The St. Joseph High School football team is the overwhelming favorite to win the state Non-Public I title.
The Wildcats might only have to play one game - if that - to win the championship. St. Joe (5-0) is No. 1 in The Press Elite 11.
The top eight teams with the most power points in each enrollment group qualify for the postseason. Teams earn power points based on their wins and their opponents' enrollment group. Playoff fields will be determined the weekend of Nov.4-5.
But teams must have at least a .500 record through their first eight games to qualify.
A quick look at this week's state Non-Public I power points standings and everybody is on the bubble except for St. Joe.
Here are the standings:
St. Joe (5-0) 72 points
St. Anthony (3-3) 48 points
St. Mary (3-3) 47 points
Immaculate Conception (3-3) 46 points
Hudson Catholic (2-4) 36 points
Morristown-Beard (2-4) 30 points
Newark Academy (1-5) 28 points
Morris Catholic (0-6) 18 points
Cardinal McCarrick (1-5) 16 points
Mater Dei (0-5) 11 points
Four teams in the 10-team group have already been eliminated, so the most that could qualify is six. That would give St. Joe a first-round bye.
Here are the remaining games for the five schools in contention.
St. Anthony vs. Hoboken (5-1) and Bayonne (4-2)
St. Mary vs Pascack Hills (4-2) and Queen of Peace (3-3)
Immaculate Conception vs. Sussex Tech (1-5) and Cedar Creek (2-3)
Hudson Catholic vs. Snyder (0-6) and Marist (2-4)
Morristown-Beard vs. St. Joe Metuchen (2-4) and Whippany Park (1-5).
If St. Joe is the only qualifier, the Wildcats would win the championship without a playing a game. The above situation is why many high school football fans say there should only be three enrollment groups for Non-Public schools. Last year, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association combined the Non-Public I and II enrollment groups because there was not enough Non-Public I schools playing football. The NJSIAA went back to four groups this year.