Division II South football coaches grab their calculators
Can anyone at all make sense of the Division II South football race in the Granite State?
I have to admit it, with three weeks left in the regular season, I have no clue who the four South teams will be headed to the postseason.
With six teams between 5-1 and 3-3 – sitting in pairs, Alvirne and St. Thomas at 5-1, Milford and HB at 4-2 and Pelham and Souhegan at 3-3 – confusion reigns.
And then there is the points system, where some wins carry higher value than others.
“All we can do is win our games,” said one area coach. “But I don’t understand why there is a points system anyways. It’s going to happen that two teams tie and the team that wins a head-to-head match will lose the tie-breaker on points. That’s just not right.”
DII South is by no means the lone place this could happen. But the system has to be put into question.
Just say a team has a rash of injuries, or worse suspensions. Their losses later in the year because of it doesn’t only harm it. They devalue the victories a team might have had against them when healthy.
Right now, St. Thomas’ 5-1 is eight points better than Alvirne’s (78.0-70.0). Milford’s 4-2 is worth 60.0, while HB’s is worth 56.0. But, the Cavs own a win over the Spartans.
I’m all for compromise. Right now, this all just seems a bit out of place.
Updating the battle for those four spots, Souhegan did itself and both Milford and HB a solid with the win on Saturday.
If you had to handicap the race, St. Thomas looks to have the inside track to the top seed with games remaining vs. West, Pelham and HB.
Alvirne appears solid but still has three 4-2 opponents on the slate with John Stark, Milford and HB.
Along with the Broncos, HB has a huge tilt, maybe even considered an elimination game, at Souhegan this week. After that, it’s Alvirne an St. Thomas.
With wins over ConVal and Sanborn, Milford could lock down a solid spot before its finale with the Broncos.
And Souhegan continues to fight for its life with against West and 5-1 Bow after this week.
A Knight’s tale
So few athletes/coaches dare to look ahead publicly and think, “what if?” so we shall do it for them.
The University of New Hampshire football team, 0-4 coming into the weekend, drilled Holy Cross Saturday as Amherst’s Trevor Knight returned behind center.
Coach Sean McDonnell talked about how hard the team played in three-plus games without Knight, and the QB was quick to laud his weapons.
“It’s pretty easy when you’ve got these guys to throw to,” he said.
The bottom line is that Knight might as well have been wearing shining armor for shoulder pads and a helmet Saturday.
The Cats were a different team. And now, I’ll be the first to jump ahead and use the “P” word – Playoffs.
UNH is riding a 14-year streak of making the NCAA playoffs. Could these Wildcats find a way to 15?
Look, it’s a longshot. The Cats are riding into a storm with the heart of the CAA slate dead ahead. But a run through the conference and 7-4 mark?
Let’s just say one of the great stories in athletics this season could happen in Durham this fall.
Something that could be a legit “Knight’s Tale.”