In Play with Tom Markowski

Playoff Chaos in the MAC Red

Football   | Tom Markowski

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Shelby Township – The Wild West has nothing on the wacky MAC Red.

 The top division in the Macomb Area Conference could have five, dare we forecast all six of its members qualify for the state playoffs, and two, possibly three or four, might get in with 5-4 record.

With two weeks left in the regular season four Red Division teams have 4-3 records. Sterling Heights Stevenson is 5-2 and on Friday it plays at Macomb Dakota (6-1), which has clinched the division title.

Utica Eisenhower (4-3, 2-2) plays at Warren Mott (4-3, 2-2), and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (4-3, 1-3) is at Macomb L’Anse Creuse North (3-4, 1-3).

Dakota is in and Stevenson, even if it loses to Dakota, will automatically qualify with a victory over Uitca (2-5) in week nine.

The Eisenhower-Mott winner appears to be in good shape to make the playoffs. And the same can be said of the Chippewa Valley-L.C. North winner. If North wins it would need a victory over Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse (1-6) to finish at 5-4.

Last season nine 5-4 Class A teams made the playoffs as additional qualifiers. Only one (Romeo) from the MAC Red got in with a 5-4 record. Eisenhower finished 5-4 but did not get in.

The additional qualifiers make the playoffs based on their playoff-point percentage. The more difficult the schedule the better chance a 5-4 has of getting in.

Chippewa Valley and Stevenson are the only Red Division teams not to have lost a game outside of its division. That can be good or bad. For instance Stevenson defeated Troy in a nonleague game but Troy is 0-7 and that’s not good if you’re looking for playoff points. Chippewa Valley defeated Lake Orion and Lake Orion is 4-3, which gives Chippewa Valley more playoff points.

It can be confusing. After this week’s game the playoff picture will become clearer. We think.

Eisenhower’s 21-12 victory over Chippewa Valley last week could prove decisive for the Eagles. Eisenhower coach Chris Smith thinks his team will get in even if it splits its final two games. It won’t be easy. Eisenhower must play at Romeo (4-3) in week nine.

“I knew Dakota was the team to beat before the season,” Smith said. “And for the rest of us it would be a battle. Mott has experience at quarterback. Chippewa Valley has been up and down. They have two great receivers but don’t have a strong run game.”

Eisenhower has won two straight and are a plus-6 in turnover ratio in those game. The Eagles were a minus-8 in their first five games.

“Our defense has only given up seven touchdowns,” Smith said. “We’ve given up four in