Playoffs? Who’s in, who’s out

Buford run through signWith three weeks left in the regular season, the playoff picture is becoming a little less fuzzy. But with the addition of another classification, there is more uncertainty than in previous seasons. And that means the playoff picture is even more convoluted.

Here’s a look at each region, with three weeks remaining in the regular season. The top four teams in each region make the state playoffs, which begin on Nov. 11.

Region 1: Only one team from this league is going to miss the playoffs. It’s still a jumble, but more will be determined on Friday when Bainbridge plays at Thomas Count Central.

Region 2: This five-team league is trying to reconcile the problems left by Hurricane Matthew. Ware County and Wayne County, the two co-leaders, play on Oct. 28.

Region 3: Region-leading Riverdale finishes the season with games against the three contenders, starting with Whitewater on Friday. Starr’s Mill has the week off and Griffin is at McIntosh, which is no longer in the picture.

Region 4: The region title could be determined on Oct. 28 when Jones County plays at Stockbridge; both are essentially in the playoffs. Woodland has beaten Jones County, but lost to Stockbridge, and could win the region if it winds up tied with Jones County with one region loss. Woodland would lose the tiebreaker to Stockbridge.

Region 5: It appears that Arabia Mountain and Southwest DeKalb will determine the title on Oct. 28 at Godfrey Stadium. Both teams are perfect in the region, as is Lithonia, but the Bulldogs have SWD on Friday and Miller Grove the following week.

Region 6: Co-leaders Banneker at Grady will determine first place on Nov. 4 when they play each other. But first Banneker will need to survive this week’s game against Carver. North Springs plays at Riverwood this week in a game that could determine fourth place.

Region 7: The toughest league in the state features Kell, Carrollton and Rome. Carrollton, which lost to Rome last month, hosts Kell on Friday. Kell has already beaten Rome. Any of these three teams will represent a tough first-round opponent.  Four teams have three league losses, meaning the final spot will likely go down to the wire.

Region 8: Buford hosts Loganville on Oct. 28 in the game that will most likely determine the regular-season title.  Walnut Grove has only one region loss, but hosts Buford this week and still has to play both Athens schools.


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