Sports

Tigers shuffle in 8-Man rankings

GTNS file photo

Darius Whaley (pictured) and New London will likely be locked into a playoff spot with a win this Friday.
GTNS file photo Darius Whaley (pictured) and New London will likely be locked into a playoff spot with a win this Friday.

NEW LONDON — There hasn’t been a lot of agreeing among Iowa pollsters when it comes to Class 8-Man rankings this season, so it should come as no surprise that New London is still being jumbled around as we head into the final week of play.

The Tigers, who at times held the No. 1 spot in various 8-Man polling, are anywhere between fourth and seventh, depending on which poll you rely on.

As far as polls are concerned, New London peaks at No. 4. The Tigers are ranked fourth in both the IowaPreps.com and Radio Iowa polls. New London sits at No. 6 according to the Gazette poll and back to No. 7 in the Associated Press.

Three of the four major polls say Ar-We-Va should be the No.1 team in the class. The AP, Gazette and IowaPreps polls all agree on that. Radio Iowa has Iowa Valley at No. 1, where they have been ever since knocking off the Tigers two Fridays ago.

The four polls can agree on who the top three teams are, even if they can’t figure out the order. Ar-We-Va, Iowa Valley and Northwood Kinsett are all top three in all four polls.

Computer polling sees it differently, however, at least as far as the Tigers are concerned. New London is at No. 2 in the BCMoore rankings, even two spots ahead of unbeaten Iowa Valley. The RPI, which is technically the only ranking that matters for playoff position, has New London at No. 9. It should be noted that both computer polls see Ar-We-Va as the No. 1 team.

Assuming the Tigers are in to the playoff field with a win this weekend, it’s anyone’s guess who New London would face in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers were slated to play Central City but The Gazette’s playoff predictor, but that squad got knocked from the unbeatens on Friday, creating a three-way tie in District 3.

That’s bad news for anyone who wanted a relatively short trip to New London’s first playoff game. Turkey Valley is the highest RPI team of the three District 3 front-runners, which means they would get the hosting bid. That’s a three-hour trip from New London.

The closest probable district champion would be Iowa Valley, but the state has said it won’t match up teams from the same district in the opening round. The next closest is Don Bosco, which is just under two hours away.

Tiger fans may be making a trip to Southeast Warren, which is over two hours away. Gladbrook-Reinbeck is two-and-a-half hours away, but the Tigers may be forced to head north.

Of course, New London could still be playing in the friendly confines of their own home field, but they’ll need some help. H-L-V would need to beat Iowa Valley and the final RPI would need to push New London over both teams to give them a hosting big.

The Tigers need to take care of business in their final regular season game first. New London will host Montezuma on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.