Welcome, class, to Power Points 101.
Today we will make no attempts to explain the convoluted power point system the Arizona Interscholastic Association uses to determine high school playoff qualifiers and their postseason seeding, mostly because neither the AIA or points administrator MaxPreps will divulge just what goes into its "proprietary algorithm."
All we know is a school's rating is based on their record (with extra points given to beating bigger schools, and less for beating smaller schools), their opponents' record, and, possibly, their opponents' opponents' records. Say that five times fast.
What isn't known is whether margin of victory or other such intangibles are factored in, making what should be a simple, straightforward system for sending high school kids to the playoffs into the red-headed stepchild of college football's BCS standings.
But it's what we got, so we're just gonna have to deal with it.
The 2013 football season is half over, with five weeks left before playoff brackets are set in stone. The AIA released the first batch of power points and rankings earlier this week, putting an extra level of importance of every game from here on out. Wins and losses now become good losses and bad wins, good wins and bad losses, and so on.
Based on the first set of power points, there are 23 schools in Pima County, Cochise, Santa Cruz or southern Pinal County with a legitimate shot of being among the top 16 in the rankings for their division when the season ends:
1. Salpointe (5-0)
6. Tucson High (4-1)
7. Sahuaro (4-1)
8. Ironwood Ridge (4-1)
15. Sunnyside (3-2)
17. Mountain View (3-2)
20. Nogales (3-2)
26. Buena (2-3)
28. Cienega (1-4)
7. Sabino (3-2)
10. CDO (4-1)
16. Catalina Foothills (4-1)
28. Marana (3-2)
9. Rio Rico (4-1)
10. Palo Verde (4-1)
19. Sahuarita (4-2)
21. Santa Rita (3-2)
24. Amphitheater (3-2)
6. Benson (4-1)
14. Pusch Ridge Christian (4-1)
17. Tombstone (3-2)
19. Bisbee (3-2)
25. San Manuel (2-3)
The reason so many teams currently outside the top 16 of a division are still in it is because, barring a few exceptions, every game from here on out is a matchup of teams not only from the same division but from the same section within that division. Each section is guaranteed its top-rated team into state.
Each week there will be a bunch of games that have huge power points implications. For tonight that list looks like this:
Nogales (3-2) at Sunnyside (3-2)
Salpointe Catholic (5-0) at Mountain View (3-2)
Canyon del Oro (4-1) at Catalina Foothills (4-1)
Amphitheater (3-2) at Safford (3-2)
Palo Verde (4-1) at Santa Rita (3-2)
Rio Rico (4-1) at Sahuarita (4-2)
San Tan Foothills (4-1) at Pusch Ridge Christian (4-1)