Just because football season is ending doesn’t mean you have seen the last of power points this school year.
Playoff seeds in 5A football are determined by powerpoint rankings. A similar power-point ranking system for basketball debuts next week when the 5A boys and girls seasons begin.
Many coaches are eager to see what the system brings about in a couple of key areas.
‘‘I’m really excited to see how it works out,’’ Highland girls coach Miner Webster said. ‘‘I think it’s going to be a positive. More teams are going to get in the playoffs, and when the regular season and region playoffs are done, teams are going to have earned where they fall in the bracket as opposed to the blind draw we saw every year.’’
The power rankings’ major role won’t be in determining which teams qualify for the playoffs (28 of 32 still qualify through regionals, the other four teams qualify based on their power-point ranking).
The real purpose is the seeding of teams for the state tournament.
Webster’s teams have rarely had to worry about grabbing a playoff spot. But because of the random playoff-matchup draw used by 5A in the past, the Hawks on several occasions have drawn tough opponents earlier in the state tournament than they would have with power points.
Teams that stand to benefit most are those that play in a region tough from top to bottom and/or teams that end up playing a tough overall schedule. Every game each 5A team plays against another 5A team counts, even if it is in one of the two in-season tournaments that teams are allowed to participate in.
For instance, next week, Westwood and Corona del Sol play in the first round of the Jackrabbit Preseason Tournament. That game will count just as any other regular season game, non-region or not, would.
The power-point system is based on team record, opponents’ record and opponents’ opponents’ record. It goes a step further than the powerpoint system in football, which is based only on team record and opponents’ record.
Three years ago in the Fiesta Region boys race, Mesquite, Gilbert, Highland and Hamilton finished in a fourway tie for first. Coins were flipped to determine seeds at the regional.
Three of the four advanced to state per the 5A formula at the time. One school — it ended up being Mesquite — did not qualify. The Wildcats would not have sweated making state then had the powerpoint system been in place.
‘‘I can’t see the new system being anything but a welcome change,’’ said Corona boys coach Sammy Duane Jr., who coached Mesquite at the time.
‘‘We (Mesquite) would have been in the playoffs last season if the power-point rankings were in effect. Bring it on. I like it already.’’
Had the power-point ranking system been in place last year, four teams that would have qualified for the boys tournament but did not were Mountain Pointe (No. 10), Mesquite (No. 12), Chandler (No. 20) and Phoenix St. Mary’s (No. 21). All of them were above .500.