It was my understanding there was to be no math…

Article by Craig way

It was my understanding there was to be no math…

In this election year, I am often reminded of the many political and election-based skits performed on “Saturday Night Live”.  One of the very first of these political skits took place during the 1976 election, in SNL’s very first season. It featured Dan Aykroyd playing Jimmy Carter, who was debating President Gerald Ford, portrayed by Chevy Chase. The moderator of the debate, played by Jane Curtin, asked “President Ford” (Chevy Chase) a question about the recession being experienced in the nation affecting percentage losses in the Gross National Product, with reductions adjusted along with the rate of inflation. Chevy Chase’s President Ford stared blankly at the Jane Curtin-played moderator and said simply: “It was my understanding that there was to be no math.”

While not quite as complex as the indexes used to determine our country’s GNP, tracking the possibilities of what the 2020 Texas high school football playoff brackets could look like in Class 6A can make one’s head spin. This only applies to 6A schools; all other classifications are already divided into Division I and Division II, and the top four teams in 5A down through 2A and the top two in 1A (Six-Man) districts will advance to the playoffs. In Class 6A, however, the playoff participants are not placed into their respective postseason brackets until the end of the regular season, where the top four finishers advance to the playoffs. However, the four playoff teams are then divided into Division I and Division II at that point based on enrollment, regardless of whether they finished first, second, third, or fourth. The highest-finishing team with the largest enrollment will be the top seed in the Division I bracket, with the second finisher in the larger enrollment being the runner-up from that district in the D-1 bracket. Same story for the other two schools, which will be placed in the Division II bracket, with the highest finisher with the third or fourth enrollment in that district being the top seed in D-2 from that district, and the final spot going to the third or fourth enrollment that finishes below the better record in that same division.

Confused yet ?  Check out these enrollment numbers in the Greater Austin Area’s two 6A districts. In both of these districts, we have listed the current district leaders, and their enrollments:

25-6A

Vandegrift—4-1 overall; 3-0 in district play—2,761 students

Vista Ridge—5-1 overall; 3-1 in district play—2,492 students

Round Rock—3-2 overall; 2-1 in district play—3,714 students

  Hutto——-3-2 overall; 2-1 in district play——-2,247 students

 Westwood—2-2 overall; 1-1 in district play—–2,858 students

 Cedar Ridge—2-3 overall; 1-2 in district play—-2,874 students

  Stony Point—1-2 overall; 0-2 in district play—-2,789 students

McNeil———0-6 overall; 0-4 in district play—-2,753 students

26-6A

Westlake—5-0 overall; 3-0 in district play—2,833 students

Lake Travis—4-0 overall; 3-0 in district play—3,401 students

Austin High—4-1 overall; 3-1 in district play—2,359 students

  Bowie——-2-2 overall; 2-1 in district play——-2,848 students

 Hays———3-3 overall; 2-2 in district play—–2,351 students

 Del Valle—2-3 overall; 1-2 in district play—-3,337 students

  San Marcos—1-5 overall; 0-4 in district play—-2,309 students

Akins——–1-5 overall; 0-4 in district play—–2,770 students

Using these numbers, if the regular season ended after last weekend’s games (through 10/31), these would be the playoff representatives from 25-6A and 26-6A, which would then match against one another in the first round of the playoffs (Bi-District):

25-5A: Division I—Vandegrift (#1 seed); Round Rock (#2 seed)

Division II—Vista Ridge (#1 seed); Hutto (#2 seed)

26-6A: Division I—Lake Travis (#1 seed); Bowie (#2 seed)

Division II—Westlake (#1 seed); Austin High (#2 seed)

Bi-District Playoffs: Division I—Vandegrift vs. Bowie

                                               Division I—Lake Travis vs. Round Rock

                                                Division II—Vista Ridge vs. Austin High 

                                Division II—Westlake vs. Hutto

Here is what is important to remember: If one of the teams in fourth place in either district falters and is passed by another team in the race for the playoffs, it could shake up the entire division in either or both districts. For example, if Westwood were to reach the playoffs instead of Hutto in 25-6A, Vandegrift would then move into the Division II bracket, with Round Rock and Westwood playing in the Division I bracket. That would also drop Vista Ridge from the top seed in D-2 from 25-6A to the runner-up—that could be the difference between facing Austin High…or Westlake in the first round. Similarly, if Hays were to advance to the playoffs from 26-6A instead of Bowie (and that spot will probably be decided on the final night of the regular season), then Hays joins Austin High in Division II and Westlake and Lake Travis would make a Division I bracket with the likes of two-time defending state champion North Shore, Katy, Allen, Duncanville, and Southlake Carroll all the more daunting. Now you know why the folks at Vista Ridge are rooting hard for Hays to make the playoffs, and Vandegrift folks are big-time fans of Westwood (except for this week, when the two schools meet on Thursday night).

So, as we prepare to wrap up the regular season this week for Classes 4A down to 1A, remember that we’re just past the halfway point in 5A and 6A. And, as they say in the election reporting business, at this point, it’s “too close to call”.

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