DIXIE LEAGUE – Week 11 is upon us and the playoff teams will be decided after the doubleheader games play out this weekend. Seven teams are competing for the two slots each in the Eastern and Western League Championship Series in Weeka 12-14 with the winners going to the Dixie League Championship Series. Lets look at the teams and see who may be in and who may be on the outside looking in. It’s win or go home time in The Dixie!
The Eastern League has 3 teams that are still mathematically alive. The Lakeland Raiders (10-7-3), Sanford Celeryfeds (10-8-2) and the Hineville Warrior (9-8-3). The Westfield Bombers and Orlando Crush are already eliminated from the playoffs for 2017 but could cause some havoc on teams trying to get into the show. Here are the possible post season scenarios for which pair of teams will face each other in the Western League Championship Series:
3 Sweeps: If the Lakeland Raiders win both games this weekend at the Austin Bulls and New Orleans Black Hats they would finish 12-7-3, and if the defending Dixie League Champion Sanford Celeryfeds win games at home against the Kokomo Kings and away against the Austin Bulls they would finish 12-8-2. That would eliminate Hinesville even if they sweep their games against New Orleans and Andalusia, finishing 11-8-3.
3 Splits: If all 3 teams split and go 1-1-0 on the weekend that would put Lakeland finishing at 11-8-3 and Sanford finishing at 11-9-2 with Hinesville still left out at 10-9-3.
No Wins: If all 3 teams collapse and go winless this weekend then Lakeland and Sanford would be still be in and Hinesville left out.
The Warrior’s Way: The ways for Hinesville to get in is for them to sweep their series and see Lakeland or Sanford fail to win at all this weekend. (Both Lakeland and Sanford own the head to head tiebreakers with Hinesville, so a split does the Warrior no good.
All Tied Up – If these 3 teams end their matches with ties instead of wins or losses, it could start to get complicated, but if it comes down to tiebreakers, here’s how they play out: Sanford has the head to head tiebreaker over Hinesville; Lakeland and Hinesville have a 1-1-1 head to head, but Lakeland currently has a 9 point advantage in the second tiebreaker; Lakeland and Sanford also have a 1-1-1 head to head tie, and Sanford currently has a 7 point advantage in the next tiebreaker.
The Western League has 3 teams still alive: the regular season #1, and Defending Champion Andalusia Arrows (12-6-2) have clinched their return trip to the Eastern League Series, while the Austin Bulls (10-6-4) and Kokomo Kings (9-6-5). Here are the Western League playoff scenarios:
Straight Arrows: The Arrows have secured their post season by virtue of their 12-6-2 record and owning the tiebreaker – 2 wins and a tie in head to head play vs Austin – no matter the outcome of doubleheader games this weekend against the Orlando Crush and the Hinesville Warrior. That would leaves , along with the Kokomo Kings who are at Sanford and then home against the Westfield Bombers, to fight it out for the 2nd playoff spot.
Bulls-eye: If the the Austin Bulls, who are taking on the top 2 teams in the Eastern League, the Lakeland Raiders and the Defending Champion Sanford Celeryfeds this week, can sweep those two with victories, they clinch the open spot. OR, if they lose both of them and Kokomo loses both of their games OR if they both split their doubleheaders, the Bulls can clinch that way as well. Their Lone Star rivals, the San Angelo Wolverines are 8-8-4, but even if they get 2 victories and Austin takes two losses, the Bulls own the head to head tiebreaker 1-0-2.
The King’s Share: If Austin loses both games and Kokomo wins even one of theirs, the Kings would overtake the Bulls by a half game. If ties from either team come into play, the teams have a head to head tied record, at 1-1-1, but the next tiebreaker is total points, of which Kokomo has a 28 point advantage.
Hang on to your hats and grab your popcorn football fans this could be a very big weekend in the playoff scenario for the Dixie League.