South Charleston (6-4), meanwhile, can only sit and await the outcome of this week's games, since it's completed its regular season. Some projections have the Black Eagles holding at No. 17, one spot out of the playoffs.
The team SC could be sitting right behind is Woodrow (6-4), which finished in that same No. 16 slot last year and earned a first-round trip to defending champion Martinsburg.
Flying Eagles coach John H. Lilly, whose team concluded its regular season at Laidley Field with Friday's loss to Capital, is another of those teams in limbo this week. In between the uncertainty of how this week's games will shake out involving the other contenders and the legal cloud looming over the Elkins situation, Lilly realizes just how much things can change in the next week.
"I don't know if we're in or not,'' Lilly said, "but I'm sure the Elkins thing will make life rough for lots of people this week. You like to see things earned on the field - and I'll just leave it at that.
"It should always be what you do on the field, and not what you do in court. We saw that debacle a couple years ago. As usual, we have a tendency to punish a whole lot of people for one person.''
Lilly was referring to the fight at the end of the SC-Hurricane quarterfinal game in 2010 that left four ejected Black Eagles players ineligible for the playoff semifinal. A court injunction later permitted those four to play, but the Supreme Court ultimately overturned that decision following the semifinal, causing SC to forfeit its win over Brooke and putting the Bruins into the AAA title game.
The Kanawha Valley's other playoff hopefuls also have demanding tasks ahead this week.
Sissonville (5-4) could be locked in a playoff play-in game with visiting Braxton County (5-4) in Class AA. Depending on the Elkins situation, the Indians figure to be just out of the mix when the next rankings come out (perhaps 18th) and the Eagles barely in at 15th.
Some of the teams directly ahead of Sissonville in the ratings face tough games on Friday - Clay County (5-4) against Tug Valley (7-2), Westside (5-4) against River View (5-4), Summers County (6-3) against Valley Fayette (8-1) and Wyoming East (6-3) against Liberty Raleigh (5-4).
The other area team chasing a postseason spot, Class A Buffalo (7-2), figures to drop a couple places from seventh following a last-second 21-20 loss at Symmes Valley (Ohio).
The Bison has no time to mourn, however, since it closes the regular season at unbeaten Wahama (9-0), which was ranked No. 2 last week.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.