It's the final week of the regular season, but several games that will be held Thursday, Oct. 26, and Friday, Oct. 27, are setting up like playoff games for central Ohio high school football teams.

Because of the mathematical formulas involved, matchups like Central Crossing at Marysville and Mount Vernon at Millersburg West Holmes -- which all have 3-6 records -- could end up having a huge effect on the playoff hopes of teams like Hilliard Darby, Olentangy, Reynoldsburg and Westerville Central.

Here are five things we expect heading into Week 10:

1. The battle for the final playoff spot in Division I, Region 3 likely will come down to three teams.

While Pickerington Central, Hilliard Bradley and Pickerington North are among the six teams projected to be in the Division I, Region 3 playoffs, Reynoldsburg and Darby remain in the hunt.

On Oct. 27, Reynoldsburg (6-3) plays host to Lancaster (4-5) and Darby (6-3) visits Dublin Scioto (5-4). The Raiders and Panthers both likely need Springfield to lose to Kettering Fairmont on Oct. 27 in a matchup of 6-3 teams. The Raiders also will be rooting for wins by Gahanna and Central Crossing for secondary points, while the Panthers will be cheering on teams like Mount Vernon, Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne.

2. The matchup between host Olentangy and Westerville Central is essentially a playoff game in Division I, Region 2.

Olentangy (6-3) beat Westerville North 48-14 on Oct. 20 and is projected to lock up a playoff berth with a win over Central (4-5) on Oct. 27.

A loss by the Braves could open the door for the Warhawks, who were projected to be ninth in the region entering Week 10 and need a win and some help to make the postseason.

3. Gahanna and Columbus Academy will clinch playoff spots with Week 10 wins.

Gahanna (6-3) won't have an easy task when it travels to Pickerington North (7-2) on Oct. 26, but the odds are in the Lions' favor that they will make the Region 2 playoffs even with a loss.

Academy (7-2) is projected to make the Division V, Region 19 playoffs with a win over Grandview (5-4) on Oct. 27. The Vikings might still be OK with a loss, but would need a few things to turn their way to make it.

4. The City League-North Division title will be at stake when Northland visits Beechcroft.

While the Vikings and Cougars likely will miss the playoffs, the City-North championship will be on the line when the neighboring schools meet Oct. 27.

Beechcroft has won 25 league games in a row and already has clinched at least a share of the league title. Northland would share the championship with the Cougars and Mifflin with a victory over Beechcroft.

5. Fourteen teams are fighting for six playoff berths in Division II, Region 7.

Entering Week 10, only Walnut Ridge and Massillon Washington were projected to have locked up playoff spots in Region 7.

Mifflin (8-1) is projected to be in with a win over Aurora, but New Albany (5-4), Whitehall (6-3), Westerville South (4-5), Canal Winchester (5-4), Scioto (5-4) and Licking Heights (6-3) all have a realistic shot at making the playoffs if they win.

In addition, Northland (5-3), Big Walnut (4-5) and even Kilbourne (3-6) are still mathematically alive.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek