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The new playoff formula isn’t that far off from last year.  But the 2018 formula using the Born Power Index was never documented, so everyone was just guessing, with some guesses more educated than others.

Now that the Opponent Strength Index has replaced the Born Power Index, and it’s clearly spelled out how it works, what will we get in 2019?

Let’s take a small sample size of five teams and just two weeks of games.  We’ll use the GMC White Division, and we’ll only include divisional games.  This works because some teams will have played once, and others twice.  But since all games count, we’ll have averages.

The key to remember here is:  each team has a Strength Index number that goes up or down based on how well they do.

But teams are seeded based on their Opponents’ Strength Index. It doesn’t matter what your number is.  What matters is the Strength Index of the teams you play.  That’s averaged out on cutoff weekend, using full values for teams you beat, half values for teams you lost to.

A win over a weak team is not as good as a win over a strong team.  Conversely, a loss to a really good team isn’t as bad as a loss to a weak team.

Each team will start with the following Strength Index numbers:

  • Piscataway:  86.9
  • Sayreville:  79.6
  • North Brunswick:  71.0
  • Edison:  65.6
  • New Brunswick:  51.9

Week 1 Schedule:

  • Sayreville (79.6) at Piscataway (86.9)
  • New Brunswick (51.9) at Edison (65.6)

Hypothetical results, and math:

  • Piscataway beats Sayreville 12-7
    • Expected result was Piscataway +7.3
    • Chiefs won by 5 = 2.3 below expected result
    • Difference from expected result is divided by 5 = .46
    • Piscataway drops .46 to 86.44
    • Sayreville gains .46 to 80.06
    • Piscataway gets 11 power points (6 quality, 5 group, 0 residuals)
    • Sayreville gets 1 power point (1 residual)
  • Edison beats New Brunswick 31-21
    • Expected result was Edison +13.7
    • Eagles won by 10 = 3.7 below expected result
    • Difference from expected result is divided by 5 = 1.23
    • Edison drops 1.23 to 64.37
    • New Brunswick gains 1.23 to 53.13
    • Edison gets 11 power points (6 quality, 5 group, 0 residuals)
    • New Brunswick gets 1 power point (1 residual)

Standings after Week 1:

  • OSI (remember, this is the average Strength Index of their opponents, not their own Strength Index)
    • Piscataway:  80.06 (winners get full value of opponent)
    • Edison:  53.13
    • Sayreville:  43.22 (losing teams get half value of opponent)
    • New Brunswick: 32.19
    • North Brunswick:  0
  • Power Points
    • Piscataway:  11
    • Edison:  11
    • Sayreville:  1
    • New Brunswick:  1
    • North Brunswick:  0

Week 2 Schedule:

  • Edison (64.37) at Piscataway (86.44)
  • North Brunswick (71.0) at Sayreville (80.06)

Hypothetical Results:

  • Edison beats Piscataway 24-21
    • Expected result was Piscataway +3
    • Eagles won by 3 = 6 above expected result
    • Difference from expected result is divided by 5 = 1.2
    • Edison gains 1.2 to 65.57
    • Piscataway drops 1.2 to 85.24
    • Edison gets 14 power points (6 quality, 5 group, 3 residuals)
    • Piscataway gets 2 power point (2 residuals)
  • North Brunswick beats Sayreville 7-6
    • Expected result was Sayreville +9.06
    • Raiders won by 1 = 10.06 above expected result
    • Difference from expected result is divided by 5 = 2.00
    • North Brunswick gains 2 to 73.00
    • Sayreville drops 2 to 78.06
    • North Brunswick gets 14 power points (6 quality, 5 group, 3 residuals)
    • Sayreville gets 1 power point (1 residual)

Standings after Week 2:

  • OSI
    • North Brunswick:  78.06 (Sayreville’s SI, did not play a Week 1 game)
    • Edison:  69.19 (53.13 for New Brunswick + 85.24 for Piscataway, averaged)
    • Piscataway:  55.43 (78.06 for Sayreville + 32.79 for Edison, averaged)
    • Sayreville:  39.56 (42.62 for Piscataway + 36.50 for North Brunswick, averaged)
    • New Brunswick:  32.79 (half of Edison’s new SI, did not play a Week 2 game)
  • Power Points
    • North Brunswick:  14
    • Edison:  12.5
    • Piscataway:  6.5
    • New Brunswick:  2
    • Sayreville:  1

UPR after Week 2:

  • North Brunswick:  1  (1 in OSI = .6 / 1 in power points = .4)
  • Edison:  2  (2 in OSI = 1.2 / 2 in power points = .8)
  • Piscataway:  3  (3 in OSI = 1.8 / 3 in power points = 1.2)
  • Sayreville:  4.4  (4 in OSI = 2.4 / 5 in power points = 2.0)
  • New Brunswick:  4.6  (5 in OSI = 3 / 4 in power points = 1.6)

Does it make sense?

Sure:  We only have a small sample size, and in North Brunswick’s only game, they knocked off Sayreville.  They’re Number One.  Edison is 2-0, after beating Piscataway on the road by a point.  Their first win was against the team with the lowest Strength Index in the group, New Brunswick.  The Eagles are second.  Piscataway is 1-1, beating a good Sayreville team, so they’re third.  The two winless teams are at the bottom, with Sayreville fourth because of the higher weight given to the OSI; they lost to the teams with the highest two Strength Indexes (besides themselves.  New Brunswick rounds out in 5th.

Try it at home!

See what you can do with the math!  Finish out a hypothetical season and see what the results are.  Let me know what you think.  Tweet me @mikepavlichko on Twitter and let me know how you did!