Good luck trying to figure out the first-round football playoff matchups in Divisions I through V with this Friday’s final regular-season games. Coaches are taking chances scouting teams with no clue how the seedings formula works.
Like, how does this make sense?
Scottsdale Saguaro beat Glendale Cactus 67-14, one of its losses was to 7-2 Division I power Phoenix Desert Vista, they have the same record and yet Saguaro is seeded eighth in Division III and Cactus seventh. Saguaro may be punished for playing two Division IV teams — Fountain Hills and Scottsdale Coronado.
But shouldn’t it be rewarded for playing a D.I school and one that captured the state championship last season? Even in a loss? And Saguaro’s strength-of-schedule rating is better than Cactus’ at 3.36. Cactus is at 1.49.
Another curious one is Mesa Mountain View seeded at No. 8 in Division I and Scottsdale Desert Mountain at No. 9, even though Desert Mountain has one less loss and beat Mountain View this season. Obviously, wins over Mesa Red Mountain, Phoenix Pinnacle and Gilbert Highland helped Mountain View’s seeding.
But this formula doesn’t take into account injuries.
Mountain View is coming off a 51-6 loss to Phoenix Mountain Pointe and is down a couple of key players.
Highland hasn’t been the same since it beat Desert Mountain three weeks ago. It lost some key players to injuries, lost to Mountain View and and barely beat 2-7 Mesa 24-21 last week. Highland is at 14 with perhaps a must-win against Red Mountain on Friday.
Yuma Cibola, currently at No. 19, is going to bump somebody out of the Division I playoffs, perhaps Tucson, because it will lock up the third spot in weak Section I with its last game against winless San Luis. This will be the second time Cibola plays San Luis. Yuma schools have an advantage because it doesn'[t have to travel to Maricopa County for games.
In D.V, Phoenix Arizona Lutheran is sixth in seedings with a 7-2 record, two spots higher than Phoenix Christian, even though Phoenix Christian also is 7-2 and has beaten Arizona Lutheran.
How frustrated are coaches with the new formula in the middle of a two-year block, a formula that is about 16 pages long and takes a mathematician to sort through?
"Confusing, frustrating, angry, all those things come into equation," Cactus coach Larry Fetkenhier said.
And Fetkenhier has less reason to gripe with a higher seed than Saguaro. But it may need to beat Peoria Liberty on Friday to hold onto a home playoff game in the first round.
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