Pigskin Playoff Possibilities

Newtown High School’s football team has four games remaining before the scheduled SWC championship game on November 21. In three consecutive years, Newtown and Masuk of Monroe have carried the best conference records into that week and, thus, the championship game has been pushed back a week and annual Thanksgiving Eve clash between the foes has become the winner-takes-all game (and no game was played in the preceding week).

To this point, it remains very much up in the air which two teams will be in the pinnacle tilt. Newtown, with a 5-0 record in SWC play, is the only unbeaten conference team and appears poised for a return to the big game. Masuk, which lost to conference rival Pomperaug of Southbury, Joel Barlow of Redding, and Brookfield, all have 4-1 SWC records.

If teams share the best records as of the scheduled title game week, a tiebreaker system is implemented to determine the championship game matchup. The head-to-head winner of the teams with the same record breaks the tie. If the teams with the same record didn’t face each other, the next tiebreaker is based on a points system. SWC teams earn 100 points for every SWC win, and another ten points for every win earned by the teams it has defeated. If two teams are still tied after that tiebreaker is used, all other teams are ranked by record and the team that defeated the highest-seeded common opponent wins the tiebreaker.

There are several more tiebreaking procedures, including flipping of a coin, if necessary. And there is a similar but more complicated set of tiebreaking procedures to be used if more than two playoff-contending teams share the same record.

Each team has played five conference games to this point and, heading into this weekend’s action, Newtown has the most SWC power points, with 640. Next is Barlow with 480, followed by Masuk with 460, then Brookfield with 450 points. Even if Newtown loses one game, the Nighthawks appear to be in good shape, having beaten both Barlow and Brookfield.

If Newtown and/or Masuk don’t have one of the top two records heading into the scheduled week of the championship game, that game stands to be played as scheduled, November 21 at designated neutral site Brookfield High. If that is the case, the annual Newtown-Masuk game will only have an effect on the following week’s state playoff seedings.

Newtown’s remaining opponents leading up to championship week are Weston (3-2 in the SWC), New Fairfield (3-2), Stratford (1-4), and Immaculate of Danbury (0-5).

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