AP Poll

All-Pro League Playoffs:

Quarter-Final #1: #5 Too Much Sauce vs. #4 Krypto-Knights – 8:00am – Third time is the charm for these two teams.  The first match-up was a forfeit win for Krypto-Knights that was followed by a small scrimmage.  Too Much Sauce came away from that scrimmage game vowing revenge.  They had their shot on the final weekend of the regular season but came away losers again (26-12).  The saying about it being hard to beat a team 3 times in a row will definitely come into play here, haha.  For two middling teams (both 4-4) in the All-Pro Division, their reward for winning this game is playing the #1 seed Yobogoya is the 9:15am game.  The key to the game for each team is the following:  Too Much Sauce – Get out of your own way: for all their talent, Too Much Sauce has a tendency to self-destruct.  When they are winning everyone is happy and seemingly popping bottles of champagne on the sidelines, but when they losing they turn on each other like a pack of wild dogs.  Krypto-Knights – Keep grinding – They might not win with a ton of flash but they certainly play hard and make you earn every inch.  Their style frustrates teams and in turn leads to short fields for their offense.  The Poll Master sees this game coming down to simple execution on situational football.  For example, 3rd & 5 facing the blitz do you take the simple 8 yard pass, get the first down, and live to play another set of downs or do you try for the home-run only to face 4th & 5 with the blitz open.  That decision making and execution by the QB will determine this game.  Prediction: Too Much Sauce 24 – Krypto-Knights 27

Projected Semi-Final: #4 Krypto-Knights vs. #1 Yobogoya – 9:15am – Yobogoya earned the highly coveted BYE with a stellar (7-1) regular season.  They actually were the top offensive team and 2nd best defensive team in the division.  Clearly defense does not take a backseat at top level with them putting up a fairly modest 27.5 pts/game.  It certainly isn’t like the video game numbers put up by some of the teams in the Pro League.  Their one loss was an opening season (12-33) setback to the #2 seeded Revolution.  They got revenge later in the season (14-12) in a game that was decided by 2 pts from a rare safety.  The match-up between Krypto-Knights and Yobogoya in the regular season was a close one.  Yobogoya won (35-28) in what was a back and forth affair.  The Poll Master thinks this game comes down to exactly how much the Krypto-Knights have left in the tank.  Too Much Sauce will not be a cake walk, so the Poll Master sees them expending a lot of energy just to make it to this game.  Also neither team is especially deep but with Yobogoya being fresh, they should have a distinct advantage.  Poll Master has seen it before, Krypto-puts up a fight for a half, but runs out of gas.  Prediction: Krypto-Knights 19 – Yobogoya 33

Quarter-Final #2: #6 Horsetail vs. #3 Hit Squad – 10:30am – These two were supposed to meet for the 2nd time this season on the final weekend of the regular season, however that game never got played due to flooding on Field 4.  It actually was the first “no-play” game during the current Commissioner’s tenure ending a streak of 22+ consecutive seasons.  These two did actually play the opening weekend of the regular season with Hit Squad taking that game (22-12).  Not a lot separates these two teams in reality.  Hit Squad actually had the 6th best net points at -12 and Horsetail was the 5th best at -9.  If the aforementioned game had been played you could have finished with a 4-way tie for the 3rd through 6th seeds in the All-Pro Division.  Not unheard of but certainly not typical in any division!  From what the Poll Master understands there might be some QB chaos on the Hit Squad’s side as they enter this game.  They have flip flopped starters this season while dealing with vacations and rumor has it their top guy might be out.  Assuming Horsetail has all their big guns, the #3 seed could be ripe to get picked off in this game.  This game has the feeling of an old-fashioned coin flip.  The Poll Master is rolling the dice here, trusting his sources, and taking Horsetail.  Prediction: Horsetail 25 – Hit Squad 19

Projected Semi-Final: #6 Horsetail vs. #2 Revolution – 11:45am – As a reward for winning what should be a hard-fought game versus Hit Squad, Horsetail gets the #2 seeded Revolution in this projected Semi-Final.  Revolution finished (5-2-1) with the best net points in the division.  The one tie was another rare “no-play” coming from the final weekend of the regular season against Movement.  Revolution really hung their collective hat on defense this season with only 82 points allowed in what amounts to 7 games played.   That is historically one of the great defensive seasons we have seen in all of MDSSC.  Allowing 11.7 pts/game is less than two trips to pay dirt for their opposition.  On offense, they scored more than double that at 25.7 pts/game over 7 games.   These two teams met in week 3 of the regular season, with Revolution winning decidedly (29-6).  Hard to believe that a tired Horsetail team will do much better than that.  We have seen top seeds come out flat against an already warm team, but that is more the exception than the rule.  The Poll Master loves a great defense, so he is rolling that way.  Prediction: Horsetail 13 – Revolution 31

 

Pro League Playoffs:

Quarter-Final #1: #5 Run & Gun vs. #4 The Chronic – 8:00am – The #5 vs. #4 matchup pits two teams that finished within 14 net points of each other.  Both teams were mediocre this season in terms of wins and losses; finishing at (4-4).  In their regular season meeting, The Chronic took care of business (18-13), although Run & Gun was missing their #1 QB for that game.  Run & Gun comes into these playoffs with a 3 games slide.  At one point in time, they were (3-1) and looking to challenge for a top seed.  They however dropped both games without their QB on July 28th, and then finished the season with a forfeit loss to The Hampden Ballers.  That means they haven’t played with their #1 QB for a solid 3 weeks come Saturday.  He is a former MVP of the league, but that still is not the best recipe for playoff success.  The Chronic on the other hand seems to be trending in the other direction, having gone (3-1) in their final 4 games.  The Chronic is not a super deep team and some little birdies have told me that a couple of their guys are banged up.  Will depth come back to bite them?  The Poll Master sees this game being close.  Neither team has been especially stellar on either side of the ball, so assuming both teams are at full strength expect a score in the mid 20’s with conversions most likely deciding it.  The Poll Master sees Run & Gun shaking off the rust and advancing.  Prediction: Run & Gun 27 – The Chronic 23

Quarter-Final #2: #8 Red Rum vs. #1 The Hubs – 9:15am – The Hubs took the top seed in the division with a thrilling (46-40) double OT win versus Swarm.  On the season they also broke the hallowed 300 points scored plateau, with 351 points in 8 games.  A good chunk of that (75) came in a (75-13) thrashing of Killswitch in rain storm.  If you throw that high game out and the (25-0) forfeit win they had over 410-Outlaws, then you have a 41.8 pts/game average….not too shabby!  Bottom line is that you are going to have to score some points to beat them (probably at least 30).  Their opponent the #8 seeded Red Rum made these playoffs based on a net points tie-breaker with Crabcakes & Football and The Hampden Ballers.  It came down to net points because not all 3 teams played each other, their -5 net points was better than the Ballers -24 net points.  Despite their 8th seed, Red Rum was the 4th highest scoring team in the division, with an average of 30.1 pts/game.  They certainly have some athletes who can get it done on that side of the ball as well.  If they want to win, they will need a best effort with no mental errors and no drops.  The Poll Master caught a couple of their games this season and at times it looked like they couldn’t even get out of their own way with false starts and drops on catchable balls.  The Hubs were definitely the class of the Pro League this season, but the Poll Master sees this game being closer than other experts.  The Hubs can get lackadaisical and “play-down” to their opponents and they don’t exactly have a historically good defense allowing 28.7 points/game over the 7 games they actually played.  They have a tendency to just try to outscore people and we’ve definitely seen some of these high-powered offenses go down in flames in the playoffs.  That being said, the Poll Master is crazy, but not stupid….he is riding with The Hubs.  Prediction: Red Rum 25 – The Hubs 41

Quarter-Final #3: #6 4th & Inches vs. #3 Killswitch – 10:30am – Ah, too old foes square off in this Quarter-Final.  If memory serves, I believe these two met in a Semi-Pro title game once upon a time.  But let me jump back to the present….4th & Inches limps into these playoffs having lost their last two games of the regular season scoring a grand total of 13 points.  They also had a BYE in the final weekend of the regular season, so it will have been about a month since they played good football when this game kicks off.  Killswitch handled them on July 28th (33-7), although I don’t think QB1 was there for 4th & Inches.  At (4-4), one could say this was a “down” regular season for 4th & Inches as they usually find themselves near the top of the pecking order in the Semi-Pro Division.  Perhaps the combined divisions of the summer played some role in that!  Killswitch for their worth was fighting for the top seed right up until the final weekend of the regular season.   They finished (7-1) and look to have solved a multi-season problem of finding some consistency at QB.  Their only loss was that aforementioned “wood-shed beating” that they took from The Hubs (75-13).  If you throw that game out as an aberration, then they have only allowed 115 points on the season which would be good for 2nd best across all of MDSSC.  Killswitch also sniffed the hallowed 300-point season plateau with 288 points scored.   They seem to have found a nice balance between a solid offense and a solid defense.  The Poll Master will be curious to see if weather plays any role in this match-up.  They are calling for rain, so that could slop it up!  All things considered, Killswitch just seems like the more consistent team this season.  Gonna value the consistency here and take the higher seed.  Prediction: Killswitch 31 – 4th & Inches 25

Quarter-Final #4: #7 Crabcakes & Football vs. #2 Swarm – 11:45am – Swarm finished the regular season in a 3-way tie for 1st, based on winning percentage, however they fell to 2nd due to a head-to-head loss to The Hubs and a net point advantage over Killswitch.  Swarm for their worth has had one of their best statistical seasons of all-time.  Not known as a particularly high-scoring offense, they racked up 287 points, which was good for 35.9 pts/game.  Also for unadjusted defensive efficiency, they gave up the 3rd fewest points at 146 over 8 games.  That was good for 18.2 pts/game allowed which is in the sweet spot (3 scores or fewer/game) for some of the best all-around teams in MDSSC.  For the 7th seeded Crabcakes, their numbers were a little underwhelming.  They finished the season at (3-5) with net points of +13.  One thing about the Crabcakes is that they are IN most games.  Out of their 8 games, 5 were decided by 7 points or less.  You might call them unlucky as they lost 4 of those 5 games.  This match-up is between 2 of the longer tenured teams in the league who typically don’t beat themselves.  They actually met on the final weekend of the regular season with Swarm coming up with the (20-14) win.  It should be mentioned that the game was the backend of a double for Swarm after they had just gone through a double OT game with The Hubs.  Like the 10:30 game before it, this match-up also has the potential for the weather playing a role….time will tell on that!  The Poll Master sees a fresh Swarm team handling Crabcakes relatively easily this time around.  Prediction: Crabcakes & Football 15 – Swarm 32

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