How will GHSA set up Class A public, private playoff draws? Here’s how I’d do it

Now that the GHSA has agreed to hold separate state championships for Class A public and private schools, the next step is determining how set up the state playoff brackets for each division.

This week, most Class A private schools met at Eagle’s Landing Christian and came up with a proposal that would seed the 16 playoff qualifiers in football based on a points system. (Let’s stick to football now, as other sports will make this very complicated. In some sports, such as soccer, few Class A public schools field a team.)

Remember that public and private schools will continue to play each other and compete in the same regions — in the regular season. It’s in the playoffs that they’ll separate.

The private schools’ plan for the football playoffs is pretty simple. Teams get 10 points for each victory, and additional points for every victory won by teams that they have beaten. For example, Holy Innocents’ went 8-2. That’s 80 points (8 wins x 10). Those eight opponents won 39 games among them. H.I. gets another 39 points for a total of 119. That’s the fifth-highest total in Class A among private schools.

Below is a look at how the seeds would’ve looked for both private and public schools had this plan been used during the 2011 football season.

Further down, I’ve got a proposed tweak to this plan that would give more significance to the region standings and strength of schedule. I believe those are major flaws in the private schools’ proposal.

First, the plan that was discussed this week at ELCA would’ve yielded this in 2011 –

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

1. Prince Avenue Christian (142 points) – 10 wins, 42 opponent wins
2. Savannah Christian (140 points) – 10 wins, 40 opponent wins
3. Eagle’s Landing Christian (137 points) – 9 wins, 47 opponent wins
4. Calvary Day (130 points) – 9 wins, 40 opponent wins
5. Holy Innocents’ (119 points) – 8 wins, 39 opponent wins
6. Darlington (116 points) – 8 wins, 36 opponent wins
7. First Presbyterian (114 points) – 8 wins, 34 opponent wins
8. Brookstone (113 points) – 8 wins, 33 opponent wins
9. Landmark Christian (110 points) – 8 wins, 30 opponent wins
10. George Walton Academy (103 points) – 8 wins, 23 opponent wins
11. Wesleyan (101 points) – 7 wins, 31 opponent wins
12. Aquinas (96 points) – 7 wins, 26 opponent wins
13. Mount Paran Christian (93 points) – 7 wins, 23 opponent wins
14. Athens Academy (92 points) – 7 wins, 22 opponent wins
15. Our Lady of Mercy (77 points) – 6 wins, 17 opponent wins
16. Pace Academy (71 points) – 5 wins, 21 opponent wins

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

1T. Lincoln County (147 points) – 10 wins, 47 opponent wins
1T. Wilcox County (147 points) – 10 wins, 47 opponent wins
3. Marion County (145 points) – 10 wins, 45 opponent wins
4. Seminole County (126 points) – 9 wins, 36 opponent wins
5. Emanuel County Institute (125 points) – 9 wins, 35 opponent wins
6. Charlton County (120 points) – 9 wins, 30 opponent wins
7. Bowdon (112 points) – 8 wins, 32 opponent wins
8. Wilkinson County (111 points) – 8 wins, 31 opponent wins
9. Clinch County (97 points) – 7 wins, 27 opponent wins
10. Greenville (95 points) – 7 wins, 25 opponent wins
11. Warren County (95 points) – 7 wins, 25 opponent wins
12. Bremen (94 points) – 7 wins, 24 opponent wins
13. Johnson County (94 points) – 7 wins, 24 opponent wins
14. Dooly County (93 points) – 7 wins, 23 opponent wins
15. Mitchell County (92 points) – 7 wins, 22 opponent wins
16. Bacon County (91 points) – 7 wins, 21 opponent wins

Here’s the problem. Teams that win region championships don’t get any reward for that achievement. Darlington, for example, won Region 6-A, yet would be seeded behind Calvary Day, a school that finished third in its region. Granted, Calvary Day had a better overall record – 9-1 to 8-2. But a team’s finish in its region – and especially region championships – must be given more weight, or else the region schedule and standings become almost meaningless.

Also note that Aquinas, which finished second in Region 8, is seeded only 12th. On the public side, Warren County – which failed to make the playoffs in 2011 – would be seeded higher than Bremen and Mitchell County, teams that were region runners-up. Miller County, a third-place team, wouldn’t make the playoffs at all under the above plan. The region standings and the pursuit of that championship are part of what makes high school sports so exciting. Don’t ruin tradition.

One other thing, and this is pretty significant, too. Those bonus points for wins by your beaten opponents are supposed to reward teams playing tougher schedules, but as you’ll notice above, you’re better off playing a weak schedule. Go 8-2 and you’re higher than a 7-3 team every time. It’s better to schedule the worst teams you can find.

To solve some of those issues, check out this plan that seeds teams initially on their finish in their region. After that, the points simply break ties.

This is what the playoffs should look like. Darlington would be guaranteed a home game until the semifinals, which it earned by winning its region. Aquinas gets its first-round playoff game at home, which it earned. Miller County would make the playoffs and not be penalized for playing three tough non-region opponents. All is good.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

1. Prince Avenue Christian (142 points) – 10 wins, 42 opponent wins (region champ)
2. Savannah Christian (140 points) – 10 wins, 40 opponent wins (region champ)
3. Eagle’s Landing Christian (137 points) – 9 wins, 47 opponent wins (region champ)
4. Darlington (116 points) – 8 wins, 36 opponent wins (region champ)
5. Holy Innocents’ (119 points) – 8 wins, 39 opponent wins (runner-up)
6. Brookstone (113 points) – 8 wins, 33 opponent wins (runner-up)
7. George Walton Academy (103 points) – 8 wins, 23 opponent wins (runner-up)
8. Aquinas (96 points) – 7 wins, 26 opponent wins (runner-up)
9. Calvary Day (130 points) – 9 wins, 40 opponent wins (third-place)
10. First Presbyterian (114 points) – 8 wins, 34 opponent wins (third-place)
11. Athens Academy (92 points) – 7 wins, 22 opponent wins (third-place)
12. Landmark Christian (110 points) – 8 wins, 30 opponent wins (fourth-place)
13. Mount Paran Christian (93 points) – 7 wins, 23 opponent wins (fourth-place)
14. Wesleyan (101 points) – 7 wins, 31 opponent wins (fifth-place)*
15. Our Lady of Mercy (77 points) – 6 wins, 17 opponent wins (sixth-place)*
16. Pace Academy (71 points) – 5 wins, 21 opponent wins (seventh-place)*

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

1T. Lincoln County (147 points) – 10 wins, 47 opponent wins (region champ)
1T. Wilcox County (147 points) – 10 wins, 47 opponent wins (region champ)
3. Marion County (145 points) – 10 wins, 45 opponent wins (region champ)
4. Seminole County (126 points) – 9 wins, 36 opponent wins(region champ)
5. Emanuel County Institute (125 points) – 9 wins, 35 opponent wins (runner-up)
6. Charlton County (120 points) – 9 wins, 30 opponent wins (runner-up)
7. Bremen (94 points) – 7 wins, 24 opponent wins (runner-up)
8. Mitchell County (92 points) – 7 wins, 22 opponent wins (runner-up)
9. Bowdon (112 points) – 8 wins, 32 opponent wins (third-place)
10. Wilkinson County (111 points) – 8 wins, 31 opponent wins (third-place)
11. Clinch County (97 points) – 7 wins, 27 opponent wins (third-place)
12. Greenville (95 points) – 7 wins, 25 opponent wins (third-place)
13. Miller County (54 points) – 4 wins, 54 opponent wins (third-place)
14. Johnson County (94 points) – 7 wins, 24 opponent wins (fourth-place)
15. Dooly County (93 points) – 7 wins, 23 opponent wins (fourth-place)
16. Bacon County (91 points) – 7 wins, 21 opponent wins (fourth-place)

*Teams that do not finish in the top four are seeded solely based on the points. Otherwise, smaller regions would have a big advantage.

60 comments Add your comment

athens

January 19th, 2012
2:01 pm

What still makes no since at all to me is why ghsa is not seperating the regions into private and public also?? So basically in order to get into the private school state playoffs…you have to beat public schools to get there. Its worse in basketball, where you have a region tournament before the state playoffs. Potentially a private school would have to beat a public school in their region championship in order to advance to the “private school state playoffs”. Stupid

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
2:12 pm

80 + 39 + 119

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
2:13 pm

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
2:24 pm

So would it be mandatory the privates and publics play each other during the regular season? I mean would you still be in a region with both publics and privates? Region 2 has no privates yet region 5 N&S is loaded with them.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
2:27 pm

So I’m Bryan County in region 3 now I’m thinking “Okay I finished 6-4 in 2011, if I drop SCPS and Calvary day and pick up to easier teams I can possibly to 8-2.”

Todd Holcomb

January 19th, 2012
2:34 pm

Thanks for the match correction. My original examnple was Savannah Christian (139), but changed to H.I.

Todd Holcomb

January 19th, 2012
2:43 pm

”What still makes no since at all to me is why ghsa is not seperating the regions into private and public also??”

That might happen eventually. But there are those that believe it’s good that they compete against each other in general, but that there simply should be separate c’ships.

There also are practical reasons. If you don’t put them together in the same regions, some schools become isolated geographically. If you’re Darlington in Rome, your closest region rival in a private school division would be North Cobb Christian or thereabouts. Commerce would be playing Lincoln County and Washington-Wilkes. It would create major transportation issues.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
2:46 pm

You lost me on how Miller would jump into the playoffs with 54 points and Warren Co with 95 points drops out of the playoffs??? Are you assuming the Miller picks up 3 easier opponents for and extra 30 points? This still puts them only at 84 and behind Warren Co. Miller finished 3rd in region #1 last year. I love trying to figure out the senerios though. Something to think about.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

The majority of the publics are from Middle Georgia down though and those were the schools that has the biggest complaints.

Todd Holcomb

January 19th, 2012
2:48 pm

”You lost me on how Miller would jump into the playoffs with 54 points and Warren Co with 95 points drops out of the playoffs??? Are you assuming the Miller picks up 3 easier opponents for and extra 30 points?”

There are two scenarios. The private schools’ proposal seeds the teams strictly based on the points. My proposal is to seed first based on finish in the region, and let the points break ties among teams with the same seeds. That kicks Warren out and puts Miller at #13. The first proposal has Warren at #11.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
2:56 pm

This may come to me in a minute and then I’ll think “I could have had a V8, but somehow I’m missing the boat.” Miller finished 4-7 (4-3) 3rd place in region #1. Warren finish 7-3 (4-3) 4th place in region #7. Since neither finished 1 or 2 I’m still trying to figure out how Miller gets in and Warren doesn’t.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
3:00 pm

I just saw where you had Miller with 4 wins plus 54 opponents points which should = 94 but you still had them seeded #13 with 54 points. Okay makes a little more sense.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

But Warren still has 95 points wouldn’t that bump Bacon Co out since they have only 91 points and are currently the lowest seed. So for being so technical but I did this for many years and I’m a numbers guy along with being a sports fan.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

Sorry for being so technical.

Todd Holcomb

January 19th, 2012
3:16 pm

Warren County finished fifth in its region.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
3:20 pm

Ok, Georgia Prep Sports had GMC record as 1-0 in region 7. I didn’t know if they were eligible for the playoffs. It makes sense now. thanks.

Todd Holcomb

January 19th, 2012
3:30 pm

GMC did not play a region schedule and thus wouldn’t be eligible. The 1-0 record is incorrect. Should be 0-0.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
4:01 pm

Okay, I hate the fact that everything has to make sense to me when I look at records and numbers. Warren Co finished 4-3 their region and Washington-Wilkes finished 3-3 yet W-W went to the playoffs and not Warren. ??? If so Washington-Wilkes other opponents won a total of 63 games(regular season) + 50 points for 5 victories for a total of 113 points. So Bacon would get bumped?
It can be a little complicated but I think I like your proposal. Especially when realize the teams that Washington-Wilkes played won 63 games and the ones Bacon played only won 21.

Good Job. Maybe GSHA should put you in charge of the Class A brackets.

athens

January 19th, 2012
4:45 pm

“That might happen eventually. But there are those that believe it’s good that they compete against each other in general, but that there simply should be separate c’ships.”……..

I agree with you that they should compete against each other, but thats what the “non-region” part of the schedule is for. Old rivalries can remain and still be played. But its just ignorant for the ghsa to leave the regions mixed with public and private. In basketball its also a 16 team playoff. Assuming it will be the top 2 from each region since there are 8 regions….what happens if the top two teams are both public schools? Does that region just not get represented at all in the state playoffs?

Todd Holcomb

January 19th, 2012
5:05 pm

”Assuming it will be the top 2 from each region since there are 8 regions….what happens if the top two teams are both public schools?”

No reason to assume that the top two teams from each region will qualify. The plan above, which is proposed by the private schools, doesn’t attempt to do that. It wants the best 16 regardless of region. Yes, some regions won’t be represented. Some regions don’t have public or private schools.

Todd Holcomb

January 19th, 2012
5:06 pm

”Warren Co finished 4-3 their region and Washington-Wilkes finished 3-3 yet W-W went to the playoffs and not Warren. ??? ”

Warren County didn’t finish 4-3 in the region. That’s an error on the site you’re looking at. Warren was 3-3.

GHSA Stripes

January 19th, 2012
5:27 pm

Miller County (54 points) – 4 wins, 54 opponent wins (third-place)

With 4 opponents winning 54 games that means that the teams that they beat would have averaged 13.5 wins….in a 10 game season?

Old Water Boy

January 19th, 2012
8:09 pm

What would be the point then of even having regions…if the seeding/ qualifying of teams pays no attention to region champs/ schedule etc …just the ‘16 best regardless of region’? Still sounds like there is lots to do before a final plan is put in place .

c691027

January 19th, 2012
8:49 pm

What about 5 bonus points for being #1 in the state or homefield guaranteed throughout the playoffs as long as you win?

Bearcat

January 19th, 2012
9:11 pm

if the private schools in GHSA would realize that they are being treated as second class citizens, they would leave and play in GISA. If all private schools did that, there would be plenty of competition in both regular season and playoffs.

Favrejet

January 19th, 2012
9:11 pm

I like this plan. It is doable. I like the part to reward final place for teams in a region but maybe only the champs and runners up.

Steve

January 20th, 2012
7:25 am

That’s not the best system. Washington – Wilkes is left out in that system and finished 4th in the region. They had the toughest schedule of any class A team in the state. Under that system they are out. More points need to be rewarded for tougher schedules. Also, region champs need to be automatic qualifiers.

BehindEnemyLines

January 20th, 2012
9:44 am

Hopefully the majority of privates will realize what Bearcat pointed out & shake off the dust of the cowardly GHSA. I’d say “all” instead of “most” but I acknowledge the dilemma facing those that are geographically isolated.

allen

January 20th, 2012
9:48 am

so what if a A school wants to play a AA or AAA school for travel purposes and gate. this is counter-productive to making the play-offs

wilcox

January 20th, 2012
10:33 am

the simple solution is put all the private schools on one side of the bracket and public schools on the other side of the bracket then let the two winners meet for the state title .the iisue never was about the championship game ,it was about public schools being put in a bracket with all private schools.you do it this way you have a public and a private school in the dome everbody wins this way you dont have public are private domanating a certain bracket.and has any body thought about asking our kids how they feel about this,their the ones out there on friday nites making this happen they should have some input.

athens

January 20th, 2012
10:34 am

So what incentive would teams have to play a difficult schedule? If you just play the teams that you have to play in your own region and then a few cupcakes you have a better chance of making the playoffs… sounds a lot like the beloved BCS. And if thats the case….we can say goodbye to holiday basketball tournaments which have teams from all over and from different classes competing against each other. No smart coach would risk losing any more games than they have to.

athens

January 20th, 2012
10:41 am

“No reason to assume that the top two teams from each region will qualify. It wants the best 16 regardless of region. Yes, some regions won’t be represented. Some regions don’t have public or private schools”

I bet Boise State wishes they played in the GHSA….as long as you go undefeated, it doesnt matter who you played and you dont even have to win your own conference…aka…region

Geoffrey

January 20th, 2012
1:51 pm

At first read I lean toward your proposal, Todd. If Public-A wins their state champ bracket then Private-B wins their state bracket and Private-B played Public-A and beat ‘em in regular season who is really the state champ or vice versa? How will that headline be addressed? a bit messy

observer

January 20th, 2012
2:09 pm

Once again, insanity is defined as GHSA Single A football! I am sure there would be some true sabre rattling over the chess club and debate teams in private vs. public. Unbelieveable!

GHSA Stripes

January 20th, 2012
4:07 pm

Geoffrey
Then they are both state champions of their classification. Teams can play out of their classification and then both win state championships under the previous method.

Geoffrey

January 20th, 2012
4:44 pm

I understand. But, this feels different than an A against an AA, etc. This feels more like sub classifications within a single classification (A) which I see as a potential point of contention because it leaves a question of really who was the best Class A team despite the Pu-Pr split. Not trying to fan another spark into a flame. I realize there is no going back and the ball is rolling.

Jefferson

January 20th, 2012
6:26 pm

Let’s just leave AA out of this cat fight . Go Jackets.

ldw

January 21st, 2012
10:50 am

How do the public scholl coaches teach their kids about character when they are afraid to compete? They weren’t crying when they were winning all the tie!

LanFan

January 21st, 2012
12:39 pm

It will be a mess. Adding in the Region thing at this point is crazy. For some school this help and hurts just because they are put in a region with some or no public or private schools but it is going to effect their placedment. Not much fair about worring with it in this mess. Leave it with the point system until you redo the regions in a couple of years and have time to come up with real answers. Lets the publics save money on gas and doesn’t leaned itself to trying to disciss the mess that has been created. Still puts Lincoln and Wilcox at the top where they wanted to be. Isn’t that the real point. Still wondering what we did about One Act plays.

privatedad

January 22nd, 2012
11:24 am

its all bad. if you vote late to split public and private then you should re-zone the regions to include public and private. then the top two of each in each region go to the playoffs. not the schools fault that GHSA backed down so late in the game. now they need to find a pair and get back in the office and fix the new problem. And do private school wins over region public schools hurt that schools chance at the playoffs?

bucket

January 23rd, 2012
11:04 am

This is total insanity. The multiplier would have been so much simpler, but I guess the traditional public powers couldn’t take that chance just in case all of their assumptions about the private schools weren’t true.

showboat

January 23rd, 2012
5:51 pm

I think this is an interesting concept – but there is something missing. Take SCPS last year, who beat Effingham County – a AAAA school. Now, one would think beating a AAAA school would be impressive, but your calculation only gives credence on wins and losses. It should also have some consideration for the classification of the team they are playing. Beating Buford should have far more meaning than just beating Bryan County (who at one point was undefeated). A multiplier here would make more sense and give a Class A school more reason to try to test themselves against better competition instead of trying to load up on mid-level Class A schools to increase their “points”.

bucket

January 23rd, 2012
8:32 pm

The GHSA should be ashamed of what is about to happen to Class A athletics. They should have applied a multiplier to the larger private schools and moved them to AA rather than screwing up an entire classification. By doing this after the reclassification and region alignments were complete ( and now refusing to revisit that question in Class A), they are about to set up a playoff format that is unfair to the public schools who will be in a region with tough private schools and the privates who will be playing against the better public schools.

Rockmart Needs a Coach

January 24th, 2012
12:28 pm

Privates, take a hint from the public schools, threaten to form your own league or maybe that’s what the GSHA wants. It is what it is.

Lan Fan

January 26th, 2012
5:39 pm

I think GSHA just wants everyone to shut up and play ball.

showboat

January 26th, 2012
7:57 pm

Lan Fan, the problem with that is they made a rash decision and didn’t plan out how they were going to implement it. If they had, your point might be correct. But having more questions than answers about the playoffs and how this all will work out – particularly with championships, the +1, and how will teams make the playoffs, could a public school team elect to play in the private playoffs, will they allow perennial champions to move up in class in one sport only – no one who has a stake in Class A can really shut up. And since apparently the squeaky wheel gets the grease, it makes complete sense for private schools to make a lot of noise. I don’t see this being over for a while.

The Brick

January 27th, 2012
9:23 am

Will legislature oversee GHSA?

Heck yeah!!! Everything the Govt gets involved with runs great!!!!……… as I smash my head against a brick wall!!!

GHSA Stripes

January 27th, 2012
11:20 am

there must be nothing going on in Irwin County for a State Legislator to be that worried about the GHSA

bucket

January 27th, 2012
11:38 am

@ Showboat – you are right on the money. The GHSA needs to have to answer some questions about this situation. I am not usually a proponent of the government getting involved in anything, but who are the private schools (whose parents are taxpayers!!!) supposed to go to in order to air their grievances? The GHSA board is stacked with public school support who were never going to rule in the private schools favor on this issue. It is as I have stated on these blogs before, if the GHSA is going to accept privates as members they can’t try to seperate them and treat them as second-class citizens come playoff time. The GHSA should do as much work as possible to ensure an equal playing field, which would probably include the use of a multiplier that would require some private schools to have to compete up a class. But if the GHSA wants the money and support from private schools they should be treated like everyone else.

Lan Fan

January 27th, 2012
12:25 pm

Hey showboat,
I understand all that. My point was to the person saying that maybe this was GHSA’s plan of what they wanted to do. I see them as just wanting to keep their mouths shut and hope the problems go away. With no real plan.

At this point it is a mess and I don’t see how a group who’s only decision was basicly to go along with the mob can fix it. To me anything other than bascily where we were in unnatural and there is no real way to win this.

I would just like for the people who act like the Private Schools have lost to get over themselves. The only one who will come out winners in this are a few A powers who will win the football crown again and a few new kids will have a shot in golf and tennis. Everyone else is in basicly the same situation but with a mess of a playoff system and everything else seems tobe a little less than it used to.