Not all Schedules are Created Equal (pt.3)
How Michigan's new Playoff Point system affects your team's odds of making the playoffs
Thanks for subscribing to my newsletter. The first couple of posts here will be a rehash of some popular threads I’ve posted on twitter this year.
One disclaimer before you dive in: these first few posts discuss the new playoff point formula put into place for 2021 and how it affects your team’s odds of making the playoffs. You will note that both posts include metrics for gauging how your team’s odds of making the playoffs stacks up to the other teams in its division. These metrics are derived by using the scheduling data available to the public at the time of posting. As schedules are always in flux (especially in today’s day & age of reduced numbers & COVID), several of the numbers in here will have changed slightly since they were posted in late August. Please bear that in mind as you read.
This post is the final one in a 3-part series on the “Average Division Played” metric (ADP) and why its more important than ever for Michigan High School football teams in 2021, given the change in playoff point qualification effective this year (2021). Before you read this post, if you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 of the series, I suggest you check those out first.
In Part 2 of these series, we discussed the ADPs of each team in Divisions 1-4 of the MHSAA. Below is a continuation of this discussion, with data on teams in Divisions 5-8
“Privates Prevail”, a trend we noted in Part 2 of this series, is prevalent in this division once again, with 3 of the top 5 ADPs in this division belong to private schools (Flint Powers, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, and Grand Rapids West Catholic)
D5 also has some “Co-Op Conundrums”. Memphis, Hart, and Saginaw Valley Lutheran are all teams that have opted up in order to combine their teams with nearby schools. Their ADPs suffer as they are all playing schedules that reflect their previous division (Memphis, for example, is playing a D7 level schedule)
“Privates Prevail” appears here once again: Lansing Catholic has the second highest ADP in this division
“Co-Op Conundrums” appear as well: Royal Oak Shrine, who has combined their team with another school, is near the bottom of the division in terms of ADP
D6 on the whole has a large ADP spread (Dearborn Robichaud’s ADP is 3.89, Erie Mason’s is 7.22). Will we see a 3-6 (or 2-7) team make the playoffs here?
D7 is perhaps the clearest example of “Privates Prevail”: half of the top 10 highest ADPs belong to Private Schools (Jackson Lumen Christi, Detroit Loyola, Monroe SMCC, Traverse City Saint Francis, Muskegon Catholic Central)
This is also the first division where average ADP 6.5 is higher than the actual division itself (7). This means that teams here have to play larger schools just to stay afloat (i.e. if your team is in D7 and is playing only schools in this division, it is disadvantaged in making the playoffs - this is counterintuitive, but makes sense given that D7 is the second smallest division…. this is also true in D8)
First off - disregard Highland Park Sigma Academy. They are included here because they are listed under Division 8 on the MHSAA website, but they are only playing 2 games, one which was already marked a forfeit before the season even started
Like D7, the average ADP of the division (6.92) is higher than the division itself (8.0)
Another interesting note is that “Privates Prevail” really starts to fizzle in D8. This is driven in large part by the CHSL D2, which features many of the state’s D8 private school teams. Because all of these teams are in a league together playing teach other, their ADPs are all very similar to the rest of the division.