Yes, it’s very early in the 2012 high school football season, but ponder this statement for a second or three — 20 percent of the regular season has been completed.
With that in mind, especially considering players, coaches, fans and, yes, sports writers, kick the subject around as early as, say, July, it’s never too early to talk about the playoffs.
And, thanks to Ohio’s guru of the computer-point system the Ohio High School Athletic Association began using to determine its football teams that qualify for the playoffs — Joe Eitel — we know exactly where every team stands.
Through the first two weeks of the 2012 season, no area team stands higher in terms of the playoffs than the Jefferson Falcons.
According to Eitel, coach Jimmy Henson’s undefeated squad is second in the Division III, Region 9 ratings, trailing only traditional state power Chagrin Falls (2-0), a Final Four team a year ago.
Meaning, if the playoffs were to start this week, Henson & Co. would be hosting seventh-rated Padua in a regional quarterfinal this weekend at Falcon Pride Stadium.
But thanks to Eitel, we know Jefferson is not the only area team that would be in the playoff hunt if the postseason began this weekend.
Madison (1-1) is tied for sixth in the Division II, Region 5 ratings with Uniontown Lake (1-1).
And Edgewood (1-1) and Perry (1-1) are tied for eighth in Division IV, Region 13, along with Canton Central Catholic (1-1) and Wooster Triway (1-1).
Following is how Eitel has all 10 area elevens standing headed into Week 3:
Division I, Region 1 (32 teams) — 21, Riverside (1-1).
Division II, Region 5 (28 teams) — T6, Madison (1-1), with Uniontown Lake (1-1); T19, Geneva (0-2) and Lakeside (0-2), with eight other squads.
Division III, Region 9 (30 teams) — 2, Jefferson (2-0); T19, Conneaut (0-2), along with 11 other teams.
Division IV, Region 13 (32 teams) — T8, Edgewood (1-1) and Perry (1-1), with Canton Central Catholic and Wooster Triway; T12, Grand Valley (1-1), with five other teams; T23, Pymatuning Valley (0-2), with nine other squads.
Once again this season, there are no Division V nor Division VI teams in the area.
The top eight teams in each of Ohio’s 24 regions, split into six divisions, qualify for the playoffs, with the higher-seeded squad having the right to host a first-round game, should its facilities be deemed worthy of doing so.
Our own resident expert, Slingin’ Steve Goldman, will go more indepth about the chances for the local teams to reach the postseason in either our Thursday or Friday edition each week.
To access all of Eitel’s wealth of information, visit his website at www.joeeitel.com.