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2014 Playoff Outlook: Who’s In, Who’s Out & Who’s on the Bubble

 

With the post season playoffs in reach, I thought it would be nice for everyone to see how their favorite teams are looking as far as the playoff’s are concerned.  Considering we are already at Week 6 for most of the teams in Morris Sussex, and only the first eight games of the season count toward getting a spot in the state tournament, it makes sense we see how it’s all shaping up.

First, let me lay out the basics for the novices out there.  At the end of the day, there will NOT be one high school that is crowned State Champion for the state of New Jersey.  There will actually be twenty football teams that will earned the title of State Champion in New Jersey.  Yeah, I know it’s crazy.  There are tons of debate surrounding the topic of how many state champions there are every year but it is the way it is so let’s stay on track.  The NJSIAA (the entity that most NJ schools are governed by) breaks the tournament into different sections and sub groups.  The sections are labeled into these categories; North 1, North 2, Central, South and Non-Public.  Each section has five groups that are referred as 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, depending on the school size (1 being the smallest and 5 being the largest).  The exception to this is the Non-Public section, which only goes up to Group 4.

The way the NJSIAA determines who gets into the playoffs is through what they call Power Points (GridIronNewJersey.com does a great job of posting these every week).  Power Points are accumulated by teams through wins, losses and ties.  Teams are awarded different amounts of points based on their opponents school size and is rewarded more points or given less points based on their opponents wins and losses.  You can go the NJSIAA’s football playoff rules yourself to see all the nitty-gritty of these rules.  But for your convenience, I’ve extracted the most meaningful part of the NJSIAA rules for this point in the season at the bottom of this post.

With these rules in mind, let’s now break down each section and see how its shaping up as far as Morris Sussex teams are concerned.

Power Point Standings for North 1, Group 1

Who’s In:  Boonton’s big win against North Warren was very helpful and they are looking to be in a healthy spot right now.
Who’s On The Bubble:  Hopatcong is but if they can win the next three against Butler, MoBeard and North Warren, they could be okay…and they are totally capable of doing so.
Who’s Out:  Butler is not out yet.  Winning against Hopatcong, Hanover Park and Kinnelon could be enough to get a seat at the table.  I wouldn’t count them out.  Hey, they took a very tough Madison team to OT!

team/w-l-t/power points
Cresskill 5 0 0 58.0
Bogota 5 0 0 49.0
Boonton 3 2 0 48.0
Becton 4 1 0 46.0
Hasbrouck Heights 3 2 0 43.0
Saddle Brook 3 2 0 43.0
Pompton Lakes 3 2 0 37.0
Verona 4 0 0 32.0
Park Ridge 3 2 0 30.0
Hawthorne 2 3 0 30.0
Hopatcong 2 3 0 28.0
Emerson 2 3 0 24.0
Cedar Grove 1 4 0 20.0
Wallington 1 4 0 17.0
Butler 1 4 0 15.0
Wood-Ridge 0 5 0 8.0

Power Point Standings for North 1, Group 2

Who’s In:  Lenape Valley, Pequannock and North Warren are all in good shape…but its a close section so they are not guaranteed a spot yet.
Who’s On The Bubble:  Kinnelon, Sussex Tech and Kittatinny will all likely be fighting for the seventh and eighth spot of this section.
Who’s Out:  No one.  Wallkill is actually in better position than Newton because they’ll accumulate more Power Points for their wins because their opponents carry more.  But neither team is mathematically out yet.

team/w-l-t/power points
Westwood 5 0 0 79.0
Waldwick 5 0 0 67.0
Lenape Valley 4 1 0 61.0
Pequannock 5 0 0 60.0
Glen Rock 4 1 0 57.0
North Warren 4 1 0 55.0
Pascack Hills 4 1 0 55.0
Elmwood Park 3 2 0 50.0
Kinnelon 3 2 0 41.0
Sussex Tech 2 3 0 37.0
Kittatinny 2 3 0 30.0
New Milford 2 3 0 28.0
Dumont 2 3 0 26.0
Manchester Regional 2 3 0 20.0
Newton 0 5 0 10.0
Wallkill Valley 0 5 0 9.0

Power Point Standings for North 1, Group 3

Who’s In:  Sparta’s future looks very bright.  Something would have to go array for them not to get in.
Who’s On The Bubble:  Jefferson and Vernon and not counted out either.  They still control their own destiny.
Who’s Out:  High Point isn’t officially out yet.  Even if they go 3-0 against Sparta, MoHills and Montville, they still need some other teams in this section to collapse.  Hey, anything can happen!

team/w-l-t/power points
River Dell 4 2 0 62.0
Garfield 5 0 0 59.0
Sparta 4 1 0 57.0
Mahwah 4 1 0 56.0
West Milford 3 2 0 51.0
Ramapo 3 2 0 47.0
Ramsey 3 2 0 44.0
Lodi 2 3 0 35.0
Jefferson 2 3 0 34.0
Vernon 2 3 0 33.0
Lakeland 2 3 0 30.0
Bergenfield 1 4 0 29.0
Englewood 2 3 0 27.0
Indian Hills 2 3 0 27.0
Tenafly 0 5 0 9.0
High Point 0 5 0 7.0

Power Point Standings for North 1, Group 4

Who’s In:  Roxbury is, trust me.
Who’s On The Bubble:  Randolph should be okay but beating Roxbury in Week 8 will skyrocket them up in the seeding.
Who’s Out:  None of these teams yet.  Both Morris Knolls and Mount Olive have a hard schedule, which bodes well for their playoff hopes if they do well against it.  What doesn’t help Montville is two out of the three teams they are going to face in the next three weeks have a combined record of 2-8, which doesn’t count for many Power Points even if they beat them.

team/w-l-t/power points
Roxbury 5 0 0 72.0
Pascack Valley 4 1 0 66.0
Old Tappan 4 1 0 64.0
Paramus 4 1 0 56.0
Demarest 4 1 0 55.0
Randolph 3 2 0 54.0
Passaic Valley 3 2 0 50.0
Nutley 3 2 0 45.0
Wayne Valley 3 2 0 45.0
Wayne Hills 2 3 0 40.0
Northern Highlands 2 3 0 26.0
Teaneck 1 4 0 24.0
Morris Knolls 1 4 0 23.0
Fair Lawn 1 4 0 20.0
Mount Olive 1 4 0 15.0
Montville 0 5 0 8.0

Power Point Standings for North 2, Group 2

Who’s In:  Mt. Lakes, Hanover Park and Madison all look in really good shape.  They all could likely go 1-2 over the next three games and still be in a comfortable position to get in to the postseason.
Who’s On The Bubble:  Whippany Park is on the bubble, but going 2-3 over the next three weeks (which is totally doable) will likely be enough to get them in.
Who’s Out:  No one is out yet.  But Dover still has Hanover Park and Lenape Valley yet to play while Hackettstown still has Hanover Park and Madison on their schedule.  Winning against those opponents is crucial for both teams.

team/w-l-t/power points
Mountain Lakes 5 0 0 60.0
Hanover Park 4 1 0 54.0
Ridgefield Park 3 2 0 51.0
Madison 3 1 0 44.0
Lincoln 4 1 0 41.0
Caldwell 3 1 0 40.0
Bernards 4 0 0 37.0
Whippany Park 3 2 0 33.0
Rutherford 2 3 0 33.0
Newark Central 3 1 0 32.0
Dover 2 3 0 28.0
Hackettstown 2 3 0 27.0
Lyndhurst 1 4 0 17.0
Snyder 0 5 0 9.0
Harrison 0 5 0 6.0

Power Point Standings for North 2, Group 3

Who’s In:  I like Par Hills chances.  A win over Sparta in two weeks would probably put them at the top of the bracket.
Who’s On The Bubble:  MoHills looks to be in good position but with Pope John and Sparta still on their schedule, they have their work cut out for them.
Who’s Out:  Nobody yet.  Parsippany actually as a promising schedule.  Chatham will be challenged more with teams like Pope John and Par Hills still on their schedule before the 8-game cutoff.

team/w-l-t/power points
Cranford 5 0 0 75.0
Summit 4 1 0 60.0
Parsippany Hills 4 1 0 58.0
West Essex 3 2 0 55.0
Voorhees 4 1 0 51.0
Orange 4 1 0 46.0
Morris Hills 3 2 0 41.0
Palisades Park 2 3 0 34.0
Cliffside Park 1 5 0 32.0
Governor Livingston 2 3 0 27.0
Chatham 2 3 0 24.0
Parsippany 2 3 0 20.0
North Plainfield 1 3 0 13.0
Ferris 0 5 0 11.0
Fort Lee 0 5 0 10.0
Newark West Side 0 5 0 10.0

Power Point Standings for North 2, Group 4

Who’s In:  Nobody is in for sure as of now.  Mendham’s win over Motown was huge but they, nor WMC, should get comfortable yet.  A losing streak would drop them in the rankings real fast.
Who’s On The Bubble:  Motown is on the bubble, however, winning the next two of three could be enough.  If they go 3-0, which would include a win over Delby, they would likely be guaranteed a seat at the table.
Who’s Out:  No Morris Sussex teams yet.  It’s actually looking likely that all Morris Sussex teams will finish in the top eight of this section. 

team/w-l-t/power points
Colonia 5 0 0 69.0
Irvington 4 1 0 63.0
Phillipsburg 4 1 0 59.0
Mendham 3 2 0 48.0
JFK (Iselin) 3 2 0 46.0
West Morris 2 3 0 40.0
Woodbridge 3 2 0 35.0
Kearny 3 2 0 34.0
Scotch Plains-Fanwood 2 3 0 32.0
Warren Hills 2 3 0 31.0
Morristown 2 3 0 29.0
New Brunswick 1 4 0 18.0
Belleville 1 5 0 15.0
Millburn 1 3 0 13.0
Newark East Side 0 5 0 9.0
Perth Amboy 0 4 0 8.0

Power Point Standings for Non-Public, Group 1

Who’s In:  It’s looking pretty good for the Bearded Ladies, but I wouldn’t rest on my laurels.  But they’ll accumulate some nice insurance Power Points whether they win or lose these next few weeks.
Who’s On The Bubble:  Even though Morris Catholic is last in this section, winning two out of the next three could actually get them into the postseason.  Don’t count them out just yet.
Who’s Out:  Nobody yet.

team/w-l-t/power points
St. Joseph (Hamm.) 5 0 0 76.0
Mater Dei 4 1 0 40.0
St. Anthony 2 3 0 40.0
Morristown-Beard 3 2 0 38.0
St. Mary 5 0 0 37.0
Newark Academy 3 2 0 33.0
Marist 0 5 0 13.0
Queen of Peace 0 5 0 12.0
Cardinal McCarrick 0 6 0 8.0
Morris Catholic 0 5 0 7.0

Power Point Standings for Non-Public, Group 3

Who’s In:  Delbarton is in.  Even if they lost every game from here on out (don’t worry, hey won’t), they’d still be in.
Who’s On The Bubble:  Not Pope John.  They should have an easy time with the rest of their schedule and it doesn’t hurt that those opponents have had some nice wins that PJ will receive some nice residual Power Points from.
Who’s Out:  Nobody from Morris Sussex.

team/w-l-t/power points
Delbarton 5 0 0 70.0
Red Bank Catholic 5 0 0 65.0
St. Joseph (Mont.) 3 1 0 63.0
St. John Vianney 5 0 0 59.0
Bishop Ahr 3 2 0 53.0
Pope John 3 3 0 49.0
Bishop Eustace 5 0 0 40.0
Camden Catholic 4 1 0 38.0
Donovan Catholic 1 4 0 16.0

NJSIAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS RULES

The eight (8) highest ranked schools will participate in the playoffs in each Group in each Section according to the following criteria. Each criterion shall be considered in the order listed.

A. Power Ranking – The eligible schools in each Group in each Section for the Public Schools, and in each Group on a state-wide basis for the Non-Public Schools will be seeded according to the following power ranking.

B. The power ranking system will be the sum total of the best seven (7) of their eight (8) completed games played up to and including the cut-off date.

1. The qualifying schools in each Group in each Section for the Public Schools, and in each Group for the Non-Public Schools will be seeded according to the power rankings based on the calculations of the Power Point System.

2. The eight (8) highest ranked schools will participate in the playoffs in each Group in each Section.

C. Power Point Calculation Procedure:

1. Quality Points – Each school will receive the following “Quality Points” for a win or tie from the first eight games:

Win = 6 points;
Tie = 3 points;
Lose = 0 points

2. Group Points – Each school will receive “Group Points” from a team they defeated or tied from the first eight games:

Group I = 1 point
Group II = 2 points
Group III = 3 points
Group IV = 4 points
Group V = 5 points

A football specific group equivalency chart will be utilized for competition between public and non-public schools (chart attached).

3. Residual Points – Each team will receive residual points from one of the categories below based on the result of the game.

A. Each school will receive “Residual Points” from a team they defeated. For each win or tie your opponent has from the first eight games, you will receive the following (see examples 1 & 2):

Win = 3 points;
Tie = 1.5 points;
Lose = 0 points

B. Each school will receive “Residual Points” from a team they tied. For each win or tie your opponent has from the first eight games, you will receive the following (see examples 3 & 4):

Win = 1.5 points;
Tie = .75 points (See note below);
Lose =0 points

Note: No points will be rewarded when calculating “Residual Points” when your game is the opponent’s only tie, since you already have been awarded points for that tie.

C. Each school will receive “Residual Points” from a team they lost to. For each win your opponent has that defeated you (not including your game) from the first eight games, you will receive the following:

Win = 1 point;
Tie = 0 points;
Lose = 0 points

WHO IS YOUR LOCK FOR THE PLAYOFFS AND WHO DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO COME OUT OF NO WHERE TO GET A SEAT AT THE TABLE (Comment Below)

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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