Playoff Positions Taking Shape in South Dakota 11-Man Football
Two weeks are left in the high school football season and for the 11-man classes we have some form of idea of who will be in the playoffs.
There is a lot left to be determined over the next two weeks. Teams are not placed based on win/loss record, but rather based using a seed point method based on opponents wins/losses over the season.
Seed Point System Opponent winning percentage, points for a win, points for a loss:
.750 and above = 50 points for win, 39 for loss
.500-.749 = 47 points for win, 36 for loss
.250-.499 = 44 points for win, 33 for loss
.000-.249 = 41 points for win, 30 for loss
Seed points are then calculated through the entire year and divided by the amount of games played. Where this gets confusing is that teams are able to jump into different categories throughout the season based on their records changing. In other words, it's really difficult to map it all out a couple of weeks before the end of the year.
For 11AAA, 11AA, and 11A the top eight teams based on seed point averages will make the playoffs. The top four teams will host the bottom four in a traditional bracket set up. Based on this, we have an idea at this point of who is in and who is on the bubble.
Both 11AAA and 11AA have nine teams in the class. With the top eight making it into the playoffs, there is one team on each side that will be left out. Because of that, it's easy to get a grasp of who is in and out as of now.
- Brandon Valley
- Aberdeen Central
- Rapid City Stevens
These teams are essentially battling for seed positions at this point. The top four teams will be hosting games in the opening round as none of them will be able to fall lower than 4th. Aberdeen Central can 100% lock a spot in with a win over Watertown this weekend. Rapid City Stevens is essentially in with having to play Washington this weekend (win or loss).
Right now there seems to be three teams battling to get into the playoffs. Those teams being Watertown (2-5, 38.714), Lincoln (2-5, 38.216), and Rapid City Central (2-5, 37.875). I will venture to say that Lincoln at this point is safe with having to play Brandon Valley and O'Gorman in the last two weeks...but there seems to be an odd situation where they could potentially miss with two losses and Watertown/Rapid City Central winning out. It more-so appears to be a race between Watertown/Rapid for the last spot as of today.
We have a pretty good idea on 11AA. Either Sturgis Brown or Brookings will miss the playoffs as Douglas has defeated both of them during the regular season. Right now Sturgis Brown (0-7, 36.429) has a very slim advantage over Brookings (0-7, 35.143). At this point with two weeks left we finally get down to the simple nature of football...a win would be all the difference. If it comes down to both teams losing out, there are a few factors based on other 11AA games that makes it too tough to work out two weeks out. We'll have a better idea next week if they both lose this week.
11A and 11B are much more of a monster to tackle. With teams playing cross-conference more often between the two classes there are a lot more factors compared to 11AAA and 11AA.
The playoff format is also different between the two. 11A takes the top eight teams (out of 17 teams). 11B uses a 16-team tournament with the top three in each region making it in and then four at-large bids.
- St. Thomas More
- Tea Area
- SF Christian
- Dell Rapids
- Milbank Area
- Hot Springs
I'm confident looking at the top of 11A that the first six are for sure in. Hot Springs at this point seems like a guarantee but their lack of strength-of-schedule COULD potentially hurt them based on a few factors. But looking at the remaining schedule, they should be just fine.
This is a mess for that 8th spot. Dakota Valley currently holds it with a slight advantage over Belle Fourche. Cheyenne-Eagle Butte and West Central are lurking right behind by a half of a seed point. Canton and St. Francis Indian might even have a very slim shot at getting in. It's too close to call as of this week with many factors remaining.
Todd County, Vermillion, Pine Ridge, and Lennox are too far behind in seed points to get in at this point.
- Groton Area
- Aberdeen Roncalli
- Sioux Valley
- McCook Central/Montrose
The third spot for Region 3 is still up for grabs between Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan and Parkston. Parkston can jump BEE with a win over Groton Area in Week 9 and a BEE loss to Sioux Valley in Week 9. Both teams are on a bye this week.
- Bennett County
This is pretty much the only confirmation as of now for Region 4. Custer, Red Cloud, and Lead-Deadwood will battle for the two remaining spots. Two of those teams will be in for sure with the best chances being for Custer and Red Cloud as of today.
11B At-Large Teams
- Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (40.571) Region 3
- Parkston (40.143) Region 3
- Custer (39.667) Region 4
- Red Cloud (39.000) Region 4
- Lead-Deadwood (38.667) Region 4
- Redfield/Doland (37.857) Region 1
- Beresford (37.857) Region 2
- Sisseton (36.833) Region 1
- Little Wound (36.833) Region 4
With the At-Large teams you can draw a line at this point. Either BEE or Parkston will be an at-large team with the other team going into the top three of their region. Custer, Red Cloud, and Lead-Deadwood will all three be in as it stands now with two going into the top three of their region and the other securing a at-large birth. That leaves Redfield/Doland, Beresford, Sisseton, and Little Wound to battle for the two spots remaining.
We'll get a better idea after this week in terms of spots, but as of now there's the currently playoff picture for each class in 11-man football.