Already we’re deep enough into the DI club season to discuss playoffs; in fact, we’re already far enough into the season to talk about teams clinching.
Here’s the picture so far:
With two rounds left, the top four teams have already clinched a playoff spot. Boston, Boston Irish Wolfhounds, Mystic River, and Middlesex.
No team has clinched a specific seed, however, and with Middlesex and Mystic River tied at 17 points and playing each other this weekend, there’s plenty to play for. The winners of that game will then be hoping the Wolfhounds lose to Boston October 27 to then get 2nd.
However, this is all somewhat moot, as the top four will meet in a two-game weekend playoff November 3-4 to decide the two teams who will take on the top two from the Empire league to decide the Northeast seeds to the CR4 playoffs (confused yet?).
Boston Head Coach Mike Diamantopoulos is not a fan of the New England playoff, which, he said, undercuts the regular season.
“I just think playing a regular season and then have a knock-out playoff amongst yourselves devalues the regular season,” he said. “Especially since we all play each other; it’s not like there are two conferences.”
So the key game must be Mystic v. Middlesex, because the loser will have to face unbeaten Boston in the semis.
There’s a different viewpoint in the New York area, where the White Plains club has played extremely well, but is out of playoff contention despite a 4-2 record.
“We needed Buffalo to not get a bonus point this week against New York (and lose against Old Blue next weekend), but that didn’t happen,” said White Plains president Michael Matkovic.
White Plains is ruing their close loss to Old Blue, which, if it had ended up being a WP victory, would have made the last two weeks very compelling.
Matkovic feels the playoff structure needs to be revisited.
Old Blue and Buffalo are top two, and have clinch top two. The only question is, who will win this weekend, and be in 1st place.
Plenty of rugby to be played in the Mid-Atlantic states. No one has clinched anything, but at 5-0-1 PAC is in super shape, and at 5-0 Maryland is right there, too. Pittsburgh, 4-1, hasn’t locked up a top four spot, but is close. Pittsburgh plays PAC this weekend. The winner will feel in a very strong position.
Then there’s a group hoping to make it to the top four. NOVA is 3-2-1 and on the inside track, but they have played more games than anyone except PAC. At 2-2, Schuylkill River, at 3-2, is the other good candidate. With three losses or more, Baltimore Chesapeake, Norfolk, Raleigh, Washington, and Media are in trouble.
They just started, and everyone makes the playoffs. The regular season is for seeding. If Life is not #1 it will be a massive upset.
Ten teams have been playing for eight playoffs places, so all the talk of big games in this region is somewhat empty.
We know who will be in that top eight:
Chicago Lions, Metropolis, Cincinnati, Detroit Tradesmen, Palmer, Chicago Griffins, Columbus, and Milwaukee Barbarians.
Chicago Blaze and Indianapolis are out.
Now it’s just a case of seeding. The Lions, Metropolis, and Cincinnati are essentially tied. The real race is between Chicago Griffins and Detroit Tradesmen for 4th.
They just started, but Provo has already thrown everyone for a loop y beating the Denver Barbarians.