The NJSIAA Executive Committee voted Wednesday to replace the most controversial component of the massive 2018 high school football playoff formula overhaul.
The Born Power Index – which rewarded teams that won by larger margins with better playoff standing – is done after one year as part of the New Jersey United Power Ranking, also known as the UPR. That formula seeded teams based on 60% of their BPI ranking and 40% of their traditional power point ranking.
In its place will be the new Opponent Strength Index. Instead of teams being seeded based on their own rating, they’ll be seeded based on the average of the teams they play. Teams would get full points for a team they defeated, half points for teams they lost to, and three-quarters of their opponent value in the case of a tie. The 60%-40% breakdown will remain.
The change addresses three main concerns the New Jersey Football Coaches Association following the 2018 season: transparency, elimination of so-called “spreads,” and less reliance on historical data.
When it was used in 2018, the Born Power Index was not made public, much to the chagrin of coaches, athletic directors and even fans who were used to doing their own calculations every year. Coaches often would run their own numbers to get an idea on what other teams they might scout in terms of potential playoff matchups.
The full football regulations – including how the OSI is calculated – are expected to be released and posted on the NJSIAA website in the coming weeks.
A number similar to the spread – the “expected result” – will still be used, but “beating the spread” is no longer beneficial to a team, since it is no longer being ranked based on its own rating. Rather, the values of opponents are what matters.
Historical data will lessened in the pre-season, when all teams are reduced or increased by a fixed percentage relative to a center point.
Keep checking this space and follow @mikepavlichko on Twitter for more analysis on the new OSI and overall football playoff formula this summer, and leading up to the 2019 season.