How does a team get seeded?

March 10, 2008

by Aaron Schultz

So, how do we manage to win 20 games in such a tough conference and only receive a third seed in the sub-section?

How did that team get a higher seed than the other team, even though it beat the other one?

Those are just two of the many questions people ask when the sub-section seedings are announced for the Minnesota State High School League playoffs in pretty much every sport.

Unless you are in the actual meeting or have talked to every coach, you probably won’t be able to get an answer to those questions.

In fact, even if you do attend the meeting, and talk to every coach, you still might not get your question answered.

Why is that so?

Well, as a head coach myself, who has gone through the process twice, I’ll try to answer that to the best of my ability.

First, let me talk a little bit of my own personal experience with the seeding process.

My first year as the head baseball coach at Lester Prairie, all the coaches in the sub-section meet at McLeod West High School in Brownton to do the seedings, and this is how it worked.

There is a section official who ran the meeting, while coaches from all the schools in the sub-section were there.

The coaches all passed out a sheet that listed their schedule, along with the scores of each game, and their overall record to all of the other coaches.

After this, all of us looked over the other school’s resumes – wins and losses, who they played, as well as how they were doing lately, are just a few of things I took into consideration, along with head-to-head results.

At this point, the official gave each coach a few moments to talk about his team.

This didn’t take long, as most of the coaches did what I had done and took a good look at each school in the sub-section’s record already, and pretty much knew where they were going to seed everybody.

Then we moved on to the actual seeding process.

Each head coach ranked the teams in the sub-section from top to bottom, excluding their own team.

They then turn in those rankings to the section official, who would then add them up.

The team with the fewest points would then be ranked one, and so on down the line.

After the official announced where every team got seeded, he then passed out a sheet showing exactly where everyone ranked each other.

Now, this is where things can get a little sticky, especially if a certain coach ranks a team really low even though they might deserve a higher ranking if you look at their record.

Coaches are not obligated to rank teams only by records, but instead, should rank the teams by how good they feel they are compared to the rest of the teams in their sub-section.

For example, we played one team that year that beat us, while dominating another team that same year.

The team we dominated did have a better record than the team we lost to, however, I felt, based on watching them play, that the team that beat us had a better team.

Therefore, I ranked a team with a better win/loss record lower than another team with a worse record.

Things like this go on much of time, I presume.

Coaches have no bylaws or rules that they must follow when they rank teams – they only have their judgement.

I’ve been asked before, “if you think it is going to come down between you and another team, and it is going to be close, why not just give that other team a really low seed?”

Well, I suppose I could do that in certain situations, but then beware of next year.

I know, if a coach did such thing to me, I’d remember it, and would make sure to lower his seed the following year.

Coaches have long memories when it comes to certain things, and this would probably qualify as one of those.

Of course, this is just one coach’s opinion, and I’m sure if you talked to any of the various coaches in our area, they would each give you a little different interpretation.

All right, my objective was to clear up the high school seeding process, and I might have made you even more confused.

Trust me, it is not a difficult thing. For the most part, it is usually clear cut as far as where teams should be ranked.

For the most part, the coaches get it right.

Top 100 movie quotes

The top 100 movie quotes picked by ESPN continue, with quotes 40 through 36.

• 40: “In case you haven’t noticed – and, judging by the attendance, you haven’t – the Indians have managed to win a few here and there and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.”

Another great quote from “Major League,” one of the best baseball movies of all-time.

• 39: “You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’ and you have nearly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football team in the land for two years. And you’re gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself.”

All right, this quote is pretty good. It comes from the movie “Rudy.”

As for the movie, it might be my least favorite sports movie of all-time. I just can’t stand watching it. Still, the quote isn’t bad.

• 38: “I don’t hate Balboa. I pity the fool.”

This quote comes from “Rocky III.”

This might be my favorite of the Rocky movies, and the quote is in my top two from the Rocky series. Picturing Mr. T say this is priceless.

• 37: “U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi! You ugly! Yo momma said you ugly!”

I haven’t seen the movie this quote comes from in a long time. That movie being “Wildcats.”

I like the cheer, but it sure doesn’t seem like a quote to me. As for the movie, can’t remember if I like it or not.

• 36: “Sex and golf are the two things you can enjoy even if you’re not good at them.”

Very funny quote from a very good movie, “Tin Cup.”

I really like the quote and the movie is awesome.