The Sacramento Bee

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Week 7: Sacramento area high school football playoff projections

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 - 12:11 am

There is no question that top-ranked Folsom has been the most dominant football team in the Sacramento area this season. But there is a big question about where the Bulldogs will compete when the Sac-Joaquin playoffs get underway. In The Sacramento Bee's first projection of the 2013 high school season, the defending Division II section champions jump up to the Division I playoff field -- but just barely. Even a slight change in the mix of qualifying teams could move Folsom back to D-II.

The Bulldogs sit atop a D-I bracket loaded with company from the Delta River League, which holds the top four seeds. Elk Grove takes the top seed for Division II in our projection, which is based on games played to date.

On the divisional edge: The smallest enrollment school in D-I this week is Folsom. In D-II, the largest school is Tracy and the smallest is Yuba City. Rio Linda is the largest school in D-III; Placer is the smallest. In D-IV, Center is the largest. These are the schools most likely to switch divisions if the mix of qualifying teams changes.

Outside looking in: The last team in is Napa. Just outside the playoff bubble are Vanden and Los Banos. Both teams are tied with Napa in opponent's wins but loss the tiebreaker (wins of defeated opponents). Eight other teams with winning records in Divisions I-IV did not qualify for at-large berths.

How our projection is done: We have attempted to apply the section's playoff rules for this year as much as possible, with some slight adjustments to compensate for the weeks yet to be played. The section's playoff plan for 2013 is attached to this story, along with some sample brackets.

We change the rules in two ways to make our projection. First, we ignore the requirement that a team have two league wins, since many teams have just started league play. Second, we add CalPreps rankings as a second tiebreaker for determining each league's two automatic qualifiers. The official tiebreaker is head-to-head competition, but in many cases the teams have yet to play each other. Head-to-head results are used whenever the teams have played.

These charts show preliminary seeding. The section has broad authority to adjust the seeds to compose the final brackets. For example, seeding is generally be adjusted to prevent teams from the same league from meeting in the first round. Travel distance is another potential reason for a seeding adjustment. For these charts, we haven't tried to make those final tweaks.

Note: A database error caused the publication of incorrect information thoughout the Division IV seedings. It was corrected Tuesday evening.

Read more articles by Nathaniel Levine



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