BY AUSTIN DENTON | EDITOR IN CHIEF
Things are about to get real crazy in District 2/6A football this week.
That’s because the La Cueva Bears are competing for the District 2/6A title, but aren’t in the clear just yet. Throughout the week, there have been some outspoken confusion on the scenarios of the district placement and state tournament seeding implications that could play out from this Friday’s game. Luckily, The Edition’s analysis will help you better understand what the possible scenarios are. Here’s what can play out from the La Cueva vs. Clovis game.
La Cueva Bears vs. Clovis Wildcats: Friday, 11/2, 7:00 pm @ Leon Williams Stadium (Clovis HS)
This game has been determined to be the deciding game for the District 2/6A championship and plenty is on the line coming up Friday night for the Bears. Here are the district scenarios that could play out from this game.
- If La Cueva wins this game against Clovis, they are the outright District 2/6A champions. Manzano and Clovis would be eliminated from contention of the title completely.
- If Clovis wins this game against La Cueva, Manzano has a chance at becoming the District 2/6A champions, as the two teams will be tied with a 3-1 record in District. Here’s how Manzano has that chance:
- According to the NMAA football bylaws, Section 7.15.3, in the event that more than two teams tie, the NMAA will first compare the results of the head-to-head competition. It says, “If one team has defeated the other two, that team has earned a higher placement.” In this situation, Clovis will have defeated La Cueva, but Manzano will have defeated Clovis, so that rule does not go into effect.
- That means that the NMAA will now go to the second determiner, the point spread between the tied teams. The bylaws once again state, “Placement shall be determined by the point spread of games played between the tied teams, with 13 points being the maximum allowed for any one game.” Prior to this game, La Cueva defeated Manzano by one point, and Manzano defeated Clovis by 19 points. Unfortunately for Manzano, 13 points is the maximum, so the additional six points will not be included.
- With this in mind, that means that La Cueva currently stands at +1 with Manzano, who is -1 in this case, and Manzano stands at +13 with Clovis, who is -13 in this case. Right now, the two point differential combine to make +12 for Manzano. La Cueva and Clovis’ point differentials cannot be combined until they play each other, so right now, La Cueva stands at +1, and Clovis stands at -13. Since this is the case, Clovis cannot make up the ground they lost with the 13-point game limit, which eliminates them from contention of the district title even if they win. If they meet or exceed that 13-point limit, their score resets to zero.
- This is the most important thing to keep in mind. Manzano is not playing a district game this upcoming week, as they will cap off their season against Albuquerque High, an independent. Manzano has already finished their district play, and finished 3-1. That means Manzano’s +12 differential is the final point differential for them. So, if La Cueva loses this game, La Cueva’s differential drops to the negative or zero, and Manzano wins the District 2/6A title.
This game also has equally as important implications on the state championships seeding for La Cueva. Here’s a look at those scenarios and what could happen with that exact situation.
- If La Cueva wins against Clovis, along with Cleveland beating cross-town rival Rio Rancho, Cleveland maintains the projected #1 seed in the state tournament, while La Cueva maintains their projected #2 seed in the state tournament.
- If Cleveland loses to cross-town rival Rio Rancho, and La Cueva wins against Clovis, La Cueva overtakes the #1 seed in the state tournament, and Cleveland will drop their top seed spot.
- In the event that Cleveland loses and Volcano Vista wins, that means that the Storm, Hawks, and Rio Rancho will be involved in a three-way tie for the District 1/6A top spot. Rule 1, as listed above, does not take effect in this situation with Rio Rancho beating Cleveland, but Cleveland defeated Volcano Vista.
- That means that Rule 2 now takes effect. Cleveland grabbed +13 against Volcano Vista, while Volcano Vista snagged +3 against Rio Rancho. Unfortunately for Volcano Vista, the -13 from Cleveland cancels the +3 greatly, meaning Volcano Vista currently stands with a -10 point differential. With the upcoming scenarios, that eliminates Volcano Vista from district championship contention, because they have already played against both teams, and cannot make up the ground.
- Prior to this game on Friday, Cleveland stands at +13 and Rio Rancho stands at -3. That means if Cleveland is beat by 13, Cleveland resets to 0, and Rio Rancho upgrades to +10, making Rio Rancho the District 1/6A champions. The only way Cleveland can maintain their District 1/6A championship without having to go to another tiebreaker in the event of the loss is if the loss is by a touchdown or less. The seven points will bring Cleveland to a +6, while it brings Rio Rancho to a +4. There is that possibility that if Rio Rancho wins by an eight point margin, that the point margins tie at +5. In the event that happens, the tie in the point margin is broken based on head-to-head between the two teams, which would again give Rio Rancho the District 1/6A championship.
- With all this district placing in mind, Cleveland could drop to as low as completely out of the top four seeds, who get a bye to start the tournament. According to the bracketology of Adam Diehl of ProView Networks, Rio Rancho is currently a projected nine seed, which means Cleveland can’t be seeded ahead of Rio Rancho in the state championships. Obviously, those seeds will shift should Rio Rancho win, but nonetheless, the Storm cannot be seeded ahead of the Rams in the event of a loss.
- If La Cueva loses to Clovis, La Cueva’s seed could drop greatly, regardless of the Cleveland result.
- As outlined above, La Cueva’s loss to Clovis could prove to be crucial in the form of losing the district championship, as Manzano would take the crown of District 2/6A champion.
- If this is the case, the loss to Clovis means that La Cueva cannot be seeded higher than Manzano when it comes to state tournament time. Adam Diehl’s latest bracketology has Manzano as eighth seed, which means La Cueva could drop all the way to a potential double-digit or nine seed because of the loss with this rule. Again, those seedings could change later on; nothing is set in stone.
The gist of all this information? La Cueva cannot afford to lose this game with Clovis. If they do, it would create a big shakeup in the Class 6A playoffs. As long as La Cueva can finish their season with a win against Clovis, we could be seeing a #1 Cleveland and a #2 La Cueva, striving for a state championship.