Slumped over brackets and a stack of papers with district standings and this weekend’s schedules, sports editor Brice Cherry told me I looked like his son doing his math homework. Looking down at my papers, with new things written on top of what had been there before I took my eraser to it, it looked like my pre-AP chemistry homework when I had to balance equations.

Let’s hope these brackets turn out better than my homework.

Starting with District 8-6A, Midway takes the top spot no matter how it ends up on Thursday. If the Panthers lose and Belton beats Copperas Cove, which would tie both programs at 5-1, Midway holds the tiebreaker advantage.

If Belton loses and Ellison beats Midway, Ellison and Belton become tied at 4-2. Belton owns that tiebreaker.

As for the final playoff spot in the district, three teams are currently tied at 2-3 – Killeen, Copperas Cove and Harker Heights. Copperas Cove is traveling to Belton, while Harker Heights and Killeen will duke it out.

If Killeen beats Harker Heights, it guarantees itself a playoff spot. The Kangaroos bump up to 3-3 as Harker Heights drops to 2-4. If Copperas Cove loses against Belton, the Bulldogs also drop to 2-4. If the Bulldogs beat Belton, that ties them with Killeen. The Kangaroos, however, hold the tiebreaker advantage with their 27-24 win over Copperas Cove earlier in the season.

If Killeen loses, its playoff hopes are dashed. The Kangaroos would drop to 2-4, while Harker Heights goes to 3-3. Then it all depends on Copperas Cove. If the Bulldogs lose, the Knights advance. If the Bulldogs win, Copperas Cove moves on.

Keep in mind that 6A teams are split into two brackets determined by enrollment numbers. Here is the order for District 8-6A:

1. Belton 3197

2. Ellison 2842

3. Harker Heights 2557

4. Killeen 2485

5. Midway 2410.5

6. Copperas Cove 2230.5

This means that Belton is winner and Ellison is runner-up of District 8 in the Division I bracket, Midway is the winner and one of the other three teams is the runner-up of District 8 in the Division II bracket.

The Panthers have already finalized their playoff match-up. Midway will host Grand Prairie at Panther Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17.

In District 18-5A, College Station is the district champ. Temple is second, no matter if it wins or loses Friday night because it owns the tiebreaker against A&M Consolidated. Tied for fourth is Waco high and Rudder.

If A&M Consolidated wins its contest against Rudder on Friday and Waco High wins over University, A&M will be third and Waco will be fourth. If A&M Consolidated loses, Rudder wins and Waco High wins, the points cap system will be used. With A&M Consolidated and Rudder still to face off, and with no points cap in place, Waco is currently +28 (win over Rudder 35-7, loss to A&M Consolidated 35-31), A&M is +4 and Rudder is -28.

Like 6A, enrollment numbers decide whether or not teams will play in the Division I or Division II bracket.

1. Temple 2071.5

2. Waco 1810

3. A&M Consolidated 1774.5

4. College Station 1743

5. University 1665

6. Rudder 1663

With those numbers, Temple will be the winner of District 18 in Division I with College Station the District 18 winner in Division II. If Waco High and A&M Consolidated advance, which is highly likely, Waco will be the runner-up of District 18 in Division I with A&M Consolidated the runner-up of District 18 in Division II.

In District 13-4A Div. I, La Vega is the top seed and Liberty Hill is second.

Tied at third are China Spring and Gatesville with 2-2 records. The Cougars take on Lampasas on Friday, while the Hornets battle Liberty Hill. If both teams win, China Spring holds the tiebreaker advantage, making the Cougars third and Gatesville fourth.

If both teams lose, meaning Lampasas (which is currently 1-3) picks up the win, all three teams will tie with a 2-3 record. That’s when another points tiebreaker would determine the which of those three teams gets the other two spots behind La Vega and Liberty Hill. The district uses a point cap of 17, meaning Lampasas would need to beat China Spring by 17 or more to force a three-way tie and likely coin flip for the two spots.

In District 4-4A Div. II, Hillsboro appears to have done enough for some postseason football. The Eagles and Life Waxahachie are currently tied with 2-2 records. Hillsboro travels to Glen Rose on Friday to take on the district champs, while Life Waxahachie travels to take on a Venus team that is winless in district play.

Even if Hillsboro loses and Benbrook defeats Godley to tie the Eagles at 2-3 in district play, Hillsboro will still advance to the playoffs with the head to head advantage over Benbrook.

In District 9-4A Div. II, crazy things could happen. This weekend, Fairfield (3-1) hosts Lorena (2-2), Robinson (0-4) hosts Mexia (2-2) and Connally (2-2) hosts Salado (3-1). If Fairfield and Salado lose, which means Lorena and Connally win, and Mexia tops Robinson, there would be a five-way tie for first place.

If Fairfield and Salado win, things might not get so crazy. Fairfield would take the top spot over Salado with the tiebreaker edge. With those results and a Mexia win, the Black Cats would take third with a 3-2 record, leaving Lorena and Connally tied for fourth. The Leopards would advance based on the head to head results.

If Fairfield wins and Salado loses, meaning Lorena loses and Connally wins, in addition to a Mexia win, a points cap would determine between Salado, Mexia and Connally who would each have a 3-2 record for the three remaining slots behind the Eagles. If Salado wins and Fairfield loses, meaning Lorena wins and Connally loses, in addition to a Mexia win, the points cap would determine between Fairfield, Lorena and Mexia.

If Mexia were to lose in either of those situations, it would hold the tiebreaker edge over Lorena (Fairfield win), but be topped by Connally (Salado win).

The craziness continues with District 9-3A Div. I as Malakoff, Teague and West are all tied at the top with a 5-1 record. If all three teams win, the points cap would be used. Teague would be first (+5), West would be second (+3) and Malakoff would be third (-8). West travels to Eustace (3-3), Teague travels to Westwood (0-6) and Malakoff hosts Elkhart (1-5). Malakoff, Teague and West will no doubt be the top three teams. The only thing up for question is what order they will finish.

That leaves the fight up for the final playoff spot. Groesbeck and Eustace are tied for fourth with 3-3 records. Whitney is right behind them with a 2-4 record. If Eustace and Groesbeck both win, Groesbeck holds the tiebreaker advantage with its one-point regular season win over Eustace. If they both lose, meaning Whitney defeated the Goats, the points cap will be used to determine the best total among the three.

While the previous two districts have the potential to be hot messes, District 10-3A Div. I is settled. Franklin is the top seed. It is currently 5-0 and owns the tiebreaker advantage over Rockdale, which is 4-1.

Rockdale is second and owns the tiebreaker over McGregor, which is 3-2. McGregor, in third, owns the tiebreaker over a 3-3 Cameron Yoe team that is off this weekend.

If Troy defeats McGregor on Friday, the points cap will be used to decide the final two playoff spots between McGregor, Cameron Yoe and Troy who will be tied at 3-3. With McGregor and Troy yet to face off, McGregor defeated Cameron Yoe, 31-25, while the Yoemen defeated the Trojans 35-0.

In District 11-3A Div. II, Clifton is the top seed win or lose.

Rice is currently second (3-1), followed by Mildred and Rio Vista tied for third with 2-2 records. Rice plays at Rio Vista on Friday, Mildred hosts A Plus Academy and Clifton travels to Blooming Grove.

If Rice wins, it clinches second place. If Rice loses, the points cap system will be used if Mildred wins as well. That means Rice, Rio Vista and Mildred are in a three-way tie for the final three spots.

If Blooming Grove wins to go to 2-3 on the season, and Mildred and/or Rio Vista loses, there could be a tie for playoff spots.

In District 12-3A Div. II, the seeding depends on Friday’s games. Hearne and Buffalo are tied at the top with 5-0 records. They’ll face off on Friday night. Meanwhile, Marlin and Bruceville-Eddy are tied for third with 3-2 records before their meeting on the gridiron this weekend.

In District 7-2A Div. 1, De Leon has wrapped up the top spot.

Crawford and Hico, tied for second with 4-1 records, will play each other on Friday for second and third in the district, while Goldthwaite has fourth place in the bag.

In District 8-2A Div. I, standings won’t be determined until after Friday’s contest. Undefeated and tied at the top, Mart and Bosqueville face off on Friday to decide the top two spots. Riesel is third at 3-3, win or lose. Italy and Axtell, tied for fourth, will play each other on Friday for the final playoff spot.

In District 13-2A Div. I, Thrall is the district champion. Holland is currently second at 3-1, while Moody and Thorndale are tied for third with 2-2 records. Holland travels to Moody on Friday, while Thorndale hosts Thrall.

If Holland wins it secures second place. If Holland loses, it all depends on Thorndale. If Thorndale loses, Moody takes second, Holland third and Thorndale fourth. If Thorndale wins, the points cap will be used to determine the order of Holland, Moody and Thorndale.

In District 10-2A, Bremond has clinched first place, while Frost has solidified its second-place finish. The final two spots will be determined on the field as Hubbard (2-2) travels to Meridian (2-2). Even if Dawson defeats Bremond on Friday to tie either Hubbard or Meridian at 2-3 after the regular season finale, both squads own the tiebreaker over Dawson.

In District 11-2A Div. II, Wortham fell short of a playoff berth.

Moving on to 1A action, Jonesboro is definitely in the playoffs for District 10-1A Div. I. The question is whether it will be the first or second seed. With a win over Evant (1-1), Jonesboro will be the winner of the district. If that happens, Zephyr (1-1) can clinch the final playoff spot with a win over Blanket.

In District 13-1A Div. I, Avalon and Blum are playoff bound. Their match-up on Friday will determine their seeding. Meanwhile in District 14-1A Div. I, Coolidge has clinched the top seed, while Aquilla is second.

In District 14-1A Div. II, Iredell will be the top seed. The final spot will be earned by the winner of Friday’s contest between Walnut Springs and Morgan.

In District 15-1A Div. II, Mount Calm fell short of the playoffs. But in District 16-1A Div. II, Oglesby still has a chance for some playoff football. Calvert has already wrapped up the district title. The winner between Buckholts and Oglesby on Friday will claim the final playoff spot.

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