There has been some consternation and confusion in the media and in New Jersey high school football coaching circles about the new playoff seeding procedures, and a limit on residuals. (Hey, when hasn't there been confusion about how the playoffs are seeded?)
But Thursday, the folks at Gridiron New Jersey cleared it up for us.
The NJSIAA Football Regulations say the following: "Each school will receive the following Residual points for the first seven games played up to, and including, week 8." It then goes on to explain how those residual points work. Many - including yours truly - have taken this to mean that Once you get to your 8th game, you can't earn residuals from that team. For example, if Piscataway beat Westfield in Week 8, the Chiefs would get 6 points for the win, 5 quality points (since Westfield is a Group 5 school), but NO residuals because it's Piscataway's 8th game.
But Jon Fass, who runs the site Gridiron New Jersey - and is the official power points and NJUPR calculator this year - says that's not the case.
We were hoping it wasn't.
In reality, it works like this: Let's assume the Piscataway-Westfield game is Westfield's 9th game (it's not, but play along here). Let's assume Westfield is 7-1, with their 7th win coming in their 8th game, the week before they play Piscataway. Should the Chiefs win, they would get 6 for the win, 5 quality points, and 18 residuals. That's 6 wins times 3 residual points per win. They wouldn't get the full 7 wins (21 points) because the 7th win came in their eighth game, and only the first seven games count for residuals.
This is a much more fair way to do this than what we all originally thought. The NJSIAA made the rule because some teams had trouble scheduling 8th or 9th games this year, with the playoff schedule adopted later than usual. So, in essence, this is like the old Game 9 rule. Had it been the way many coaches believed it was, those that do play 8th and 9th games before the playoffs would have - in essence - been penalized, because their power points averages would have gone down, even if they'd beaten an undefeated team in Week 7 or 8.
However, all games played by a team count, because power points will be calculated using an average this year, not cumulatively. Then, 40% of that average will be added to 60% of the Born Power Index number for each team to get the NJUPR ranking. Those numbers will determine the Top 16 teams in the North and South sections of each Public School group to see who qualified for the playoffs.
Confused? We'll explain it all again tonight on Friday Night Football USA presented by St. Peter's University Hospital. The show begins at a special time tonight - 4 pm - leading up to a Somerset Patriots baseball doubleheader at 5.