By TOM WILLIAMS
There are still 11 Cape-Atlantic League football teams in the NJSIAA playoff picture as we get ready for the final weekend. After this weekend’s results, four teams moved up in their groups and one moved down.
These seedings are according to Will Morris, the Malaga Math Master, who applies factors to his rankings that are not yet included by most media and that give us a more accurate picture.
In South Jersey Group 5, Vineland advanced one spot to No. 4 after its win over Washington Township. If the playoffs were this week, the Fighting Clan would host Eastern in the first round. Vineland is idle this week.
Ocean City’s overtime loss to Oakcrest dropped the Raiders one spot to No. 6 in South Jersey Group 4 and, if the playoffs were this week, would send OCHS on the road to Hammonton. Millville is still the top seed in Group 4 and would host No. 8 Winslow Township. Mainland, which was idle this weekend, actually advanced to No. 7 and would play at Highland. This week, Millville is idle and Mainland plays at Ocean City in a very important game.
In South Jersey Group 3, Friday’s win over Ocean City advanced Oakcrest to No. 7 where it would play at Delsea. The Falcons do not play this week.
In South Jersey Group 2 there is no change locally. No. 5 Cedar Creek would play at No. 4 Pleasantville in an interesting re-match. Pleasantville hosts Middle Township this Friday and Camden Catholic comes to Cedar Creek on Saturday. Middle has an outside chance to qualify if it can beat the Greyhounds.
In South Jersey Group 1, Buena’s big win over Pleasantville moved it up to No. 3 where the Chiefs would host Glassboro. Buena plays at Gloucester Catholic on Saturday.
In Non-Public 4, No. 4 St. Augustine would host Don Bosco Prep according to the numbers. But this group will be seeded by a committee, using the power ratings as a reference. St. Augustine can really help itself on Friday when it plays at undefeated Williamstown in a division championship game.
And, in Non-Public 2, No. 1 St. Joseph would host the St. Mary-Immaculate Conception winner and No. 2 Holy Spirit would host the Gloucester Catholic-Montclair Kimberley winner. But, in an interesting development, St. Joe plays at Holy Spirit on Friday and the winner will likely finish as the No. 1 seed.
This season the NJSIAA is combining its own power rating – traditionally based on the group size and record of a team’s opponents – with the Born Index Ratings that evaluate a team’s season through a different mathematical system that includes strength of schedule and margins of victory.
Public schools are divided into North One-Two and South-Central within each group. At the end of this week, the 16 schools with the highest United ranking among the South-Central schools will qualify for the playoffs. Once they are determined, the 16 schools will be divided based on geography into eight
teams who play for the South Jersey title and eight who play in Central Jersey.
Will Morris uses that geographical formula to make the above determinations each week.
Only a team’s first seven games are used to determine its residual points. Consequently, teams like St. Joseph (6-2), St. Augustine (6-2), Cedar Creek (3-4), Holy Spirit (5-2), Pleasantville (5-2) and Mainland (5-2) will no longer get any additional residual points for games they play this week. They will only receive residual points for their first seven games.
In a couple of interesting Week 7 South Jersey ratings stories – Cherokee is still the No. 8 seed in Group 5 despite its 0-6 record; and Paulsboro, which has won three of the last four South Jersey Group 1 titles and 19 championships overall, would actually be in the Central Jersey playoffs.
Check the latest Online 25 (http://www.primeevents.net/SuraceAward.html), the standings of West Jersey Football divisions including CAL teams (http://www.primeevents.net/FootballStandings2018.html) and the scoring leaders among players at CAL schools (http://www.primeevents.net/FootballScoring2018.html).
Final playoff ratings will be based on games played through Saturday. The South Jersey champions will be determined by playoff games played the first three weekends of November.
Many teams are sure of playoff qualification but this week’s games could determine their seed. And others might need a win this week or help from other games to qualify.
This is the last week for teams to help themselves.