Play-off brackets should be done, but aren't for BE and NB

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By Mike Farner

SHEPHERDSVILLE - In a perfect world, the play-off pairings should have already been set for the 2008 season.

Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. Not even a perfect sports world.

Sometimes the real world creeps into the sports world. That is certainly the case when it comes to the 2008 football season - on two fronts.

First off, one this is set in stone. On Nov. 14, Bullitt Central will travel to Richmond to take on Madison Central in the first round of the Class 6-A play-offs. The Indians are second in District 8 with a 2-1 record that included a loss to Scott County. Madison Central is 7-1 overall and ranked among the top 10 teams in the state in the computer rankings.

That will not change.

Now, as far as Class 4-A is concerned, nobody in Bullitt County should be making any plans for the first round of the play-offs. Both North Bullitt head coach Brett Newton and Bullitt East coach Doug Preston know that for sure.

The one thing that is set is that Bullitt East has won District 4 and will play at home on Nov. 14. North Bullitt is the number two seed and will also play at home that week.

After that, who they will be playing is still very much up in the air, both on the field and off it.

The first bombshell fell on Monday of this week when the KHSAA forced Western High School to forfeit four games for using an ineligible player(s). That cost the team district wins, meaning that after going through the district undefeated, it must now look at having a losing district mark.

The word on the coaching grapevine over the past few weeks has been that Western was going to be penalized for the second straight year. It was no great surprise on Monday.

So, as of Monday, the pairings have Bullitt East hosting Atherton while North Bullitt will play host to Western. The other two games are not set because Fairdale and Valley won’t play until this week because of the windstorm problems. The winner of that game will play host to Marion County while the loser will take on LaRue County at home.

Actually, the Atherton-Western tie-breaker is not set yet because the two teams never played because of the windstorm cancellation of their regular season game. Still, Western appears to be in good position to win the tie-breaker.

But don’t etch that in stone just yet. The coaching grapevine is ripe with rumors that Atherton is being investigated by the KHSAA for using an underage player in their win over Breckinridge County. No word has come down on that, but that would really mess up an already strange situation.

If the outcome of that game were reversed, then Breckinridge County would move into the number three spot and would travel to North Bullitt. Western would then fall to fourth and would play at Bullitt East.

First off, that would make Western the best number four seed in the entire state. It would also set up a clash between Preston, who coached at Western last year, with his old team.

Worse, the Western players that were not eligible and caused the four forfeitures (and were not used in a stunning 33-12 loss to Southern) are now eligible. So the team that was good enough to beat Central 12-8 on the field, will be a number three or four seed in the post-season.