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Joshua Wilson

New Football Playoff Proposal

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Frank Beasley at the FHSAA has kindly sent me this and has given me permission to release it. 

 

This model from my understanding based somewhat off the system used in Nebraska. 

 

The way this is explained to me is simple: We keep the district format as we know it, then district champions are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs and then wildcards are taken (meaning a district runner-up would not be an automatic playoff qualifier anymore).

 

So you still have your four regions per classification (1, 2, 3 and 4) and in that case each region would send four district champs (as it is now) and four wildcards. Then on top of this, you would seed the teams basically getting some very interesting matchups in the process.

 

Without further words, here is the proposal, sent to me, word for word. Questions can be asked below and I will seek answers to those:

 

HOW MY TEAM EARNS POINTS:

 

Based on your opponents record and if you win or lose you still get points

 

This system rewards winning and strength of schedule.

 

You must play a minimum of 8 games to be eligible.

 

Your total games played will be divided by your total points earned.

 

Each team you play will fall into 1 of the four categories below

 

Visual-1.png

 

If your opponent only plays 9 games it will not penalize your team. Base it on the percentages. Example: 7-2 won 77% of their games- you would get Category two points

 

In addition to the previous basic points, bonus points are awarded on the following basis:

  • No points are deducted for playing a team in a lower classification

  • One bonus point for competing against a school one classification above

  • Two bonus points for competing against a school two classifications above

  • Three bonus points for competing against a school three classifications above

EXAMPLE OF POINT SYSTEM BEING USED

 

Visual-2-1.png

 

POINT SYSTEM – Qualifying Criteria

  1. In order to be considered as a “Playoff” qualifier, a school must play a minimum of eight regular-season games. (An exception may be made by the FHSAA for schools that are not provided a full schedule of games.)

  2. Only the results of regularly scheduled games scheduled prior to the start of the regular season will be used in calculating the point total. All schedules will be final on the Monday of the first regular season play date.

  3. If a school plays an opponent more than once during the season, only the first game shall count in calculating the point totals.

  4. Out-of-state varsity teams will be converted to the Florida classification based on the same year enrollment figures obtained from that State’s Activities Association.

  5. Only regular season games of out-of-state teams will be used to calculate the point average.

  6. Only regular season records will be counted from out of state opponents.

  7. The score of a game goes not affect the number of points a team receives.

    1. A score of 7-6 will result in the same number of points as a score of 50-0

Cancellations/Postponements/Forfeits:

  • A contest that is forfeited because of extenuating circumstances between schools shall count as a loss for the team forfeiting, and such forfeiting team shall receive wild card points for such forfeited loss.

  • Schools that are required to forfeit a game or games by the FHSAA the game or games shall count such contests as one of the permissible contests under the 10 contest limitations for football. The school shall receive forfeit losses for those scheduled contests and shall be awarded wild card points for those forfeit losses

  • When a school’s varsity team is unable to complete the season, those remaining teams on that school’s regular season schedule shall receive forfeit wins for those scheduled contests and shall be awarded points for those forfeit wins. Points will be determined by the forfeiting team's percentage of wins at the time of seeding for postseason competition.

  • If two schools cannot agree on the postponement and rescheduling of a regular season football game the schools should contact FHSAA office for mediation. First priority shall be given to player safety. The host team has the sole responsibility of determining if the field is fit for play. The game may be postponed or forfeited. If a forfeit is not awarded, the game must be completed by Tuesday of the school’s last permitted regular season game. If the game is not forfeited and is not played by the stipulated date, each team will be credited with a loss. If all parties cannot agree FHSAA reserves the right to consider it a “no contest” and no points will be awarded to either team and the game will be stricken from the schedule. That ruling will be made by FHSAA.

  • If a school takes its team off the playing field prior to the completion of a contest, or prior to the suspension/termination of a game by the game officials, and the contest results in a forfeit because of the refusal of the school's team to continue play, the school shall be subject to a penalty set by the FHSAA Board of Directors. The penalty may be exclusion from participation in the district or state series of competition.

 

POINT SYSTEM TIEBREAKER

1. If only two teams have identical point averages and are tied for one of the qualifying spots and/or higher seed and the teams have played each other, the team that won the contest between the two teams in question will qualify for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

 

2. If the two teams have not played each other or if more than two teams are tied, Step 3 will be used to determine which team qualifies for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

 

3. If two or more teams have identical point averages and are tied for one or both of the remaining qualifying spots and/or higher seed, the team or teams with the greatest number of wins over first Category one teams will be selected and/or given the higher seed. If only two teams remain after this step and the two teams tied have played each other, Step 1 will be used to determine the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

 

4. If a tie still exists, the team or teams with the greatest number of wins over first and second Category teams will be selected and/or given the higher seed. If only two teams remain after this step and the two teams have played each other, Step 1 will be used to determine the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

 

5. If two or more teams have identical point averages and are tired for one or both of the remaining qualifying spots and/or higher seed, the team or teams playing the greatest number of first Category teams will be selected and/or given the higher seed. If only two teams remain after this step and the two teams tied have played each other, Step 1 will be used to determine the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

 

6.If the tie still exists, the team’s opponents’ wins and losses will be totaled and the winning percentages calculated. The team whose opponents have the highest percentage based on this calculation will be selected as the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

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Seriously, way too complicated. Not even worth the time and energy that this requires. 

Fans need something that they can understand when they look in the paper or online. This will confuse the hell out of everyone. You  won't even know how you are doing until week 11.

I guess they realized their first idea was dumb (Creekside becoming a playoff team) in the simulation.

Again, maybe I don't see how the system is broken to begin with. 7 of the 8 teams that made the playoffs under the current system, still made the playoffs under this "better version" 

 

As for seeding, I don't see why we need. Is it unfortunate that a match-up like Dwyer and STA happens in the 2nd round? Yes. If we seeded, it would happen in the 3rd round. Not much better. 

My biggest problem is that shit happens. Teams that you schedule thinking they are tough, end up losing the star QB or star RB or the head coach quits/gets fired and they are rebuilding. As a coach, you can't control how good your opponent is. God forbid your 4A opponent plays a really tough schedule against local 8A schools and goes 5-5. Oh well, yeah that team is good enough to win regionals, but their record shows them as mediocre. If you don't think stat boys of the world will know how to game the system with in a year, you are crazy.

Again, tell me why the current system is worse than this? What does this actually improve for the fan or school or community?
Does it keep the 1-9 teams out sure, but at what cost? A system that is so incomprehensible that fans will not be able to follow along.
A simpler way to keep bad teams out is to SHRINK the CLASSES. Somehow, Mr. Beasley hasn't suggested.  
 

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I think it's way to complicated for most of us to under stand. Question if you go undefeated in your district but one of the other teams that you beat finishes with more points are they considered district champions and get a better seeding based off of points?   

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Can't get caught on one specific incident. Switch the situations for a second, if Columbia had lost against Lincoln but still won the other games. They head into the playoffs as an 8-2 team vs a 5-5 Lincoln team. Your logic says that Lincoln gets to host, because they won the game. It also is rare that teams play other teams from the district that they could play in the playoffs for this exact reason.

Look the current system basically says that if you are a district champion that you get to host a game (a good thing)

It says if you are the runner-up you have a more challenging schedule because you are runner-up (a good thing as it rewards a district championship).

 

At the same point and time, while it didn't work in this simulation, this potentially makes a first round and 2nd round game that requires travel from Tallahassee to Orlando, where our current schedule would only require that travel once and only if teams from District 1 and 4 advance to the regional finals. People are willing to make longer trips the higher the stakes of the game. 

 

Again the current system isn't perfect because there are too many classifications, teams are spread too far out. The simple solution comes back to reduce classifications to 6 total. Almost every problem that you guys have with the current system is traced back to having too many classes. You want to prevent a 1-9 team from making the playoffs, make their district bigger, sure a 4-6 still could get in, but it is less likely.
 

If you want to use power points, use power points as a way of making more competitive classifications. A promotion/relegation system that doesn't rely on attendance only but how successful your program is as well.

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At first glance I was like most people this system is way to complicated but as I read it and talked to Mr Beasley I began to understand it a lot more. It's starting to grow on me.

 

It's quite simple you win your district you are guaranteed to make the playoffs, if you are a runner-up you are not guaranteed a spot but can still earn a wild card berth.

 

Think of it this way for once, EVERY game counts, the rivalry games can mean a little something more now.  

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Maybe a simpler solution would be just adding up your opponents records like they did in the previous wild card days.

 

I am all for seeding purposes. Lets truly try to get the top four teams in the Final Four and do our best to have the two best teams settle it out at the state finals.    

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I like the concept but hate the details.  

 

Gatorman - the problem with the current system is 3 team districts where a 1-9 team can get in the playoffs just by winning one game.  The second problem is district vs district playoff pairing and sometimes that leads to one side of the bracket being stacked.  

 

Cory - I agree, way too complicated.  The old system for one, districts were much larger, and the points was only used as a tie breaker when teams had the same number of wins. Points were awarded as 1 point for each win your opponents had, regardless of class.  For example, two teams had 7-3 records and only one playoff spot left, if the two had not played each other during the season, points was used to see who got the last spot.  Also it was # of wins, regardless of teams played.  If one team was 7-2 and the other was 7-3, then the 7-3 team would not count points from its the team on its schedule with the fewest wins. 

 

Game cancellations - Sometimes games just can't be made up.  We start the football season in August which is still part of the hurricane season.  Across the state early season games are often postponed or cancelled due to lightning and bad thunderstorms then can't get made up because we have district games coming up.

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I don't like the whole point thing system. Booker T. Washington is a prime example making the playoffs at 5-5. Yes, the Tornadoes finished 9-5 with a state tile but for those who play them in the regular season you're going to have points taken off if I'm reading this correctly which isn't fair.

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HWY17,

 

You are right the 3 team districts are horrible but I blame the FHSAA for that. They are a reflection of 8 classes.
89 Schools in 8A, divided by 16 districts averages 5.5 teams a district. Some districts are going to have 4, some will have 7 depending on geography.

86 Schools in 7A, divided by 16 districts averages 5.3 teams a district. Some districts are going to have 4, some will have 7 depending on geography (2 3 team districts)

79 Schools in 6A, divided by 16 districts averages 4.9 teams a district. No 3 team districts

82 Schools in 5A, divided by 16 districts averages 5.1 teams a district. 3 3-team districts.

 

The pattern continues. The simple way to fix it if they don't want to shrink classifications is shrink districts down to 12. 

89/12 means that you average 7 teams a district. This would create 2 wildcard teams per region. 

-Set simple rules for wildcards, must have a winning district record and winning overall record. This makes it easier. 

-Allow coaches of non-playoff teams in region to anonymously vote on who gets in. Why non-playoff teams? They have no bone in this fight, playoff teams shouldn't choose who they get to face.
-Seeding rotates
Year 1
A. Champ of District 1 faces Wildcard #2,
B. Champ of District 2 faces Wildcard #1
C. Champ of 3 faces Runner-up from District 1
D. Runner up from District 2 faces Runner-up District 3

2nd Round

Winner of A plays Winner D

Winner of B plays Winner C
 

Year 2

A. Champ of District 2 faces Wildcard #2, 
B. Champ of District 3 faces Wildcard #1
C. Champ of District 1 faces Runner-up from District 2
D. Runner up from District 3 faces Runner-up District 1

2nd Round

Winner of A plays Winner D

Winner of B plays Winner C

 

Year 3

A. Champ of District 3 faces Wildcard #2, 
B. Champ of District 1 faces Wildcard #1
C. Champ of District 2 faces Runner-up from District 3
D. Runner up from District 1 faces Runner-up District 2

2nd Round

Winner of A plays Winner D

Winner of B plays Winner C

This ensure that no team faces the runner-up from their own district until the finals.
It also ensures that each district has a chance of the easiest schedule once. 

Again the easiest answer is to shrink the classifications and then use a weighting system on past performance to move teams up or down. 

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Gatorman:  Basically that was what it was before in 1999-2000.  Twelve districts per class; three per region and two wildcard spots.  I suppose the only disagreement is if runner-ups should automatically qualify or not.  A lot of this would be solved by going to twelve districts; the complaint I can hear coming will be travel costs but I say you can't make everyone happy so get over it. :angry:

 

I've never had an issue with an outright district champ in the playoffs regardless of record.  Its runner-ups that get in with a losing record that bothers me, even when my own team got in the playoffs  with a 3-7 record.  District Runner-ups have been automatic qualifiers since 1992.  But back then we only had 5 classes and districts had 7-9 teams in them. 

 

I don't know that I would use a weighting system on past performance to move teams up or down.  I believe classification was created for a reason but given the current state of things with transfers and school choice (recruiting), the purpose of classification has been compromised.  In a previous post I recommended putting a limit on roster size per class to curb the number of transfers.  

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I think runner-ups should be converted to wildcard spots. Just because you are a runner-up does not mean you should get in. Earn it by winning and playing some teams that actually matter on non-district schedule.

 

Shrink the classifications...sure we could, but there is this thing called enrollment gaps and that has to be taken into consideration more with the lower schools. You are not going to ask a small school to play a school a double its size in the same classification at the lower level. That is highly ludicrous to think that.

 

However, all of this leads me as to why are male sports not be aligned using male enrollment numbers only and female sports using aligned using female enrollment numbers? Ohio does it like this.

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Joshua,

 

Enrollment #s mean very little when one large freshman class moves you up a whole class and then leaves when you actually have to start playing games with those students.

We already have differing populations playing each. It essentially happening with "school choice" and magnet program and private schools competing against public schools and the rest of the free agency of athletes. Even the most honest public schools probably have at least a couple of kids that are zoned for another school or possibly district. (Not counting 1A schools because most of the time there is no place to move from). 

 

Again I am not saying that anybody has to like 3 team or even 4 team districts, but to me the idea that I get into the playoffs based on something as a coach/player I can't control frustrates me. Also ask yourself about a school like Creekside, a school that went 0-10 last year. A team that basically would be a drain on anybody's schedule even if you win. Schools like Nease, Ponte Vedra, and Bartram Trail are not going to drop Creekside for any reason. It's a gate game, it's a low cost travel game, and the county athletic director is going to mandate it. So basically you punish those teams because a team around them is bad. Again, if I am coach, all I can control is my team. How well the teams on my schedule perform I have no control of.

 

Imagine Gainesville High School. They schedule First Coast (Jacksonville) as an out of district game. A regional finalist the year before, multiple playoff and Category 1 seasons. This should be a good game for Gainesville. Gainesville wins thinking that will be some big points for them as the year goes on. Instead First Coast spirals to a 2-7 season making your win almost worthless. This system hurts Gainesville for not being to predict how bad First Coast was going to be. I just don't think you will get buy in from coaches/players when you have to tell them that their success/seeding is going to depend on something that they have no control over.

 

----

As for boys/girls enrollment numbers, my two guesses is that it wouldn't make much of a difference as most schools have the ratio of male/female except for private all boy/girl schools and the FHSAA already doubles their enrollment. My second guess is that football is technically open to all genders (see Bolles and their kicker this year). While a boys soccer team would be closed to females, because there would be a girls soccer team.
If you want to fix student population numbers, do them by 4 year averages instead of 1 year numbers, it allows more stability and more honesty in a year by year basis.

 

__

I don't think you guys will get fantastic school vs fantastic school.
For example, Santa Fe High School, a regional finalist in 4A was 6-3. Not bad, not great. What motivation would SF have in playing Trenton? A team a mere 30 minutes from them. Under the proposed system if SF loses, they gain 36 points against a 9-0, not much advantage. Under the current system, why wouldn't SF play Trenton? If SF loses, it doesn't hurt their playoff chances. If they win, they get to say they beat a good team. For Trenton, they play a solid team from nearby, win or lose it doesn't hurt their playoff chances.
 

-----
Question: District 1 had a 3 way shootout for champ/runner-up and Lincoln won out. As shown by your point totals, Lincoln would be considered the best team of the group. But you realize of course, that Lincoln could easily have lost the shootout (which wouldn't be reflected in the point systems) and then not made the playoffs despite the system showing they were the best of the 3 teams. 

-----

Final note, whoever ran the simulation has some things wrong on it. Columbia lost to Escambia (point only show wins) and First Coast was 2-7 meaning the most they could receive was 41 points, this makes their average 45.3 and not 47.
 

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Maybe a simpler solution would be just adding up your opponents records like they did in the previous wild card days.

 

I am all for seeding purposes. Lets truly try to get the top four teams in the Final Four and do our best to have the two best teams settle it out at the state finals.    

Unfortunately, you can never get the Top 4 teams unless you are seeding the entire state and re-seeding after every round. In 7A this year, the state championship was decided once Dwyer lost to STA. No proposed or current system is going to fix that. I would suggest that though for the most part, the championships get more right than they get wrong.

 

Take a quick look through the playoff brackets:

In 1A, Trenton only somewhat struggled with Madison County. A game that was played in the state semi-finals. Not the finals, but unless you are moving teams across the brackets, then it can't be helped.

In 2A, University Christian dominated everyone except North Florida Christian, a team they met in the regional finals. Again unless you are moving teams across the brackets, then it can't be helped.

In 3A, we ended up with Trinity vs American Heritage, couldn't ask for better marquee names despite the eventual blowout.

In 4A, Raines vs BTW, couldn't ask for a better game.

In 5A, Bishop Moore vs Wakulla, a great game. Maybe a couple of teams could be better fitted.

In 6A, Armwood vs Central. Who else? Nobody came close to either team despite the end being a blowout

in 7A, Dwyer vs STA would be a great matchup, but again unless you are seeding the entire state no way to avoid this game. Maybe by one round, but the result would be the same. 

In 8A, Maybe Dr. Phillips puts up a better match-up but who else when you look at the final scores.

 

Overall, I think we got the best teams in the state championship or near it and the few times when the game came earlier (1A, 2A, 7A) nobody's proposal of seeding fixes it.

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