This league’s two guaranteed playoff spots are already clinched, as are the seedings, so besides Ontario Christian having faint at-large chances, this is boring as heck. Just to warn ya.
1. Aquinas (8-1, 4-0): Has clinched a playoff spot and the No. 1 seed out of the Ambassador League regardless of what it does Friday against Western Christian.
2. Linfield Christian (5-4, 3-1): Has clinched a playoff spot and the No. 2 seed out of the Ambassador League regardless of what it does Friday against Calvary Murrieta due to its head-to-head tiebreaker advantages over Ontario Christian and Western Christian.
3. Ontario Christian (3-6, 2-2): The Knights are eliminated from automatic playoff consideration because Linfield Christian owns the head-to-head tiebreaker. The only shot Ontario Christian has is to beat Arrowhead Christian Friday and hope that making the East Valley championship game last year holds weight in the at-large selection process.
4. Western Christian (3-6, 2-2): The Lancers are eliminated from automatic playoff consideration because Linfield Christian owns the head-to-head tiebreaker. A win over Aquinas could look good for an at-large selection, but it likely wouldn’t be enough.
5. Arrowhead Christian (3-6, 1-3): Eliminated from playoff consideration.
6. Calvary Murrieta (1-8, 0-4): Eliminated from playoff consideration.
This league was definitely bizarre during the regular season, as La Verne Lutheran’s decision to forfeit its schedule three weeks into the season threw a curveball into the proceedings, as the Christian League will only have two automatic bids.
1) Aquinas (5-3, 2-0): It’s pretty simple for the Falcons. If they beat Ontario Christian this week, they win their third straight league title and get the No. 1 seed out of the league in the East Valley playoffs. If they lose, they are the No. 2 seed.
2) Ontario Christian (4-5, 2-0): Copy and paste what I typed for Aquinas, subbing out Falcons for Knights and Ontario Christian for Aquinas.
3) Arrowhead Christian (5-4, 1-2): There’s no chance of the Eagles, who have a bye this week because of the La Verne Lutheran forfeit, of getting an automatic playoff spot. But ACA, which was ranked as high as No. 4 in the CIF standings this year, should be in good position for one of the four at-large spots in the East Valley Division.
4) Western Christian (1-7, 0-3): Eliminated from playoff consideration.
5) La Verne Lutheran: Apparently eliminated from playing at all.
As I start to wrap this up, it’s time to throw some love to the smallest league we have in our coverage area, the Christian League. When you only have two league games played up to this point, it leaves some wacky possibilites.
1. Aquinas (8-1, 2-0): Will clinch a playoff spot and a second straight league title with a win over Arrowhead Christian. Should the Falcons lose and Ontario Christian beats Western Christian, a three-way flip for two playoff spots would ensue. If Aquinas and Ontario Christian both lose, then the Falcons grab the No. 2 seed. Should Aquinas somehow get shut out of the two playoff spots, it is guaranteed to be an at-large selection in the East Valley Division playoffs.
2. Ontario Christian (4-5, 1-1): Only way the Knights can win the Christian League is with a win over Western Christian, an Arrowhead Christian win and a win in a three-way coin flip. Most likely scenario is the No. 2 spot, which comes with a win and an Aquinas win. A loss and an Aquinas win would cause a three-way flip between Arrowhead Christian, Western Christian and the Knights for one spot. A loss and an Arrowhead Christian win would leave the Knights out of the two automatic spots, causing a then 4-6 OC team to sweat out the at-large selections.
3. Arrowhead Christian (6-3, 1-1): ACA athletic director Richard Yaross gave me a breakdown of the Eagles’ chances in an e-mail this week, feeling that they have a good shot at an at-large should they not finish in the top two spots. With that said, ACA can win the league and get the top spot with a win and an Ontario Christian loss. A win and an Ontario Christian win causes a three-way flip for two spots, while a loss and an Ontario Christian loss causes a three-way flip for one spot. A loss and an Ontario Christian win would put the Eagles third, needing that at-large bid.
4. Western Christian (5-4, 0-2): The Lancers have no shot at the title, but can notch the No. 2 seed via coin flip with a win and an Aquinas win. A win in any situation would increase Western’s at-large possibilties immensely, while a loss would almost certainly eliminate them from consideration, as they would have lost five straight games to end the season.