SUPER 16 – It seems like at least one of these teams’ twice-yearly match-ups ends up being a Game of the Week in the Super 16 every season, and this year is no different as The Dawg Pound (6-3-0) and the Motor City Kitties (4-5-0) are again the top contenders for the North Division title. This year, the first of their 2017 showdowns has the added bonus of being a SimulPlay match for a bit of added drama and excitement. These two teams have met each other 5 times before, with Motor City winning their first ever match as a Rams franchise in 2013 before relocating to the Lions. The Kitties swept the series in two games in 2015, their first year in the North Division, but then meigzoh’s Dawgs returned the favor, sweeping Motor City through both of their games last season. Both franchises are 50% in Week 10 games.
On a 3 game win-streak, the Cleveland franchise would seem to have the advantage, and the oddsmakers in Vegas confirm that, installing them as 22 point favorites, but this is a SimulPlay game in a year when the Lions have scored 24 or more points in 6 of 8 games and the Browns are….well, the Browns. In the Black and Blue North Division, the only given is that the title race will come down to the final weeks. Dawg Pound, Motor City, and The Indy-structibles each have a Division Championship on their shelf, and while the BEARMINATORS do not, they have a League Championship in 2014. The Dawg Pound needs at least two wins to clinch the title, and Motor City needs two to catch them; this is number 1 for each of them, and they’ll play again in the Week 13 regular season finale. Across the division, The Indy-structibles (3-6-0) and BEARMINATORS (1-8-0) will face off this week as well.
Around the league, there are several other matches with big postseason implications. The defending champion Northern Fins (6-3-0) will try to get their third consecutive win, taking on an AF#11 ranked SF BowMen squad that have lost their last 3 and are trying to climb back into the driver’s seat in the West, while league and West Division leader, the AF#7 Arizona Firebirds (7-2-0) are hosting Geno’s Jaw Breakers (5-4-0) who have won 5 of their last 7, all by scores of over 200 points, and need just 1 win to reclaim the east from the Fins. The AF#18 1 Eye Til I Die (6-3-0) will play at bye week strength in a possible trap game against Steel Curtain who have inexplicably dropped 5 in a row.
In the South Division, WTF HOUSTON (4-5-0) gets a bye strength Eagle has landed (4-5-0) while the Who Dat Saints (4-5-0) get the 13th overall Bucking Broncs (3-6-0). Both Houston and the Saints are in must-win situations, desperately trying to close the gap on AF#12 Birds of Prey who’ll play BIGDOGINTEX (4-5-0) this week. If the Dallas Dogs – in the same must-win predicament as their division rivals – can slow them down, the other South Division teams migh still have a shot at the Division title. A win by the Birds, with a loss by the Who Dats AND Houston, would clinch the division, making Birds of Prey the first team in the league to do so this year, something they’ve done before.
2017 Playoff Preview:
Now 4 weeks left to go in the Super 16 regular season, no team has yet clinched a playoff spot – and no team is yet mathematically eliminated, no, not even the BEARMINATORS – but here’s how things are shaping up for now. First tiebreaker for standings ties is total points, followed by head to head.
- Arizona Firebirds 7-2-0 (have #1 seed/first round bye as of right now)
- Birds of Prey 7-2-0 (have #2 seed/first round bye as of right now)
- Dawg Pound 6-3-0 (#3 seed – have a 3 point lead over the Fins)
- Northern Fins 6-3-0 (#4 seed)
Wild Card Race:
- 1 Eye Til I Die 6-2-0 1735 points
- SF’s BowMen 5-4-0 1771 points
- Geno’s Jaw Breakers 5-4-0 1650 points
- Who Dat Saints 4-5-0 1639 points (has points advantage over all 4-5 teams)
NOTE: AF rankings used in this story are current only through the Week 8 Top 25