SUPER 16 – The Week 13 Regular Season finale in the Super 16 sets up to be a climactic season finish as none of the 6 playoff slots are locked in. The most explosive climax of Week 13, is set to come out of the East Division, which is still wide open. The 2016 Defending Champion Northern Fins (7-5-0) control their own destiny going into their final act vs the expansion Bucking Broncs (5-7-0). A simple victory by the Fins will earn them the East Division Championship for the second consecutive season, and depending on scoring, most likely the #4 seed. A loss however, will send them home for the season as they have a significant points disadvantage in the Wild Card race. Just below them in the East Division standings, Steel Curtain (6-6-0) and Eagle has landed (6-6-0) will be kicking off round 2 of the 2017 Pennsylvania Classic, with one of them guaranteed to finish 7-6-0.
Both Penn State franchises have a significant points lead over the Fins, particularly Steel Curtain who set the all-time league scoring record just 3 weeks ago in round 1 of The Classic. Back to back record setting scoring outings have boosted the Steel Bees to the #2 spot on the season scoring list, and with a win, and help from either a Fins, 1 Eye, or BowMen loss, they have 2 routes to the post season, either as the East Division Champs or as a Wild Card. The Philly franchise is just as dangerous, and has been just as hot in the latter part of this season. They’ve won 5 of their last 6 games, averaging over 200 points per game over the stretch. Just like their state rivals, they’ve got the same two paths to the post season, and need both a win and a little help. But for both Steel Curtain and Eagle has landed, the way to the playoffs starts by going right through each other this week.
At the top of the playoff bracket, the AF#15 Birds of Prey (9-3-0) have won the the South Division Championship and the AF#3 Arizona Firebirds (9-3-0) have won the West, and the two of them will go into the playoffs with first round byes as the #1 and #2 seeds. It’s still not certain however, which will get the bragging rights and seeding advantage of receiving the top spot. Arizona faces dangerous division foe AF#25 1 Eye Til I Die (7-5-0) and BoP gets The Indy-structibles (6-6-0) to finish their 2017 regular season campaigns and if either of them lose, the other team would claim #1. If both Birds win or both of them lose, it will come down to total points, which Arizona has the edge by just 53 points. The Firebirds and 1 Eyes are 3-3 vs each other in their all-time series, with the Cyclopses getting the win in their last meeting, the 2017 season opener, and there’s no other team the Firebirds would rather beat to mark their historic 50th win. The Birds of Prey, meanwhile, have beaten Indy 3 times, including a 2013 playoff victory, but their last match-up came in Week 11, 2015 when the Super Colts ended a 17 week Birds’ win-streak with a 2 point victory.
The North Division title is theoretically up for grabs in the semi-annual Cats and Dogs Finale between The Dawg Pound (7-5-0) and Motor City Kitties (6-6-0), but to steal the Dawg’s bone, Motor City would need a win by greater than a 145 point margin. Also – technically – possible would be an Indiana Miracle, where Motor City beats The Dawgs, and Indy beats BoP with a better than 283 point performance – their points deficit with Cleveland. So the odds are that The Dawg Pound will repeat as North Division Champions, but it’s still left to be determined if they’ll go into the post season as the #3 or #4 seed.
The Wild Card race hinges on several Week 13 outcomes as well. AF#13 SF’s BowMen (7-5-0) and 1 Eye Til I Die remain the front runners for both of the slots and control their own destiny. If either, or both of them come away with a win this week , 1 Eye over Arizona, or BowMen over the BEARMINATORS (1-11-0), the Wild Card slots will be theirs, but again, seeding would hinge on Week 13 points totals with the two of them separated by just 17 points. Both Wild Cards coming out of the same division has happened 3 times in league history, including in 2015 when those two teams were BowMen and 1 Eye. If one or either team loses in Week 13, their are several 6-6-0 teams that can make it in with a win and the right points advantage.