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RPI: Did the FHSAA get it right 2021 edition


Nulli Secundus
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RPI: Did the FHSAA get it right 2021 edition?  

13 members have voted

  1. 1. Playoffs 3rd round, did RPI get it right?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Maybe
    • Too early to tell
      0
    • Don't care, just play football!
    • Don't care, stupid poll LOL


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What an exciting time of the year!  The temperatures are starting to cool off and the playoffs are really heating up!  As we prepare for the 3rd round, I'd like to take a few moments to discuss my unsolicited opinions regarding RPI.  I will freely admit that I was not (still not) a fan of the formula used.  For me, I believe it was a drastic change from what I was accustomed to but change is inevitable right?  

With that being said, as I skimmed through the remaining teams and their seeding, I must say I'm impressed.  Of the 32 games in the 3rd round, all 32 games include at least one team 3 seed or higher representing 87.5% of all teams still in the title hunt.  That's really amazing to see that materialize.  One would expect all #1's to win but that's why they play the game, LOL.  On the flip side, the lone 8 seed still alive accounts for ~1.5%

1 seeds - 28 or ~44%
2 seeds - 16 or 25%
3 seeds - 12 or ~19%
4 seeds - 1 or ~1.5%
5 seeds - 2 or ~3%
6 seeds - 2 or ~3%
7 seeds - 2 or ~3%
8 seeds - 1 or ~1.5%

8A
1 Seminole
3 Apopka

1 Palm Beach Central
2 Treasure Coast

1 Venice
2 West Orange

5 Columbus
2 Palmetto

7A
1 Buchholz
7 Nease

4 Lake Gibson
3 Melbourne

1 Tampa Bay Tech
6 Wharton

1 St. Thomas Aquinas
2 Homestead

6A
1 Pine Forest
2 Mosley

1 Vanguard
3 Jones

1 Jesuit
7 Hillsborough

8 Plantation
3 Northwestern

5A
1 Baker County
3 Wakulla

1 Merritt Island
6 Satellite

1 Clearwater
3 Sebring

1 Killian
3 Central

4A
1 South Walton
2 Bolles

1 Cocoa
2 The Villages Charter

1 Lakewood
3 Clewiston

1 Gulliver Prep
2 Cardinal Gibbons

3A
1 Trinity Catholic
3 Florida State University H

1 Lakeland Christian
2 Benjamin

1 Berkeley Prep
2 Clearwater Central Catholic

1 Chaminade-Madonna
3 Cardinal Newman

2A
1 Trinity Christian Academy
2 Munroe

1 Orlando Christian Prep
2 Zephyrhills Christian Ac

1 First Baptist Academy
2 Northside Christian

5 John Carroll Catholic
2 Champagnat Catholic

1A
1 Baker
2 Chipley

1 Blountstown
3 Madison County

1 Chiefland
3 Union County

1 Hawthorne
2 Pahokee

Forgive me as I'm watching college football, Cowboy Bebop on Netflix and typing so my focus is all over the place.  I guess what I'm really trying to say is no system is perfect.  However, for all the imperfections that people have outlined regarding RPI, do you believe the FHSAA got it right this year?  

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2 hours ago, Nulli Secundus said:

  However, for all the imperfections that people have outlined regarding RPI, do you believe the FHSAA got it right this year?  

Nulli, I appreciate all the work that went into this.  It's very instructive. 

But, it's impossible to answer your question without having something to compare it to.  What teams should have gotten in, but didn't?  Is the seeding accurate?  I guess if No. 1 seeds end up playing No. 2 seeds across the board you could say they got it right.  Time will tell.

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22 hours ago, DarterBlue2 said:

I believe that this year, the RPI is an improvement over the old system. Do I believe this would hold for say the next 10 years? The answer to this depends on father time's verdict. 

Father time allows for great retrospection, unfortunately not redo's.  Like you said, we have to wait on that verdict to decide but definitely a great point.

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1 hour ago, FishBowl said:

I say you bring your team and Ill bring mine. There are too many intangibles with the point system.

This is in fact the only unbiased way to settle things once and for all.  Let the chips fall where they may so-to-speak.  Intangibles are subjective and always leave room for error; Team A's schedule is stronger than team B's schedule, Team B's opponents are stronger than Team C's opponents.  The sky was blue, the night was cold, there was a monsoon.  Trust me, I get it.  The only thing that matters is the score when the 4th qtr clock strikes 0:00.    

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25 minutes ago, Perspective said:

Nulli, I appreciate all the work that went into this.  It's very instructive. 

But, it's impossible to answer your question without having something to compare it to.  What teams should have gotten in, but didn't?  Is the seeding accurate?  I guess if No. 1 seeds end up playing No. 2 seeds across the board you could say they got it right.  Time will tell.

Thanks Perspective.  Sometimes my mind wanders and I do stuff like this to focus just for fun.

I agree that it really is impossible to answer my question unless you have something to compare it to.  By comparison what, makes Team A worthy to occupy a playoff slot over the other teams?  The only fair way to do this is by results on the field.  I agree that there is no way to do this fairly as there's not enough time in the world for each team to play another which would IN FACT be the closest indicator of who is better. 

I also agree regarding the seeding aspect.  If teams are seeded according to strength of schedule, W/L etc, etc, it would be plausible to think that No. 1 seeds would end up playing No. 2 seeds across the board with the No. 1's coming out on top.  Any deviation from that assumption shows a potential flaw in the system which should be analyzed.  This is evidenced just by looking at the upcoming round 3 games.  The mere fact that entering the 3rd round where are 64 teams remaining, If seeding truly indicated the winner of the games then there should only be No. 1's playing at this point.  Looking as illustrated above, only 28 1's have made it this far.  What does that mean?  Probably nothing.  Then again, probably a lot.  It certainly opens to the door to re-examine the playoff selection process.  

That's why they play the game, LOL.  However, this does make for interesting conversation and speculation for years to come.

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I understand the need to find a way to distinguish between district champs as well as non-champs who vie for playoff births. But, I think it can open a can of worms as well, especially given the preference for district champions. We all know all districts aren't equal. Sometimes there's a huge difference in quality. If the RPI correctly reflects this, and you end up with a non-champ like Lakeland as the top rated team in a region, and they still have to play on the road every game, it raises questions. It discourages strong scheduling because you're just better off hoping to get in a weak district and win that. IMO, once the decision is made to go with the RPI, then teams should be seeded according to it on the grounds that we know all districts aren't equal. If you're always going to favor district champs regardless, then don't release RPI rankings. 

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12 hours ago, skyway said:

I understand the need to find a way to distinguish between district champs as well as non-champs who vie for playoff births. But, I think it can open a can of worms as well, especially given the preference for district champions. We all know all districts aren't equal. Sometimes there's a huge difference in quality. If the RPI correctly reflects this, and you end up with a non-champ like Lakeland as the top rated team in a region, and they still have to play on the road every game, it raises questions. It discourages strong scheduling because you're just better off hoping to get in a weak district and win that. IMO, once the decision is made to go with the RPI, then teams should be seeded according to it on the grounds that we know all districts aren't equal. If you're always going to favor district champs regardless, then don't release RPI rankings. 

The RPI was a joke. Enough said. 

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15 hours ago, skyway said:

I understand the need to find a way to distinguish between district champs as well as non-champs who vie for playoff births. But, I think it can open a can of worms as well, especially given the preference for district champions. We all know all districts aren't equal. Sometimes there's a huge difference in quality. If the RPI correctly reflects this, and you end up with a non-champ like Lakeland as the top rated team in a region, and they still have to play on the road every game, it raises questions. It discourages strong scheduling because you're just better off hoping to get in a weak district and win that. IMO, once the decision is made to go with the RPI, then teams should be seeded according to it on the grounds that we know all districts aren't equal. If you're always going to favor district champs regardless, then don't release RPI rankings. 

Thank you!  The problem with RPI is the formula makes the assumption that every team is equal and on a level playing field and that is a serious flaw.  RPI can't validate district strength or SOS and is nothing than statistical speculation or hypothesis at best. 

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20 hours ago, Nulli Secundus said:

Thanks Perspective.  Sometimes my mind wanders and I do stuff like this to focus just for fun.

I agree that it really is impossible to answer my question unless you have something to compare it to.  By comparison what, makes Team A worthy to occupy a playoff slot over the other teams?  The only fair way to do this is by results on the field.  I agree that there is no way to do this fairly as there's not enough time in the world for each team to play another which would IN FACT be the closest indicator of who is better. 

I also agree regarding the seeding aspect.  If teams are seeded according to strength of schedule, W/L etc, etc, it would be plausible to think that No. 1 seeds would end up playing No. 2 seeds across the board with the No. 1's coming out on top.  Any deviation from that assumption shows a potential flaw in the system which should be analyzed.  This is evidenced just by looking at the upcoming round 3 games.  The mere fact that entering the 3rd round where are 64 teams remaining, If seeding truly indicated the winner of the games then there should only be No. 1's playing at this point.  Looking as illustrated above, only 28 1's have made it this far.  What does that mean?  Probably nothing.  Then again, probably a lot.  It certainly opens to the door to re-examine the playoff selection process.  

That's why they play the game, LOL.  However, this does make for interesting conversation and speculation for years to come.

A wandering mind can be a good thing!

One last point:  even if there were a perfect way to determine RPI and seeding, the best teams don't always win.  There have been and always will be upsets.

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4 hours ago, SubZero said:

It's too bad that STA, Miami Central can't be in the same class. Whoever made up the attendance factor needs a pound of sand dropped on their head. The playoffs are still watered down, and many blowouts are still happening. 

I submitted a proposal to the FHSAA some years back regarding the same issue.  It wasn't directed at STA, Central or any other power house such as Madison, LMAO! However, it would have addressed the point you made regarding playoff competition.  Never received a response, LOL.

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15 minutes ago, Perspective said:

A wandering mind can be a good thing!

One last point:  even if there were a perfect way to determine RPI and seeding, the best teams don't always win.  There have been and always will be upsets.

That my friend is a extremely important point, but often overlooked.

 

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3 hours ago, 561_Fan said:

Pahokee and Madison County played the toughest schedules in 1A and they have no chance at the #1 seed (final 4)..Teams that played 1 or 0 opponents with winning records are almost guaranteed the #1 seed 

Yeah, that's bull.  Again, RPI assumes that all things are equal and in no way measures weak/strong teams.

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28 minutes ago, Perspective said:

A wandering mind can be a good thing!

One last point:  even if there were a perfect way to determine RPI and seeding, the best teams don't always win.  There have been and always will be upsets.

Always positive.  For me, a wandering mind usually means I have time to actually think so I take it in stride.  

Very good point indeed.  The best teams don't always win for various reasons.  However, who or what factors determines the best team is?

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On 11/20/2021 at 5:02 PM, Nulli Secundus said:

Thanks Perspective.  Sometimes my mind wanders and I do stuff like this to focus just for fun.

I agree that it really is impossible to answer my question unless you have something to compare it to.  By comparison what, makes Team A worthy to occupy a playoff slot over the other teams?  The only fair way to do this is by results on the field.  I agree that there is no way to do this fairly as there's not enough time in the world for each team to play another which would IN FACT be the closest indicator of who is better. 

I also agree regarding the seeding aspect.  If teams are seeded according to strength of schedule, W/L etc, etc, it would be plausible to think that No. 1 seeds would end up playing No. 2 seeds across the board with the No. 1's coming out on top.  Any deviation from that assumption shows a potential flaw in the system which should be analyzed.  This is evidenced just by looking at the upcoming round 3 games.  The mere fact that entering the 3rd round where are 64 teams remaining, If seeding truly indicated the winner of the games then there should only be No. 1's playing at this point.  Looking as illustrated above, only 28 1's have made it this far.  What does that mean?  Probably nothing.  Then again, probably a lot.  It certainly opens to the door to re-examine the playoff selection process.  

That's why they play the game, LOL.  However, this does make for interesting conversation and speculation for years to come.

The flaw isn't necessarily in they system if 1's don't play 1's for all the donuts. Team problems happen more frequently in big games. Players get hurt. Team matchup's. Ref's. Weather. Travel time. Lots of variables can cause the better team to lose or a bad team to squeak out a win. 

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I find it funny that all the people on here bash the RPI (or any scoring system), when 4-5 years ago, everybody raved about how great this would be football. No more blowouts, only good teams getting into the playoffs, better state championships. Every game would count rather than only some of the games in determining who made the playoffs. We would get better in-season games. I prefered the district/runner-up system because of the simplicity.

My main concern as I have suggested for long periods of time is that school population is too limited in determining classifications. Classifications should be based on previous levels of success (or lack there of). The complaints of unequal competitiveness in districts become lessened when every team has been on the same level. 

Move good teams up a classifications and bad teams down a classification. Re-classify every 2 years based on a 4 year rolling average for football (every other team sport should re-classify every year). Districts become more competitive, which allows less complaining. 

 

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57 minutes ago, gatorman-uf said:

I find it funny that all the people on here bash the RPI (or any scoring system), when 4-5 years ago, everybody raved about how great this would be football. No more blowouts, only good teams getting into the playoffs, better state championships. Every game would count rather than only some of the games in determining who made the playoffs. We would get better in-season games. I prefered the district/runner-up system because of the simplicity.

My main concern as I have suggested for long periods of time is that school population is too limited in determining classifications. Classifications should be based on previous levels of success (or lack there of). The complaints of unequal competitiveness in districts become lessened when every team has been on the same level. 

Move good teams up a classifications and bad teams down a classification. Re-classify every 2 years based on a 4 year rolling average for football (every other team sport should re-classify every year). Districts become more competitive, which allows less complaining. 

 

Solid idea!  Good Luck with the FHSAA, LOL.  By the way, people would complain if money grew on trees.

If implemented in 2022, what would be your threshold to distinguish between good teams and bad teams over a 4 year rolling average (win/loss ratio, playoff performance, etc)?   

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If I was forced to do it for the 2022, I would start with our current classifications. Change has to be slow.

1) I would then either contact Laz and ask him if the FHSAA could use his Power Rankings for the previous 4 years.

or
2) I would use the RPI from 2019 and 2021 and average them together. (Not the best solution due to 2020 not using RPI)

In either case, I am taking the top 10 teams from 2A and moving them up to 3A, top 10 from 3A to 4A, etc.
I am also taking the worse 10 teams and moving them down.

For 1A, I am taking the top 2 teams and moving them into 3A, the worse 2 "Rural" schools that in 1A would move down as well.

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