The FHSAA’s Playoff Proposal–In Application


We’ve given you some perspectives on the FHSAA’s new postseason proposal for changing the format, now it’s time to work our way up the spiral curriculum and put the new formula into some practical application. The goal is to try and eliminate some of the quirks to the archaic system that is in place. The goal is to eliminate situations where Cardinal Mooney makes the playoffs at 2-8, or Gainesville-Eastside makes the playoffs at 1-9. Side-note, that district that CCC was in (Calvary Christian, Mooney and St. Pete Catholic) this past season went a combined 6-24 behind the Marauders. A 5-5 Davie team was seeded higher than West Broward who finished at 7-3 simply because of their placement on a line.

We took three regions from Classes 6A and 7A and used them as the sample size. You might be surprised by our findings working the new criteria into the equation. Using the seeding and the bonus points as they have been proposed here are some of the way those regions would have panned out. For those claiming these changes are too much, note that most of the changes are subtle involving only 1-2 teams. It’s the seeding that makes things interesting, quite frankly. The reason for including the eight and nine games on the records is because of obvious weather cancellations, as well as schools in St. Lucie County are only allowed nine games per season following the budget cuts made during the recession. Their tenth game was never restored after every other county in the state gave their programs’ the tenth game back.

Keep in mind that you may see match ups that actually happened during the postseason within the district crossover format, but note the differences given the already determined outcomes versus where the teams were actually seeded. Also note some of the “better” records in terms of numbers that ended up being barely postseason-worthy.

Versus opponents 80% or better (10-0, 9-0, 9-1, 8-2, 8-0, 8-1) -CATEGORY ONE
A win vs. opponents who finished their regular season with records of better than 80% gets you 50 points.
A loss vs. opponents who finished their regular season with records of better than 80% gets you 35 points.

Versus Opponents 60% or better (7-3, 6-4, 7-2, 6-3) – CATEGORY TWO
Win = 45 points
Loss = 30 points

Versus Opponents 40% or better (5-5, 4-5, 4-6) – CATEGORY THREE
Win = 40 points
Loss = 25 points

All other opponents (records of 3 wins or less) – CATEGORY FOUR
Win = 35 points
Loss = 20 points

+1 point for defeating a team for every classification higher with a cap of four points (6A defeats 8A = 2 points)


How they actually looked:
Plant City (9-1) vs. East Lake (6-4)
Countryside (9-1) vs. Tampa Bay Tech (6-4)
Braden River (10-0) vs. Naples-Gulf Coast (7-3)
South Ft. Myers (8-2) vs. Venice (9-1)

What they would’ve looked like with seeding:
1 – Countryside (411 points) *Bonus point earned for beating 8A Lake Mary
2 – Plant City (410 points)
3 – Braden River (405 points)
4 – Tampa Bay Tech (385 points)
5 – East Lake (380 points)
6 – Gulf Coast (375 points)
7 – South Fort Myers (375 points)
8 – Venice (375 points)

The “new” match-ups:
Venice at Countryside (winner gets TBT-East Lake)
South Fort Myers at Plant City (winner gets Braden River-Gulf Coast)
Gulf Coast at Braden River
East Lake at Tampa Bay Tech

What’s interesting:
Venice is an 8-seed because their schedule saw eight teams finish with a record or 4-6 or worse and they lost their only chance at getting 50 points when they were defeated by Braden River. It was Palmetto that was the only other team with a winning record on Venice’s schedule. Gulf Coast and SFM are ahead by virtue of the tiebreaker which looks at quality wins. Braden River is a three-seed with an undefeated record because of the similar issue plaguing Venice, and Countryside’s win over Lake Mary is the difference keeping us from a coin flip.


How they actually looked:
St. Cloud (7-2) vs. Martin County (7-3)
Viera (6-4) vs. Harmony (9-1)
Lakeland (7-2) vs. Sickles (8-2)
Plant (8-2) vs. Kathleen (9-1)

What they would’ve looked like with seeding:
1 – Kathleen (396 points) *Bonus point for beating 8A George Jenkins
2 – Plant (395 points)
3 – Sickles (390 points)
4 – Viera (385 points)
5 – Martin County (381 points)
6 – Harmony (366 points)
7 – St. Cloud (346 points)
8 – Lakeland (336 points)

The “new” match-ups:
Lakeland at Kathleen (winner gets Viera-Martin County)
St. Cloud at Plant (winner gets Harmony-Sickles)
Harmony at Sickles
Martin County at Viera

What’s interesting:
Lakeland’s seeding. They had a game cancelled against Haines City earlier this season and the Rockets finished winless, BUT they’re in Class 8A–that point total would’ve had the Dreadnaught’s at 372 points and the six-seed. Still, an 8-2 record as sixth seed should be an eye-opener when it comes time to schedule, especially when there’s other teams with “worse” records in the county that have as many–of not more–points based on their schedules being compared.

Class 7A had some heavyweights that were stiffed from the postseason. Both Wharton (8-2) and Winter Haven (7-3) would have finished with 375 and 361 points respectively. That would have knocked out St. Cloud and Lakeland and reshuffled the deck of teams within the region. Had this format been in place, the new teams would’ve looked like this:

1 – Kathleen
2 – Plant
3 – Sickles
4 – Viera
5 – Martin County
6 – Wharton
7 – Harmony
8 – Winter Haven

THE EXPERIMENT: Class 6A, Region 2

How they actually looked:
Vanguard (8-2) vs. Sunlake (8-2)
Mitchell (9-1) vs. Gainesville (6-4)
Armwood (10-0) vs. Sebring (8-1)
Lake Gibson (7-3) vs. Brandon (8-2)

What they would’ve looked like with seeding:
1 – Armwood (446 points)
2 – Vanguard (405 points)
3 – Mitchell (390 points)
4 – Sunlake (385 points)
5 – Gainesville (380 points)
6 – Brandon (375 points)
7 – Lake Gibson (367 points)
8 – Sebring (350 points)

The “new” match-ups
Sebring at Armwood (winner gets Gainesville-Sunlake)
Lake Gibson at Vanguard (winner gets Brandon-Mitchell)
Brandon at Mitchell
Gainesville at Sunlake

What’s interesting:
Again, just like both other regions, a really good record is sitting at the bottom of the seedings. A point total as low as 350 actually gives teams in the region from Hillsborough and Polk a chance to have a solid season at 6-4 and get in based on strength of the teams around them in their new conference.

SO NOW IT IS YOUR TURN…to have some fun re-working your respective regions and see who–or better yet–who DIDN’T make it to the postseason based on this new formula. It may give you a better perspective and you’ll see that the changes aren’t nearly as drastic as some may think. But we know that this is a process that will take time and is admittedly in need of some tweaking.