays at Pope John Saturday – is ranked first in power points. Union is ranked second. Clifton is fifth, with Delbarton at home next weekend. Wins against those multipliers would give those teams 42 power points, a huge boost to their current power point averages (19.4 for East Orange, 16.83 for Clifton).

The fourth and fifth teams in the power point standings – Passaic Tech and West Orange – also have already played their multipliers.

The point is: there are still three more weeks to play, and nothing is set in stone necessarily, even if Union keeps winning.

The rest…

Bridgewater-Raritan currently sits in 7th in the UPR standings, good enough for at least a first-round home game. But with a UPR of 8.2, they have Union City and Westfield right behind them, both at 8.8. Any jump in OSI rank sheds 0.6 UPR points, and could catch Bridgewater.

But here’s the real “catch.” Westfield is ahead of the Panthers by three places in power point rank, behind them by three in OSI rank. But the Blue Devils don’t have to catch them in OSI to get closer. Bridgewater is 5th, Westfield is 8th, but they only have to pass the 7th team to move up, and that’s only from 48.72 to 49.80, which isn’t much.

Likewise, even though Westfield (13.4 avg.) is ahead of Bridgewater in power points already, ranking 10th while B-R is 13th, they just have to pass the 9th place team (Ridgewood, 13.6) and 8th place team (Phillipsburg, 14) to shed 0.8 UPR points and move ahead of Bridgewater.

Confusing? You betcha.

Phillipsburg sits in 12th place currently, and even though there’s three weeks to play, they probably have four games to count, including a forfeit win against Somerville. But they have a tough way, with a road game at Ridge Friday, a home game against out-of-state Capitol Harbor Prep in Connecticut next weekend, and Westfield at home for their finale.

While Gridiron New Jersey has Plainfield at 2-3 in 17th, just 0.2 UPR points out of a playoff spot, we have them 18th. The reason is Morristown, which is in 21st place.

Why would they affect it?

Well, the Colonials are ranked 21 in OSI, in my book. I used the updated Week 5 SI for out of state teams published by Gridiron. For some reason, they haven’t used those yet. They’ll get updated again at the end of the season, so it still may change, but right now I have Morristown 21; Gridiron has them 18. That affects everyone else’s rank, too.

We’re going with what we’ve got for now.

Finally, does Piscataway have a shot? The Chiefs are 0-5. From the way they’ve been playing, probably not. If they could reel off three wins, it’s possible, especially since they have Edison, Sayreville and Hillsborough on the schedule. But the likelihood of a 3-0 finish for a program that’s had a year away from the field and weight room isn’t good.

Pioneers remain No. 1, but Hillsborough edges closer after Top 5 win against Ridge

There’s no change at the very top of the Central Jersey High School Football Top Ten, but there is right below, as Hillsborough edges up from second to third.

The Raiders gained after a 42-14 win at previously-No. 5 Ridge, in a game where the Raiders where in control virtually wire-to-wire. No. 2 Union – which beat Westfield Friday night 14-3 in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland on Central Jersey Sports Radio – dropped to third.

Ridge remained in the Top Ten, but Phillipsburg did not, after the Stateliners suffered their third loss of the season, this one 17-7 at home to previously-unranked Bridgewater-Raritan, which enters the poll at No. 7, tied with Cranford.

Also dropping out after a one-week appearance was St. Thomas Aquinas, which was idle after South River had to cancel their Saturday game with the Trojans. Colonia, however, jumped in, tied for tenth with unbeaten Delaware Valley. The Patriots beat Linden on the road, 23-14, a Tigers’ team that had just beaten ranked Westfield the previous week. Colonia plays at No. 7 Cranford Friday night.

Below are the Week 5 rankings: