from Jay Busbee a writer for Yahoo Sports….
Winless Massachusetts high school makes state playoffs
A Massachusetts high school made the playoffs without a win. Nice trick.
Sometimes, even when you lose, you win. A Massachusetts high school has reached the state playoffs despite the fact that it went 0-7 in its season. Yes, zero wins. The lesson here: choose your opponents wisely.
Numbers don’t lie
The Vikings of Triton Regional High School in Byfield, Massachusetts, will play in the state’s Division 5 North playoffs even though they didn’t win a single game. Matter of fact, the Vikings were outscored 248-42 in their seven games.
Why? Because, as the Boston Globe (via USA Today High Schools) notes, the Vikings had some strong opponents, and playoff berths get handed out in Massachusetts based on the quality of opposition. That left out two teams that actually won a game — Lynnfield High School and Watertown High School, both of which went 1-6 on the season.
But the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association uses a pure numerical system to determine who’s in and who’s out. As the Globe notes, the ranking system breaks down this way:
“Teams get 10 points for a win over a team in their division or lower and 12 points for a win over a team in a higher division or Division 1. That’s half of the power rating formula (‘own value’). The second half of the equation, ‘opponents value,’ rewards strength of schedule. Teams get 3 points for every win by an opponent they defeated, 1 point for every win by an opponent they lost to within their own division or lower, and 1.2 points for every win by an opponent they lost to in a higher division. These two numbers are added, then divided by the number of games played to get a team’s final power rating.”
Triton played a tough schedule, with five of its opponents winning at least five games. The Vikings’ opponents had a combined record of 37-12. And that was enough to give Triton a power rating of 5.71, just ahead of Lynnfield (5.57) and Watertown (5.00). Triton’s reward: a rematch with Swampscott, which beat it 49-0 back in September.
No hard feelings
John Cacace, coach of the outside-looking-in Watertown, told the Globe he had no hard feelings. “I think the system is terrific,” he said. “Is it ideal? Is it perfect? No. But I like this system. It allows teams to get in, to get a chance. Division 5 North is down this year, that’s just what it is. I don’t think you need to make changes. Every few years, you might have an anomaly.”
“I think our kids are getting a lot out of this in the competition aspect, not necessarily the wins and losses standpoint,” Triton coach Ryan McCarthy told the Globe. “I have these kids that come out every day and work hard and practice hard to go out and play every Friday.”
Like pretty much everything else on a high school football field, there’s a lesson right there.
____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
CLICK HERE for the Boston Globe version of this post/story from Don McLoone….You should see the (0-7) team’s locker room…..