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Week 8: Sacramento area high school football playoff projections

There are some new teams in The Sacramento Bee’s Week 8 high school football playoff projection – but the changes aren’t enough to dislodge Folsom from Division I. The top-ranked Bulldogs are right on the bubble between D-I and D-II, and the mix of qualifying teams will determine their playoff bracket in the Sac-Joaquin section playoffs.

The Bulldogs sit atop a D-I bracket loaded with company from the Delta River League, which holds four of the top six seeds. In Division II, Elk Grove drops from No. 1 seed to No. 3 after the Herd’s loss to Franklin. In D-III, Rio Linda jumps from No. 8 to No. 2. New teams in this week’s projection, which is based on games played to date, include Davis and Christian Brothers.


On the divisional edge: The smallest enrollment school in D-I this week is Folsom. In D-II, the largest school is Tracy and the smallest is Antelope. Yuba City (D-II last week) is the largest school in D-III; Vista Del Lago is the smallest. In D-IV, Sierra is the largest. These are the schools most likely to switch divisions if the mix of qualifying teams changes.

Outside looking in: The last team in is Hughson. Just outside the playoff bubble is West Campus, the only team with five wins that didn’t make the DI-IV field.

How our projection is done: We have attempted to apply the section’s playoff rules for this year as much as possible, with some slight adjustments to compensate for the weeks yet to be played. The section’s playoff plan for 2013 is attached to this story, along with some sample brackets.

We change the rules in two ways to make our projection. First, we are currently ignoring the requirement that a team have two league wins, since many teams have just started league play. Teams will have to have at least one league win in Week 9. Second, we add CalPreps rankings as a second tiebreaker for determining each league’s two automatic qualifiers. The official tiebreaker is head-to-head competition, but in many cases the teams have yet to play each other. Head-to-head results are used whenever the teams have played.

These charts show preliminary seeding. The section has broad authority to adjust the seeds to compose the final brackets. For example, seeding is generally be adjusted to prevent teams from the same league from meeting in the first round. Travel distance is another potential reason for a seeding adjustment. For these charts, we haven’t tried to make those final tweaks.

Questions? Send me an email at nlevine@sacbee.com, and it might be included in a short QA in the near future.

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