The NCHSAA will release final football playoff pairings later today, but as of now, here is the projected brackets for the 4A/4AA East and Mideast pods.
A few notes:
- Anytime you see parentheses, it denotes that these teams are equal seeds with matching 10-game records (teams who played 11 games have a non-conference game removed) and that a draw will be used to determine rank.
- I bet you're like "But Garner beat Middle Creek! How are they tied?" Well, it's a three-way tie. Middle Creek gets to drop that loss in the seeding part, so all three are weighed as equal 10-0 records and there is no way to split a three-way tie, if the teams did not each play one another, except by a draw.
- I bet you're like "But Pinecrest beat Lumberton!" See above.
- I bet you're like "But Laney went 1-4 in its league while Athens Drive went 4-4! How are they tied?" When seeding the wild-cards, conference winning percentage is not weighed. When deciding which wild-cards stay at home, conference winning percentage IS weighed. Which leads us to why...
- ...Holly Springs (4-6, 3-5) is the first team out of the playoffs. Two other 4-win teams (Hopewell, Western Guilford) had better conference records.
- Several three-way ties in the western part of the state made it impossible to know what those pods were going to look like, so we stuck to those in our own backyard.
- Wake County will have a 7-in-8 shot of getting a team to the state semifinals (East vs Mideast pod winners).
- Richmond and Jack Britt finished second in its league, so if Garner, Leesville Road or Middle Creek make it to the state semifinals, it would host the Raiders, the Bucs, or anybody else from the Mideast.
- Pencil in five home playoff games for Wake County, two for Durham and one for Johnston (in 4A/4AA, that is).
- There are three conference re-matches set in stone for the first round: Wakefield/Wake Forest-Rolesville, Fuquay-Varina/Green Hope and Clayton/Knightdale. Five others are still a possibility.
- 1-Garner (or Leesville or MC) vs 8-Laney (or AD)
- 2-Leesville Road (or Garner or MC) vs 7-Athens Drive (or Laney)
- 3-Middle Creek (or Leesville or Garner) vs 6-Heritage
- 4-Wakefield vs 5-WF-Rolesville
- 1-Richmond County (or JB) vs 8-Lumberton (or Pinecrest, Cary)
- 2-Jack Britt (or Richmond) vs 7-Pinecrest (or Cary, Lumberton)
- 3-Hoke County vs 6-Cary (or Pinecrest, Lumberton)
- 4-Fuquay-Varina vs 5-Green Hope
- 1-New Bern vs 8-Southeast Raleigh (or Pine Forest)
- 2-New Hanover vs 7-Pine Forest (or SER)
- 3-Clayton vs 6-Knightdale
- 4-Southern Durham vs 5-Hoggard
- 1-EE Smith or (Scotland) vs 8-East Chapel Hill
- 2-Scotland (or EE Smith) vs 7-Northern Durham
- 3-Hillside vs 6-Terry Sanford
- 4-Lee County vs 5-Dudley