Class 3A Pre-Playoff Breakdown
By Jake Shaw/TexasFootball.com
We've reached Class 3A, where unlike 5A and 4A, only three teams make the playoffs from each district. That only makes the final race to the postseason more dramatic.
Check out potential first-round matchups that look like fourth- or fifth-round games; find out teams soaring -- and the ones slumping -- as the regular season comes to an end.
And of course, get a breakdown of who's in, who's out, and who's on the bubble in every district in this class. Up next is 2A, with 1A not far behind.
Some potential first-round playoff games we'd rather save for later
Teams that have strung together surprise seasons
Teams whose playoff chances are in serious jeopardy
|'08 PREDICTION1. Lubbock Estacado2. Dalhart3. Levelland||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Lubbock Cooper (4)t-2. Lubbock Estacadot-2. Dalhart||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Lubbock Cooper (4)2. Lubbock Estacado3. Dalhart|
NOTES: Cooper clinched a playoff spot by beating Estacado last weekend, while the winner between Estacado and Dalhart this weekend will do the same. Meanwhile, Perryton and Levelland play this weekend in a quasi-elimination game. The winner of that one will most likely need a win in Week 10 to get in. However, getting past the first round doesn't seem likely for any of 1-3A's playoff teams. Only Cooper (at 4-4) is at least .500, and check out the strength of 2-3A below.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Brownwood2. Snyder3. Abilene Wylie||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. Abilene Wyliet-1. Sweetwater (5)t-3. Graham (4)t-3. Brownwoodt-3. Snyder||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Abilene Wylie2. Sweetwater (5)3. Snyder|
NOTES: Anything is possible in this district. Sweetwater and Wylie are tied at 3-0 with two weeks to play, yet with a three-team tie for third, all of them 1-2 in district, we likely won't have the first playoff berths clinched until after this weekend. We suspect Wylie will be the first -- it has the most favorable matchup at home against Graham, whose upset of Brownwood last weekend kept it in the race. Sweetwater can also clinch, but it must beat a Brownwood team playing with an air of desperation. Snyder has the safest road remaining, playing Breckenridge (0-3 in district) and hosting Brownwood over the final two weeks.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Monahans2. Seminole3. Brownfield||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Monahanst-2. Seminolet-2. Midland Greenwood (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Monahans2. Seminole3. Midland Greenwood (5)|
NOTES: Six-team districts have fewer district games, so even though we're to Week 9 of the season, nothing has firmly been decided. Monahans is 3-0, a game ahead of Seminole (which Monahans beat) and Midland Greenwood, which plays Monahans in Week 10. But Monahans still hasn't clinched, though beating Brownfield should do the trick. In fact, if the three teams at the top all win this weekend, the playoff teams will be firm, though Greenwood could steal the top DII seed if it could upset Monahans to close the season.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Fort Stockton2. Fabens3. Anthony||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Fort Stocktont-2. Clint (4)t-2. Pecos (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Fort Stockton2. Clint (4)3. Pecos (5)|
NOTES: The preseason pick for third place, Anthony is 1-7 -- yet if it can beat Pecos this weekend, hope will stay alive. We're not buying that scenario. Instead, the three teams at the top of the standings will win this weekend, clinching spots in the process, and Clint will beat Pecos in Week 10 to wrap up the top DII seed.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Burkburnett2. Vernon3. Bridgeport||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Bridgeportt-2. Burkburnettt-2. Decatur (4)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Bridgeport2. Burkburnett3. Decatur (4)|
NOTES: Though not listed in the current standings, Vernon is still very much alive. It plays Decatur Friday needing a win to force a tie for the third playoff spot. Nevertheless, we're picking Decatur to win at home, basing our choice partially on Decatur's ability to score (it put up 47 on Burkburnett in a loss last weekend). All the playoff teams from 5-3A will enjoy the benefit of a bye in bi-district since there is no 6-3A.
|'08 PREDICTION1. China Spring2. Glen Rose3. West||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. China Springt-1. Glen Rose3. Gatesville (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. China Spring2. Glen Rose3. Gatesville (5)|
NOTES: Glen Rose has a huge game this weekend, but you can excuse Glen Rose if it keeps one eye on Gatesville's matchup with West, a game that should determine the third playoff team. If Gatesville wins, it will move into the Division I bracket, pushing China Spring down to DII. Thus, the loser between Glen Rose and Decatur this weekend would have to face defending champ Liberty Hill in the first round. But if West wins and makes the playoffs, Glen Rose would likely get the top DII seed and avoid playing Liberty Hill so early.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Liberty Hill2. Wimberley3. Fredericksburg||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Liberty Hillt-2. Llano (5)t-2. Wimberley||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Liberty Hill2. Wimberley3. Burnet (4)|
NOTES: Not only has Liberty Hill clinched a spot, it has this weekend off to watch the mayhem about to take place around the rest of 8-3A. First off, Wimberley travels to Llano this weekend; the two find themselves deadlocked at 3-1 in district. The winner clinches the second postseason berth, the loser still has work to do. Burnet must hope Wimberley wins, since Burnet holds the head-to-head tie-breaker with Llano. That's what we envision: Wimberley beats Llano this weekend, while Burnet wins in Weeks 9 and 10 to clinch the third spot.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Celina2. Prosper3. Argyle||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Prospert-2. Celinat-2. Argyle||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Prosper2. Celina3. Argyle|
NOTES: In Region I, we predicted every district will have one team make the playoffs that we didn't predict in the preseason. Not so in 9-3A, but there was at least one surprise: Prosper's convincing win against Celina, one that should result in a district title. Celina faces Argyle in Week 10, a game that will determine the top DII seed.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Paris2. North Lamar3. Commerce||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. Van Alstyne (4)t-1. Paris3. North Lamar||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Paris2. North Lamar3. Van Alstyne (4)|
NOTES: Van Alstyne and Paris are tied at 3-0 in district, but Van Alstyne's toughest stretch has yet to come. It hosts North Lamar (2-1 in district; only loss was to Paris) Friday before traveling to Paris in Week 10. That two-week stretch could see Van Alstyne either hang on to first place in 10-3A or drop all the way to third.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Dallas Madison2. Dallas Roosevelt3. Lake Worth||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Dallas Madison2. Dallas Rooseveltt-3. FW Castleberry (4)t-3. Carrollton Ranchview (5)t-3. Lake Worth||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Dallas Madison2. Dallas Roosevelt3. Carrollton Ranchview (5)|
NOTES: Ranchview controls its destiny more than the other two teams it is tied with for third place. Ranchview hosts Castleberry in Week 9 before travelling to Lake Worth in the season finale. Wins in both would secure the third spot as well as the Division I representative, moving Roosevelt down to the DII bracket. Madison has beaten both Ranchview and Roosevelt, shaking off its 1-3 start to the season.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Kaufman2. Kennedale3. Ferris||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Kaufmant-2. Kennedalet-2. Crandall (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Kaufman2. Kennedale3. Alvarado (4)|
NOTES: Alvarado may possess the biggest win that nobody (outside of Alvarado) knows about. In the season opener, Alvarado beat 4A Waco Midway, which has won seven straight since then to earn a spot in the 4A Top 10. That kind of performance convinces us that Alvarado will beat Crandall this weekend, giving it the inside track to the final playoff spot. If that happens, Alvarado will go to the Division I bracket. Thus, Kaufman's upset of Kennedale last weekend would give Kaufman a district title and the top DII seed.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Farmersville2. Emory Rains3. Nevada Community||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Farmersvillet-2. Nevada Communityt-2. Lucas Lovejoy (4)t-2. Quinlan Ford (6)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Farmersville2. Nevada Community3. Lucas Lovejoy (4)|
NOTES: The 1-4 start to its first season back in 3A has become a distant memory for Farmersville, the likely outright district champ. Only the Farmers have gone unbeaten in 13-3A. The three teams tied for third are a game back, tied at 2-1, and untying that knot won't happen until Week 10. Lovejoy plays Community this weekend, while Community closes the season against Quinlan Ford. We expect Community to sweep the next two weeks to secure second place. Since Lovejoy beat Ford in district play, this first-year team is our pick for third place.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Canton2. Wills Point3. Van||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Vant-2. Cantont-2. Eustace (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Van2. Mineola (4)3. Eustace (5)|
NOTES: Wills Point is out and Van is in. Since those two schools have the largest enrollments, Van is automatically the Division I team from 14-3A. We expect a dogfight for the final two spots. Strictly basing it on predicted results over the next two weekends, Eustace, Mineola and Canton would end the season all tied at 3-2 in district. None of three teams went 2-0 against the other two teams, so it all comes down to tie-breakers. Breaking that tie depends on results that will not occur until Week 9 and 10, so it's impossible to definitively say what will happen. Things could drastically change, though, if Canton were to upset Van this weekend.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Liberty-Eylau2. Pleasant Grove3. Pittsburg||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Pleasant Grovet-2. Pittsburgt-2. New Boston (4)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Pleasant Grove2. Pittsburg3. Liberty-Eylau|
NOTES: To disrupt our predictions, New Boston must pull off wins against Pleasant Grove and Liberty-Eylau over the next two weeks. Not quite a Herculean task, but something we just don't see happening. Every qualifier from this district also gets a bonus: a bye in the first round (there is no 15-3A). That's an improvement from years past when the DI team from this district usually faced Gilmer in the first round.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Gilmer2. Tatum3. Tyler Chapel Hill||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Gilmert-2. Chapel Hillt-2. Gladewater (6)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Gilmer2. Tyler Chapel Hill3. Tatum|
NOTES: Gladewater's 37-32 loss to Tatum might prove the most significant result from inter-17-3A play. That's because we see Gilmer finish alone at the top, Chapel Hill alone in second (its only loss to Gilmer), with Tatum and Gladewater tied for third. Now you see why that game has so much meaning. Still, Bullard can still play its way into the postseason by winning its final two games.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Carthage2. Diboll3. Jasper||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. Dibollt-1. Carthage3. Rusk (4)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Diboll2. Carthage3. Rusk (4)|
NOTES: The top 25 showdown featuring Carthage at Diboll could mean everything, or it could mean very little. No matter the outcome, the winner should have an addition to its trophy case. But if Rusk beats Jasper, Rusk likely gets the third spot, pushing Carthage up to DI. On the other hand, if Jasper beats Rusk, the Carthage/Diboll winner gets the top Division II seed and would avoid playing Gilmer in the first round.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Waco La Vega2. Robinson3. Waco Connally||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Waco La Vegat-2. Mexia (4)t-2. Lorena (6)t-2. Groesbeck (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Waco La Vega2. Mexia (4)3. Lorena (6)|
NOTES: The teams picked second and third -- Robinson and Connally -- are the only winless teams in district. La Vega is unbeaten and should win the district title outright, while the other three teams (Mexia, Lorena and Groesbeck) sit in a tie at 2-1. Of those three teams, Groesbeck still has to face La Vega, persuading us to side with Mexia and Lorena as the two playoff teams accompanying La Vega.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Crockett2. Palestine Westwood3. Brownsboro||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Palestine Westwood2. Crockettt-3. Brownsborot-3. Fairfield (6)t-3. Palestine (4)t-3. Athens (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Palestine Westwood2. Crockett3. Athens (5)|
NOTES: This district seems to have accepted communism ... everybody is equal! Well, not quite -- Westwood has first all to itself at 3-0. Beating Crockett (alone at 2-1) gave Westwood that security. But the district's four other teams are all tied at 1-2. You need pen, paper and a bottle of aspirin to figure out who gets the final spot. We used the remaining two-game schedule to figure out the third team. Since only Athens doesn't play either Crockett or Westwood, it might have the best chance to win out. Still ... don't carve that in stone. This district will need Week 9 and 10 to sort things out.
|'08 PREDICTION1. West Orange-Stark2. Silsbee3. Hamshire-Fannett||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. West Orange-Starkt-1. Hardin-Jefferson (6)3. Silsbee||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. West Orange-Stark2. Silsbee3. Hardin-Jefferson (6)|
NOTES: It might be the most lop-sided battle for a district championship, but Hardin-Jefferson (34-point underdogs) will still attempt to upset West Orange-Stark, which H-J is tied with at 3-0 in district. Nevertheless, H-J should be playoff bound even if it loses to WOS (and Silsbee the following week), a nice reward for a team picked last in district. H-J and Silsbee with both officially qualify if Silsbee beats Hamshire-Fannett this weekend.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Cleveland2. Huffman Hargrave3. Coldspring-Oakhurst||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. Clevelandt-1. Coldspring-Oakhurst3. Splendora (4)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Cleveland2. Coldspring-Oakhurst3. Huffman-Hargrave|
NOTES: Splendora, a half-game ahead of Hargrave in the standings, has this week off. Most of their fans should use the bye week to root for Shepherd, which with an upset of Huffman-Hargrave would get Splendora closer to qualification. Still, Splendora needs an upset of Cleveland in Week 10 or for H-H to lose in Week 10 to Tarkington. Neither seems likely, so H-H gets our nod. As for the top -- Cleveland host Coldspring this weekend. The winner should get a district title, but more importantly, the top DII seed, which would prevent a first-round game against West Orange-Stark.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Navasota2. Rockdale3. Madisonville||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. Navasotat-1. Cameron Yoe (4)3. Rockdale||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Navasota2. Rockdale3. Caldwell (5)|
NOTES: See if you can follow this: Rockdale has this week off but should beat Taylor in Week 10, giving Rockdale a 4-2 district record. Cameron Yoe loses its final two games of the season, to Navasota and Caldwell, while Caldwell wins out, giving both Yoe and Caldwell 4-2 district records to match Rockdale. That scenario creates a three-way tie for third behind district champ Navasota. Naturally, this is pure speculation on our part, but it seems to provide the most reasonable conclusion. At that point, the district's tie-breaking rules come into play, but we're guessing Rockdale and Caldwell teams get the two bids, while Yoe is left out. We also must note that with no 23-3A, all three teams that qualify get a first-round bye.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Sealy2. Giddings3. Bellville||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Bellvillet-2. Sealyt-2. Giddings||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Bellville2. Giddings3. Sealy|
NOTES: This district is not as clear-cut as it looks. Columbus can remain mathematically alive by beating La Grange this weekend, while Smithville (tied with Columbus at 1-2, a game behind Sealy and Giddings) can also jump back in by upsetting Giddings. Meanwhile, Bellville will try to remain the only undefeated team in district play when it hosts Sealy this weekend. All that to say, this district will have meaningful games in Week 10.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Columbia2. Needville3. Sweeny||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. Sweenyt-1. Wharton (5)3. Brookshire Royal (4)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Sweeny2. Wharton (5)3. Brookshire Royal (4)|
NOTES: Sweeny and Wharton are tied at 3-0 in district, and if both win this weekend, they'll meet up in Week 10 with the district title on the line. That could determine which team gets the top Division II seed if Needville makes the playoffs. If not, Wharton will likely go to Division I. That's where Royal comes in -- it plays Sweeny this weekend, and an upset (we're not predicting it) would put Royal in position to take the top seed.
|'08 PREDICTION1. La Vernia2. Luling3. SA Sam Houston||CURRENT STANDINGS1. La Verniat-2. Marion (6)t-2. Somerset (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. La Vernia2. Somerset (5)3. Poteet (4)|
NOTES: While Luling has about a 1 percent chance to make the playoffs (only a slight exaggeration), SA Houston plays Poteet this weekend in what amounts to an elimination game. The winner will use Week 10 to make a final run at snaring a playoff berth. We give the edge to Poteet -- if it beats Houston and Marion in Week 10, it will likely get the third spot (unless Marion upsets La Vernia -- highly unlikely).
|'08 PREDICTION1. Cuero2. Gonzales3. Edna||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Cuerot-2. Ednat-2. Yoakum (4)t-2. Goliad (6)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Cuero2. Yoakum (4)3. Goliad (6)|
NOTES: Like its bi-district partners in 27-3A, District 28-3A will likely produce two playoff teams that we didn't predict in the preseason. Despite getting crushed by Cuero last weekend (joining a long list of others), and despite being picked to finish last, Goliad should remain on solid by beating 2-5 Edna this weekend. Likewise, Yoakum should defeat Palacios to remain tied for second behind Cuero. Gonzales's only district win (against Edna) was lost by a ruling that Gonzales used an ineligible player.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Devine2. Bandera3. Hondo||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Bandera2. Pearsall (5)3. Hondo||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Bandera2. Pearsall (5)3. Devine|
NOTES: Devine should squeeze into the playoffs despite sitting a half-game behind Hondo. Look for Devine to beat Lytle and Carrizo Springs over the next two weeks. And even if Hondo upsets Bandera, Devine holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with Hondo. Bandera has emerged as the top team, while Pearsall's wins over both Devine and Hondo makes it the obvious runner-up. Since there is no 30-3A, all the playoff teams in this district get the first weekend of the playoff off.
|'08 PREDICTION1. CC West Oso2. Ingleside3. Mathis||CURRENT STANDINGS1. Sinton (4)t-2. Inglesidet-2. Robstown (6)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Sinton (4)2. Robstown (6)3. CC West Oso|
NOTES: Ingleside could slide out of its second-place tie with Robstown over the next two weeks, as it travels to Sinton Friday and hosts Robstown the following week. Since it lost to West Oso, it needs to win both to control its destiny, or else will need West Oso to suffer from an upset. But even as the only 5-0 team in 31-3A play, Sinton isn't safe. It could fall to Ingleside and CC West Oso over the next two weeks, a scenario we don't predict, but one that's not totally unreasonable.
|'08 PREDICTION1. Rio Hondo2. Port Isabel3. Raymondville||CURRENT STANDINGSt-1. Rio Hondo t-1. Lyford (4)t-3. Raymondville t-3. Hidalgo (7)t-3. La Feria (5)||PLAYOFF PREDICTION1. Rio Hondo2. Lyford (4)3. Raymondville|
NOTES: Only one game separates these five teams, and even Zapata lurks just two games behind the leaders. Speaking of, Rio Hondo and Lyford, both 4-1 in 32-3A play, meet up this weekend. We give the slight edge to Rio Hondo, a win that should give RH at least a share of the district title. This weekend should give us a little more insight into how the district race will finish, but we'll still need Week 10 to get everything on concrete.