New Hampshire Football Report

Midseason Report: Playoff Picture


Here’s how NHIAA playoff teams will be determined in each division:

Division I: Each of the four conference champions (East, West, North, South) earns an automatic berth. The champions are based on win/loss records. The four other playoff teams are also based on win/loss records. Two teams will be selected from the North/East half of the bracket, and two from the South/West bracket. As many as three teams from one conference can qualify. The champion from the North/East will face the champion from the South/West in the championship game.

Division II: The two conference champions, one from the East and one from the West, automatically qualify. The conference champions are determined by the Football Point Rating and will be seeded No. 1 and No. 2 regardless of their record. The next six teams with the best Football Point Rating — regardless of which conference they play in — will complete the eight team field.

Division III: The top four teams based on the Football Point Rating will qualify and be seeded No. 1 through No. 4.

Division IV: The top four teams based on the Football Point Rating will qualify and be seeded No. 1 through No. 4.

Note: The NHIAA Football Point Rating awards 10 points for a victory and two points for each game a beaten opponent has won. So a victory over a team that’s 5-4 is worth 20 points — 10 for the win and two for each of the five games that team has won.

Here’s a look at the NHIAA playoff picture through Week 6:


If the season ended today …


No. 4 Exeter (3-1) at No. 1 Winnacunnet (5-0)
No. 3 Portsmouth/Oyster River (4-1) at No. 2 Bedford (3-2)


No. 4 Keene (3-2) at No. 1 Londonderry (5-0)
No. 3 Pinkerton (4-1) at No. 2 Bishop Guertin (3-2)

Comment: The big question here is how will the NHIAA handle the games cancelled by COVID. This decision could determine which teams make the playoffs, and where teams are seeded as well. Goffstown and Salem are the teams most affected by lost games. Goffstown, which had two of its games cancelled, has already beaten Bedford. If the Grizzlies finish 5-2 and the Bulldogs wind up 6-3 which team is the Division I North champion? Does win/loss record mean most wins or best winning percentage? That’s a question that needs to be answered. Big game this weekend between Keene and Salem.


If the season ended today …

No. 8 Manchester West (3-2) at No. 1 Timberlane (5-0)
No. 7 Gilford/Belmont (3-2) at No. 2 Lebanon (5-0)
No. 6 Plymouth (4-1) at No. 3 Hanover (5-0)
No. 5 St. Thomas (4-1) at No. 4 Milford (4-1)

Comment: Lebanon and Timberlane appear to be a cut above, and could meet in the Division II championship game. There’s a a lot to be sorted out after that. Hanover has feasted on a soft schedule, but will have the chance to prove itself Friday when it faces Milford at home.


If the season ended today …

No. 4 Monadnock (3-1) at No. 1 Trinity (5-0)
No. 3 Campbell (4-1) at No. 2 Pelham (5-0)

Comment: Kearsarge and Monadnock could still play their way in. Campbell can strengthen its position by beating Monadnock this weekend. The cancelled game between Kearsarge and Monadnock will likely prevent one of those teams from qualifying unless that game is made up. This weekend’s Trinity/Pelham winner will likely end up as the No. 1 seed.


If the season ended today …

No. 4 Raymond (2-1) at No. 1 Newport (4-0)
No. 3 Somersworth (3-1) at No. 2 Epping/Newmarket (3-0)

Comment: Fall Mountain (2-2) and Mascoma (2-2) are still in the picture as well. Raymond and Epping/Newmarket have had games cancelled by COVID, so the NHIAA ruling will have a big impact on the playoffs in this division as well.  The Newfound-Somersworth game that was cancelled by COVID will be made up Tuesday night.


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