Now it is all about the matchups. The LHSAA does the big reveal of its football playoff pairings at 11 a.m. Sunday on CST.
In the meantime, coaches are either checking sources to see what unofficial power ratings they can find. Or they are simply biding their time until Sunday when the brackets are finalized.
Port Allen coach Don Gibson and Central coach Sid Edwards are biding their time for the most part. PAHS won its past two games to solidify its spot in the 2A playoffs, while Central moved into a comfort zone in 5A with its Week 10 win over Walker.
“If we don’t win last night we probably wind up in the No. 31 or No. 32 range and depending on how the math comes out we could have been sitting home,” Edwards said. “We’re hearing about different teams we might play. Alexandria is one that has been mentioned.
"Everybody has the (power rating) numbers about the same, but there are little differences. At this point, you have to be happy you’re in and to a certain extent, it doesn’t really matter who you play.”
The playoff possibilities Edwards does not like include a district rival or the likely No. 1 seed, West Monroe. The Wildcats have been there and done that, having faced WMHS three times.
Two years ago, the Wildcats lost to Live Oak in the final game of the regular season and then beat the Eagles the next week. There is an outside chance for a rematch with Walker, the team Central beat 35-21 on Friday.
Another interesting possibility this time around involves Live Oak. Some projections have the Eagles traveling to play Acadiana, the team they lost to in the quarterfinals last season.
Gibson has no preconceived notions about what to expect for his young team that played in District 8-2A.
“This is a team with a lot of sophomores,” Gibson said. “Going into the year, we decided that making the playoffs was a goal for us. I wasn’t sure we would get there for a while. These guys have come a long way. I’ve told them all year it is about where we end up, not where we start, that matters. And we ended up making it to the playoffs after all.”
District 4-5A champion Zachary (8-2), also the defending Class 5A champion, entered the final week of the regular season at No. 3 in the 5A unofficial power rankings after Week 9 and leads the list of local nonselect teams in all classes. Plaquemine (8-2) is a safe bet to host nonselect games next week. The Green Devils were No. 10 last week.
Unbeaten University High (10-0) is all but guaranteed to be No. 1 in Division II select. UHS was the No. 2 seed last season. The Cubs also are the defending Division II champions. Southern Lab (9-1) was No. 1 in Division IV rankings and is set to return to the playoffs after a one-year LHSAA postseason ban.
Catholic High (9-1), the defending Division I champion, was rated No. 2 in Division I and Dunham (9-0) was No. 3 in Division III.