Testing the Seeds: Through round 3
By Kent Mueller Special to PrepsKC
This is the third article in a series that is examining the effectiveness of the formula MSHSAA used to seed each eleven man football team into its district playoff.
The first round finished with 87 percent of the higher seeds winning. Through the second round, 85 percent of the higher seeds had won. For this round, I am not including the four District championships for Class 6. With fewer teams in Class 6 than the other classes, the championship game will be their fifth game instead of the sixth game for the other classes. I am adjusting the timing of this article this week so that it may be timely before the lower five classes play in their quarterfinal games.
Has the seeding continued to work? Of the 40 district championships played Monday night, 25 of the higher seeds won, or 62 percent. So far in the playoffs there have been 289 games played, of which 237 were won by the higher seed. That is 82 percent of the total games played to date.
The percent of higher seeds winning has progressed downwards as we move further into the playoffs. That is how it would be expect. For instance, all forty-four No. 1 seeds defeated their No. 8 seed foes in the first round. That disparity is no longer present. The teams continue to get more evenly matched, as they should.
Interesting situations abound. There were two six seeds competing for their district championhsips, both of whom lost. After pulling off two upsets in the first two rounds, St. Pius X (Kansas City) was no match for No. 1 seed Maryville in the Class 3, District 8 Championshiop game. The Spoofhounds of Maryville lived up to the discrepency between the seeds, winning 48-7. It was a different matter in the Class 5, District 8 championship game. Six seed Smithville gave the No. 1 seed Platte County all they could handle. Smithville eventually fell to the Pirates of Platte County, 27-21, after leading at halftime.
There were four No. 1 seeds upset by No. 4 seeds in the district semi-final games. How did those four seeds do in their championship games? They split. After belting the Fightin Irish of Springfield Catholic 40-7 in the semi-finals, the Eldon Mustangs whipped Osage 42-7 in the Class 3, District 3 championship game. Interestingly, Ava is the only school to test Eldon, having been edged by Eldon 12-7 in the first round.
In Class 4, District 7 Harrisonville was seeded fourth entering district play. The Wildcats advanced to the state quarterfinals after defeating No. 2 seed Bolivar, 13-6. The season won’t continue for the other two No. 4 seeds to play in their district title game. Central (Cape Girardeau) fell to No. 2 seed Hillsboro, 28-20, in the Class 4, District 1 championship game. Likewise, University City’s season ended in the Class 4, Distrit 5 championship game, losing to No. 2 seed Clayton, 27-10. The two winning four seeds are the two lowest seeds still alive in the play-offs.
Of the 40 No. 1 seeds in classes 1 through 5, 23 are still in the hunt for a state title. Logan-Rogersville is the only defending state champion to lose thus far. That means Class 3 is assured of a new champion.
Here is a look at how each level of seed has performed through three rounds of Classes one through five and two rounds of Class six play.
As the chart shows, through three rounds, the winning percentages step downwards with each increasing seed. That is just as it should be in a well seeded play-off.
St. Pius X Warriors
St. Joseph Benton Cardinals
Mid Buchanan Dragons
St. Joseph LeBlond Golden Eagles
Royal Valley Panthers
Summit Christian Academy Eagles
Olathe South Falcons
Excelsior Springs Tigers
Shawnee Mission Northwest Cougars
Lawrence Free State Firebirds
St. Thomas Aquinas Saints
Columbia Rock Bridge