Justin McNulty ‘20 Bryce Tinson ‘20: It’s that time of year, where fans and players rejoice for playoffs, and fans get to see who is the best team in each division. With that being said, most people don’t quite understand how the brackets are made up, the process can be confusing.
In the Michigan High School Athletic Association, otherwise known as the MHSAA, all football teams from Class A, to 8-man football have to meet specified requirements to qualify for the playoffs. These rules consist of winning at least six regular season games, if the school participates in a nine game season, or five wins for teams with only eight games. The high schools who are able to meet those requirements become automatic qualifiers for the postseason, and any spots left within the divisions get to be filled by Wildcards. A Wildcard will be handed out to any school who fails to meet the required win amount, but can still qualify to make the playoffs if 32 teams fail to win six games.
After all 32 teams are selected for each Divison 1-8 in eleven man football, or 1-2 in eight man, the next process would be to seed the teams. Seeding is determined by the number of “playoff points” each team collects throughout the regular season. Playoff points, or team ratings, are calculated as a ratio and determined using the following criteria. Each team receives 80 points for defeating a Class A team, 70 for a Class B team, 60 for Class C, and 32 for Class D. Schools still receive points for any ties with these teams which range from 40 points for Class A to only 16 for Class D.
In addition to the ratios, bonus points are handed out based on a team’s strength of schedule. This means a school can receive an additional eight points every time one of their defeated opponents wins one of their other games. For example, the Bulldogs took down the Cougars, who had six wins throughout the course of their season, giving the Dogs an extra 48 points.
After the bonus points are added up, members of the MHSAA then take every school’s data and write it as a fraction, putting the bonus points and regular season points over the amount of games each team played. Finally, the fraction is divided, and decimal is then rounded to the hundredths place creating a team score like 91.222, which the Bulldogs received this year.
“I don’t really like the format because we got matched up against an 8-1 team, while other teams with worse records were able to secure a home game,” varsity player, Trevor Franklin ’19, said.
“It’s pretty weird, but it has definitely helped us in the past like the year we won states,” Patrick Vinckier ‘19, a Romeo fan, said.
The MHSAA then divides the schools into four main regions, each consisting of two districts based off on geographical location. This step generates somewhat of controversy, since certain regions become overpowered. Which leads to teams like the Bulldogs, deserving of a home game, yet having to start the postseason on the road.
The rest of the playoffs come to a conclusion with the winning teams advancing to the next round and with whoever has the most playoff points taking home field advantage.