UPDATED: The truth about 3rd-place teams; numbers don’t lie

UPDATE: Third-place teams’ record in the playoffs since ’05 …

YEAR RECORD (PCT.) MARGIN OF LOSS

2005 13-46 (.283) 26 Points

2006 16-45 (.355) 24 Points

2007 19-40 (.475) 24 Points

2008 17-44 (.386) 22 Points

2009 14-47 (.298) 26 Points

Overall 79-222 (.356) 25 Points

I found the results below pretty damn interesting and a BIG BLOW to anybody not liking the at-large over automatic bid policy coming to a local league near you.

Under the new Mid-Valley proposal, the division would be comprised of the Montview, Valle Vista, Almont, Olympic, Rio Hondo and Mission Valley leagues. All first- and second-place finishers from each league will automatically make it, leaving FOUR at-large berths to be awarded by CIF.

But, did you know ….

that CIF information czar Thom Simmons and the boys at the Southern Section have crunched the numbers and since 2005 …

FOURTH-PLACE TEAMS that received AUTOMATIC bids are 2-47 with the average margin of defeat being 29 points per game.

Meanwhile, AT-LARGE teams, are 17-40, including three champions, one finalist and four semifinalists.

You win, CIF. You always do.

Happy Easter, everybody!

  • Dubb3trathree

    So I get how that looks on paper. And it totally makes since, but not when you have 38 teams in one divison. Think of it this way, how are teams going to schdule?Are the gonna get easy win games during pre-season or take tough games? Which is gonna count for more? A tough preseason loss or easy win? How will they pick for the at large. Your going to have 12 automatic bids with over 26 teams left from to choose 4? Now i know that number will probably be closer to 12 teams to choose from. Leaving out possibly 8 teams. What happens if say the Mission has a 3 way tie as it did in 06 or 07. And SEM, Arroyo, and Rosemead are all tied for first.All of them are 3-2 in league play, and the dreaded coin flip eliminates one..Does the third get the auto matic? Many would say yes, but this I feel were problems will rise. What if Covina comes in 3rd in the Valle Vista with a 4-2 league record but a 7-3 overall, but played West Covina and Walnut in preseason very good teams from a high division, or Gladstone is 8-2 with only losing during league and finish 3rd. But beat up soft teams before league. How is CIF gonna determine who is the best remaining 4 teams. There has to be a formula to choose. I see many teams with good records getting passed over during playoffs. Will a leauge like the Montview that has a bad rep for football not get more than their auto 2. Cause everyone feels the Montview is suspect. That is hard when they are only gonna be able to have to None League games cause there league is a 8 team leauge.
    I know this is about having a better playoffs and I’m all for it. I just hope they figure out a way to make it fair for all teams that are gonna have good seasons. A chance to make it in based off what they did on the feild and not by Repuation and Politics.

  • reality

    Aram, I’am not sure what you were getting at with your post but remember, “hope springs eternal”. It’s those 2 teams of the 2-47 that makes sports for me. Not people hyping their teams that recuit talent and buy coaching. I like the possibility of Bassett or Pioneer squeezing into the playoffs and pulling off an upset.It’s those games that make unforgetable memories. In my day it was the old Sierra High of Whittier in 1966 that made an unbelievable run at the C.I.F. 4A playoffs in basketball and won the championship against all the odds at the Sports Arena in L.A. I have no truck with the Bishop Amat’s, Damiens, Charter Oaks and the like but we need to make room for those 4th place teams. They are the ones that make sports great.

  • KISS (Keep it Simmple Stupid)

    First off Dubb3trathree teams in the Montview league don’t play themselfs so they have three non-league games.

    If CIF moved the Almont League out of the Mid-Valley and into the Southeast which is one of the four-league divisions. Then that would free up two more spots giving each league three spots.

  • Matt

    I would think non league wins take on greater importance. Then I would think overall league strength comes into play. Then I am sure, how that league has done over the past three to four years would be another criteria.

    La Canada plays Glendale and Crescenta Valley(Pacific league) Alhambra(Almont), Maranatha(Olympic) and Arroyo(Mission Valley). If they beat the three teams from the Mid Valley Division and finish third in the Rio Hondo it would be tough to deny them an at large.

  • Dubb3trathree

    Hey (Keeping it simple) it was a typo. I know they have 3 non leagues in the Montview. So lets get over that.

    Now I was thinking their needs to be a formula. So what model should be used. I feel that politics and biased CIF will come largley into play. Will the CIF poll rankings have any weight?
    I think that there need to be a variety of factors.
    1. Overall Record ( Total Wins and Losses)
    2. Strenght of schdule ( Basically Who did you play and when; similar to college football)For example Covina plays West Covina, and Wins by 3. How much will that count. Or if La Canada plays Muir and loses by 3, How will that effect them.
    3. Which league has the best overall records. ( Say Almont has 3 teams all at 8-2) Are they the best league?
    4. The CIF poll rankings ( In the past CIF has used this to determine playoff rankings and for the most part the top 16 in their polls made playoffs) But it did not account for league ties and placements. So if there are two bubble teams with the same records from different leagues. Say Wilson and La Puente are both 7-3, But Wilson is ranked higher in the Polls do they get the bid?
    5. Total wins versus playoff bound teams. How many of your teams wins came against teams qualified for the playoffs, including NON-league games.

    So that is what I think would go into making the playoffs a little easier to break down. With out so much of the politics. I just know come november this year..This will be brought up again and it will be a huge topic of discussion.With some teams that may or may not be deserving of CIF.

  • EvanLeigh

    The criteria the CIF will use will be the same they’ve used for at least the last 20 years with the last 5 having a point total for each criteria:

    (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)

    Go to the CIF web page and look on the playoff bulletin for 11-man football and you will find the answers.

    Not too tough to figure out and a quantitative and easy way and, quite frankly, a good way to select the teams.

  • bruinfan53

    I had always hoped for a league that represented the eastern SGV, back in the day. Charter Oak, Covina, Northview, Glendora, San Dimas, Bonita and Damien be in a league. There would have been a great deal of pride to fight for in that league.

  • DRL Fan

    CIF should take a page out of Calpreps book. Calpreps ranks teams weekly based on everything that is being mentioned. CIF is too stubborn to admit that Calpreps is the most accurate ranking of high school football out there. Maybe Calpreps should sign a contract with CIF and give them a ton of money. Only then will CIF recognize somebody.

  • CIF Think Tank

    Aram,
    I may have missed the point of this topic but if you are arguing 4th place “automatics” vs “cif selected” at large teams… what does that have to do with anything? If im correct I believe most of the mid-valley doesn’t want to lose it #3 entry. The fact that #4 entries haven’t done well is meaningless. We aren’t talking about them. Now if the brain trust at CIF can show me that #3′s have stunk in CIF and that CIF at-large selections have done better… then maybe it makes sense.
    CIF’s ability to choose the next best 4 teams is what has most concerned. Until someone can explain how a team like Whittier Christian ends up the #13 team in the playoff’s and is given to the #4 seed, I’m not buying CIF’s track record. They end up minutes from the finals and CIF felt they were a worse team than Gladstone, Covina or La Canada? Does anyone really think these guys perform a mathmatical equation every week to determine rankings? Wins and losses dominate their decisions. Under the new system they better KNOW these teams because everyone will be watching to see what happens if a top team in the division loses a tough pre-season game and Bassett starts out 3-0 again. BTW- thinking about it I believe Bassett was ranked at one point last season. Hahaha…CIF knows the MidValley! Yeah right!

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    I’ve gotta tell you that I would rather have a committee select the four at-large teams in this division than give automatic bids to the third place teams from the 7-team Valle Vista or 8-team Montview. I think that AS A WHOLE, CIF’s record for picking the right at-large teams speaks for itself.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    3RD PLACE TEAMS IN CIF-SS FOOTBALL DRAW

    YEAR RECORD (PCT.) MARGIN OF LOSS

    2005 13-46 (.283) 26 Points

    2006 16-45 (.355) 24 Points

    2007 19-40 (.475) 24 Points

    2008 17-44 (.386) 22 Points

    2009 14-47 (.298) 26 Points

    Overall 79-222 (.356) 25 Points

  • New York

    Bring in two more leagues and take only the top two teams. That would create a VERY competitive playoff pool. The top two teams from most of these leagues, on any given year, play good football. A playoff birth would become a more special achievement. If teams dont ever make the playoffs, then they need to be releagued.

    Barring the addition of two leagues, I hope the CIF really takes a close look at each league prior to *awarding* the at-large slots. I hope it truly is an award and not simply an allocation to leagues with a greater number of teams. In some years, it could make sense for the Valle Vista to receive TWO bids, but in other years it could be ZERO. I doubt if one league will ever receive more than one at-large award.

  • CIF Think Tank

    We agree to disagree. Over the years (you know as well as I) CIF has ranked teams in their top ten based purely on wins and losses. And not who those wins were against. Like I said before they had Bassett on their list after 3 weeks. Of course the teams they beat were a combined 0-30 to end the season. CIF must be able to discern when to credit a good team and what has been achieved due to fluff scheduling. Let’s take Gladstone as an example. If they schedule 3 “cupcakes” pre-season (they had Western Ch/El Monte in 09′ so just add another hack to that formidible list) and then roll into league powerhouses such as Workman, Ganesha, Sierra Vista, Duarte and Bassett. That team is 8-0 and you know they will be ranked highly in the CIF. You know it. So even if they get dumped by Azusa and LP they will finish 8-2 and will have been ranked in CIF for most of the season. So what happens when you have Gladstone at 8-2, and a host of other 3rd place teams that play much tougher schedules… Temple City, South El Monte, Whittier Christian, Covina, Wilson, San Gabriel, BG, San Marino, etc. And don’t even add the possibility of a league tie-breaker for the #2 spot… or a 3 way tie for 1st. Can a league champion that gets the #3 spot due to a coin flip get left out of the playoff’s because Gladstone went 8-2 against that schedule?

  • New York

    Aram,
    I think the math on your winning percentages may actually be inflated. If you divide the number of wins by the total games played then these percentages plummet. I think the numbers you have posted are actually the Win/Loss ratios. I’ve never had to publish these types of stats so I don’t know what the protocol is. But the overall number of percent games won by the third place team should be 79/301 or 26.25% or .2625 rather than .356. So 2007 should be .322 rather than the respectable looking .475.

  • Kenny R.

    Aram, ARAM, listen. Sammy doesn’t like 3rd place teams.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/tribpreps Aram

    NY,

    Winning 19 of 40 games reflects a .475 winning percentage for third-place teams in the playoffs during the 2007 season.

  • New York

    Indeed it does. So where you have “record” it is not a win-loss record but rather a win-total games played record?

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    NY,

    Correct. So it would be 19 of 40. I will make it more clear.

  • CIF Think Tank

    I dont know, but those numbers seem to indicate that #3′s have been fairly competitive? I dont know… the bottom line is these guys do not follow SGV football. How else can you explain Diamond Ranch not even being mentioned in their final South Eastern Poll? Yet those guys lost 4 games by less than 2 scores. And against teams like CO, Glendora, Amat, Chino Hills, etc. and CIF had Walnut and Whittier on their polls and not Diamond Ranch? Where is there the math formula used on that poll? What a joke. When Walnut took on powerhouses from division 11? And Whittier was 4-5 at the time? Yep, your right, Wigod knows what he is talking about. I also noticed in the MidValley that 3 Montview teams were ranked higher than Valley Christian (Olympic #1) and Whittier Christian (Olympic #3). Why? Because Gladstone was 7-3 with wins over nobody and LP was 8-2! Of course you know that the Paraclete (#2 Olympic) beat LP 45-0 and Gladstone got whipped by Baldwin Park who in turn got smacked by Whittier Christian (#3 Olympic). Well we will see how it all plays out. CIF will never over-turn a policy they created. So teams better make the best of it. However, I do hope that each week when the rankings come out you guys have the courage to call a spade a spade and put Wigod over the coals when you see Mountain View ranked #7 with wins over Keppel, Ganesha, Firebaugh and Bassett. Because now it will matter.

  • EvanLeigh

    Think Tank… neither Wigod or the CIF office does the polls. They are done via a voting system that combines the votes of coaches from each league in each division and sportswriters. It states on page 28 of the football preview:

    http://www.cifss.org/admin/images/previews/2009Previewneworder.pdf

    It’s the same document where I got how at-large teams are selected.

    And as for 3rd place teams being competitive… being successful at a .300 level is only competitive if your talking baseball and batting averages.

    There are too many teams in the playoffs. Teams that finish 3-7 have no business playing in the playoffs. Sorry.

  • DRL fan

    Evanleigh you are correct that coaches vote for the initial poll but after that I totally agree with think tank. CIF has no clue after that how to correctly rank teams during weeks 2 through 9. Teams whose records are inflated by a cupcake preseason are ahead of teams who play tough teams in their preseason. Diamond Ranch is the example of that. It is very much like the Bowl series in college football. FLAWED.

  • Evan Leigh

    Actually no DRL they vote every week. It’s the exact opposite of your impression:

    From that handbook:

    CIF SOUTHERN SECTION COACHES AND SPORTSWRITERS TOP 10 POLLS
    Since 1963, weekly rankings of CIF Southern Section football teams (11-man competition) have been determined by a poll of area prep sportswriters. In 2009, the Southern Section will again be polling a panel of coaches, in addition to the sportswriters. The weekly polls are based upon divisional competition and are incorporated into the weekly CIF- SS Press Release, sent to over 300 media outlets each Monday during the season.
    Members of the panel are prep editors and writers of daily newspapers that cover CIF Southern Section schools along with several coaches. These panelists are selected based upon knowledge of their local area and combine to represent the geographic expanse of the section.
    To determine the weekly rankings in each division teams are assigned voting points from the polls: A No. 1 vote equals ten points; a No. 2 vote equals nine points; a No. 3 vote equals eight points, etc. Each Monday, results of contests played by teams in the prior weeks polls are FAXED to the panel members as a ballot. The ballot also provides space for write-ins in each of the 11 divisions. The top 10 teams in voting points will comprise the new rankings. Others receiving votes will also be listed. The pre-season poll is developed within the CIF-SS Office, and based upon information provided by member school coaches.
    At the seasons end, the divisional rankings will be utilized by the CIF-SS office as one criteria for formulating playoff seeds and pairings brackets.

  • DRL fan

    If what you say is true, then might point is proven. Area writers don’t have the knowledge that coaches receive from planning for opponents. Sounds alot like the bowl system I referred to earlier. Nothing against the writers but they don’t have all the information and watch enough film to make these decisions. I will bring up calpreps again since it’s results are nonbiased and computer generated. My point is that CIF will not allow itself to explore other possiblities which would expose their weaknesses. But if a fat contract were offered like Spalding (crappy footballs) then they will listen. Just look at the southeast division last year and look at the final poll. Many of those teams were a joke. Any good organization will constantly self analyze itself year to year and try to improve. I don’t think that it’s happening in this case.

  • Evan Leigh

    DRL your point still does not make sense… BOTH the coaches AND the sportwriters vote. And they do so because that is the system the coaching advisory committee wants.
    As for the final poll, the final poll they released was after week 9. It was not a “final” poll. Just a poll for the coaches to use as a guideline.
    As for Calpreps their computer system, like the BCS sysytem, is skewed as well. They take past strength as a basis for rating teams in the preseason and make little adjustments to indicate a school or league may be down as compared to last year.
    There are no perfect systems.
    I submit that you may be allow some personal bias against the CIF to skew your ability to comprehend that it is not the fault of the office when the polls don’t go the way you think they should.

  • DRL fan

    Evanleigh

    I would like to know which coaches vote each week for the poll? Can you provide that information to me? It seems my bias against CIF (as you state) is equal in strength to your bias for them. The final poll I agree is after week 9 since pairings come out before a week 10 poll can be made. Please enlighten me.

  • Evan Leigh

    You see this is where I am NOT bias in either direction. I do not know what coaches do or do not vote on these polls (perhaps you could call their offices and find out). However, I am also not using conjecture or posting information without a factual basis. I simply go to the CIF website, look at the information that is available to anybody who wants to find out the facts and post that information in response to inaccuracies.
    Now, you can now use that to denigrate me or make what I post into a volitle situation or make me out to be biased toward the CIF office but, it’s still not going to change the truth.
    The CIF office does not create the polls nor do they vote on them. That is done by a mixture of sportswriters and coaches.