Vallivue Middleton FOOTBALL01.JPG

Vallivue quarterback Casey Cope (2) attempts to evade a tackle during a game against Middleton on Sept. 18.

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With two weeks to go in the 4A Southern Idaho Conference regular season, four of the conference’s eight teams still have a clear shot at finishing the season as conference champions.

Not one of those teams controls its own destiny.

Bishop Kelly, Emmett, Nampa and Vallivue all enter tonight’s games tied at 4-1 in conference play. It’s likely that whichever of the four teams takes District III’s top seed into the 4A state playoffs will need to win both of its remaining. However, whoever does will need some help from the rest of the conference.

Currently, Nampa holds a head-to-head tiebreaker against both Emmett and Vallivue, Bishop Kelly holds one against Nampa, Emmett holds one against Bishop Kelly and Vallivue still has to play both Bishop Kelly and Emmett.

The Falcons will travel to Bishop Kelly tonight before hosting Emmett in the regular-season finale next week. If Vallivue wins both games, it will likely need Nampa to lose to Middleton tonight. The Bulldogs finish the regular season next week against Caldwell, but the Cougars have had to forfeit their last two games due to academic eligibility issues, and if players are unable to bring up their grades, will have to forfeit the Nampa game, as well.

Nampa, on the other hand, will need Bishop Kelly to lose one of its final two games — tonight against Vallivue or next week against Ridgevue. If Nampa, Bishop Kelly and Emmett all win out, the three would finish the season tied for first. The conference would then be determined point differentials in the games between the three teams. Points would be capped at 14 per game, giving Bishop Kelly the title.

Since Bishop Kelly beat Nampa by 29 points, the Knights would get +14 points for that game. A 40-34 loss to Emmett gives Bishop Kelly -6, for a total of +8. Nampa gets -14 for the loss to the Knights and +1 for its 41-40 win against Emmett, for a total of -13. Emmett would finish with a total of +7.

Likewise, if Emmett wins out, it would need Nampa to lose to Middleton, so the Huskies could have the conference decided on its head-to-head tiebreaker against the Knights, at worst. A Bishop Kelly loss to Vallivue would give the Huskies the outright title under this scenario.

Should Bishop Kelly win out, it would need Emmett to lose to Valliuve, or Nampa to also win out so it could avoid said head-to-head tie break against Emmett.

Of course, the scenario still exists that all four teams could finish the season 5-2 in conference play. But that would require Nampa losing to Middleton and either Bishop Kelly being upset by Ridgevue or Columbia shocking Emmett. So we won’t give ourselves a headache trying to solve that math equation unless we absolutely have to.

5A SIC WEST DECIDED TONIGHT

While the 5A Southern Idaho Conference West Division could still end in a three-way tie, the path to next week’s conference championship game is a lot easier to figure out than the 4A SIC race.

Rocky Mountain faces Meridian tonight in the regular season finale, and if the Grizzlies (4-0) beat the Warriors (3-1), Rocky Mountain will face East Division winner Capital in the championship next week.

Meridian can only win the division if it beats Rocky Mountain and Eagle falls to Centennial. If Meridian and Eagle both win it would go to a three-way points tiebreaker.

Meridian could not win a three-way tiebreaker, thanks to its 49-21 loss to Eagle on Oct. 2. Rocky Mountain beat Eagle 22-15 on Sept. 18, so Eagle and Rocky Mountain are currently tied at +7. A Rocky Mountain loss would move the Grizzlies below that mark, giving Eagle the division title.

BOISE WON’T SEEK PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY

Despite beating Borah last week, Boise says it will honor an agreement it says it made with the Southern Idaho Conference and will forgo playoff eligibility.

The agreement, the school said, was made so that Boise could avoid playing conference powers like Rocky Mountain, Mountain View and Eagle.

It also allows Boise to play the sixth-place team in the West Division during Week 10, which is also the first week of the 5A state playoffs.

“The Conference recognized Boise High’s struggles in recent years, with lower participation numbers, elevated injury rates, and loss of morale regarding competition within our program,” the statement signed by principal Robb Thompson, athletic director Brian Barber and coach Mike Altieri read. “The SIC agreed to modify Boise High’s schedule to assist us as we work to renew interest, participation, and a healthy level of competition at the 5A level.”

The Brave beat Borah 41-31 last week for their first win since 2018. But because of the agreement, Borah will still get the No. 4 seed from the East in next week’s cross-divisional games, where it will face the No. 3 seed from the West.

The agreement, which Boise said was made before September’s division realignment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was made for the current two-year classification cycle, but can be reviewed after the season.

John Wustrow is the assistant sports editor of the Idaho Press. He is a Michigan native and a graduate of Indiana University.

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