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SFL Communications

March 28, 2019

The Simulation Football League presented by APM Music is entering the final week of the regular season and there’s not a single team who’s playoff seeding has been determined. In this article, we will examine all the best case and worst case outcomes of all teams and the critical tiebreakers they own – or could earn by the end of the season. Strap in and embrace the seeding chaos!

Current No. 1 seed: (9-2)

Can finish as high as: No. 1

Denver can clinch the No. 1 overall seed, but they have to win. They need no help. It’s one of the simplest equations of the weekend. Godspeed Nightwings.

Can fall as far as: No. 4

With a loss, plus Dallas, Baltimore and Alaska wins, the Nightwings strength of victory could slip them all the way into the fourth slot. They’d still get their first home playoff game since moving to Denver, but it wouldn’t be exactly what they had hoped for after occupying the top spot for the last month and some change. Currently, Denver’s strength of victory is .400 and Dallas’ is .402. In the last week of the season especially, strength of victory is all about cheering for teams that can help your SOV, and cheering against teams that can help your opponents.

For you Denver, you may need to become big fans of Las Vegas this week, along with Chicago, St. Louis, London, Indianapolis and Houston. They all can help your cause to avoid slipping all the way to fourth.

Other notable tiebreakers owned: Denver owns the head-to-head over Dallas. If somehow both Alaska and Baltimore lose in upsets this week, Denver can still maintain the No. 1 seed with a loss.

Current No. 2 seed: (8-3)

Can finish as high as: No. 1

With a Denver loss, Alaska win and Baltimore loss, the path for the Storm to take the No. 1 seed is there.

Can fall as far as: No. 4

There are a number of scenarios in which Alaska could slip to fourth. Most notably, if Dallas and Baltimore win, and Alaska loses. The Storm’s strength of victory cannot be caught by New Orleans, Sioux Falls or Mexico City and since the Storm don’t have losses against any of those opponents and do not have at least four common games with any of them, Alaska will be playing a quarterfinal home playoff game.

Other notable tiebreakers owned: Alaska beat Mexico City and Sioux Falls head-to-head, helping secure top four seeding. The Storm also own strength of victory tiebreakers over Denver and Dallas. Baltimore owns head-to-head and strength of schedule over the Storm, so staying away from those Vultures will be beneficial to Alaska’s seeding.

Current No. 3 seed: (8-3)

Can finish as high as: No. 1

The Lobos have one specific path that could give them homefield advantage throughout the playoffs: a win + DEN loss + ALK loss + BAL win + strength of schedule advantage over DEN. If all that happens, the Lobos would take the No. 1 seed over Baltimore based on common games, as the sweep over San Francisco got a resume boost this past week after the Sharks toppled the Tallahassee Pride in Florida.

This proposition is pretty scary for the rest of the league. Dallas is 5-0 at home this season, scoring at least 31 points in all five games and over 50 twice.

Can fall as far as: No. 6

On the flip side, the Lobos have a path to fall all the way to sixth: a loss + NOP win + SXF win + BAL win + ALK win + strength of victory loss to NOP. Since Mexico City can’t catch the Lobos SOV, Dallas can’t fall into the Wild Card – they can thank their big victory over the Aztecs earlier this season for that, easily their most impressive resume win of the season. But, the Lobos would be next in line for positioning with the three teams sharing only two common opponents.

Current No. 4 seed: (8-3)

Can finish as high as: No. 1

For the Vultures to get home field advantage, Baltimore would need a Denver loss + Dallas loss + Alaska win. If Baltimore gets all that, they’ll jump Denver then use their sweep over the Storm to claim the No. 1 overall seed. For Thomas Paterniti, he’s chasing his third Championship as an owner but for Tim Johnston that would be an extra special advantage as he’s still chasing his first as at the top of a team. So far this season, Baltimore has given up single-digit points in four different home games.

Can fall as far as: No. 4

Falling to fourth would involve a Baltimore loss and Dallas and Alaska wins. Baltimore would be the best 8-4 team out there, but that would only be good enough for the fourth spot.

Other notable tiebreakers owned: Head-to-head wins over Mexico City, Sioux Falls, Alaska. Strength of victory win over all potential tied teams.

Current No. 5 seed: (8-4)

Can finish as high as: No. 5

With losses to Alaska, Baltimore and Dallas and the worst strength of victory of any team in the playoff hunt, the Aztecs would just love to spend their bye week watching Sioux Falls and New Orleans lose. If that happens, the Aztecs will stand firm at No. 5. But here’s a treat for the Aztecs: If only one of New Orleans or Sioux Falls wins and all the other 8-3 teams win, Mexico City would get to stay in the fifth spot.

Can fall as far as: No. 7

If both of those teams win, they’ll slip into Wild Card Wednesday since the three of them don’t have any common opponents. If one of them wins, they’ll fall to sixth. Mexico City has one of the simplest but most devastating scenarios out there this week, especially since they can’t take the field to decide their fate.

Other notable tiebreakers owned: Common games victories against both Sioux Falls and New Orleans, in the event the Aztecs are tied with just one of them at 8-4 by the end of the week.

Current No. 6 seed: (7-4)

Can finish as high as: No. 4

With Baltimore and Alaska wins + a Dallas loss, the Sparrows would own the strength of victory edge over Dallas and Mexico City – New Orleans too if you wanted to throw in the Pharaohs. Common games against Dallas are split.

Can fall as far as: No. 7

If Sioux Falls loses and New Orleans wins, the Sparrows would be left to battle Chicago or Tallahassee for the No. 7 spot. Since the Sparrows own common games over Chicago and the head-to-head over Tallahassee, neither would be a concern. They’d have to finish with the worst strength of victory with London involved, but that would mean New Orleans is also involved at 7-5 so that scenario wouldn’t play out.

Other notable tiebreakers owned: Beat New Orleans head-to-head. Holds all strength of victory tiebreakers except with Tallahassee, who they beat head-to-head.

THE CHASE FOR 6TH

So who gets the No. 6 spot if Sioux Falls, New Orleans, London and Chicago/Tallahassee are all 7-5. That is the major question. It will depend on who wins in the other games. The weakest strength of victory hasn’t been determined but here’s the best case and worst case for all team’s involved.

Current strength of victories: New Orleans .423 / Chicago .448 / London .455 / Sioux Falls .468 / Tallahassee .636

We know the Pride won’t be losing this tiebreaker to anyone, so let’s examine the others. Here is who each team has beaten:

New Orleans – teams that matter this week: Atlanta (twice), Las Vegas, Houston.

New Orleans – teams that don’t matter this week: Denver/Vancouver, Carolina.

Chicago – teams that matter this week: Houston (twice), New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Queen City

Chicago – teams that don’t matter this week: Mexico City

London – teams that matter this week: Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas

London – teams that don’t matter this week: Vancouver/Denver

Sioux Falls – teams that matter this week: Atlanta, New Orleans, Queen City, Tallahassee, Vancouver

Sioux Falls – teams that don’t matter this week: Las Vegas/Tulsa

Teams don’t matter if they are on a bye (can’t improve or lower a team’s SOV) or if they are playing each other (the win and loss cancels out). How these teams do this week impact seeding. By Sunday night, the odds we don’t know where all teams will be slotted based on strength of victory will be incredibly slim, since one or two results on Monday are likely not going to make or break the tiebreaker. But, we’ll have to see!

NOTE: Blitz: Live will have a live strength of victory calculator available on the broadcast, so you’ll be able to keep track of everything as it all happens in real time.

Current No. 7 seed: (7-4)

Can finish as high as: No. 5

The Pharaohs want a three-way tie at 8-4 with a Sparrows loss. Why? Because Mexico City beats New Orleans in a two way tie (common games) but will lose the tiebreaker to New Orleans in a three-way tie (strength of victory). So If Sioux Falls loses, New Orleans wins and either Alaska, Baltimore or Dallas lose to force a three-way tie, Mexico City slides to sixth and the Pharaohs launch all the way to No. 5.

Can fall as far as: No. 9

The No. 10 spot will have a 6-6 record – we know that for a fact. Since New Orleans can’t slide that far, No. 9 is their worst-case scenario, having to go on the road for their Wild Card game. That happens if the Pharaohs lose and then Chicago wins – New Orleans will have lost to both London and Chicago. If Tallahassee wins, it would go to strength of victory, where New Orleans has a chance to have the worst (see all the chaos above). If New Orleans does lose, they might as well cheer for the Pride and hope for the chaos to lift them into eighth for a home playoff game.

Current No. 8 seed: (6-5)

Can finish as high as: No. 6

How the Pride make it out of the Wild Card would be a truly exceptional feat, but still possible. If the Pride win, Sparrows lose and Pharaohs lose – meaning London is also 7-5, then everything goes back to strength of victory. Tallahassee would need Sioux Falls to be eliminated before London or New Orleans – two teams they have tiebreakers against because Sioux Falls would get the sixth spot if it comes down to head-to-head.

Can fall as far as: No. 10

If the Pride are the only team with an inside track to the postseason with a 6-6 record with London and Chicago wins, sorry Las Vegas and Queen City – but you’re out – thanks to Tallahassee’s head-to-head wins. The Pride would lock up the last spot of the postseason and face a very long road back to their third-straight title game.

Current No. 9 seed: (6-5)

Can finish as high as: No. 6

See strength of schedule tiebreakers. The Knights would have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Chicago and New Orleans at that point, a plus for them. They still couldn’t use that to their advantage until Sioux Falls and their strength of victory is in the Knights’ rear-view mirror. Still, entirely possible.

Can fall as far as: Eliminated

With a loss + Tallahassee loss, things get mighty dangerous for the Knights since the Wildcats would have a different record than London, voiding the Knights’ huge win over them earlier this season. A Queen City win is the nightmare scenario for London. It would come down to SOV and prevent London from using their head-to-head win over Las Vegas just a couple of weeks ago, in the event the Fury are 6-6, a tiebreaker the Knights could ultimately lose.

If Queen City, Tulsa and Chicago lose, the Knights clinch a playoff spot. Did you hear that? If Queen City, Tulsa and Chicago lose, the Knights will have all tiebreakers against all other 6-6 teams – Chicago, Las Vegas or Tulsa to take the No. 10 seed. Obviously, London would much rather win and cheer for Chicago, but they won’t know who to cheer for until they know if they’ve beaten or lost to New Orleans. Quite crazy!

Current No. 10 seed: (6-5)

Can finish as high as: No. 6

This is a reach, but their is a slim chance it happens: Chicago, Sioux Falls, New Orleans and London all finish 7-5. Chicago and New Orleans finish with the two strongest strength of victories, allowing Chicago to take advantage of its win over New Orleans on the first Blitz: Live! event of the season. The more plausible scenario is for the Wildcats to finish seventh – a win over Tallahassee + a London win over New Orleans gives Chicago the head-to-head sweep of both for the No. 7 seed. That is, if Sioux Falls wins.

Chicago might actually want that. Sure, they would have to play in a Wild Card game, but Sioux Falls could rob the Wildcats of all their head-to-head relevant tiebreakers that could sink the Wildcats further in the race.

Can fall as far as: Eliminated

There isn’t a ton of margin of error for the Wildcats. If Chicago loses, they do hold tiebreakers over Queen City in the event the Corsairs win but would need London to win in order to enact that advantage. Chicago does have the SOV over Tulsa. Over Las Vegas and Queen City, it’s a toss up.

Current No. 11 seed: (5-6)

Can finish as high as: No. 9

If the Fury, Knights and Wildcats are tied at 6-6, it’s possible London could end up on the outside looking in, while Las Vegas can trump Chicago’s SOV. That would slot the Fury ninth in a little bit better position to try and make a run.

Can fall as far as: Eliminated

With a loss, the Fury is out. With a Tallahassee loss, the Fury is out. Las Vegas absolutely must win and Tallahassee must take care of business. If the Fury beat Tulsa, they’ll be chewing their finger nails the entire night waiting for that result and the rest to hopefully help boost their SOV.

Can finish as high as: No. 9

The Corsairs could crash the party this week. How? Well if the 4x champs beat 2x champ Thomas Paterniti and the rest of the Vultures, their strength of victory can make the single biggest jump of any team this weekend with such a quality win. That would help Queen City get potentially all the way to No. 9, if Chicago is eliminated early in weak SOV proceedings, since that’s the only team that has outright beaten the Corsairs – all the way back in Week 1 on a goal-line stand.

By the way, Queen City and Las Vegas share a whopping seven opponents, with Queen City sporting a 5-4 record to Vegas’ 4-4 record against those opponents, in the event both teams win this weekend and both are left to settle a head-to-head tie – another feather in the cap of these pirates.

Can fall as far as: Eliminated

If Queen City loses, it’s obvious and the shocking end-of-season collapse will come to a close. If Queen City wins but ends up stuck with Chicago (head-to-head) or on the wrong side of strength of victory (London, or Las Vegas in the event multiple teams are tied) then the Corsairs will be doomed, even with an impressive win to end the season.

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