Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Postseason picture starting to clear
By Bruce Monnin
Now that 60 percent of the high school football regular season is completed, we are getting the first instances of teams being locked into the playoffs and teams that have been eliminated from postseason consideration.
The calculations get quite complicated with four games remaining for most teams, so it is time to turn to another computer geek for some help.
Drew Pasteur is a math professor at the College of Wooster and has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from N.C. State University. And yet, for some reason he puts it all to use predicting high school football games and Harbin computer points (see his website at www.fantastic50.net
His program predicts about five out of every six games correctly and comes in handy when trying to figure out all of the different combinations of wins and losses and how they would affect every team's computer points.
According to this website, Kenton is the only team from the Western Buckeye League or Midwest Athletic Conference to be guaranteed a postseason berth. Wapakoneta, Elida, Coldwater, Delphos St. John's and Marion Local all appear to need just one more win to join the Wildcats in the postseason.
On a less positive note, some area schools no longer have a chance to make the playoffs. In the WBL this includes Celina, which is a shame because various computers have the Bulldogs ranked in the middle of the pack of the power ratings for their region. However, the Harbin computer-point system does not reward a team for close losses, so the Bulldogs will have no postseason this year.
Also out of contention in the WBL is Van Wert (0-6) while the MAC's New Bremen (0-6) has been eliminated.
Here is a listing of how all the area MAC and WBL teams (and some of their competitors) stand in the computer rankings after the sixth week. The entire list of the computer points for the four regions involving most area teams can be found at: www.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/football.htm
Team - Ranking (Computer Points)
Wapakoneta - 3rd (13.37)
Cin. Northwest - 8th (8.15)
Celina- 25th (0.75)
Wapakoneta (6-0) moves up one more spot in the rankings with its win over Ottawa-Glandorf (4-2). It is hard to imagine that the Redskins' playoff spot is not already secure, but a win this week against St. Marys (3-3) ought to ensure Wapakoneta goes to the postseason for the first time since 2006.
Elida - 3rd (8.77)
Port Clinton - 8th (6.93)
Defiance - 11th (5.63)
St. Marys - 14th (4.88)
Lima Shawnee - 19th (3.38)
Despite losing last week, Elida (4-2) remains near the top of this region, mostly thanks to its non-conference win during the first week of the season against Detroit Ford, a Division I team from Michigan that has won its five subsequent games. Defiance (3-3) moves ahead of St. Marys after its overtime victory over the Roughriders.
Elida faces 4-2 teams the next two weeks in Ottawa-Glandorf and Lima Bath. The Bulldogs will likely need to win one of these to host a playoff game, but could reach the postseason with only six wins in this weak region. St. Marys needs a win over undefeated Wapakoneta to get back in playoff contention.
Kenton - 1st (13.02)
Ottawa-Glandorf - 8th (6.98)
Lima Bath - 11th (5.43)
Van Wert - 28th (0.00)
Kenton (6-0) secured another big win over Elida to hold the top place in the region while earning a playoff invitation. The Wildcats should be highly favored in the rest of their games until a week 10 matchup against Wapakoneta. Ottawa-Glandorf lost for a second week in a row, but held onto its eighth spot in the rankings. The numbers seem to indicate that the Titans need to win their last four games to ensure a spot in the postseason, but just three should be good enough. Bath edged closer to playoff contention with a win this past week, but may need to defeat Kenton next week to have legitimate playoff hopes.
Coldwater - 4th (8.75)
Miami East - 8th (6.27)
Versailles - 9th (6.25)
Parkway - 12th (3.82)
Anna - 16th (3.58)
Coldwater (5-1) remains fourth in the standings as its win over Parkway (2-4) was worth only a modest amount of computer points. If the Cavaliers win their last four games they should get to play their first-round playoff game in Coldwater. A loss to either Delphos St. John's (4-2) this week or Marion Local (5-1) later in the season should send the Cavaliers on the road. It appears at the moment that Coldwater could still reach the postseason with just one more win.
Versailles (4-2) only dropped one position after its loss to St. John's and is just barely out of the top eight. The Tigers probably need to win their last four games to secure one of the two final playoff spots in this region where four spots have already been secured by non-area teams.
Anna (3-3) needs to win out to have any playoff hopes, which makes their Week 9 game against Versailles very interesting. Parkway (2-4) also needs four wins to have any chance at the postseason, so it is do or die against Marion Local this week.
Delphos St. John's - 2nd (7.20)
Edon - 8th (4.45)
Delphos St. John's is starting to look like the juggernaut it was expected to be in this region. Three more wins should get the Blue Jays a home playoff game but a large test in Coldwater awaits this week.
Marion Local - 2nd (7.02)
Minster - 5th (6.28)
Tri-County North - 8th (5.52)
Fort Recovery - 13th (3.20)
St. Henry - 18th (1.37)
New Bremen - 25th (0.00)
Marion Local (5-1) moves up to second place this week and probably needs just two more wins (one might even do it) to return to the playoffs. Three wins in the final four games should earn Marion Local a home playoff game.
Minster (4-2) makes a big jump to the fifth position thanks to its win over Fort Recovery (3-3). The Wildcats are also likely to need just two more wins to reach the playoffs (three wins to be 100 percent certain) and also have a chance to host a playoff game if they win three of their final four contests.
Fort Recovery needs to win at least three of its last four while St. Henry needs to win its final four games to have any playoff hopes.