The 2021 Class 4A Playoff Calculatron 3000 (Version Week 8)

KidSilverhair

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Aug 31, 2008
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As promised, here's my spreadsheet-aided, mathematically challenged, pen-and-paper enhanced look at the Class 4A playoff picture with two weeks to go. I can't promise there are no mistakes - I've gone over this a couple of times, but I'm only human, darn it, and I sure could have missed something somewhere.

A reminder: the top two finishers in each district automatically make the playoffs, along with four at-large teams determined by RPI. Since RPI is changing with every week, I'm not going to get into that - I'm just looking at who could finish in the top two, or who could be involved in ties for those two spots. Ties (when they can't be resolved by head-to-head) will also be determined by RPI, so I'm not getting into that at this time, either.

DISTRICT 1

Webster City takes the district with a win. The only way they could miss the playoffs is by losing out while Denison/Schleswig wins out AND either Le Mars or Spencer wins out.

Spencer can win the district by winning out plus Webster City losing out. They're guaranteed a playoff spot with a win over Le Mars plus a loss by Denison/Schleswig.

Le Mars can take the district title by winning out plus Webster City losing out. They are in the playoffs if they win out. They'll also almost certainly be in with a win over Spencer plus a loss by Fort Dodge (there are some tie possibilities there, though).

Fort Dodge is in the playoffs by winning out plus Spencer losing out.

Denison/Schleswig is in the playoffs if (barring a couple of tie possibilities here):
  • They win out
  • Webster City loses out
  • Either Le Mars wins out and Spencer loses out, or the reverse (Spencer wins out, Le Mars loses out)
Storm Lake has been eliminated.

Current RPIs with 2 weeks to go indicates Le Mars and Denison/Schleswig will be in trouble with any tie situation:
  • Spencer .6059
  • Webster City .5736
  • Fort Dodge .5378
  • Le Mars .5036
  • Denison/Schleswig .4902



DISTRICT 2

Decorah takes the district with a win over Waverly-Shell Rock in Week 9. The Vikings are guaranteed a playoff spot with a Western Dubuque loss.

Waverly Shell-Rock can win the district with a win over Decorah plus a Western Dubuque loss. They are in the playoffs if they beat Western Dubuque.

Western Dubuque can take the district title by winning out plus Decorah losing out. The Bobcats are probably in if they win out, although there are some tie scenarios if Decorah beats Waterloo East and loses to Waverly-Shell Rock. They also will be in if Waverly-Shell Rock loses out (there are some ties involving Mason City here, but Mason City probably can't get high enough in the RPI to knock Western Dubuque out).

Mason City has a shot to get involved in a tie if they win out and Waverly-Shell Rock loses out, but as mentioned, their RPI will probably doom them. They're basically eliminated.

Waterloo East and Marion have been eliminated.

Current RPIs with 2 weeks to go:
  • Waverly-Shell Rock .6217
  • Decorah .5587
  • Western Dubuque .5152
  • Mason City .4537

DISTRICT 3

North Scott takes the title with a win over Fort Madison. They're assured a playoff spot with a win (there's a couple of three-way tie scenarios but they've got RPI locked up).

Fort Madison can win the district by winning out plus a Liberty loss. They're almost certainly in the playoffs with a win plus losses by both Burlington and Liberty.

Burlington takes the district if they win out and North Scott loses out. They lock up a playoff spot by winning out.

Iowa City Liberty can win the district if they win out and North Scott loses out. They are in the playoffs with a win plus losses by Burlington and Fort Madison.

Mount Pleasant and Clinton have been eliminated.

Current RPIs with 2 weeks to go:
  • North Scott .6890
  • Fort Madison .6435
  • Burlington .5334
  • Iowa City Liberty .4306

DISTRICT 4

Xavier will earn their seventh district title in the past eight years with a win. The only way they can miss the playoffs is by losing out plus Newton and Pella both winning out.

Pella can win the district by winning out plus Xavier losing out. They lock up a playoff spot by winning out, or by beating Clear Creek Amana plus a CR Washington loss to Oskaloosa (unless Xavier loses out, then some tie scenarios develop).

Clear Creek Amana can take the district title by winning out plus Xavier losing out. They're in the playoffs with a win over Pella plus a loss by Newton. There's a lot of tie scenarios if either Newton or CR Wash win out, although Washington would have little chance in the RPI.

Newton has a shot to win the district championship by winning out plus both Xavier and Pella losing out. They have some chances to get a playoff spot by winning out, but they'll need a variety of help (for example, Xavier losing to Oskaloosa while Pella wins out, or Pella losing out while Xavier beats Oskaloosa, and that's not considering the tie scenarios ... it gets a bit complicated).

Cedar Rapids Washington can get a playoff spot by winning out plus Clear Creek Amana losing out plus a Xavier win. There's a variety of tie scenarios, too, but the RPI is not Washington's friend.

Oskaloosa has been eliminated.

Current RPIs with 2 weeks to go:
  • Xavier .6781
  • Clear Creek Amana .6415
  • Newton .6106
  • Pella .5198
  • CR Washington .4828

DISTRICT 5

Norwalk takes the district with a win over Bondurant-Farrar in Week 9. The worst that can happen with any win is a playoff tie scenario; Norwalk locks up a playoff spot with losses by both Carlisle and Indianola.

Bondurant-Farrar can win the district by winning out, or with a win over Norwalk coupled with an Indianola loss to Boone. If they beat Indianola, they are in the playoffs. The Bluejays are out of the playoffs with two losses.

Indianola, somewhat surprisingly, needs the most help here. They get the district title by winning out plus Norwalk losing out. They are in the playoffs if Bondurant-Farrar loses out. There are some playoff spot tie scenarios in other situations, which could work out with Indianola's RPI ... but if either Bondurant-Farrar or Norwalk wins a game, Indianola might be in some trouble.

Carlisle has a shot to get involved in a tie if they win out plus help, but their RPI means they're basically eliminated.

Perry and Boone have been eliminated.

Current RPIs with 2 weeks to go:
  • Bondurant-Farrar .6492
  • Indianola .6319
  • Norwalk .6240
  • Carlisle .5275

DISTRICT 6

Winterset can win the district by beating Lewis Central Week 9. They lock up a playoff spot with a win or a Dallas Center-Grimes loss.

Lewis Central takes the district with a win over Winterset plus a Dallas Center-Grimes loss. They guarantee a spot in the playoffs by defeating Dallas Center-Grimes.

Dallas Center-Grimes can win the district by winning out plus Winterset losing out. They can earn a playoff spot by winning out plus Lewis Central losing out, or if Lewis Central loses out and Glenwood loses.

Glenwood might get into a three-way tie for the second playoff spot by winning out, with Lewis Central losing out and Dallas Center-Grimes losing, but because of RPI they are basically eliminated.

Des Moines Hoover and Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson have been eliminated.

Current RPIs with 2 weeks to go:
  • Winterset .6182
  • Lewis Central .5707
  • Glenwood .4853
  • Dallas Center-Grimes .3753
 
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KidSilverhair

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Obviously I jumped the gun on the RPIs and used the pre-Week 7 numbers. Here’s the current RPIs with 2 games left:

D-1
Webster City .5871
Spencer .5656
Fort Dodge .5496
Le Mars .5207
Denison/Schleswig .4641

D-2
Waverly-Shell Rock .6371
Decorah .5780
Western Dubuque .5456
Mason City .4376

D-3
North Scott .6916
Fort Madison .5904
Burlington .5441
Iowa City Liberty .4636

D-4
Xavier .6902
Clear Creek Amana .6032
Newton .5696
Pella .5487
CR Washington .5119

D-5
Bondurant-Farrar .6596
Indianola .6411
Norwalk .6376
Carlisle .5000

D-6
Winterset .6371
Lewis Central .5902
Glenwood .4667
Dallas Center-Grimes .4248


So, if we look at who we might expect to take the 1/2 spots in each district, you could have:

1: Webster City, Spencer
2: Waverly Shell-Rock, Decorah
3: North Scott, Fort Madison (or Burlington, or heck, maybe Liberty)
4: Xavier, Pella (or CCA)
5: Norwalk, Bondurant-Farrar (or Indianola)
6: Winterset, Lewis Central

Here‘s the possible at-large teams given current RPI: Whichever one of Norwalk/Indianola/B-F that doesn’t finish second; Newton; Fort Dodge; either Pella or CCA (whichever doesn’t get second),

D-5 is almost assured to get three teams in; D-4 might get in four, but I doubt that (who knows if Newton can hold on to their RPI rank given their remaining games are Xavier and CCA). CCA is probably a lock even if Pella beats them out for 2nd. Fort Dodge doesn’t have a big cushion over Pella, Western Dubuque, and Burlington, but I think it’s doubtful anybody below Burlington right now gets in.
 

majortom007

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Jul 25, 2019
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Good chance if both North Scott and Xavier win out, that Xavier overtakes NS in RPI. Bearing in mind that NS beat Xavier fairly comfortably at their place, it certainly exposes the flaws in RPI.
 

KidSilverhair

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Xavier could get a boost by beating Newton … I guess Osky’s 4 non-district wins won’t hurt, either, although the opponents’-opponents’ winning percentage takes a hit there.

North Scott will get a good bump by beating Fort Madison, but Mount Pleasant won’t help them much. I guess you’re right, since they’re only separated by .0014, Xavier might end up on top.
 

Break the Rock

Gold Member
Nov 30, 2002
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Good chance if both North Scott and Xavier win out, that Xavier overtakes NS in RPI. Bearing in mind that NS beat Xavier fairly comfortably at their place, it certainly exposes the flaws in RPI.
And if Indianola and Norwalk both win out won't Indianola most likely finish ahead of Norwalk in the RPI.....even though Norwalk beat Indianola? So the 1-2 and 3-4 seeds both could be upside-down compared to the head-to-head results. Is the RPI exclusively used to determine seeding? Just makes no sense if this plays out by RPI when head-to-head contradicts the order.
 

PNation

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Aug 15, 2010
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Just like there was a year where Lewis Central beat SBL but SBL was the one seed, the state needs to use a little common sense, Xavier played the hardest schedule in the state and is deserving of the 2 seed, but they did lose to North Scott who is undefeated and in my eyes deserving of the 1 seed, but other than maybe getting a slightly easier opponent in the semis it truly doesn't matter.
 

KidSilverhair

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I haven’t worked it all the way through, and maybe someone could check my math, but when it comes to district schedules RPI may have a flaw.

Okay … so, the overall winning percentage for an entire district schedule has got to be .500, right? For every team that wins a district game, somebody loses one. Therefore, a team with a winning record in their district will take a little hit in their (overall district) opponents’ WP, because it’s lower. Likewise, a team with a losing district record gets a boost in their district opponents’ WP.

Yes, this is only for district games, and no, it’s not a complete wash (a 5-0 district team won’t lose all of the benefit they get from their own record because their district opponents are 10-15). But the district play thing sure evens it out some - which, to me, increases the importance of your opponents’ non-district record and the 25% opponents’ opponents’ element.

Look at Xavier’s district, for example. Oskaloosa could very well end up 0-5. Newton’s already lost 2 district games, with Xavier and CCA yet to play, so they may end up 1-4. How much does it benefit Xavier (and Pella, and CCA) that they were both 4-0 in non-district?
 

Break the Rock

Gold Member
Nov 30, 2002
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I haven’t worked it all the way through, and maybe someone could check my math, but when it comes to district schedules RPI may have a flaw.

Okay … so, the overall winning percentage for an entire district schedule has got to be .500, right? For every team that wins a district game, somebody loses one. Therefore, a team with a winning record in their district will take a little hit in their (overall district) opponents’ WP, because it’s lower. Likewise, a team with a losing district record gets a boost in their district opponents’ WP.

Yes, this is only for district games, and no, it’s not a complete wash (a 5-0 district team won’t lose all of the benefit they get from their own record because their district opponents are 10-15). But the district play thing sure evens it out some - which, to me, increases the importance of your opponents’ non-district record and the 25% opponents’ opponents’ element.

Look at Xavier’s district, for example. Oskaloosa could very well end up 0-5. Newton’s already lost 2 district games, with Xavier and CCA yet to play, so they may end up 1-4. How much does it benefit Xavier (and Pella, and CCA) that they were both 4-0 in non-district?
All I know is I do not like RPI. The opponents opponents record should not factor is AT ALL.
 

PNation

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Aug 15, 2010
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Take a look at the varsity bound power rankings, you have to do it off of a computer because it doesn't come up on the app, I honestly don't think they are too bad.
 

KidSilverhair

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Top 15 in 4A by RPI:

  1. North Scott
  2. Xavier
  3. Bondurant-Farrar
  4. Indianola
  5. Norwalk
  6. Waverly Shell Rock
  7. Winterset
  8. Clear Creek Amana
  9. Fort Madison
  10. Lewis Central
  11. Webster City
  12. Decorah
  13. Newton
  14. Spencer
  15. Fort Dodge
Top 15 in Varsity Bound power rankings:
  1. North Scott (0)
  2. Xavier (0)
  3. Waverly Shell Rock (+3)
  4. Bondurant-Farrar (-1)
  5. Winterset (+2)
  6. Indianola (-2)
  7. Norwalk (-2)
  8. Lewis Central (+2)
  9. Webster City (+2)
  10. Clear Creek Amana (-2)
  11. Decorah (+1)
  12. Spencer (+2)
  13. Pella (+3)
  14. CR Washington (+8)
  15. Western Dubuque (+2)
Just a couple of interesting things I noticed: North Scott has the highest power ranking in all classes, and Xavier’s schedule is third-toughest in the state in all classes (Boone’s schedule is the toughest, followed by 3A Gilbert).
 

KidSilverhair

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Good chance if both North Scott and Xavier win out, that Xavier overtakes NS in RPI. Bearing in mind that NS beat Xavier fairly comfortably at their place, it certainly exposes the flaws in RPI.

Here‘s a bump for this point. The IHSAA is definitely changing the postseason manual on the fly, even after it was originally posted. I am 100% sure a week or so ago the manual said playoff site assignments for teams with the same district finish but no head-head results would be determined by first alphabetical. I know it was there. I saw it.

Guess what it says now? “The RPI at the end of week 9 will be used to determine site assignments for quarterfinal round contests.”

So they WILL use RPI, and if Xavier happens to move past North Scott at the end of the season and they meet in Round 2, they WILL play at Xavier again. Weird.
 

majortom007

Gold Member
Jul 25, 2019
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Assuming both teams win out, I can not imagine that they would place the number 1 and 2 ranked teams in the State in the same pod. But who knows last year, they had Assumption, West Delaware and NS in the same Pod. They were probably the best 3 teams in 3A last year.
 

Break the Rock

Gold Member
Nov 30, 2002
58
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Here‘s a bump for this point. The IHSAA is definitely changing the postseason manual on the fly, even after it was originally posted. I am 100% sure a week or so ago the manual said playoff site assignments for teams with the same district finish but no head-head results would be determined by first alphabetical. I know it was there. I saw it.

Guess what it says now? “The RPI at the end of week 9 will be used to determine site assignments for quarterfinal round contests.”

So they WILL use RPI, and if Xavier happens to move past North Scott at the end of the season and they meet in Round 2, they WILL play at Xavier again. Weird.
I know there is frustration with past practices when it comes to bracketing.....but the top 4 RPI teams should be the top seed in their respective POD. I believe that will be Xavier, North Scott, Indianola and Waverly Shell Rock.
 
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PNation

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I agree, realistically they could send teams anywhere with all games on a Friday, yes traveling sucks but schools would do it. I don't think Fremont Mills or West Lyon have ever skipped a semifinal or finals game because Cedar Falls was too far away from Tabor or Inwood.
 

KidSilverhair

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Aug 31, 2008
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Good chance if both North Scott and Xavier win out, that Xavier overtakes NS in RPI. Bearing in mind that NS beat Xavier fairly comfortably at their place, it certainly exposes the flaws in RPI.

Bumping this to say, it has happened. New RPI out today has Xavier .0001 ahead of North Scott for the top spot. Talk about your whisker-thin margins …

Xavier leads North Scott by almost a full 0.1 in opponents’ WP, and by over 0.42 in opponents’ opponents’ WP. I’m not sure North Scott‘s opponents can help make that up Friday.
 

PNation

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Aug 15, 2010
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Do they consider lower level playoff games in the RPI because for Xavier they have Wahlert, whose regular season is done. I am not going to figure opponents of opponents that would be impossible, but you have Assumption, Western Dubuque and Xavier for North Scott who are going to win, and Davenport North who I would pick against with them playing Bettendorf. Then you have West Delaware, Western Dubuque and North Scott for Xavier who I think will win, and Wahlert which if that game counts for RPI which I would think it would almost have to I think that is a tossup game with Camanche.
 

majortom007

Gold Member
Jul 25, 2019
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Well the reality is the system is fundamentally flawed, North Scott comfortably beats Xavier on the road and runs the table, but will finish as a 2 seed. Chances are it will not have much effect until the semi-finals. If both Xavier and NS qualify then it does matter a lot!
 

Break the Rock

Gold Member
Nov 30, 2002
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Bumping this to say, it has happened. New RPI out today has Xavier .0001 ahead of North Scott for the top spot. Talk about your whisker-thin margins …

Xavier leads North Scott by almost a full 0.1 in opponents’ WP, and by over 0.42 in opponents’ opponents’ WP. I’m not sure North Scott‘s opponents can help make that up Friday.
Agree - mathematically Xavier will end up in 1st. I know they has happened in the past (1 seed lost to number 2 seed in regular season) and they stuck with the RPI. First, does anyone know if this is a steadfast rule - must follow RPI no matter what......or do they have the liberty to consider head-to-head results?
Second - if they paired any of the top 4 seeds in the same bracket that would be beyond stupid.
Here are my pods given some result assumptions this friday. In other words, I bracketed based on what I think RPI will look like after this Friday as opposed to right now.... I looked at what they did in 2019 for reference.
- I avoided all first round rematches.
-I gave a couple potential options in certain pods

1 Xavier
16 Fort Madison /15 Burlington
8 WInterset
11 Fort Dodge/9 Bondurant

2 North Scott
14 CCA/Newton (whoever wins this game on Friday)
7 Norwalk / 6 Webster City
12 Decorah / 10 Decorah

3 Indianola
15 Burlington / 16 Fort Madison
5 Lewis Central
10 Spencer / 11 Fort Dodge

4 WSR
13 Pella
6 Webster City / Norwalk
9 Bondurant / Spencer
 

Break the Rock

Gold Member
Nov 30, 2002
58
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Do they consider lower level playoff games in the RPI because for Xavier they have Wahlert, whose regular season is done. I am not going to figure opponents of opponents that would be impossible, but you have Assumption, Western Dubuque and Xavier for North Scott who are going to win, and Davenport North who I would pick against with them playing Bettendorf. Then you have West Delaware, Western Dubuque and North Scott for Xavier who I think will win, and Wahlert which if that game counts for RPI which I would think it would almost have to I think that is a tossup game with Camanche.
They do not consider opponent class as part of calculation.
 

PNation

Varsity
Aug 15, 2010
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I'm aware but will they count the playoff games of those opponents in lower classes that qualified.
 

KidSilverhair

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Aug 31, 2008
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Do they consider lower level playoff games in the RPI because for Xavier they have Wahlert, whose regular season is done. I am not going to figure opponents of opponents that would be impossible, but you have Assumption, Western Dubuque and Xavier for North Scott who are going to win, and Davenport North who I would pick against with them playing Bettendorf. Then you have West Delaware, Western Dubuque and North Scott for Xavier who I think will win, and Wahlert which if that game counts for RPI which I would think it would almost have to I think that is a tossup game with Camanche.

This is a good question and I do not know the answer.
 

ISUChip

All American
May 29, 2001
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I'm aware but will they count the playoff games of those opponents in lower classes that qualified.

What data will be used in the RPI formula?
All games played in the regular season will be counted toward the RPI calculation.
 

Break the Rock

Gold Member
Nov 30, 2002
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Well, there we have it. If North Scott’s nondistrict opponents go 3-1 Friday while Xavier’s go 3-0 … I don’t think Xavier’s RPI can be caught.
Amazing....
-Defending State Champ
-#1 Scoring Defense in 4A
#1 Point margin in 4A
-#1 Power Ranking in 4A
-Only undefeated team in 4A
- Won head-to-head match up with Xavier on their home field

But....number 2 seed. It seems painfully obvious what they should do here.
If they made NS the #1 seed I highly doubt anyone anywhere would say - "That's not fair"......but how does anyone in NS's position not feel shafted?
 

KidSilverhair

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Aug 31, 2008
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I have to agree with you here. I’ve seen Xavier play three times this fall, including the loss to North Scott. The Saints are a good team, but North Scott was clearly better. There’s just no question, seeing them face each other on the field. Now, could Xavier get them in a second meeting? They could, anything’s possible - but it would be a slight upset.

Let’s hope this doesn’t affect anything prior to the semifinals, anyway - it would be a travesty to put them in the same pod. Yes, having to play the 3 instead of the 4 in the semis would be unfair to North Scott (especially if a surprise lower-ranked team snuck into the semis as the 4 seed), but at least you aren’t taking away a home playoff game from an undefeated squad.