Let’s see how much I know about tiebreakers (not much)
Let's start the shenanigans with a look at the current standings.
Western AA standing
Capital 6-0 8-0
Helena 6-0 7-1
Sentinel 4-2 6-2
Glacier 3-3 5-3
Butte 3-3 4-4
Big Sky 1-5 2-6
Hellgate 1-5 2-6
Flathead 0-6 1-7
As we enter the final week of the AA football season everyone is fighting for playoff positions. A reminder that the top 2 teams on each side get first-round byes, and the 7 and 8 seeds both are eliminated from playoff picture.
In the West, we know that both Helena schools will have a bye in the first round, Tomorrow night will decide which is the #1 seed, as they play their crosstown game.
The story is the same in the East, as Bozeman and Billings West will square off tomorrow night. Both are undefeated and the winner will be the 1 seed out of the East.
Tonight is a busy night in the AA, as 3 games will take place.
The game tonight in the East tonight has Belgrade @ Senior.
The two games in the Western AA will have a significant impact.
Glacier will be on the road at Hellgate. Glacier fighting for a home playoff game, and Hellgate fighting for a spot in the playoffs. A Glacier win sets them on a good path to hosting a game (more on this shortly). If Hellgate is to close out the regular season with a win it would help their case greatly by jumping to 2 wins.
The other game tonight has Big Sky at Flathead, Big Sky has 1 conference win, and with a win over Flathead would put them in a tie with Hellgate, BUT Big Sky beat Hellgate this year, so would take the 6 spot, because of the head-to-head tiebreaker.
If Glacier wins and Flathead wins there would be a three-way tie (Big Sky, Hellgate, and Flathead all at 1-7) and non-conference games would be used for the tiebreaker, and whoever wins that 3-way tiebreaker getting the 6 seed, and a playoff game.
And we are not done yet.
That three-team tiebreaker is exactly what could happen if Glacier wins, AND Butte High beats Sentinel tomorrow night. All 3 schools would finish 4-3 in the West, and again, I believe the non-conference games would come into play.
This is how I see it:
Helena Schools will be the #1 and #2 and receive byes.
Sentinel with a win will be the 3, A Sentinel loss and a Glacier loss, would see them in a tie with Butte and either the 3 or 4. NOW a Sentinel Loss and a Glacier win would create a 3-way tie between Sentinel, Butte, and Glacier, and again from what I understand, would bring the non-conference games into play, so I’d still guess a 3 or 4, but maybe? could even drop to 5.
Glacier with a win and a Sentinel win would give the wolfpack the 4 seed, and a home playoff game. A Glacier loss and a Butte Loss would favor Glacier (because of the head-to-head win) and still leave Glacier as the 4 seed. (A Glacier win and a Butte win is looked at above.)
Butte must win to possibly host a game, a Butte win with a Glacier loss, would give the Dogs the 3 Seed, a loss will drop them to 5, and put them on the road.
Big Sky, Hellgate, and Flathead all enter the final weekend fighting for the 6th and final spot. Big Sky and Hellgate enter with 1 win each, Flathead with no wins in conference. Flathead will host Big Sky tonight, and again must win to have a shot. Big Sky with a win, (I believe) will win the 6 seed, and go on the road next week for the playoffs. Hellgate needs a win and a Big sky loss, and Flathead’s shot resides in that 3-way tie.
But much like horoscopes and offsides In soccer, I don’t understand the tiebreakers at all, so good luck to all!
You can view the AA Football Playoff bracket HERE.