Class A Blog: Power Rating tweaked, “Divided” Pre-Season Maxwell Ratings

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

It’s time! Welcome back Class A heads!

High school football is back and so are the classification blogs you have all grown to love (well, most of you anyway). It’s good to be back for another season of competition in the smallest, and most underrated classification. Here’s the plan for this season:

Tuesday blog post – Divided Top 5; Outstanding performances from the weekend; This and that.

Thursday blog post – Preview of the best games on the weekend slate; This and that.

Saturday blog post – Recap of key games and top performances from the night before; This and that.

Things are always subject to change, but that’s the plan right now. We’ll start the first Divided Top 5 next week. Please send outstanding performance and any other nuggets you feel are noteworthy to s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com.

Tweak to the Power Rating

Much to the chagrin of some of you, the Power Rating system in Class A is back for at least another season. Once again the GHSA has enlisted the assistance of MaxPreps to manage the process.

The biggest change from last season is the amount of points awarded to a team for playing a team from a higher classification. Last year, Class A teams received two points for each class higher in which their opponent competed, win or lose. So beating a team from Class AAAA meant a total of 16 points (10 for the win, plus six for playing a Class AAAA team). A loss to that team earned six points.

This season, Class A teams will receive just one point for each class up in which their opponent competes, if they win the game. If they lose, they will receive .5 points. So beating a Class AAAA team this season brings 13 points, while losing to that team means 1.5 points.

This change still gives Class A teams credit for competing against teams from higher classes but there is a greater emphasis on actually winning the game, as it should be. There are a couple of other “tweaks” to the system. Go to this link to review them: http://www.ghsa.net/sites/default/files/documents/football/Class_A_Football_Power_Ratings_Procedures.pdf

Maxwell Ratings

The Maxwell Ratings for Class A were released earlier this morning in a combined format, public and private together. Here’s the breakdown of the top 16 teams (i.e., teams projected to make the playoffs) on each side, public and private, based on Maxwell’s projections. The overall Maxwell ranking is in parenthesis.

Public

1. Lincoln County (2)

2. Emanuel County Institute (4)

3. Wilcox County (5)

4. Wilkinson County (7)

5. Seminole County (14)

6. Dooly County (16)

7. Charlton County (17)

8. Marion County (18)

9. Clinch County (21)

10. Johnson County (23)

11. Miller County (25)

12. Claxton (26)

13. Irwin County (27)

14. Trion (28)

15. Greenville (29)

16. Turner County (30)

Private

1. Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (1)

2. Savannah Christian (3)

3. Prince Avenue Christian (6)

4. George Walton Academy (8)

5. Landmark Christian Academy (9)

6. Athens Academy (10)

7. Aquinas (11)

8. Darlington (12)

9. Calvary Day (13)

10. Holy Innocents (15)

11. First Presbyterian Day (19)

12. Brookstone (20)

13. Our Lady of Mercy (22)

14. Walker (24)

15. Mt. Paran (31)

16. Pace Academy (34)

Let us know your thoughts. Until Thursday …

26 comments Add your comment

bucket

August 20th, 2013
2:40 pm

@ stc – Hello again! Looking forward to another great year of Class A football!

bucket

August 20th, 2013
3:09 pm

I am not personally a big fan of the power ranking system in general, but I also didn’t want to split Single A either. There is pretty much no other way to rank the schools w/o the power rankings if they are going to keep the teams in their geographic regions. I do like the fact that they lowered the reward for teams for playing up in classification if they actually lost the game.

GAHSFBFAN24

August 20th, 2013
6:53 pm

ECI is head and shoulders above everyone else in public A. Watch out for OLM. Go ELCA!

Swamp Lizard

August 21st, 2013
7:26 am

@ STC …. Fired up and ready to go !! I’m looking forward to all our Class A blogs ( Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays ). Maybe the power ratings will be better this year, but I still have my doubts. I personally think we need to go straight with Maxwell Ratings at YEARS END for the Top 16 in each Public / Private. As far as I seen so far ….. last year …. they rank the teams the best ( 1-16 ).
I’m just excited to see how it all plays out this year! Finding out who we THINK the “players” are …… and finding out who the REAL “players” are. Wish all your teams the best and hope we can all be gentlemen throughout the year. ;)

S. Thomas Coleman

August 21st, 2013
3:06 pm

Bucket:

Great to hear from you! Yes, Class A football is back! Ain’t it grand!

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

August 21st, 2013
3:20 pm

Bucket:

I’m not a big fan of the split, but I think you are correct about the power rating being the best way to determine playoff teams with the split in place. However, I’m not a particularly big fan of MaxPreps either … the same outfit that deemed high school FOOTBALL in the metro areas of SEATTLE, CHICAGO and INDIANAPOLIS better than metro Atlanta. That’s laughable! Hard to take them seriously after that.

Thanks for reading and posting.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

August 21st, 2013
3:21 pm

GAHSFBFAN24:

I don’t know about “head and shoulders above everyone else in public A,” but I think ECI is the favorite. Lincoln County will have something to say about that. Should be fun finding out!

Thanks for reading and posting.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

August 21st, 2013
3:22 pm

Swamp:

Yes, this should be another great season, even with the Power Ratings! Thanks for checking in!

STC

JT Walker

August 21st, 2013
4:16 pm

I like the adjustments to the classification “bonus.”

@Swamp Lizard- be sure to hit the Dairy Lane down in Sandersville.

Good luck to everyone this season.

Go Wolverines!

bucket

August 21st, 2013
7:08 pm

A tweak to the system was definitely in order considering ELCA entered the playoffs as the #2 seed and not the #1 seed. As a Prince parent I had the unique opportunity to see Athens Academy, George Walton, Landmark, Savannah Christian, and ELCA and while all those schools had good seasons and some great players, none of them were anywhere close to the level of ELCA. ELCA was #1 and a number of teams could have been #2.

ga boy

August 21st, 2013
8:05 pm

How many starters do ELCA have returning?

S. Thomas Coleman

August 22nd, 2013
7:21 am

ga boy:

ELCA returns 7 starters on offense and 6 on defense.

STC

Bam Bam

August 22nd, 2013
7:28 am

What do you think of OLM Bobcats this year?

Swamp Lizard

August 22nd, 2013
8:20 am

@JT Walker …. I’m sure I’ll find me some good “groceries” on the ride down. The Brick in Milledgeville or the Country Buffet in Sandersville. Mama is’t going to let me drive far before she is ready to eat! ;) I’ll give an update on ELCA & WaCo Saturday morning.

Swamp Lizard

August 22nd, 2013
8:22 am

@ JT Walker ….. how are things looking for your team this year? ….. wish y’all the best.

Another Walker

August 22nd, 2013
9:29 am

Swamp…to answer your question to JT…no idea. The big three are gone. It looks though like Walker will be much more balanced this year. We have 50 plus guys out again which is a good thing. The Landmark scrimmage was interesting. Last Friday at Landmark, I believe both teams played their first stringers in their designated positions for the first quarter only. At the end of the first quarter it was Landmark 15, Walker 14…two point conversion being the difference. Landmark could not stop Walker’s downfield passing and Walker could not stop Landmark’s underneath screens leading to four legitimate TD’s in the quarter. I suspect Landmark is not as good as prior years, and Walker did not drop as far as expected from last year’s high and are better than expected. We will see!

Walker Fan

August 22nd, 2013
9:52 am

An Old subject…I have heard numerous rumors this year about transfer players (from large public schools) to Region 6 Class A teams with those players playing immediately this fall. I do not know whether this is all true or not but I do know first hand some of it is. I am very supportive of people being able to send their kids wherever they want…more power to them. I am also wildly supportive of the kids playing at their new school immediately. It is absurd to make kids sit out…its just high schools sports and too soon it is over…play and have fun.

With that said, Walker has been dinged by the GHSA on multiple occasions in the last few years with kids coming to Walker, with families that move to the state of Georgia, who are then told they cannot play varsity sports at Walker for a year because they do not live in the correct county…e.g. parents moved to Cherokee from half way across country and now their kid cannot play their sport at the varsity level for a year. I no longer see sufficient benefit to private schools staying in GHSA, especially those base in Atlanta. We are already playing separate state championships (not just in football_. The public schools do not really want the private schools in GHSA…lets be honest…for some good reason and for some bad reasons. The rules designed for public schools in many cases just do not make sense for private schools. I think it is time for private schools to get out. We have already been pushed half way to the door by the GHSA.

Swamp Lizard

August 22nd, 2013
11:00 am

@ Another Walker ….. winning breeds success! Maybe Walker can keep that “MO” rolling. Thanks for the update on the Landmark scrimmage ….. I’m betting both will be playoff teams again this year. I know Landmark lost RB Kirkland to Lovejoy HS, I know that has to hurt them.

Swamp Lizard

August 22nd, 2013
11:12 am

@ Bam Bam ….. I think OLM will be very tough this year! There’s good news and bad news with that though …. they play a tough schedule this year ( like last year ) …. that’s the bad news. The good news is, I really think Coach Earwood will have them playing hard and a 8-2 or 7-3 record against that schedule would be really good. They were so close to turning the corner and being a really good team last year, but had a few heartbreaking losses …. 10-7 to Athens Academy, 30-27 to Landmark, & 23-17 to Holy Innocents. They win those games your looking at a 9-1 team with a high seed in the playoffs.

S. Thomas Coleman

August 22nd, 2013
11:38 am

Bam Bam:

OLM could turn some heads this season. It’s year four under one of the best coaches in the state in Mike Earwood, and they have some talented kids in DL/OL Lynix Branch, TE/DE Chris Hunt, RB/DB Christian Coleman and QB Jameson Vest, who might be the best kicker in Class A. But their schedule is brutal: Athens Academy, Landmark Christian, ELCA, Holy Innocents and Darlington are all top programs.

Thanks for reading and posting.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

August 22nd, 2013
11:42 am

The new blog should be up and running shortly. Feel free to continue the conversation here, or jump on the new one!

As always, thanks for reading and posting!

STC

GWparent

August 22nd, 2013
12:48 pm

@bucket, You clearly didn’t see the ELCA v. GWA game. It was hardly a blowout. That game could have gone either way and was played at ELCA. I am not, in any way, saying ELCA was not a very good team. They were. But to say that GWA “wasn’t even close” to ELCA is clearly laughable.

LoveFridayFootball

August 22nd, 2013
1:33 pm

STC..just a FYI..ELCA returns 5 on def not 6…. @GWparent..very easy to look back at a game and say the outcome could have been different. Well, when you go up by multiple scores in the semi final game, there comes a time when you play the game different. The prize was the next game, not hanging 40plus on GWA. I’m taking nothing from your team. IMO if you guys are on the other side of the bracket we are playing you in the Dome. And I suspect one of our teams will be there at this yrs end. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS starts tomorrow!!!!

bucket

August 22nd, 2013
3:39 pm

@ GW – actually I did watch the GW vs ELCA game the week before the state championship game. GW certainly gave them a better game than Prince did in the final. Prince fought as hard as they could to keep it close until halftime and then the dam broke in the second half because of the depth and talent of ELCA. I didn’t mean my comment as disrespect to GWA, but it is my opinion that ELCA was on a different level than every other team in Class A Private. Everyone has a right to their own opinion.

CheerTigerDad

August 23rd, 2013
10:16 am

Well, the Power Rankings have already gotten it wrong with the first game of the season. Savannah Christian tied with Jenkins last night. As the power rankings are written at the moment, SCPS will only receive .5 points due to the tie. If they had lost, they would have received 2.5 points (.5 for the tie and 2 for a loss to a 5A team). The reason for this is because a tie wasn’t considered when the point system was amended for wins and losses but leaving out ties. A tie should at the very least receive the same number of points as a loss would yield.

In other news, I’m ready for some FOOTBALL!

TV

August 23rd, 2013
2:06 pm

It looks like Region 6B is going to be up for grabs this year between Walker, Whitefield, Mt. Paran, and Mt. Pisgah. I’ll leave King’s Ridge off the list because they’re very consistent with 5-5, and one of their RB is out for the year. Should be very interesting to see how the season plays out.