The DI men’s club playoff picture is actually clearing up a little, as New Orleans, PAC and Austin clinched the #1 spots in their respective leagues.
Still, there are some more games to go, and one playoff in the Midwest to figure things out. We have a note at the end of this article to spell out the ramifications, but first of all, here are the brackets:
Pacific Coast 1 (See note) v. SoCal 4 (maybe Las Vegas)
West North 2 (Kansas City) v. West South 3 (See note)
SoCal 1 (likely Belmont Shore) v. Pac Cast 4 (See note)
West South 2 v. West North 3 (likely Denver Highlanders)
Bracket 1 and 2 winners play each other in quarterfinals.
Northeast 1 (Mystic River) v. MARFU 4 (Media or Schuylkill River)
South 2 (Atlanta Renegades) v. Midwest 3 (See note)
MARFU 1 (PAC) v. Northeast 4 (Monmouth)
Midwest 2 (See note) v. South 3 (Charlotte)
Bracket 3 and 4 winners play each other in quarterfinals.
South 1 (New Orleans) v. Midwest 4 (See note)
Northeast 2 (Boston IW) v. MARFU 3 (Pittsburgh Harlequins)
Midwest 1 (Palmer or Cincinnati) v. South 4 (Boca Raton)
MARFU 2 ( Norfolk) v. Northeast 3 (New York)
Bracket 5 and 6 winners play each other in quarterfinals.
West North 1 (Glendale) v. West South 4 (See note)
Pac Coast 2 (See note) v. SoCal 3 (Santa Monica)
West South 1 (Austin Blacks) v. West N 4 (Boulder)
SoCal 2 (likely OMBAC) v. Pac Coast 3 (See note)
Bracket 7 and 8 winners play each other in quarterfinals.
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have everything settled except MARFU #4. There, Schuylkill River has a makeup game against NOVA this weekend. If SR wins with a bonus point, they are 4th. If they do anything else (with without scoring four tries, lose, tie …) then Media claims 4th.
In the South, everything is settled even with a game to go (New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, Boca in that order).
The Midwest has the most convoluted and, we think, best playoff system out there for a two-conference competition. Here’s how it works:
#1 East (Cincinnati) plays #1 West (Palmer) for 1st.
So your MW #1 to host Boca Raton is either Palmer or Cincinnati.
The loser of that game plays the winner of the match between the #2 teams. So Palmer or Ciincy plays the winner of Buffalo and Metropolis. Your MW #2 can be any of those four.
The Midwest #3 is played between the Buffalo v Metropolis loser, and the winner of Chicago Lions v. Detroit Tradesmen. The loser of this matchup is #4.
The team that loses between Chicago and Detroit stays home.
Midwest #1 is Palmer or Cincinnati
Midwest #2 is Palmer, Cincinnati, Buffalo or Metropolis
Midwest #3 is Buffalo, Metropolis, Chicago Lions or Detroit Tradesmen
Midwest #4 is Buffalo, Metropolis, Chicago Lions or Detroit Tradesmen
See how a team 2nd in a conference can be second in the territory, or drop all the way down to 4th.
All of these playoffs are held April 7-8.
In the West, Austin Blacks have clinched 1st in the West-South (Texas). The rest of the teams have two or three games left, and there’s a logjam in the middle as Dallas, Austin Huns and HARC are all very close in points.
The Huns have the toughest road, as they play the Dallas Harlequins (in the league but not eligible for the playoffs,) and the Blacks. HARC also has a tough road, with the ‘Quins and Blacks, as well as Fort Worth. Despite being 3-5 and dropping a 21-17 decision to HARC last weekend, Dallas is poised to take 2nd because they have Fort Worth left, along with the ‘Quins.
The likely finish will be: Austin Blacks, Dallas, Austin Huns, HARC.
In the West-North, Glendale has basically clinched 1st, and it is unlikely, but possible, that Kansas City can be caught for 2nd. Order of finish appears to be set at Glendale, KC, Denver Highlanders, and Boulder. Denver can move up, but needs to win out to do so.
In Southern California, Belmont Shore has not clinched 1st, but can with a victory this weekend. OMBAC can finish no lower than 2nd, and while Santa Monica can be caught, it would require them to lose to the two bottom teams in the league, or for Las Vegas to beat Shore in Long Beach.
Las Vegas has a very good shot, though, of clinching 4th.
And in the Pacific Coast, who knows?
The EPA Bulldogs and the Sacramento Lions are both 4-0, but we’ve seen torrid starts by clubs in this area before. San Mateo, Olympic Club and SFGG are all in the hunt, as is Provo, which supposedly, maybe, rumor has it, gets a shot at a place in the playoffs if they complete a DI-approved friendly schedule and then play off with the 4th Pacific Coast team. However, it seems enormously unlikely that will happen, or has even been OK'd by anyone. (Actually, an update on this - no unlikely about it. Provo won't be certified for the playoffs by the Pacific Coast RFU, so it's just a NorCal deal from here on out.)
Here’s what we think will happen:
Olympic Club plays the two teams with the worst records in the league, plus San Mateo, left on their schedule. They can easily claim those victories and finish 5-2.
SFGG has two easy games but the Bulldogs at the end of the season. San Mateo has the Lions and O-Club to face.
It looks as though San Mateo might be on the outside looking in, but it’s hard to say.
The Lions play the Bulldogs this weekend, deciding who is likely to be 1st. The loser will have at least one, maybe two, tough games left and could be overhauled for 2nd.
Olympic Club v. San Mateo and SFGG v Bulldogs April 21 are shaping up to be huge games.