THE rocket scientists would have it worked out in a flash.


No room for doubt with those geeky NASA chaps. If they can solve the mysteries of the solar system, then navigating the uncertain outcome of the League One play-off race will seem like a doddle.


It’s always amused me how these inter-galactic conquerors are held up as the esteemed organs of knowledge in the world of football cliche.


The number of times I’ve been told by an interviewee that if they could answer why City couldn’t win at home, win away, keep a clean sheet (delete where applicable per different season) they would be earning an even more lucrative wedge in the rocket-science industry.


I can just see the collective head-scratching within the deep confines of the Kennedy Space Centre as some of the most learned minds on the planet come to a conclusion on how Southend will fare against Charlton.


“Well Yuri, that Karl Robinson chap has always had his head in the clouds. Thinks he’s above his space station.”


I did work briefly with Tim Peake’s dad – but that’s another boring story – but otherwise I have no way of contacting these great beings for their foresight on how the next three weeks will unfold.


So with nada from NASA, it instead falls on this rather less celebrated brain to attempt to unpick the fall-out from the season’s finale.


This is a standard pitfall of a football reporter’s year. The action boils down to a handful of games and someone suggests you suddenly turn Mystic Meg – or Mug in this case.


The only question anyone is bothered about of course, other than the Meaning of Life, is will Bradford City extend their campaign beyond the end of the month.


The simple answer, applying the logic that any rocket scientist would jump on, is yes. Of course. Never a shadow of doubt. Obviously.


Do the math, as they’d say at the bottom of the launch pad in Florida.


The Bantams have spent all bar two games – the opening two – in the top six. Only Scunthorpe can match them on that score.


It was Tuesday, August 16 when a win at MK Dons pushed City up to fifth in the fledgling table. They have not dropped beneath it since.


So while Stuart McCall and his players wisely preach publicly about no room for complacency or no guarantees, logic points to the obvious scenario.


It’s not as if they have suddenly gone wobbly a la Scunny. Four wins from the last six games, a run which included that nonsense loss at Glanford Park, do not suggest a team losing their way with the finish line in sight.


Interestingly, three of the other four sides who occupied the top six just ten days in are now embroiled in a scrap for survival.


Only 11th-placed Peterborough are still in the top half. Port Vale and Gillingham are hovering nervously over the relegation trap door.


As for the early leaders? Chesterfield, who had seven points from their opening nine, now appear doomed to the drop.


Early league tables, by and large, mean absolutely nothing, other than convenient space-fillers for us media types. Sheffield United, who will surely clinch promotion today, were in the bottom four.


But City have proved an honourable exception – so why should that all blow up now?


We’ve all scrutinised the remaining games, including those who talk only about concentrating on themselves and leaving others to their own devices. McCall can rattle out the fixtures like his times tables.


The general consensus appears to suggest that City have the toughest run-in of the five sides most likely to contest the four play-off places. But is it really all that bad for a team with proven top-six credentials?


One relegation battler, Bury, away this afternoon and that tasty trip to Bramall Lane nine days from now. But of course, Sheffield United’s focus by then may be slightly blurred by the promotion champagne.


Oxford could be out of contention by Friday’s Valley Parade visit; Wimbledon are, well, Wimbledon – and then a final-day fling at Rochdale, who could have all or nothing to play for.


A potentially tricky route home but not one likely to have anyone screaming through the night. A testing ‘warm-up’ for the three-game tournament to come.


City will be in there – and so will Millwall. What are the odds of another play-off date with the Lions?


Some might say that’s a showdown written in the stars.