The Prep Blog

Covering high school sports in Tacoma, Pierce County and the South Sound

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Archives: Sep. 2011


Football: Three to See in Week 5

Three to See in Week 5

No. 9 Federal Way (4-0 overall, 4-0 league) at Bethel (3-1 overall, 3-0 league), 7 tonight

Lowdown: Federal Way’s dynamite defense collides with Bethel’s barnstorming offense in a contest that could determine the league champion. Led by DB D.J. May, LB Jordan Pulu and NG Uso Olive, the Eagles have stymied opposing offenses, holding them to only 54 points. Federal Way is particularly tough against the run, allowing a league-best 56.5 yards per game. But pass defense has been Federal Way’s Achilles heel – the Eagles rank dead-last in the league, allowing 186 yards per game. That bodes well for Bethel QB Justin Hordyk, who’s thrown for 838 yards and 8 TDs. Hordyk leads the SPSL in total offense, averaging 302 yards per game. RB Jeffrey Holder (359 yards and 7 TDs) gets the bulk of the Braves’ carries, while WRs Brandon Kirian and David Fontenette are Hordyk’s top targets.

TNT pick: Bethel 33, Federal Way 31
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Here’s why football coaches are pushing for playoff seeding reform; w/state brackets

Why is the Washington State Football Coaches Association pushing to reform the way the football playoffs are seeded?

Because no one wants to see this happen: No. 1 Bellevue playing at No. 2 Lakes in the Class 3A state quarterfinals. UPDATE: I’ve received three different versions of brackets on Thursday morning, and we’re back to my original post from Wednesday evening. Yes, look at the bracket for yourself, they are posted below.

Washington football coaches have voiced their displeasure at the current format. The WSFCA is studying a computer rankings format similar to the one used by the Oregon School Activities Association.

I’ve been talking to coaches — active and retired — about this issue since March. I think most would be satisfied if there was a way to determine the top four or eight teams in each classification, and break them up into different brackets or quarter-brackets to ensure they don’t meet in the early rounds. The WSFCA has met with the WIAA and will ask for another meeting after the conclusion of the season to discuss potential changes. I’m betting the WIAA will listen hard. A Bellevue-Lakes-type game in the Tacoma Dome sells a lot more tickets than it would at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood.

Just for fun — though the information is pretty interesting, too — we’ve got our own set of computer rankings to follow this season, thanks to friend of the blog, Scott Odiorne.
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Football: This week’s AP poll

Here’s this week’s Associated Press state football poll.

Class 4A
1. Ferris (12) 4-0 120
2. Bellarmine Prep 4-0 105
3. Eastlake 4-0 95
4. Skyline 2-2 79
5. Chiawana 4-0 76
6. Olympia 4-0 60
7. Kentlake 4-0 48
8. Central Valley 4-0 37
9. Federal Way 4-0 24
10. Davis 4-0 5
Others receiving 6 or more points: None
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Football: Week 5 computer state ratings

The first installment of Scott Odiorne’s computer ratings for high school football sparked plenty of debate and raised a few questions. Before we get to this week’s edition, Scott and I wanted to offer some explanations and answers.

First, here’s how I’d describe these computer rankings. Imagine we’re constructing a 10-story building. Right now, we’ve only got four stories (four weeks of data from games) completed. It’s looking like a building, but it’s nowhere near finished.

The goal with these rankings isn’t to be accurate right now, but at the end of the season when all the data has been collected (when that 10-story building has been completed). And along the way, if we notice a trend or a team that’s unranked in human polls rating highly in the computer rankings, we can give those instances a deeper look.

Sure, there are some strange things. Like, why is Kennewick rated higher than Kamiakin, which beat Kennewick last week? Doesn’t the computer know that Bellevue is ranked No. 10 in the nation by USA Today, so why is it fifth in Class 3A?

To the people that dismiss these computer rankings, that’s OK, they’re not perfect. Just remember that the Washington State Football Coaches Association is interested in using computer ratings to seed the state playoffs. Many are tired of seeing two of the top teams in the state meet before the finals or semifinals, and the WSFCA believes using computer ratings might solve that problem and improve upon the current format. It’s working for Oregon, why not Washington?

Odiorne, who produces the rankings, offers this explanation:

Couple thoughts about the computer rankings the Tacoma News Tribune is running. This poll is a numbers-driven reporting device that looks at nothing but data and assigns a numerical value to some meaningless field in a spreadsheet. We take that data, these unemotional numbers, and we give it meaning because it is dealing with something that we are passionate about. In this case, it’s our kids playing football for their school.

The numbers are great and they can tell us lots, but the real world is comprised of more than just numbers. Last year, Doug Pacey’s playoff football predictions outperformed those of this system. This proves that people are, and always will be, smarter than a computer. But the numbers should not be completely discounted. Already this season the numbers have uncovered several interesting tidbits.
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Football: Week 5 State Rankings

The News Tribune’s Week 5 Prep Football State Rankings

I’m at CenturyLink Field, helping cover the Arizona-Seahawks game, so I don’t have enough time to provide an in-depth rationale for this week’s rankings.

Here’s the quick-and-dirty version:

4A: No movement at all in the Top 10, as all teams won. Skyview, Davis, Arlington, Woodinville and Union are beating down the door to be ranked. Going to be hard to keep those teams out for much longer.

3A: The first four teams remain the same, Peninsula moves to fifth after Camas lost to Skyview. The Papermakers fall just one spot, which is more of an indicator of how good I believe Skyview is than anything else. Kennewick leaps into the Top 10, despite losing to Kamiakin, 14-6. If Kamiakin is a top-four team, then Kennewick is pretty good, too.

2A: North Thurston holds steady at No. 5, despite losing, 43-36, to No. 3 Tumwater. All the teams below North Thurston have worse losses than losing to the defending state champions. Cheney falls out and Lakewood pops in. Outside of ATM, the Cascade Conference hasn’t done much, but maybe that will change.
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Football: How the Top 10 teams fared in Week 4

No. 1
CLASS 4A: Ferris (4-0)
Friday: d. Spokane Rogers, 61-0 Next: at 4A No. 8 Central Valley
CLASS 3A: Bellevue (4-0)
Friday: d. Lake Washington, 54-0 Next: at Mercer Island
CLASS 2A: Lynden (4-0)
Friday: d. Sehome, 40-6 Next: vs. Ferndale

No. 2
CLASS 4A: Eastlake (4-0)
Friday: d. Redmond, 43-0 Next: at Newport
CLASS 3A: Lakes (4-0)
Friday: d. Wilson, 42-20 Next: vs. 3A No. 6 Peninsula
CLASS 2A: Arch. Murphy (4-0)
Friday: d. South Whidbey, 59-17 Next: at Lakewood

No. 3
CLASS 4A: Bellarmine Prep (4-0)
Friday: d. Mount Tahoma, 41-7 Next: vs. Central Kitsap
CLASS 3A: O’Dea (4-0)
Friday: d. Nathan Hale, 49-28 Next: vs. Bishop Blanchet
CLASS 2A: Tumwater (3-1)
Friday: d. 2A No. 5 North Thurston, 43-36; Next: Bye
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