Week 9: Sacramento area high school football playoff projections (original version)

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 - 8:45 pm

Note: After this projection was published, the section announced that Cosumnes Oaks has forfeited its victory over Liberty Ranch due to an ineligible player. Cosumnes is now 6-3; Liberty is 6-4 (its season is complete).

Folsom clings to the Division I bracket for the third week of The Sacramento Bee’s high school football playoff projections. The top-ranked Bulldogs are a bubble enrollment team, and could slip down to D-II under the right circumstances – but the mix of qualifying teams needed to make that happen hasn’t appeared yet.

The D-I bracket is loaded with other teams from the Delta River League, which holds four of the top six seeds. Napa replaces Davis this week in the lower part of the D-I seedings. In Division II, Elk Grove moves up the the No. 2 seed, behind Tracy, and Del Oro and Burbank now round out the top four spots. In D-III, Rio Linda slips down to the No. 3 seed. The projection 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 Cosumnes Oaks. Antelope (D-II last week) is the largest school in D-III; Pacheco is the smallest. In D-IV, Casa Roble (D-III last week) is the largest. These are the schools most likely to switch divisions if the mix of qualifying teams changes.

Outside looking in: The last two teams in were Liberty Ranch (48 OWs) and Monterey Trail (47). Since Liberty Ranch’s season is complete, however, there is no way the 5-5 Hawks can pick up enough OWs in Week 10 to make the final field. In the interest of making the projection more accurate, Liberty Ranch was excluded in favor of Napa (45 OW) -- a much more likely playoff participant. Just outside the playoff bubble are Turlock, Los Banos and Central Valley, all with 44 OW. (Bear River also has 44 OW, but the Bruins aren’t playoff eligible because of their league record.)

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 often ignore the requirement that a team have two league wins, since many teams have just started league play. But this week all the qualifying teams happen to have two league wins. 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 some cases the league championships comes down to the final game. 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.

Questions? Send me an email at nlevine@sacbee.com, and it might be included in a short Q&A in the near future.

Click here for The Bee's notebook rundown on league championship showdowns and area players who set school marks for single game or career in Week 9:


See The Bee's latest Top 20 football rankings. Each of these teams will make the playoffs...


Read more articles by Nathaniel Levine

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