The Birdie sees a doozy of an A-K Valley playoff tiebreaker on the horizon

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 6:43 PM


Last week: 9-1 (90%)

Overall: 58-25 (69.9%)

The Birdie doesn’t want to alarm anyone, but there’s a potential doozy of a playoff tiebreaker brewing that involves local teams.

“I’m not entirely sure,” Birdie said, rifling through his dog-eared copy of WPIAL football tiebreaking procedures. “but I think it might come down to the fifth criteria, which, as everyone knows, is a game of rock, paper, scissors.”

OK, that’s not true, but the possibility of a big, old three-team deadlock for two playoff spots is very real.

It’s in the Class 3A Allegheny Seven Conference. North Catholic and Freeport are unbeaten in conference. They’ve clinched. After that, it gets interesting.

Deer Lakes is 3-2 and has one conference game left, with Freeport in Week 9.

East Allegheny is 2-3 and has one conference game left, with Valley on Friday.

Burrell is 1-3 and has conference games with Derry and Valley remaining.

Valley is 1-3 and has conference games left with East Allegheny and Burrell.

If there are no upsets, we’re staring down the barrel of a three-way tie at 3-3 between Deer Lakes, East Allegheny and Burrell.

The first tiebreaker is head-to-head record. All three teams are 1-1. The second tiebreaker is Gardner Points. In this scenario, also a tie.

What it could come down to is WPIAL tiebreaker points, which are handed out based on margin of victory.

Deer Lakes is plus-4, East Allegheny minus-3 and Burrell minus-25. If those end up tied when the dust settles, well, get your coin-flipping thumb ready.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, the Week 8 picks.

Fox Chapel (4-4, 2-1) at North Hills (5-3, 2-1): The Foxes have proven themselves as a solid football team this season, but playing North Hills on the heels of Penn Hills is a tough ask. North Hills, 20-10

Kiski Area (6-2, 1-2) at Pine-Richland (4-4, 2-1): The playoffs start now for the Cavaliers, who can clinch a spot with a pair of wins. The Rams are the favorites by virtue of the good wins on their resume (Gateway, Penn Hills), but a Kiski Area win here wouldn’t be a shock. Pine-Richland, 21-20

Hampton (8-0, 5-0) at Knoch (2-6, 1-4): The Talbots are legit. Hampton, 30-7

Highlands (5-3, 2-3) at Greensburg Salem (5-3, 3-2): The Golden Rams had a huge win over Armstrong last week. Improved their playoff position and proved The Birdie wrong. (His only loss of the week). He won’t make that mistake again. Highlands, 24-21

Plum (3-5, 3-2) at Armstrong (5-3, 3-2): The Mustangs suffered a tough break this week when forced to forfeit their Mars win. This is a tough spot for a bounce back. Armstrong, 34-27

Burrell (1-7, 1-3) at Derry (0-7, 0-3): The Bucs started the season slow, but a playoff berth is legitimately in their grasp. Burrell, 26-6

East Allegheny (3-5, 2-3) at Valley (2-6, 1-3): The Vikings have won two in a row. All it would take to improve their playoff position is this one win. East Allegheny, 27-26

North Catholic (8-0, 4-0) at Freeport (4-3, 3-0): It’s the Yellowjackets’ turn to try to crack the Trojans’ awesome defense. North Catholic, 14-6

Steel Valley (7-0, 3-0) at Apollo-Ridge (2-5, 1-2): Last four games on the Vikings’ schedule are brutal. Steel Valley, 30-10

Clairton (5-2, 5-0) at Springdale (5-3, 2-3): Dynamos still control their own playoff destiny, but they have to beat the Bears. Clairton, 24-14

Imani Christian (2-5, 1-4) at Leechburg (6-2, 3-2): The WPIAL’s longest playoff drought is about to disappear. Leechburg, 34-6

Deer Lakes (3-5) at South Allegheny (3-5): A good nonconference matchup between teams fighting for playoff berths. South Allegheny, 21-14

Riverview (1-6, 1-4) at Bishop Canevin (7-1, 4-1): The Crusaders are the real deal. Bishop Canevin, 20-6

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