Many of the playoff scenarios involving Northwest Arkansas’ football teams began to take shape after Friday’s games.
Some of them are pretty simple. Some of them still have some interesting twists about them, and some teams must face the reality that basketball season will start as scheduled.
With just one week left in the regular season, here’s what is at stake:
Bentonville High (7-2, 6-0) vs. Bentonville West (9-0, 6-0)
This game at Tiger Stadium is simply for all the marbles — or the best ones for now.
The winner takes the outright conference title and the league’s No. 1 seed, which means a first-round bye and home-field advantage. The loser gets the No. 2 seed, but still gets a first-round bye and a home playoff game in the quarterfinals.
One team will get to have its quarterfinal game on Friday, while the other will get another night. That leaves Bentonville athletic director Scott Passmore mulling over the possibilities.
Fayetteville (5-4, 4-2), Springdale Har-Ber (6-3, 3-3)
These two teams already know what lies ahead of them — first-round playoff games at home.
Fayetteville has clinched the No. 3 seed, while Har-Ber takes the No. 4 seed.
Rogers High (5-4, 2-4) at Springdale High (5-4, 2-4)
Both of these teams know there’s a playoff game in their future, and it will be on the road.
Friday’s game at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium will determine the two teams’ seeding and their destination for their first-round game. The winner will be the No. 5 seed and will head to Cabot, while the loser takes the No. 6 seed and will travel to the loser of the Bryant-Conway game.
Fort Smith Northside (2-7, 1-5) at Fort Smith Southside (3-6, 2-4)
Southside locks up the No. 5 seed with a win over its cross-town rival, and that would mean the Mavericks would get a rematch with Springdale Har-Ber. The two teams met in the season opener. Northside, meanwhile, will be eliminated.
If Northside wins, then things could boil down to who wins the Little Rock Catholic-Little Rock Central game. A victory by Central means Northside would be No. 5 and face Har-Ber, while Southside would be No. 6 and travel to Fayetteville.
If Catholic wins, it means a three-way tie and tiebreaker points must be used, but Southside already has the maximum 26 points. If Catholic has more points than Northside, then Southside is No. 5, Catholic is No. 6 and Northside is eliminated. If Northside has more points than Catholic, then Northside is No. 5, Southside is No. 6 and Catholic is eliminated.
Greenwood (9-0, 6-0)
The Bulldogs have already clinched a No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs, then will play at home in the quarterfinal round.
Alma (6-3, 5-1)
The Airedales moved into sole possession of first place Friday with a win over Greenbrier and can clinch the outright conference championship and a No. 1 seed with a win over Maumelle.
Alma still has tie-breakers over Harrison and Greenbrier, but Morrilton has the edge on the Airedales and could be in position for the top spot with an Alma loss and a win over Clarksville.
Farmington at Harrison (6-3, 4-2)
The Goblins are in a three-way tie for second with Greenbrier and Morrilton, but they need a little help to get the No. 2 seed. They have to beat Farmington and hope Greenbrier loses to Vilonia.
Harrison, however, could fall out of the playoff picture with a loss to Farmington, especially if Greenbrier and Morrilton win their games. That same situation would give the Cardinals the No. 4 seed.
Pea Ridge (9-0, 6-0), Prairie Grove (8-1, 5-1)
Pea Ridge already has the No. 1 seed, and Prairie Grove has the No. 2 seed, no matter what happens in the regular-season finales. Both will enjoy first-round playoff games at home.
Gravette (5-4, 4-2), Shiloh Christian (6-3, 4-2) and Gentry (5-4, 3-3)
Gravette, which defeated Shiloh Christian for the first time in 15 years Friday night, can wrap up a home playoff berth — the Lions’ first in seven years — with a win in its season finale.
If Gentry wins, thing will depend on how Shiloh Christian fared against Pea Ridge. A Shiloh Christian victory will give the Saints the third seed, while Gentry takes No. 4 and Gravette falls to the fifth seed.
If Shiloh Christian loses to Pea Ridge, then everything falls into a three-way tie and the tiebreaker points are put to use. If Gentry wins by five or more points, it’s still Shiloh Christian, Gentry and Gravette in that order. If Gentry wins by less than five points, then Gravette takes No. 3, Shiloh Christian goes to No. 4 and Gentry goes to No. 5.
Booneville (8-1, 6-0), Ozark (7-2, 5-1)
Booneville has already clinched the league’s No. 1 seed, which brings a first-round bye and a second-round game at home. Ozark, thanks to a 28-20 win over Dardanelle, wraps up the No. 2 spot and has a first-round game at home.
Waldron (5-4, 3-3)
The Bulldogs are in the playoffs for the first time since 2003, thanks to their win Friday over Dover.
Waldron closes out the regular season against Dardanelle, and the Bulldogs will be the No. 5 seed with a loss. Waldron, however, could finish as the No. 3 seed with a win by three or more points over the Sand Lizards or if Pottsville loses to West Fork.
Elkins (7-2, 5-1)
The Elks have already clinched the league’s No. 2 seed and will have a first-round playoff game at home, with Smackover being the likely opponent.
Charleston (9-0, 6-0)
The Tigers have already clinched the league’s top seed and will play a home first-round playoff game, with Mountain View being the likely opponent.
Lamar (4-5, 3-3) at Paris (4-5, 3-3)
The winner of this regular-season finale gets the league’s No. 4 seed, while the loser takes the No. 5 seed. Both teams will hit the road to begin the playoffs.
Mountainburg (8-1, 6-1)
The Dragons have already secured the No. 2 seed and a first-round game at home, but they don’t have a game next week. However, that will allow them to scout their playoff opponent as they will play the winner of the Poyen-England game.
Hackett (5-3, 4-2), Lavaca (3-6, 3-3)
These two teams already know what lies ahead in the playoffs — road games. Hackett is the league’s No. 3 seed, while Lavaca is the No. 4 seed.
Magazine (4-5, 2-4) at Western Yell County (3-5, 2-4)
The winner of this game gets the league’s No. 5 seed, while the loser is eliminated from the playoffs.