Posted: 10:28 am Sunday, October 21st, 2012
By Matt Porter
While most of Florida’s high school football teams are still angling for postseason position, the Southeastern Football Conference will participate in its inaugural playoffs.
The small-school independent conference, in its first year of operation, built a two-round playoff schedule into its regular slate of games. All 14 teams play in the tournament, which is divided into championship and consolation brackets.
The top four teams in the North and South divisions play a cross-division tournament for a spot in the Nov. 17 championship game. The bottom three teams in each conference play two final games.
Three of the four area teams in the league have found instant success in the SFC. Benjamin, Pope John Paul II and John Carroll are a combined 19-5 overall and 13-4 in SFC North games.
St. Andrew’s, which is 0-6 in SFC North games and 1-7 overall, will play in the consolation bracket.
Pope John Paul II coach Matt Dillon, the SFC’s chairman, said there’s “a strong possibility” the league could expand from 14 to 16 teams next season. He said several teams have shown interest and two teams have submitted official application forms, but he declined to publicly name them.
Teams are seeded by record. The tiebreakers, in order, are head-to-head, road record against division opponents, home record against division opponents.
After that, there’s a point system that (deep breath) awards five points for a win against an opponent with a winning record in its division, four points for a win against an opponent with a losing record in its division, two points for a loss to an opponent with a winning record in its division and one point for a loss to a team with a losing record in its division.
At the end, there’s a coin flip, which benefited Curley this week. Curley, the South’s No. 5 seed, will host North No. 5 Westminster this week in the consolation bracket. The teams haven’t played each other, are 2-4 in their division and were 1-2 at home and on the road in division games.
Though Curley had more points in the point system described above, Westminster played one less SFC game than Curley; in one of its two non-SFC North game dates, it played Fort Lauderdale-Calvary Christian. To settle that inequality, the SFC flipped a coin. “It was the equitable thing to do,” Dillon said.
1. Pope John Paul (5-1, 7-1)
2. Benjamin (5-1, 7-1)
3. Fort Lauderdale-Pine Crest (5-1, 7-1)
4. John Carroll (3-3, 5-3)
5. Fort Lauderdale-Westminster Academy (2-4, 3-5)
6. Coral Springs Charter (1-5, 3-5)
7. St. Andrew’s (0-6, 1-7)
1. Miami-LaSalle (6-0, 6-2)
2. Miami-Florida Christian (5-1, 6-2)
3. Tavernier-Coral Shores (4-2, 5-3)
4. Miami Country Day (2-4, 2-6)
5. Miami-Archbishop Curley (2-4, 2-6)
6. Miami-Ransom Everglades (2-4, 3-5)
7. Marathon (0-6, 1-7)
All games 7 p.m. Thursday
Miami Country Day at Pope John Paul II
Fort Lauderdale-Pine Crest at Miami-Florida Christian
John Carroll at Miami-LaSalle
Tavernier-Coral Shores at Benjamin
Thursday, Nov. 1
Lasalle-John Carroll winner vs. Florida Christian-Pine Crest winner
Coral Shores-Benjamin vs. Miami Country Day-Pope John Paul winner
7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
* * *
All games 7 p.m. Thursday unless noted
Fort Lauderdale-Westminster Academy at Miami-Archbishop Curley (4 p.m.)
Marathon at Coral Springs Charter
St. Andrew’s at Miami-Ransom Everglades
Thursday, Oct. 25
Westminster-Curley winner vs. Marathon-Coral Springs Charter winner
Westminster Curley loser vs. St. Andrew’s-Ransom winner.
Marathon-Coral Springs Charter loser vs. St. Andrew’s-Ransom loser.