Grid teams hold likely positions

EAST LANSING – The three area high school football teams with at least three wins held about the same position in the list of potential MHSAA playoff teams this week.

The state high school sports organization didn’t change the number of wins needed to make the list – three – so the number of schools on the list went up significantly.

This time, there are 293 teams while only 256 will make the playoffs. The MHSAA has been able to let in all 5-3 and 6-3 teams since the doubling of playoff teams began in 1999. A number of 5-4 and 4-4 teams are added to fill out the field.

This week’s list is put in order by enrollment, which is solely how playoff divisions are determined.

Dividing the latest list into eight equal groups of 36 or 37 schools each puts 194th-listed Negaunee (5-0) slightly higher than the average for Division 6, but still a dozen schools from having to go up to Division 5.

Gwinn (3-2) in 240th is almost at the midpoint for Division 7, being 16 schools above the estimated dividing line for Division 8 and 21 short of moving up to Division 6.

And Newberry (4-1) at 273rd is well into Division 8, 17 schools short of having to move up.

One thing different about this week’s list is that Menominee, listed at 179th, looks to be about three schools above the dividing line for Divisions 5 and 6, while last week the Maroons looked to be right on the edge.