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Section FB seedings anything but simple

October 13, 2008

by Aaron Schultz

Twenty-four points for a win over a Class 2A team, and six points for a loss to a Class 3A team.

However, no points for a loss to a Class 1A team, but you do get 30 points for a win over a Class 3A team, or bigger.

Confused yet?

I’ve been a sports editor for nearly a decade now at three different papers, and I still get a little headache this time of year as I try to figure out where our local football squads will get seeded in the upcoming section playoffs.

At the top of this column is just a few of the ingredients that go into the football seedings for Section 4AA – the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted section.

Taking a look at Section 4A, the section that the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity football team is in, one will see a very similar breakdown, but still different.

In pretty much every other team sport where times aren’t scored, the sections get seeded with coaches from each section voting on the seedings for the fellow teams in that section.

Most of the time, in those cases, the teams with the better records get the higher seeds.

However, in football, that is anything but the case.

Don’t get me wrong, teams with the better records are typically among the top seeds, but after that, it gets a little dicey.

Let’s take a look at how the seedings are determined in both Section 4A and Section 4AA – the sections that HLWW and LP/HT are in for football.

In Section 4A, teams get four points for beating a Class 1A team; five points for beating a Class 2A team; and six points for beating a Class 3A school or bigger.

Meanwhile, teams that lose to a Class 1A team get no points, but if a team falls to a team that is Class 2A or bigger, they get one point.

Simple enough, right?

Well, if your head isn’t spinning yet, just wait until we look at Section 4AA.

In Section 4AA, a team gets 24 points for beating a fellow Class 2A school, and 3 points for losing to a Class 2A school.

That same team would get 18 points for beating a Class 1A school, but no points for losing to a Class 1A team.

Now, if a team beats a team that is Class 3A or higher, they get 30 points, and would get six points for losing to a Class 3A team or larger.

Just writing this has given me an even bigger headache than I had before. (Been a little under the weather this past week, with a serious headache and sore throat).

Maybe me being sick is just my body and mind telling me that it wanted nothing to do with me writing this column.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand – section football pairings.

Each football section in the state has its own little way of seeding the teams.

So, should HLWW or LP/HT join a different section in a year or two, I’ll be learning another seeding breakdown, which will, no doubt, confuse me all over again.

Dear Minnesota State High School League, would it be possible to find one common seeding method for all the football sections? Please!

I’m sure people much smarter than I have already checked into it, and found that there wasn’t anything that could be done. At least I hope people smarter than I have done so.

Oh well, nothing is going to change it this year, so instead of rambling on anymore, I’ll jump into what the Section 4A and Section 4AA seedings would look like if the regular season ended Friday, as well as what they will probably look like after Wednesday (which is when the regular season comes to an end).

Section 4A

With one week to go in the regular season, the Section 4A standings are as tight as ever, with four teams all sitting at 6-1 on the season.

One thing that is all but certain is that St. Bernard’s should end up with the top seed.

St. Bernard’s is 6-1, along with Royalton, Upsala/Swanville, and LP/HT.

However, St. Bernard’s plays in the Tri-Metro Conference, so they play mostly Class 3A teams.

For that reason, St. Bernard’s has 37 points heading into their final game, which locks up the top seed in the section.
Now, the battle for second, third, and fourth isn’t that simple.

Right now, LP/HT and Upsala/Swanville both have 26 points, while Royalton is sitting with 25 points.

All three squads play Class 1A opponents in their final game.

Royalton has, what looks like, the easiest game of the week as they travel to New York Mills, which is 0-7 on the season.

However, Royalton is a point behind both LP/HT and Upsala/Swanville, and will need one of those teams to loose to leapfrog them.

As for LP/HT, they play at 3-4 New Life Academy, which should be a win.

Meanwhile, Upsala/Swanville has to battle Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, which is 5-2.

Should both Upsala/Swanville and LP/HT both win, they would each have 30 points.

As for how that tiebreaker would be determined, I have no idea. Either way, those two squads would be the second and third seeds, and would then play each other in the second round, should they both win their opening games.

Ogilvie, which entered Friday’s game with a 4-2 record, should be no worse than the fifth seed, while Concordia Academy/Bloomington, with their 1-6 record, will, in all likelihood, be the team that misses the playoffs.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth seeds will be determined between New Life Academy, St. Agnes, and West Lutheran.

Section 4AA

One thing we do know in Section 4AA is that Kimball (1-6) will finish as the seventh seed in this seven team section with 29 points.

After that, the rest of the spots are pretty much up for grabs.

Norwood Young America currently leads the section with a 5-2 record and 147 points.

The Raiders do have a tough final game against Jordan, but win or lose, look to have the top seed in their grasp.

Currently, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthop is sitting second with a 4-3 record and 114 points, and with a win over Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Wednesday will be the second seed.

Now assuming Maple Lake looses to Eden Valley-Watkins Wednesday, they would finish with a 4-4 record and 111 points.

This opens things up for HLWW, which could finish as high as second should GFW and Maple Lake both lose.

However, the Lakers will need to beat Pierz for any chance to finish in the top three.

With a win Wednesday, HLWW will guarantee a top four seed in the section.

But, if the Lakers would fall to Pierz, and Mayer Lutheran would then beat Montgomery-Lonsdale, the Lakers could finish fifth.

The sixth seed looks to be Providence Academy, which is 5-2, but plays mostly Class 1A schools, and will have their hands full in their final game with Mankato Loyola.

Yep, there are a host of scenarios that could occur.

The one thing we do know is that Norwood Young America will receive a bye, and Kimball will be the seventh seed playing the second seed Tuesday, Oct. 21.