MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With the release of the latest WVSSAC playoff ratings, the postseason picture is taking shape.
Only three weeks remain in the regular season and while much can and likely will change in all three classifications, there’s at least a fairly clear idea of how the postseason will look come the second week of November.
Some thoughts on the Week 8 ratings in each class.
Martinsburg (8-0) has overtaken Spring Valley (8-0) for the No. 1 spot, though the unbeaten Timberwolves and Musselman (7-0) follow at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.
The Bulldogs, Timberwolves and Applemen are the only remaining unbeatens in AAA, though that list will almost certainly be no more than two teams after Martinsburg faces Musselman in Week 10.
A pair of teams with 3-4 records — George Washington and Spring Mills — are at No. 15 and 16, respectively, while Hurricane (3-5) and Morgantown (3-5) are well within striking distance and would almost certainly be in the top 16 with two more victories.
No. 14 Greenbrier East (4-4) plays host to a streaking No. 7 Parkersburg South (5-2) Friday and the Spartans can put themselves in a much more comfortable spot with a win after squandering a chance last week in a 28-26 loss to No. 6 Ripley.
The top of the playoff picture changed somewhat dramatically after Bluefield had its 20-game win streak snapped last week in a 17-3 loss to Lord Botetourt (Va.).
With the setback the Beavers (6-1) fell from No. 2 to No. 5, allowing Poca (7-0) to rise from fourth to second following its bye week.
Nicholas County (8-0) remains No. 3, with Bridgeport (7-1) climbing to No. 4.
Point Pleasant (6-0) is the fourth remaining unbeaten in Class AA and at No. 6.
With Bridgeport playing at No. 7 Keyser (6-1) and Bluefield battling No. 10 Oak Hill (6-1) this week, there’s sure to be more shuffling next week.
While a pair of teams with losing records would qualify for the postseason in Class AAA if the season ended today, seven Class AA teams with winning records are presently outside the top 16, including three that are at least two games over .500 — Clay County (5-2), Petersburg (4-2) and Lewis County (5-3).
No. 15 Wayne, winners of five straight since an 0-2 start, is in the top 16 for the first time this season.
For the second straight week, Mount View and Wheeling Central are tied for No. 1.
The Golden Knights and Maroon Knights are both 7-0 with a 10.43 rating.
No. 3 Midland Trail, No. 4 Cameron and No. 5 Doddridge County are also unbeaten, as is No. 7 Parkersburg Catholic.
The Crusaders, however, face their toughest test thus far this season Friday when they play at No. 6 Williamstown (7-1). The Yellowjackets have won seven consecutive games since a season-opening loss to Wheeling Central.
No. 17 Tygarts Valley, No. 19 Pocahontas County and No. 20 Clay-Battelle are the three teams with winning records not among the top 16.
With No. 15 Tyler Consolidated playing at No. 13 Magnolia this week, a playoff spot could open up in the near future.
No. 8 Pendleton County (5-2) and No. 9 Tucker County (6-2) would meet in the first round if the season ended today in a rematch of a game the Wildcats won 16-0 in Week 6.