There aren’t a lot of huge games in the DI men’s club scene this weekend, but the ones that are important are very important. Perhaps key among them is the Mid-Atlantic clash between Norfolk and Potomac Athletic Club (PAC).
Both are undefeated, Norfolk 4-0 and PAC 2-0, and they’ve looked impressive so far. Norfolk is more battle hardened, having played double the games of PAC, who’s had its season derailed by inclement weather.
Common opponents comparison? It heavily favors the Blues, who pounded NOVA 59-7. PAC beat NOVA 15-0 last weekend.
There are a pair of games with playoff implications in the Midwest, too.
In the East, 4-1 Buffalo travels to 3-2 Detroit. Buffalo, who has done drastically better at home this season, beat the Tradesmen by just eight in the first meeting.
Winning the Midwest East is hugely important, considering the format of the Midwest playoffs. Only the top Midwest East team is guaranteed a spot in the National Round of 32, and last season the East champ, Cincy, went 0-2 against the West and was the only East team to reach the crossover matches against the South.
If Buffalo or Detroit are going to catch up with first-place Cincinnati, a bonus-point win this weekend would go a long way. So would a Griffins upset of the Wolfhounds Saturday.
In the Midwest West, first-place and undefeated Palmer hosts one-loss and second-place Metropolis. The Dragons won 30-24 in their earlier meeting with the Minneapolis club. Just as in the East, only the first-place West team is guaranteed a national playoff bid.
Metropolis is coming out of a bye week and has had ample time to prepare for Palmer, who’s made back-to-back final fours.
In the Northeast, the first-place Boston Irish Wolfhounds play at 1-1 Mystic River. Mystic River’s only loss came by eight points at the hands of South Shore, whose only two losses were tight to the Wolfhounds and second-place Boston. So Mystic River shouldn’t be counted out.
Amoskeag, South Shore’s Saturday opponent who also sits at 1-2, and they too been competitive in its two losses. Amoskeag still has Boston left on its schedule, and a win here would provide a boost of confidence. South Shore’s schedule gets easier going forward, and a win over Amoskeag could be the first of a few in a row.
The one swing match in MetNY features 2-0 Old Blue and 2-1 White Plains. As Old Blue is still expected to play in the Super League in the spring, the playoff pressure is all on White Plains.
Elsewhere in MetNY, either winless Long Island or the winless Village Lions will get out of the league cellar when they play each other Saturday, and 2-1 Monmouth tries to prevent an upset by New Jersey rival Morris.
The lone game in the West should be a blowout, as undefeated Glendale plays winless Boulder.