High School Football Playoff Bubble

Posted by Andy Durham on October 23, 2008 at 12:35 pm under High School | 4 Comments to Read

This information is looking ahead to the end of the regular season, using playoff projections to determine what it will take for teams to get an at-large playoff berth in each class.  The numbers below are based on the results of 5,000 simulations of the remainder of the regular season, each followed by applying the NCHSAA playoff qualification procedures.

Below are the probabilities of a team getting an at-large berth, if they end the regular season with the stated number of wins and conference wins.  The number of wins is based on a ten-game schedule; teams that play eleven games drop one game.  This “dropped” game is normally a loss, but teams who win all their non-conference games and play eleven games must drop a non-conference win.

4A/4AA Playoff Bubble
5 wins, 3+ conference wins – Guaranteed a playoff berth
5 wins, 2 conference wins – 97%
5 wins, 1 conference win – 77%
5 wins, 0 conference wins – 59%
4 wins and a tie – 53%
4 wins, 4 conference wins – 49%
4 wins, 3 conference wins – 21%
4 wins, 2 conference wins – 3%
4 wins, 1 conference win – 1%
3 wins – No chance for an at-large berth

3A/3AA Playoff Bubble
5 wins, 3+ conference wins – Guaranteed a playoff berth
5 wins, 2 conference wins – 99%
5 wins, 1 conference win – 89%
5 wins, 0 conference wins – 88%
4 wins, 4 conference wins – 86%
4 wins, 3 conference wins – 58%
4 wins, 2 conference wins – 10%
4 wins, 1 conference win – 1%
3 wins – No chance for an at-large berth


2A/2AA Playoff Bubble
4 wins, 4 conference wins – Guaranteed a playoff berth
4 wins, 3 conference wins – 99%
4 wins, 2 conference wins – 96%
4 wins, 1 conference win – 62%
4 wins, no conference wins – 39%
3 wins, 3 conference wins – 23%
3 wins, 2 conference wins – 3%
3 wins, 0-1 conference wins – No chance for an at-large berth

1A/1AA Playoff Bubble
(Note: the 1A procedure is different than that used in for 2A, 3A, and 4A.)
3 wins – Guaranteed a playoff berth
2 wins – 99%
1 win – 21%
No wins – No chance for a berth

**From Drew Pasteur’s NC Fantastic 50**


  • Big Jim said,

    Good stuff Joe. Those numbers tell us what we already know-that is way to easy to make the playoffs, with too many teams. I did not know that it was THAT easy. Sorry 4-7, 5-6, 3-8 teams. It’s all about the LONG GREEN!

  • sooooooo said,

    whats grimsley’s chances?

  • Joe (PP44) said,

    If Grimsley wins there last 3 games, which would be a total of 5 wins and 3 conference wins they are guaranteed a playoff berth. If they only win 1 or 2.. 4 wins, 2 conference wins – 3% chance, 3 wins – No chance for an at-large berth.

    So they basically need to win there last 3 games to get into the playoffs.

  • Damon said,

    Joe,

    Thanks man….you must have a math degree. 5,000 simulations. WOW! It’s definitely all about the money. I think if you can’t win 6 ball games, then you don’t deserve to go. You should at least have a winning record.