JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The high school football playoffs are coming into clearer focus as district races wind down.
So, who’s in, who’s out and who’s got work left to do? We’ll get to that below.
Remember, this is the first season of the new Metro and Suburban split, a new system that separated the state’s eight largest counties (Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Seminole) from the remaining 59 into the Suburban and Rural divisions.
How do the playoffs work?
In Classes 2M-4M and 2S-4S, there are four districts in each of the four regions. The district champs get an automatic spot in the playoffs. The next four seeds in each region are determined solely by FHSAA power ranking points.
In Classes 1M and 1S, the field is smaller. Two district champs receive automatic berths in the playoffs, followed by two at-large teams which are determined by ranking points. In the Rural class (formerly Class 1A), the top six teams in each of the four regions make the playoffs. Those teams are determined solely on ranking points.
So, where do the district races stand entering Week 9? Here are the district scenarios:
District 1-4M: Sandalwood at Mandarin on Oct. 27 will crown district champ.
District 1-3M: First Coast at Fletcher on Oct. 27; Fletcher win clinches district title. First Coast win (coupled with Parker win over Englewood) would create three-team tiebreaker between First Coast, Fletcher and Parker decided by FHSAA rankings points. Englewood win AND a First Coast win would give First Coast the district title.
District 1-2M: Jackson at Raines on Oct. 27 will crown district champ.
District 2-2M: Bolles at Bishop Kenny on Oct. 28 will crown district champ.
District 3-2M: White at Westside on Oct. 27; White victory clinches district title. Westside victory would create three-team tiebreaker between Westside, White and Riverside and decided by FHSAA rankings points.
District 1-1M: Trinity Christian can clinch the district title with a win over Christ’s Church on Thursday AND a win over Providence on Oct. 28. A Trinity win Thursday AND a loss to Providence would create a three-team tiebreaker between Providence, Trinity and University Christian and decided by FHSAA rankings points. Trinity losses to Christ’s Church and Providence would give the district title to UC.
District 3-4S: Gainesville Buchholz at Bartram Trail on Friday will crown the district champ.
District 4-4S: Flagler Palm Coast has clinched the district title.
District 3-3S: Columbia has clinched the district title.
District 4-3S: St. Augustine can clinch the district with a win over Gainesville on Friday AND a Clay loss to Matanzas.
If St. Augustine wins AND Clay wins this week they would play for the district title next week. Clay would win the title outright if it beats St. Augustine AND has Matanzas beat Menendez on Oct. 28.
If Clay wins AND beats St. Augustine on Oct. 28 AND Menendez beats Matanzas next week, Clay, Menendez and St. Augustine would be in a three-team tiebreaker decided by FHSAA rankings points.
District 4-2S: Suwannee at Wakulla on Oct. 28 will decide the district champion.
District 5-2S: Baldwin has clinched the district title.
District 6-2S: Bradford at Palatka on Oct. 28 will decide the district champion.
District 8-2S: Crescent City can win the district title with a victory at Lake Weir on Oct. 27. A Lake Weir win would create a three-team tiebreaker decided by FHSAA rankings points with Port Orange Atlantic.
District 1-3S: Ocala Trinity Catholic at PK Yonge on Oct. 28 will decide the district champion. St. Joseph has been eliminated.