Testing the Seeds: Through the Semi-Finals

Photo courtesy of Kory Hales Photography.com

By Kent Mueller Special to PrepsKC
Posted: November 24, 2012 - 9:48 AM



This is the fifth 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.
 
This review covers five rounds, or through the state semi-finals for classes one through five. Due to there being fewer schools in Class six, that class has one fewer round to its playoffs. The only games that remain are the state championship game in each of the six classes. Only six games remain in Missouri in the high school 11-man football season.
 
The chart below shows the wins, losses and winning percentages for each seed for each round and for the playoffs to date. The winning percentages start with 78 percent for the No. 1 seeds and stair step down each seed level to the No. 8 seeds, none of which won a game.  The winning percentage progression downwards as you go to the higher seeds is what you want if the seedings are to have any meaning. This has been true for each round, and therefore also for the playoffs as a whole.
 

During district play the higher seed, by definition, always had the higher seeding score from the formula MSHSAA used. I am continuing to use those seeding scores to rank teams subsequent to district play where you will frequently have teams playing with the same seed.
 
Of the 12 semi-final games, the team with the higher seeding score won ten times. Of the five quarter-final games that pitted No. 1 seeds against each other all five were won by the team with the higher seeding score. With 326 games having been played, the seeding score has predicted the winner 83 percent of the time.
 
Last week the formula called 10 of the twelve semi-final games correctly. Here is what the formula has to say about the championship games.
 

Of the six defending state champions, three are returning to the title game. The formula only likes one of them in this final game. The seeding scores favor Webb City to win its third consecutive Class 4 football championship. The seeding scores favor Penney to keep Valle Catholic from a three-pete in Class 1 as well as preventing Lamar from repeating as Class 2 champions.
 
The record for the most Missouri high school football championships is 11, held by Class 1 Valle Catholic. If the seeding scores are correct in predicting that Valle Catholic will lose to Penney, Webb City has the opportunity to tie Valle Catholic for the most football championships by winning its eleventh over Helia Catholic in Class 4. Also with numerous state championships is John Burroughs with seven titles. Kirkwood, Fort Osage and Francis Howell are looking to take home the first state football title in their histories.