Mid-Penn Keystone - Team by Team - District 3 Playoff Oddz
The Wizard has now looked at both the Colonial and Capital Divisions' Odds of making the playoffs. The Wizard will now turn his attention to the Keystone Division and then finish up with the Commonwealth Division.
The Keystone Division is the most symmetrical Division, being made up of only 4A (Bishop McDevitt & Susquehanna Township) and 5A teams (Lower Dauphin, Cedar Cliff, Hershey, Mechanicsburg & Red Land).
Bishop McDevitt (4-2) - the Crusaders are 1 of 2 teams in the Keystone Division that are 4A. This is an advantage for Bishop McDevitt as their wins against primarily 5A opponents increase their strength of schedule. Therefore while most teams in 4A need to have 3 losses or less to make the playoffs, it is possible that Crusaders could slip into the playoffs with a 4th loss. The one thing that Bishop McDevitt has going against it is the fact that arguably their best win of the season against Canisius of New York does not count in the Power Rankings, as Canisius is not in PIAA. As such, District 3 essentially erases that game from its calculation. Therefore it will be a bit tougher for a 5-4 team vs a 6-4 team to make the playoffs.
Bishop McDevitt has arguably its easiest game left this week vs Mechanicsburg followed by Susquehanna then Lower Dauphin. But the game that will likely decide McDevitt's season, unless it runs the table up to that point will be the season finale against CD East, which the Crusaders will get added ranking for as CD East is a 6A non-Keystone team. Overall, The Wizard foresees a strong McDevitt team making the playoffs, but the task ahead is not easy, The Wizard gives the Crusaders a 56% chance of making the playoffs.
Susquehanna Township (3-3) - is the other team in the Keystone that is 4A and benefits from playing against multiple 5A teams. Again, it is par for the course for a team to have to expect to go 7-3 to make the 4A playoffs, but with its strength of schedule it is probable that Susquehanna could make it at 6-4 with the slightest of chance that 5-5 would be good enough. Susquehanna still has the Crusaders on their schedule and the Keystone Division is never an easy Division to compete in day in and day out. The Wizard gives the Susquehanna a 32% chance of making the playoffs.
Lower Dauphin (3-3) & Cedar Cliff (3-3) - this is a tale of the power of the Power Ranking. Both of these teams are 5A in the same division. However, Lower Dauphin played a non-conference schedule that had them start at 0-3, but those 3 losses were against Middletown (6-0), Central Dauphin East (5-1), & Cedar Crest (5-1). This has put Lower Dauphin at a huge power ranking advantage compared to Cedar Cliff, Lower Dauphin currently sits 8 spots above Cedar Cliff in the District 3 rankings. This will likely allow Lower Dauphin to make the playoffs if they go 6-4, while Cedar Cliff in all likelihood needs to run the table. However, even with this, Cedar Cliff's last 4 opponents currently have combined for only 5 wins. On the other hand Lower Dauphin has to play a Cumberland Valley team that by itself has 5 wins already on the season. As such, The Wizard gives Lower Dauphin a 33% chance of finishing the season with only 1 more loss, while The Wizard gives Cedar Cliff a 31% chance of running the table and making the playoffs.
Hershey (2-4) & Mechanicsburg (2-4) - by now you should know how this goes. At 2-4, neither Hershey or Mechanicsburg is technically eliminated from the playoffs, but both need to run the table and get some major help from their 5A brethern in order to make the playoffs, the Wizard gives them the complimentary 1% chance of making the playoffs.
Red Land (0-6) - Red Land fans, if you are reading this and have read either of The Wizard's last 2 articles, you know how this goes, better luck next year.............