We want to make it clear at the outset that we have not spoken to any football coaches, athletic directors, athletes, parents, or officials from any school.
The point-of-view we are expressing here is strictly our own and it is this: The so-called football power rankings devised by the MIAA for determining playoff-qualifying teams is ridiculous.
The Revere High football team compiled a 6-2 record this season, with one of those losses coming to undefeated Everett.
But the RHS team is rated 18th in its division (Division 3), two slots below the 16 teams that will compete in the D-3 playoffs. Of those 16 teams, seven of them have worse won-loss records than Revere and one, Stoughton, actually has a losing record at 3-5.
Looking at Stoughton, of their five losses, three were blowouts by 28 points or more and another was a 20-point loss. Yet Stoughton is ranked 13th in D-3.
Another qualifying school we looked at in D-3, Minnechaug, which is ranked 10th with a 5-3 record, earned four of its wins against opponents with a combined record of 4-27.
Chelsea sports a 4-3 record, but also is on the outside looking in with a ranking of 18th in Division 7. One D-7 qualifier has a worse record and two others have the same record as the Red Devils.
Everett is ranked ninth in Division 1. The Crimson Tide are 7-0, one of only two undefeated teams in D-1, yet are ranked well-below fourth-ranked Xaverian, which has a 6-2 record. Oh, by the way, Everett defeated Xaverian when they met this season. Go figure.
The remainder of Everett’s schedule consisted of its opponents in the Greater Boston League, other than Chelsea. But even if Everett had played the Red Devils and won, it would not have made its ranking any better — in fact, from what we can gather, it might have made it worse.
The problem is that the MIAA power rankings penalizes schools that have strong programs, such as Everett and Revere, simply because they play in a weak conference (which was the case in the GBL this season).
Going back to Stoughton, that school earned “points” in the ratings in theory because of its strength of schedule — but the ratings don’t take into account that Stoughton got blown out in almost all of those losses.
The rating system seems to have the perverse incentive of rewarding losses against higher-rated schools more than victories over lower-rated schools.
The whole system is a joke. We feel badly for our athletes in Revere and Chelsea who earned winning records this season — but who did not measure up to the MIAA’s computers.
They deserved a chance to compete in the state tournament.
They are victims of the axiom in the computer world, “Garbage in, garbage out.”