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  5A State Football Playoff Tiebreakers & Scenarios

A look at the 5A football playoff tiebreaker scenarios for throughout the state of Idaho.

By: Matt Harris
Published: 10/15/2018 12:44:02 AM
 

Follow Matt on Twitter: @IdahoSportsMatt

To see the 5A State Football Tournament bracket, click HERE.

Here is a look at all of the potential playoff and tiebreaker scenarios as we head into the final week of the regular season.

5A District 1-2 - Inland Empire League

Total guaranteed berths to the state tournament: two.

Clinched Automatic Playoff Berth
Coeur d'Alene Vikings
Post Falls Trojans

Eliminated
Lake City Timberwolves
Lewiston Bengals*

*In contention for one of three 5A 'At-Large' berths. See the bottom of this article for more details.

Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls have punched their ticket to the state tournament already. Lewiston's chances at securing one of the 'At-Large' berths increases dramatically should they beat Lake City on Friday. 

Post Falls hosts Coeur d'Alene this week. Here are the scenarios:

1. If Coeur d'Alene beats Post Falls.

Coeur d'Alene finishes first and takes the North #1 seed, while Post Falls finishes in second place and earns the North #2 seed.

2. If Post Falls beats Coeur d'Alene.

Post Falls finishes first and takes the North #1 seed, while Coeur d'Alene finishes in second place and earns the North #2 seed.


5A District 3 - Southern Idaho Conference

Total guaranteed berths to the state tournament: five.

Clinched Automatic Playoff Berth
Rocky Mountain Grizzlies - Conference Champion, West #1 seed
Mountain View Mavericks
Borah Lions
Capital Eagles

Still In Contention For Auto Bids
Eagle Mustangs*
Skyview Hawks*

Eliminated
Meridian Warriors*
Centennial Patriots*
Timberline Wolves
Boise Braves

*In contention for one of three 5A 'At-Large' berths. See the bottom of this article for more details.

Rocky Mountain has earned the top seed from the SIC into the state tournament, while Mountain View and Borah have earned guaranteed berths to the tournament although their position on the bracket is unknown. Capital, Skyview, and Eagle are still battling for the two remaining guaranteed berths to the state tournament. The team that doesn't earn the auto-bid will be in contention for one of three 'At-Large' bids along with Meridian and Centennial.

There are a whopping 32 different scenarios that come into play in the Southern Idaho Conference this year, due to the way the schedule finishes and the standings up until this point. Bear with me - there are a lot of words ahead.

This week's matchups are Mountain View vs. Timberline, Borah vs. Rocky Mountain, Capital vs. Boise, Eagle vs. Centennial, and Skyview vs. Meridian. For the sake of ease in reading in breakdowns, I have only listed the five teams which these scenarios affect regarding their candidacy for an auto-bid and their positioning on the bracket. Those teams are Skyview, Mountain View, Capital, Borah, and Eagle. Here are the scenarios:

1. If Skyview wins, Mountain View wins, Capital wins, Borah wins, and Eagle wins.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, then there is a 3-way tie between Capital, Borah, and Eagle for the #3, #4, and #5 seeds, respectively. Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. In this scenario, Borah beats top-seeded Rocky Mountain while both Capital and Eagle lost to the Grizzlies. Therefore, Borah takes the West #3 seed, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, and Capital takes the West #5 seed.

2. If Skyview wins, Mountain View wins, Capital wins, Borah wins, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Skyview takes the West #5 seed, and Eagle is eligible for the At-Large berth.

3. If Skyview wins, Mountain View wins, Capital wins, Borah loses, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Skyview takes the West #5 seed, and Eagle is eligible for the At-Large berth.

4. If Skyview wins, Mountain View wins, Capital loses, Borah loses, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Skyview takes the West #5 seed, and Eagle is eligible for the At-Large berth.

5. If Skyview wins, Mountain View loses, Capital loses, Borah loses, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Skyview takes the West #5 seed, and Eagle is eligible for the At-Large berth.

6. If Skyview wins, Mountain View wins, Capital wins, Borah loses, and Eagle wins.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Eagle takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

7. If Skyview wins, Mountain View wins, Capital loses, Borah loses, and Eagle wins.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Eagle takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

8. If Skyview wins, Mountain View loses, Capital loses, Borah loses, and Eagle wins.

Eagle takes the West #2 seed, Mountain View takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

9. If Skyview wins, Mountain View loses, Capital loses, Borah wins, and Eagle wins.

There is a 3-way tie between Mountain View, Borah, and Eagle for the #2, #3, and #4 seeds, respectively. Capital takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. In this scenario, Borah beats top-seeded Rocky Mountain, but both Mountain View and Eagle lost to the Grizzlies. Therefore, Borah takes the West #2 seed, Eagle takes the West #3 seed, and Mountain View takes the West #4 seed.

10. If Skyview wins, Mountain View loses, Capital wins, Borah wins, and Eagle wins.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, and there is a 3-way coin tie between Capital, Borah, and Eagle for the #3, #4 and #5 seeds, respectively. Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. In this scenario, Borah beats top-seeded Rocky Mountain, but Capital and Eagle both lost to the Grizzlies. Therefore, Borah takes the West #3 seed, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, and Capital takes the West #5 seed.

11. If Skyview wins, Mountain View wins, Capital loses, Borah wins, and Eagle wins.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Borah takes the West #3 seed, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, Capital takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

12. If Skyview wins, Mountain View wins, Capital loses, Borah wins, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Borah takes the West #3 seed, and there is a 3-way tie between Skyview, Capital, and Eagle for the #4 and #5 seeds, respectively.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. All three teams lost to top-seeded Rocky Mountain. Eagle defeated second-seeded Mountain View, but Capital and Skyview both lost to the Mavericks. Therefore, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, Capital takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

13. If Skyview wins, Mountain View loses, Capital wins, Borah loses, and Eagle wins.

Eagle takes the West #2 seed, Mountain view takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

14. If Skyview wins, Mountain View loses, Capital wins, Borah loses, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Skyview takes the West #5 seed, and Eagle is eligible for the At-Large berth.

15. If Skyview wins, Mountain View loses, Capital wins, Borah wins, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Skyview takes the West #5 seed, and Eagle is eligible for the At-Large berth.

16. If Skyview wins, Mountain View loses, Capital loses, Borah wins, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Borah takes the West #3 seed, and there is a 3-way tie between Skyview, Capital, and Eagle for the #4 and #5 seeds, respectively.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. All three teams lost to top-seeded Rocky Mountain. Eagle defeated second-seeded Mountain View but Capital and Skyview both lost to the Mavericks. Therefore, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, Capital takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.


17. If Skyview loses, Mountain View wins, Capital wins, Borah wins, and Eagle wins.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, there is a 3-way tie between Capital, Borah, and Eagle for the #3, #4, and #5 seeds, respectively, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. In this scenario, Borah beats Rocky Mountain but Capital and Eagle both lost to the Grizzlies. Therefore, Borah takes the West #3 seed, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, and Capital takes the West #5 seed. 

18. If Skyview loses, Mountain View wins, Capital wins, Borah wins, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Eagle takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

19. If Skyview loses, Mountain View wins, Capital wins, Borah loses, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Eagle takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

20. If Skyview loses, Mountain View wins, Capital loses, Borah loses, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, there is a 3-way way between Capital, Borah, and Eagle for the #3, #4, and #5 seeds, respectively, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. In this scenario, Borah loses to top-seeded Rocky Mountain as did Capital and Eagle. However, Eagle beat second-seeded Mountain View while Borah and Capital both lost to the Mavericks. Therefore, Eagle takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, and Borah takes the West #5 seed. 

21. If Skyview loses, Mountain View loses, Capital loses, Borah loses and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, there is a 3-way tie between Capital, Borah, and Eagle for the #3, #4, and #5 seeds, respectively, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. In this scenario, Borah loses to top-seeded Rocky Mountain as did Capital and Eagle. However, Eagle beat second-seeded Mountain View while Borah and Capital both lost to the Mavericks. Therefore, Eagle takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, and Borah takes the West #5 seed. 

22. If Skyview loses, Mountain View wins, Capital wins, Borah loses, and Eagle wins.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Eagle takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

23. If Skyview loses, Mountain View wins, Capital loses, Borah loses, and Eagle wins.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Eagle takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

24. If Skyview loses, Mountain View loses, Capital loses, Borah loses and Eagle wins.

Eagle takes the West #2 seed, Mountain View takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

25. If Skyview loses, Mountain View loses, Capital loses, Borah wins, and Eagle wins.

There is a 3-way tie between Mountain View, Borah, and Eagle for the #2, #3 and #4 seeds, respectively, Capital takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

The tie is broken by comparing common league opponents from the top down. In this scenario, Borah beats Rocky Mountain but Mountain View and Eagle both lost to the Grizzlies. Therefore, Borah takes the West #2 seed, Eagle takes the West #3 seed, and Mountain View takes the West #4 seed.

26. If Skyview loses, Mountain View loses, Capital wins, Borah wins, and Eagle wins.

Eagle takes the West #2 seed, Mountain View takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

27. If Skyview loses, Mountain View wins, Capital loses, Borah wins, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Borah takes the West #3 seed, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, Capital takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

28. If Skyview loses, Mountain View wins, Capital loses, Borah wins, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Borah takes the West #3 seed, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, Capital takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

29. If Skyview loses, Mountain View loses, Capital wins, Borah loses, and Eagle wins.

Eagle takes the West #2 seed, Mountain View takes the West #3 seed, Capital takes the West #4 seed, Borah takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

30. If Skyview loses, Mountain View loses, Capital wins, Borah loses, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Eagle takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

31. If Skyview loses, Mountain View loses, Capital wins, Borah wins, and Eagle loses.

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Capital takes the West #3 seed, Borah takes the West #4 seed, Eagle takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.

32. If Skyview loses, Mountain View loses, Capital loses, Borah wins, and Eagle loses. 

Mountain View takes the West #2 seed, Borah takes the West #3 seed, Eagle takes the West #4 seed, Capital takes the West #5 seed, and Skyview is eligible for the At-Large berth.


5A District 5-6 - High Country Conference

Total guaranteed berths to the state tournament: two.

Clinched Automatic Playoff Berth
Madison Bobcats

Still In Contention For Auto Bid
Highland Rams*
Rigby Trojans*

Eliminated
Thunder Ridge Titans

*In contention for one of three 5A 'At-Large' berths. See the bottom of this article for more details.

The only team from eastern Idaho that has claimed a spot at the state tournament is Madison, although we do not know their positioning on the bracket. 

This week, Highland hosts Rigby. Here are the scenarios.

1. If Highland beats Rigby.

Highland takes the East #1 seed, Madison takes the East #2 seed, and Rigby is eligible for the At-Large berth.

2. If Rigby beats Highland.

There is a 3-way tie for first place between Highland, Rigby, and Madison.

The tie is broken using the Azzie point differential system. It takes the point-differential of a team's wins and losses against the teams it is in a tie with and combines them for a tiebreaking differential. There is also a cap of 13 points, meaning that a 50-point win is the same as a 13-point win - if you win by more than 13 points, it's counted in the tiebreaking procedure as a 13-point win. The margin of victory/defeat differential from each game between the tied teams is used to figure out which team comes out ahead.

Here's what it looks like currently between Madison, Highland, and Rigby:

Madison
Beat Rigby 48-14. Differential: +13 (capped)
Lost to Highland 24-14. Differential: -10
Total differential: +3

Highland
Beat Madison 24-14. Differential: +10
Total differential: +10
(Highland plays Rigby on Oct. 19)

Rigby
Lost to Madison 48-14. Differential: -13 (capped)
Total differential: -13
(Rigby plays Highland on Oct. 19)

This tiebreaker will come down if Rigby can beat Highland and by how many points.

If Rigby beats Highland by 7 points or less, Rigby's point differential will sit between -6 and -13, while Highland's point differential will sit between +3 and +10, with Madison's point differential remaining at +3. In this scenario, Highland takes the East #1 seed, Madison takes the East #2 seed, and Rigby is eligible for the At-Large berth.

If Rigby beats Highland by 8-11 points, Rigby's point differential will sit between -2 and -5, while Highland's point differential will sit between -2 and +2, with Madison's point differential remaining at +3. In this scenario, Madison takes the East #1 seed, Highland takes the East #2 seed, and Rigby is eligible for the At-Large berth.

If Rigby beats Highland by 12 points or more, Rigby's point differential will sit between -1 and 0, while Highland's point differential will set between -3 and -4, with Madison's point differential remaining at +3. In this scenario, Madison takes the East #1 seed, Rigby takes the East #2 seed, and Highland is eligible for the At-Large berth. 


5A 'At-Large' Berth

For the fourth straight year, there is an 'at-large' berth available to the postseason in the 5A classification. For the first time, however, there are three of these At-Large berths available. A team is eligible for the At-Large berth by not qualifying for any of the auto bids in their own conference.

The criteria for the at-large bid is the best winning percentage of the four potential teams against 'Big School' opponents, which is defined as follows:

1. Idaho 5A schools.
2. Non-Idaho schools with a Grade 9-12 enrollment that is 1,280 students or larger.
3. Non-Idaho schools with a Grade 10-12 enrollment that is 960 students or larger.
(In some states, the state governing board only counts students in three grades as opposed to four, which necessitated the two different distinctions above.)

If there is a tie between teams after that, the next tiebreakers are as follows:

1. Head-to-Head record
2. Common Opponents
3. Point differential against 'Big Schools' with a cap of 9 points per game.

There are 12 schools that have a chance to be eligible for the At-Large berth, based on all of the potential scenarios above. Those schools include Lewiston, Lake City, Skyview, Centennial, Meridian, Boise, Timberline, Eagle, Capital, Thunder Ridge, Rigby, and Highland.

Here are the records and winning percentages for these schools against ‘Big Schools’ prior to this weekend’s regular season finale, in order from highest percentage to lowest:

Highland: 4-1 (0.800)
Eagle: 5-3 (0.625)
Capital: 5-3 (0.625)
Skyview: 4-4 (0.500)
Lewiston: 2-2 (0.500)
Centennial: 3-5 (0.375)
Meridian: 3-5 (0.375)
Rigby: 1-2 (0.333)
Boise: 1-7 (0.125)
Lake City: 0-4 (0.000)
Timberline: 0-8 (0.000)
Thunder Ridge: 0-2 (0.000)

Based on these winning percentages, there are some teams that will not have a high enough winning percentage against 'Big Schools' to earn an At-Large berth regardless of if they win or lose this weekend, combined with any combination of wins or losses by other teams that are vying for those At-Large berths. Those teams are Lake City, Boise, Timberline, and Thunder Ridge. 

That leaves eight teams that have a chance at earning an At-Large bid. There are a few schools that can still earn an auto bid, including Highland, Rigby, Eagle, Skyview, and Capital. Should any of those schools earn an auto bid, they are no longer eligible to receive an At-Large bid.

The best way to look at the At-Large berths is to see what each team's record would look like if they won and lost this weekend. Below, you will see the best case and worst case scenarios for each team. Remember: at the end of the day, it's the three schools with the highest winning percentage against Big Schools that will secure an At-Large berth.

Record with a WIN Record with a LOSS
Highland: 5-1 (0.833) Highland: 4-2 (0.667)
Eagle: 6-3 (0.667) Eagle: 5-4 (0.555)
Capital: 6-3 (0.667) Capital: 5-4 (0.555)
Lewiston: 3-2 (0.600) Lewiston: 2-3 (0.400)
Skyview: 5-4 (0.555) Skyview: 4-5 (0.444)
Rigby: 2-2 (0.500) Rigby: 1-3 (0.250)
Centennial: 4-5 (0.444) Centennial: 3-6 (0.333)
Meridian: 4-5 (0.444) Meridian: 3-6 (0.333)

Should Highland or Eagle win, they would assure themselves of an auto bid in their conference and would not be eligible for the At-Large bid. 

The three teams that have not secured an auto bid and hold the highest winning percentage following Friday's games will each earn an At-Large bid. The team with the highest winning percentage will take the #10 At-Large seed, the team with the second highest winning percentage will take the #11 At-Large seed, and the team with the third highest winning percentage will take the #12 At-Large seed.



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