Updated to include corrected power point implications for North Brunswick.
The New Brunswick high school football team – off to its best start in four years – will have to forfeit all four of its wins after an ineligible player took the field, according to a report by Greg Tufaro on MyCentralJersey.com.
And those forfeits will affect other teams in the area in terms of playoff standing.
Tufaro reports that the Zebras used a player who transferred to the district without a bonfide change of address. That student should have sat out the first 30 days of the season, according to NJSIAA transfer rules, but did not. The player was not identified.
That means New Brunswick’s 4-1 record becomes 0-5.
But the implications will likely reach beyond New Brunswick.
The only mention of forfeits for OSI in the NJSIAA football regulations is this: “When a forfeit win is awarded to a school after the game is played (i.e. due to a rule infraction such as an ineligible player), the SI value for each school will remain unchanged and the SI values in place prior to the game will go unchanged.”
But one example of a forfeit after the fact was calculated as follows by Gridiron New Jersey, the official calculator of Power Points, OSI and UPR for the NJSIAA in 2019.
Earlier this season, Bayonne picked up a forfeit win over Memorial (West New York). Calculations on Gridiron show the OSI from that game was not included. An average of Opponents’ Strength Index, only Bayonne’s next four games were counted and averaged, not all five games. This helped boost Bayonne’s average, because a win over Memorial would only be worth 25.67 OSI points at the moment. Their OSI average is 51.37, so adding Memorial to the mix would drag them down.
Power points in the Bayonne/Memorial example remained unchanged.
The NJSIAA regulations state: “When a forfeit win is awarded to a school after the game is played (i.e. due to a rule infraction such as an ineligible player), the opponent will receive a win and the forfeiting school’s record will be updated to reflect the forfeit loss(es) and the opponent’s record will be updated to reflect the forfeit win(s). All residual points will be based on the updated records.”
Here are the four area teams it could impact in a direct fashion:
Monroe: The Falcons now improve to 3-2, and could sneak into the playoffs with an upset win over Old Bridge or Immaculata int he next couple of weeks. It will boost their power point average, but shouldn’t affect their OSI very much, since the value for losing to New Brunswick is close to its current OSI.
Edison: The Eagles are now 1-4, and still might struggle to make the playoffs, with three of their next four games against Westfield, Colonia and South Brunswick, all likely playoff teams.
Piscataway: The Chiefs had a 14-game winning streak snapped by the Zebras two weeks ago. That remains in tact after a second loss to St. Joe’s of Metuchen this past weekend, but Piscataway is now 4-1. They’ll get 11 power points from the forfeit win, instead of they 4 they otherwise had, so that will boost them as well. And dropping the 37.09 from their OSI average, which is currently 57.68 will boost them as well.
North Brunswick: The Raiders beat New Brunswick, handing the Zebras their first loss of the season, so their record won’t change. They’ll take a power points hit, losing 12 residuals because the Zebras’ four wins have been erased. New Brunswick could very well get those back, because they very well could win the remainder of their games. But, it would have been nice if the Raiders got 24 residuals for an otherwise unbeaten opponent. North Brunswick also could take a slight hit in OSI; their number is 60.82, and their value for New Brunswick is 64.96.
Of course, as either Monroe, Edison, Piscataway or North Brunswick rise or fall, their movement will affect other teams in the standings as well.