The Midwest DII club divisional playoffs kickoff Saturday, with four teams from the East competing in Toledo, Ohio and six teams from the West squaring off in Cottage Grove, Wisc. For six of the 10 teams playing Saturday and/or Sunday, all that’s on the line is seeding. Six teams cannot be eliminated from the spring Midwest playoffs, which puts the East and West in an 8-team format.
The East competition for this weekend is simple. The top-seeded Dayton Pigs play the fourth-seeded Michiana Moose in one semifinal, and second-seeded Pittsburgh takes on third-seeded Rochester in the other semifinal Saturday. Sunday the winners play in a final and the losers play for third place. All four teams will advance to the spring Midwest playoffs which will determine the territory’s representatives for nationals.
In the East, everyone will have played everyone already this fall. Dayton beat Michiana 36-20 back in September and Pittsburgh 29-27 earlier that month. Dayton’s only loss of the fall came in the season opener against Rochester in August. Pittsburgh also lost to Rochester twice this season and Michiana once. In their only meeting, Michiana fell 38-14 to Rochester.
The West is a little tricky, especially for those who’ve not paid attention to the Midwest DI playoffs before. The Eastside Banshees, top seed out of West Group 1, plays Wisconsin, their peers in Group 2. The winner is the West’s top seed for the spring Midwest playoffs.
Sunday, the loser plays the winner of the Bremer County Bucks and Southside Irish, who are the two-seeds out of their respective groups. The winner of that game is the West’s second seed, and the loser is the third seed.
Sunday, the loser between the Bucks and Irish plays the winner of Des Moines and Milwaukee, who are their respective groups’ third seeds. The winner of that game is the West’s fourth seed, and the loser misses out on the spring Midwest playoffs, as does the loser of Saturday’s game between Des Moines and Milwaukee.
So the four teams who have the potential to be knocked out of contention for nationals this weekend are Des Moines, Milwaukee, Bremer County and South Side. Two of them will not make the spring playoffs.