Football

With Three Teams Already In State Playoffs, FCIAC Hoping To Double That Total

Jack Wallace and the St. Joseph football team are primed to be the top seed in the Class L tournament.

The FCIAC has held preliminary discussions regarding the future of the regular-season football schedule and the need to create more balance.

There are other factors. Trinity Catholic is now a co-op with Wright Tech and its games no longer count in the league standings. The conference next year can go to two eight-team divisions and play either one or two games as part of the state alliance.

How the divisions will be arranged remains uncertain. But those advocating grouping the league’s perennial powers to play each other will be disappointed, and the current landscape is the top reason why.

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Going into the holiday games Wednesday night and Thursday, three teams — Darien, Greenwich and St. Joseph — have clinched state playoff berths. By early Thanksgiving afternoon that number could very easily double.

So while the league would like to minimize the number of mismatches in what currently is a polarized field of haves and have-nots, it will not come at the expense of the top teams cannibalizing each other and losing postseason berths.

Darien (9-0) is currently the top ranked team in Class LL and will finish in that position with a win over New Canaan on Thursday. Greenwich (8-1), the defending champion, is sixth and would like to try and climb two spots to get a first-round home game.

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Ridgefield (7-2), sitting in the seventh position, will qualify with a win over Danbury on Wednesday night. The Tigers still have a good chance to get in even with a loss.

St. Joseph (9-0) is primed to finish as the top seed in Class L. The Cadets, who face Tumbull on Thursday, are the defending Class M champions. New Canaan is currently in fourth place. The Rams are in and will have a home game with a win over Darien, and most likely will still qualify with a loss.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Wilton (7-3). The Warriors are a heavy favorite against Trinity/Wright Tech on Thursday. Then they will need tiebreakers to fall their way.

If Wilton does qualify, it likely would have a first-round game against St. Joseph, a rematch from the regular season.

For a more complete breakdown of the entire state playoff scenarios, we highly recommend the most recent Lonesome Polecat column by The Day’s Ned Griffen.

You can follow the playoff races in real-time on the CIAC site.