MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Less than two weeks from today, the playoff picture will be finalized and it’ll be time to start sorting through each of the 24 first round postseason games.
Until then, we can examine the weekly WVSSAC playoff ratings, with the latest batch released earlier this week.
Some thoughts on the Week 9 ratings in each class.
Despite Martinsburg setting a state record with its 37th straight win last week, the Bulldogs fell from No. 1 to No. 2 with Spring Valley jumping back into the top spot following its bye week.
Not that it means much, as both teams are still currently in position to host playoff games through the semifinals before a potential rematch of last year’s title game at Wheeling Island Stadium.
But Martinsburg (9-0) will have to get past No. 3 Musselman (8-0) this week to complete an unbeaten regular season.
Two 7-1 teams — Capital and Ripley — round out the top five, respectively, and Huntington (6-2) fell into a tie for sixth with Parkersburg South (6-2) following its second straight loss.
The Highlanders will look to stop their slide against No. 9 Parkersburg (5-3) this week, and No. 8 Wheeling Park plays at Parkersburg South in a game between teams hoping to stay home through at least one playoff round.
There’s plenty of intrigue among teams fighting for playoff berths as well, starting with Friday’s matchup between No. 13 University (5-4) and Morgantown, which is currently 4-5 overall and No. 17. In must-win mode last week, the Mohigans cruised past John Marshall, which fell from ninth to No. 11.
Spring Mills (3-5) dropped from No. 16 to No. 18 after last week’s loss to Mountain Ridge, Md., which enabled Hurricane (4-5) to rise to No. 15 following its win over South Charleston.
The Redskins are the only team with a losing record currently in the top 16.
Following a lopsided win over Grafton, Fairmont Senior stays at No. 1.
After the Polar Bears, there’s a major difference from last week’s rankings, with Bridgeport rising from fourth to No. 2 following its win at Keyser.
Although the Indians (8-1) are off this week, they have a slight lead on No. 3 Poca with an 11.78 rating compared to the Dots’ 11.75 mark.
No. 4 Nicholas County (9-0) is also off this week and No. 5 Bluefield follows the Grizzlies.
No. 6 Point Pleasant, the fourth and only other remaining unbeaten in Class AA, takes on AAA power Spring Valley this week.
Despite last week’s loss to Bridgeport, Keyser (6-2) stays in the top half of the playoff picture at No. 8, and the Golden Tornado take on No. 12 Frankfort (7-1) this week.
Winners of six straight since an 0-2 start to the season, Wayne continues to rise and is up to No. 11.
Lewis County (6-3) and Oak Hill (6-2) are tied for No. 14, with Grafton (5-2) rounding out the top 16.
James Monroe (6-2), Petersburg (5-2), Chapmanville (5-3), Oak Glen (5-4) and Clay County (5-3) are not in the top 16 despite each of the five having a winning record.
Mount View suffered its first loss of the season in Week 9, though the Golden Knights (7-1) only fell from being tied for first to No. 2.
That leaves Wheeling Central (8-0) in first by itself, with several other unbeaten teams behind the Maroon Knights.
Midland Trail (8-0) is No. 3 and can make a big impact on the playoff picture in Class AA as it takes on Oak Hill this week.
No. 5 Cameron (9-0) and No. 6 Doddridge County (8-0) also remain unbeaten, though the Bulldogs will battle No. 4 Williamstown (8-1) on Friday in West Union. The Yellowjackets have won eight in a row since a season-opening loss to Wheeling Central.
No. 7 Pendelton County (6-2) and No. 8 Sherman (7-1) round out the top eight, while Parkersburg Catholic (8-1) fell to ninth after last week’s loss to Williamstown.
Every team from No. 13 to No. 22 has five or four wins, meaning much can and likely will change over the season’s final two weeks.
For now, Summers County (5-3), Fayetteville (5-3), Webster County (5-4) and Ritchie County (5-3) occupy the 13th-16th spots.
Tygarts Valley and Clay-Battelle are both 5-3, but at No. 17 and 18, respectively, both teams have work to do to get in.