Heading into tonight’s regular-season finales, the possibilities seem endless in the Los Padres League football standings.
In what could amount to a historic jumble, five of the seven teams have a chance to finish with 4-2 records.
Indeed, if Cabrillo (4-5, 3-2 LPL) wins at Lompoc (6-3, 4-1), Templeton (5-4, 3-2) downs Nipomo (0-9, 0-5) at home, and Morro Bay (4-5, 3-2) prevails at Santa Maria (3-6, 1-4), a quintet would be bunched in a first-place tie. Santa Ynez (5-4, 4-2) has already closed out its league schedule.
The league’s top four finishers earn automatic CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division playoff spots.
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LPL officials are preparing to sort out the possible “mess,” as Morro Bay coach John Andree called it, late tonight.
To break ties, head-to-head outcomes in the event of two-way deadlocks are looked to first, and in the instance of a larger cluster, records against others within that tied group are the criteria.
If neither measure breaks things up, a randomized preseason number draw system is used as a last resort.
As Santa Ynez athletic director Ken Fredrickson put it in an e-mail, “At this point (prior to tonight’s scores) there are too many possible scenarios to speculate on.”
Morro Bay topped Santa Ynez 20-13 earlier this year and defeated Templeton 30-16 last week.
Therefore, if Lompoc finishes as the outright champion, Morro Bay would have the inside track for the league’s No. 2 postseason seed, and with it, a possible home playoff game.
“Our fate’s in our hands,” Andree said. “We’ve just got to do what we can and take care of business.”
Santa Maria, which is coming off a bye week, got its first LPL win in five seasons earlier this year when it overcame a 17-0 second-half deficit against Nipomo to win 33-27 in overtime.
“They’re in every ball game,” Andree said of the Saints. “They very easily could be 5-4 or 6-3.”
Two weeks ago, Templeton handed Lompoc its only league blemish, 31-21, before falling to Morro Bay, which, curiously, lost 51-12 to Lompoc.
Nipomo entered the season with first-time starters all over the field to begin with, and has been ravaged by injuries of late, including losing its top three quarterbacks on the depth chart.
Both Morro Bay and Templeton are seeking to make it back to the playoffs after missing them a year ago.