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by Mike Pavlichko

The Born Power Index now appears to be derived from a much more nuanced formula than an examination of the first couple of weeks of high school football results and BPI rankings would indicate.

While we think we’ve got the basic formula locked down – after all, it worked to predict about 120 games the first two weeks of the season – it appears some other variable alters that formula in later weeks, as it began to in Week 2.  At least half the games didn’t fit the pattern, while that was only true in a handful of games the previous two weeks.

WCTC  Sports learned a good deal about the BPI today, and will explain more with a special guest on the air this Friday on “Friday Night Football USA presented by St. Peter’s University Hospital.”  The guest spoke to WCTC Sports this afternoon.

The basics from that conversation are this:

  • While it appears blowouts are fully counted in the formula, the threshold is higher than 35 points.  And as the season goes on, those will matter less.
  • While it’s correct that a team’s margin of victory over or under the spread is a key component, it is not the only component.  But only Bill Born can decide to release his own proprietary formula, and has repeatedly said he won’t do so.
  • As the season goes on, other variables – including some as yet unknown measure – of a team’s ranking and/or success against opponents act as multipliers to add to or strengthen the basic formula.  So, the formula remains the same, but as more games are played, the results affect how strongly or weakly the formula is applied.

Perhaps the biggest clarification is this – something the NJSIAA rules do not clarify, but we’ll learn more about Friday night:  The NJUPR – the combined number for playoff seeding that is 60% BPI and 40% power points, is not those actual values.  It is a team’s ranking.  So, if Piscataway is ranked No. 1 in BPI North 5, but No. 2 in power point average, they would get a .6 for their BPI and a .8 for their power point average for a 1.4.  If Bridgewater is the reverse – second in BPI but first in power point average, they get a 1.2 for their BPI and a .4 for their power point average for a 1.6.  Lowest number is ranked higher (1 is in first place, but a lower number than 2), so Piscataway gets the top seed.  Their No. 1 is weighted more (60% in the BPI) than Bridgewater (40% in power points.)

Tune in Friday night at 6 pm to “Friday Night Football USA presented by St. Peter’s University Hospital” as we get you all the information you need to know – except the formula itself! – on the Born Power Index.