San Bernardino High football coach Jeff Imbriani was pretty upset on Sunday (and probably still is today) that his team with a 7-3 record didn’t make the Eastern Division playoffs, while a 3-7 Apple Valley team did.
Did they deserve to go?
Well, based on the criteria that the CIF-SS uses, probably not.
Criteria utilized by the At-Large Selection Committee:
(a) Head-to-head competition of teams under consideration (4 points)
(b) Overall strength of the league from which the team is entered (1 point)
(c) Overall win-loss record (1 point)
(d) Strength against common opponents (1 point)
(e) Strength of schedule (2 points, using overall win-loss record of opponents)
(f) Free lance teams will be part of the pool for the filling of at-large berths
But should that be the criteria?
I would argue, no.
Schedule strength is essentially in there twice: with the strength of the league and strength of schedule.
How do you gauge strength of schedule? CIF-SS says it’s by win-loss record of opponents. But is that really accurate? With all due respect to Big Bear, playing an 8-2 Big Bear team is not the same as playing an 8-2 Upland team. But, teams would get the same credit in strength of schedule for playing either team.
And if you’re gauging win-loss record, is having a 7-3 vs. a 3-7 record only worth 1 point in evaluating teams? I’d argue that’s worth at least 2 points, if not more. If you’re evaluating an 8-2 team vs. a 1-9 team, is that really only worth 1 point in the discussion?
Here’s another one to consider: best team defeated. Not best team played, but best team defeated.
None of Apple Valley’s 3 wins came against a team with a winning record: the best teams being 4-6 Granite Hills and 4-6 Victor Valley, teams that didn’t make the playoffs.
As for San Bernardino, most of their opponents weren’t very good. But, the Cardinals gave Vista Del Lago its ONLY LOSS. Vista Del Lago won the Mountain Valley League and went 9-1. Shouldn’t a big part of the equation be who you’ve beaten not just who you’ve played?