October 2, 2018
The Simulation Football League presented by APM Music is nearing its postseason, which means one of the most dramatic Sundays in sports is about to begin. Below is the Week 13 schedule, and what matters in those contests.
Sunday, 3 pm CT (YouTube)
Mexico City @ Las Vegas
The most important game on the early afternoon slate, the Aztecs (7-4) and Fury (6-5) clash. The Aztecs have the simplest path: a win locks in the No. 2 seed in the West, and a top six spot. A loss isn’t all bad, but it could mean being put back in the Wild Card round if Sioux Falls can take care of business. Las Vegas has a tougher challenge. Not only do they need a win, but they need a loss from either New Orleans, Chicago or Carolina. If they get a combination of those two things, Las Vegas will make the bracket – where they end up in that bracket is still unclear with too many variables.
New Orleans @ Dallas
The Pharaohs loss to the Houston Hyenas was huge, because a win would have clinched a spot, and now the Pharaohs are fighting for a spot. It doesn’t help they’re going into Dallas, a team that just completed a 21-point comeback against the previously unbeaten Tallahassee Pride. The Pharaohs can make the playoffs with a loss and a Las Vegas loss as the No. 10 seed, even with a loss to the Lobos in Week 13 (they’d be 1-1 against Dallas, Las Vegas would be 0-1). If New Orleans wins, they’ll be slotted somewhere between 7-10 depending upon who wins. Now the only question is will they play at home … will they even make it at all?
Tallahassee @ Houston
A game that only matters to Houston’s seeding, the Hyenas would love to make a statement. They have a top six spot, they have a victory against the Aztecs and a win over Tallahassee would put Houston back into the championship conversation. Tallahassee is locked into the No. 2 spot, and can do nothing to better or worse that position. A Houston loss would put them on the road in the quarterfinals, guaranteed. A win could help bring the postseason back to Hyena Park Stadium.
Sunday, 5 pm CT (YouTube)
Vancouver @ Sioux Falls
The Sioux Falls Sparrows will be cheering for a Mexico City loss in the early games. If that happens, they will have a chance to grab the West’s No. 2 spot outright at 8-4. If Mexico City cleans up, Sioux Falls will be fighting amongst the rest of the bunch for wild card positioning, but has clinched a playoff spot. The question is, once they kick things off in Sioux Falls, will they have a chance at bigger and better things and will a loss mean a potential road wild card game?
Carolina @ Baltimore
The Carolina Skyhawks have faced a brutal late-season schedule, losing nailbiters to Chicago and Queen City. The next test is Baltimore, who the Skyhawks beat in Week 1 – a very different and young Vultures team. Baltimore can clinch the East with a win. In the event of a four-way tie (Carolina winning and Chicago winning), Baltimore would own the tiebreaker. Carolina can re-position themselves in an automatic spot, but no longer can win the East. Carolina doesn’t own as many tiebreakers as others, so a win is critical. A loss at 7-5 could send Carolina into danger, depending again on who ends up cleaning up in the 3 pm CT hour.
Sunday, 7 pm CT (Twitch)
Queen City @ Chicago
The game that decides the most, Queen City faces Chicago in Illinois after putting the Wildcats away late in Buffalo earlier this season. Chicago can clinch an automatic qualifying spot with a win, but can’t catch Baltimore – which means the East regular season title is not in play. A loss puts them in the 7-5 slosh. If Carolina wins, they will clinch a playoff spot, but the Skyhawks have fallen outside of the automatic berth picture, and would compete in Wild Card Weekend. If Queen City wins, they have a shot at the East regular season title, but only with a Baltimore loss. A Baltimore loss plus a Chicago loss would be the worst scenario for Chicago, who would lose its season sweep of Carolina as a favorable tiebreaker, because the Skyhawks would end up with a better record than the Wildcats. The whole day’s worth of excitement will come to a head on Twitch!
Monday, 7 pm CT (YouTube)
Atlanta @ Oklahoma City
Indianapolis @ London
Denver @ San Francisco
Why teams originally thought to have not clinched, have clinched:
Mexico City (clinched) – Since Mexico City holds the tiebreaker over Las Vegas (strength of conference victory) even if the Fury beat the Aztecs Sunday, the Aztecs can’t be eliminated by Las Vegas. Since Las Vegas can’t eliminate New Orleans at 7-5, any multi-team tiebreaker in the West would be to Mexico City’s advantage, and therefore the Aztecs cannot fall out of the top 10.
Sioux Falls (clinched) – Since Las Vegas does not own the tiebreaker over Sioux Falls or Mexico City, and Las Vegas does not hold the tiebreaker over New Orleans if both teams finish 7-5, the Sparrows cannot be eliminated in a scenario that Las Vegas and Sioux Falls are tied, with or without another team involved.
Don’t lose in Week 13 – scenarios that could place teams on the outside looking in:
If only Las Vegas and New Orleans are 7-5, New Orleans is in.
If only Las Vegas, New Orleans and Carolina are 7-5, Las Vegas and either Carolina or New Orleans is in, based on who finishes with a better strength of victory. Carolina most benefits from London beating Indianapolis and New Orleans most benefits from Oklahoma City beating Atlanta plus any combination of Houston beating Tallahassee and San Francisco beating Denver.
If only Las Vegas, New Orleans and Chicago are 7-5, Las Vegas and either Chicago or New Orleans is in, based on who finishes with a better strength of victory. Chicago most benefits from Indianapolis beating London.
Current strength of victories, assuming below teams finish 7-5:
Las Vegas (25-53), Chicago (25-56), New Orleans (24-55), Carolina (23-57)