Playoff spot, seeding in play in three finales
October 16, 2014
The race for the fourth and final spot in the DODDS-Europe Division I football postseason has come down to the final weekend. Even the top three, while locked into the postseason, could see their postseason fortunes change.
The three season-finale games – Ramstein at Vilseck, Kaiserslautern at Lakenheath and Wiesbaden at Patch, all set for Saturday – will determine the last team into the playoffs and arrange the final four into a pair of Oct. 25 semifinals.
Here’s where the six Division I teams stand entering the final weekend:Wiesbaden Warriors (4-0) Status: Clinched playoff berthFinal game: Saturday at PatchBest-case scenario: They complete their undefeated regular season with a win over Patch and move onto a home-field semifinal against a losing team they’ve already beaten.Worst-case scenario: They lose to Patch and Ramstein defeats Vilseck, forcing a three-way tie for first place and putting the Warriors at risk of slipping to third on DODDS-Europe’s complicated point-spread-based three-way tiebreaker system.Patch Panthers (3-1) Status: Clinched playoff berthFinal game: Saturday vs. WiesbadenBest-case scenario: They knock off the defending champs, knotting the two teams’ records at 4-1. Vilseck upsets Ramstein, taking the Royals out of the first place picture. The Panthers take the top seed by virtue of their head-to-head defeat of Wiesbaden.Worst-case scenario: They lose to Wiesbaden and Ramstein beats Vilseck. The Panthers take the third seed and head to a semifinal at Ramstein, where they lost 45-0 in the regular season.Ramstein Royals (3-1) Status: Clinched playoff berthFinal game: Saturday at VilseckBest-case scenario: They beat Vilseck and Wiesbaden defeats Patch. Though this would award Wiesbaden the top seed outright, it would give Ramstein the second-place tiebreaker edge and a home semifinal against Patch.Worst-case scenario: They lose to Vilseck and Patch defeats Wiesbaden. This would slot them squarely in third behind the Panthers and Warriors. A Ramstein win coupled with a Patch win would create a three-way tie that could also potentially put the Royals in third.Vilseck Falcons (1-3) Status: Fighting for the fourth seed and hoping for the bestFinal game: Saturday vs. RamsteinBest-case scenario: They beat Ramstein and Kaiserslautern loses to Lakenheath. That would put the Falcons in fourth place outright and send them to the semifinals. Alternatively, a loss to Ramstein coupled with a Lakenheath win over Kaiserslautern would create a three-way tie for fourth place and invoke the tiebreaker.Worst-case scenario: Kaiserslautern beats Lakenheath. That would spell the end of Vilseck’s playoff hopes, as the Raiders would trump the Falcons in a head-to-head tiebreaker.Kaiserslautern Raiders (1-3) Status: Win and they’re inFinal game: Saturday at LakenheathBest-case scenario: They beat Lakenheath. That gives them the final playoff spot, whether outright or in a head-to-head tiebreaker over Vilseck.Worst-case scenario: They lose to Lakenheath and Vilseck defeats Ramstein. That would give the Falcons the playoff berth outright.Lakenheath Lancers (0-4) Status: Need a win and a lot of helpFinal game: Saturday vs. KaiserslauternBest-case scenario: They beat Kaiserslautern and Ramstein beats Vilseck. That would create the chaotic three-way tie that is Lakenheath’s only possible path to the posteason.Worst-case scenario: They lose and suffer their second consecutive winless season.