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One last rant

Jack Singler

@SOURaiders @JSing03 #NAIAFootball @racetodaytona @Play_NAIA

OK. Maybe this won’t be my last rant on the NAIA football rankings, but here goes.

As demonstrated by last year’s playoffs, Massey Ratings (an unbiased, objective, computer-based ranking system) did a far superior job of predicting which NAIA football teams were better when compared to the coaches’ poll (which is, unfortunately, the main thing considered when it comes to determining who makes the postseason and where the games are played). Massey went 7-0 in games when the coaches’ rankings went 3-4. That’s especially significant because the coaches gave the inferior teams home-field advantage, and Massey saw right through that benefit and still predicted the lower-ranked (in the coaches’ eyes) teams to win. The current system is unfair not just because certain teams (Morningside, Baker, etc.) will receive home field advantage throughout much, if not all, of the playoffs again (even though they had weak schedules), but also because teams that Massey doesn’t have in their top 20 (or even top 40!) will make the playoffs.

Let’s look at some things:

1) If the Raiders beat Montana Tech this Saturday in Ashland and Eastern Oregon loses at Carroll College, the Frontier Conference won’t end up with a single team getting a home game in the playoffs. If Massey Ratings was being used, instead of the coaches, four Frontier Conference teams would receive home playoff games.
2) Even if SOU and Montana Western win this weekend, neither team will make the playoffs.
3) Neither Baker (ranked #2 by the coaches) or Reinhardt (ranked #3 by the coaches) have played a team in Massey’s top 13. Not even once. Southern Oregon has played teams in Massey’s top 12 nine times, and that doesn’t even count UC Davis, an NCAA DI team!
4) Some teams that will make the playoffs would not be able to beat MSN, a team SOU beat 56-14 (without scoring in the 4th quarter with the second string playing) last week. Those teams include Kansas Wesleyan (ranked #10 by the coaches, ranked #50 by Massey), Tabor (ranked #13 by the coaches, ranked #41 by Massey), and Sterling (ranked #15 by the coaches, ranked #42 by Massey).
5) Dickinson State will make the playoffs by virtue of winning the incredibly weak North Star Conference. Dickinson State lost to Montana Western by more than two touchdowns. It’s safe to say, and Massey agrees, that Dickinson State would come in 8th place if they were still in the Frontier Conference.
6) Why does the Frontier Conference only get a maximum of two schools in the playoffs? Because the Frontier Conference teams have to play each other, sometimes multiple times. With ten intra-conference games it’s virtually impossible for more than two Frontier Conference teams to come away with fewer than 3 losses, which is pretty much what the coaches require to make the postseason.

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