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Matt joined the IdahoSports.com team in the fall of 2011. He is the Sports Information Director and also broadcasts many sporting events throughout Idaho. Matt grew up in Alberta, Canada and moved to the Gem State in 2004. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Communications and works for Riverbend Communications. Matt married his wife (and much better half), Hannah, in 2010 and they have three children: Eli, Naomi, and Elizabeth. He and his family reside in Idaho Falls. Follow Matt on Twitter: @IdahoSportsMatt

 

Eastern Idaho Football Tiebreakers & Scenarios
Published: 10/15/2016 11:56:05 AM

Every scenario and tiebreaker for District 5 & 6 football teams as we head into the final week of the regular season.



We are down to one week remaining in the high school football regular season for most classifications. The playoffs are right around the corner and the question that I have been getting a lot the last couple of days is "What are the playoff scenarios for (insert team here)?" Well, it's time to finally answer those questions all the way through. It's tough to do when there are two or more weeks left in the season, but much easier when it comes down to the last week.

As I cover eastern Idaho football, I will lay out the tiebreaker scenarios for all teams in eastern Idaho.

5A District 5-6 Conference

Total berths to the state tournament: three.

Clinched Playoff Berth
Highland Rams - conference champion, seed 5-6A
Madison Bobcats - second place, seed 5-6B

Still In Contention
Hillcrest Knights
Rigby Trojans
Bonneville Bees

Highland and Madison are already in, no matter the result of next week's games. However, the battle for the third spot is alive and well. 

Hillcrest hosts Highland and Bonneville plays at Rigby this coming Friday. Madison has finished their conference schedule and plays a non-conference game at Skyline this week. Here are the scenarios:

If Hillcrest beats Highland and Rigby beats Bonneville
Rigby takes seed 5-6C, Hillcrest and Bonneville are eliminated.

If Highland beats Hillcrest and Rigby beats Bonneville
Rigby takes seed 5-6C, Hillcrest and Bonneville are eliminated.

If Hillcrest beats Highland and Bonneville beats Rigby
Hillcrest takes seed 5-6C, Rigby and Bonneville are eliminated.

If Highland beats Hillcrest and Bonneville beats Rigby.
The 3-way point differential tiebreaker will be implemented (see next paragraph down).

Last year, the schools in the conference decided to switch to a point-differential system, with a capped point limit at 13. It means 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 Hillcrest, Bonneville, and Rigby:

Hillcrest
Beat Bonneville 28-7. Differential: +13
Lost to Rigby 28-14. Differential: -13
Total differential = 0.

Bonneville
Lost to Hillcrest 28-7. Differential: -13
Total differential = -13.
(Bonneville plays Rigby on Oct. 21)

Rigby
Beat Hillcrest 28-14. Differential: +13
Total differential = +13.
(Rigby plays Bonneville on Oct. 21).

What does this all mean? The differential is going to come down to if Bonneville can beat Rigby and by how much. Since the points are capped at 13, Bonneville would need to beat Rigby by at least 13 points. If they do that, Bonneville, Hillcrest and Rigby will remain tied, in which case the three teams would then move to a Kansas City Playoff, which would be played on Monday October 24 at a neutral location. If Bonneville beats Rigby by 12 points or less, Rigby will still head to the postseason as seed 5-6C with Hillcrest and Bonneville staying at home.


4A District 5-6 Conference

Total berths to the state tournament: three.

Clinched Playoff Berth
Skyline Grizzlies - conference champion, seed 5-6A
Blackfoot Broncos

Still In Contention
Idaho Falls Tigers
Pocatello Indians

Eliminated
Preston Indians
Century Diamondbacks

Skyline has no more conference games and are into the postseason no matter the results of the final regular season games. Blackfoot is also in the postseason, however we do not know which seed they will earn. Pocatello and Idaho Falls are still in the mix.

Pocatello hosts Blackfoot on Friday and Idaho Falls squares off against Century this Thursday. Here are the scenarios:

If Blackfoot beats Pocatello and Idaho Falls beats Century
Blackfoot takes seed 5-6B, Idaho Falls takes seed 5-6C, Pocatello is eliminated.

If Blackfoot beats Pocatello and Century beats Idaho Falls
Blackfoot takes seed 5-6B, Idaho Falls takes seed 5-6C, Pocatello is eliminated.

If Pocatello beats Blackfoot and Century beats Idaho Falls
Pocatello takes seed 5-6B, Blackfoot takes seed 5-6C, and Idaho Falls is eliminated.

If Pocatello beats Blackfoot and Idaho Falls beats Century
The 3-way point differential tiebreaker is implemented (see next paragraph down).

This season, the 4A District 5-6 Conference has decided to adopt the point differential tiebreaking system that the 5A District 5-6 Conference implemented last season. You can read more on that system in the 5A District 5-6 Playoff Scenarios section above. The points are also capped at 13, just as in the 5A District 5-6 Conference.

Here's what it looks like currently between Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello:

Idaho Falls
Beat Pocatello 27-19. Differential: +8
Lost to Blackfoot 49-21. Differential: -13
Total differential = -5

Blackfoot
Beat Idaho Falls 49-21. Differential: +13
Total differential = +13
(Blackfoot plays Pocatello on Oct. 21)

Pocatello
Lost to Idaho Falls 27-19. Differential: -8
Total differential = -8
(Pocatello plays Blackfoot on Oct. 21)

What does this all mean? It means it's going to come down to how much Pocatello wins by against Blackfoot (assuming they get the win). Here's what I mean:

If Pocatello wins their game by 1-2 points, their final point differential would sit between -7 and -6 and Blackfoot's would sit between +12 and +11, which via the tiebreaker would have them behind Idaho Falls and Blackfoot, meaning they would be out of the playoffs. Blackfoot would finish second and take seed 5-6B, while Idaho Falls would finish third and take seed 5-6C.

If Pocatello wins their game by 3 points, their final point differential would sit right at -5, which is tied with Idaho Falls. Blackfoot's would sit at +10. However, Idaho Falls won the head-to-head matchup with Pocatello, so Pocatello would be out of the playoffs. Blackfoot would finish second and take seed 5-6B, while Idaho Falls would finish third and take seed 5-6C.

If Pocatello wins their game by 4-10 points, their final point differential would sit between -4 and +2, with Blackfoot's point differential sitting between +9 and +3. That would mean that Idaho Falls misses the playoffs, with Blackfoot finishing second and taking seed 5-6B and Pocatello finishing third and taking seed 5-6C.

If Pocatello wins their game by 11 or more points, their final point differential would sit between +3 and +5, with Blackfoot's point differential sitting between +2 and 0. That would mean that Idaho Falls misses the playoffs, with Pocatello finishing second and taking seed 5-6B, with Blackfoot finishing third and taking seed 5-6C.

Long story short, Pocatello HAS to beat Blackfoot by at least four points to make it to the playoffs AND hope that their crosstown rival Century can take down Idaho Falls in their regular season finale if they don't want to go to the point differential tiebreaker.


3A Mountain Rivers Conference

Total berts to the state tournament: two. (At-large berth available)

Clinched Playoff Berth
Shelley Russets

Still In Contention
Sugar-Salem Diggers
South Fremont Cougars

Eliminated
Teton Redskins

The only team that is for sure into the postseason is Shelley. 

Shelley plays at Teton and South Fremont hosts Sugar-Salem. Here are the scenarios:

If Shelley beats Teton and Sugar-Salem beats South Fremont
Shelley takes seed 6A, Sugar-Salem takes seed 6B, South Fremont would be eligible for the at-large berth.

If Shelley beats Teton and South Fremont beats Sugar-Salem
Shelley takes seed 6A, South Fremont takes seed 6B, Sugar-Salem would be eligible for the at-large berth.

If Teton beats Shelley and Sugar-Salem beats South Fremont
Shelley takes seed 6A, Sugar-Salem takes seed 6B, South Fremont would be eligible for the at-large berth.

If Teton beats Shelley and South Fremont beats Sugar-Salem
Shelley takes seed 6A, South Fremont takes seed 6B, Sugar-Salem would be eligible for the at-large berth.

The at-large berth this year is determined by the final MaxPreps ranking of each team. The team with the highest MaxPreps ranking in the 3A classification that has not clinched an automatic berth will be awarded the at-large berth.

Teton is eliminated as their MaxPreps ranking is lower than South Fremont and Sugar-Salem's, mainly because of their overall record and strength of schedule. Basically, the loser of the South Fremont/Sugar-Salem contest on Thursday night will earn that bid because of their MaxPreps rankings, strength of schedule, and overall record.


3A South East Idaho Conference

Total berths to the state tournament: two.

Clinched Playoff Berth
Snake River Panthers - conference champions, seed 5A

Still In Contention
American Falls Beavers
Marsh Valley Eagles

Snake River, despite starting the season 0-4, has rattled off three straight wins and won another conference championship with their wins over Marsh Valley and American Falls in successive weeks. In a 3-team conference, the scenarios become very simple.

American Falls plays at Marsh Valley this week. Here are the scenarios:

If American Falls beats Marsh Valley
American Falls takes seed 5B and Marsh Valley is eliminated.

If Marsh Valley beats American Falls
Marsh Valley takes seed 5B and American Falls is eliminated.


2A Nuclear Conference

Total berths to the state tournament: four.

Clinched Playoff Berth
North Fremont Huskies
Firth Cougars

Still In Contention
West Jefferson Panthers
Ririe Bulldogs
Salmon Savages

North Fremont and Firth are in to the tournament for sure and will battle for the first and second seeds on Friday in Firth. As for the other three teams, two spots are still available to the tournament.

North Fremont plays at Firth and West Jefferson plays at Salmon on Friday night. Ririe has finished conference play. Here are the scenarios:

If North Fremont beats Firth and West Jefferson beats Salmon
North Fremont takes seed 6A, Firth takes seed 6B, West Jefferson takes seed 6C, Ririe takes seed 6D, and Salmon is eliminated.

If North Fremont beats Firth and Salmon beats West Jefferson
North Fremont takes seed 6A, Firth takes seed 6B, 3-way tie for third place between West Jefferson, Ririe, and Salmon, resulting in a Kansas City Playoff either on Saturday Oct. 22 or Monday Oct. 24 at a neutral location to be determined.

If Firth beats North Fremont and West Jefferson beats Salmon
Firth takes seed 6A, North Fremont takes seed 6B, West Jefferson takes seed 6C, Ririe takes seed 6D, and Salmon is eliminated.

If Firth beats North Fremont and Salmon beats West Jefferson
Firth takes seed 6A, North Fremont takes seed 6B, 3-way tie for third place between West Jefferson, Ririe, and Salmon, resulting in a Kansas City Playoff either on Saturday Oct. 22 or Monday Oct. 24 at a neutral location to be determined.


2A South East Idaho Conference

Total berths to the state tournament: three.

Clinched Playoff Berth
Bear Lake Bears
Aberdeen Tigers
West Side Pirates

Eliminated
Malad Dragons
Soda Springs Cardinals

The trio of Bear Lake, Aberdeen, and West Side have all advanced to the playoffs, but they haven't locked down their positioning on the bracket yet. That will come after the results of this week's final conference contests. These final games are all played on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Aberdeen plays at Bear Lake and Malad is at West Side. Here are the scenarios:

If Aberdeen beats Bear Lake and West Side beats Malad
Aberdeen, Bear Lake, and West Side all tie for first place. The tiebreaker is a 3-way coin flip. A representative from each team flips a coin at the same time. If all three coins come up heads-or-tails, the coins are flipped again. If the coin flips yields 2 heads and a tails or 2 tails and a head, the odd-man out is awarded the top-seed. A coin is then flipped again to determine the remaining two seeds to the state tournament.

If Aberdeen beats Bear Lake and Malad beats West Side
Aberdeen takes seed 5A, Bear Lake takes seed 5B, and West Side takes seed 5C.

If Bear Lake beats Aberdeen and West Side beats Malad
Bear Lake takes seed 5A, West Side takes seed 5B, and Aberdeen takes seed 5C.

If Bear Lake beats Aberdeen and Malad beats West Side
Bear Lake takes seed 5A, West Side takes seed 5B, and Aberdeen takes seed 5C.


1A Division-I Snake River Conference

Total berths to the state tournament: three.

Still In Contention
Raft River Trojans
Glenns Ferry Pilots
Oakley Hornets
Valley Vikings

Eliminated
Grace Grizzlies
Challis Vikings
Hagerman Pirates
Murtaugh Red Devils
Shoshone Indians

This conference plays their regular season through October 28th, making it difficult to narrow down each individual scenario as of this writing. However, as Grace and Challis are the only eastern Idaho teams in the conference and as they both have four conference losses (with all opponents ahead of them with one and zero conference losses with two games to play), they are both eliminated from contention.


1A Division-II Sawtooth East Conference

Total berths to the state tournament: four.

Clinched Playoff Berth
North Gem Cowboys - conference champion, seed 5-6A
Butte County Pirates
Rockland Bulldogs
Clark County Bulldogs - seed 5-6D

Eliminated
Watersprings Warriors

North Gem and Clark County are the only teams to know where they sit on the bracket so far. It all comes down to the Rockland/Butte County game to determine the other seeds.

Watersprings plays at North Gem and Butte County plays at Rockland this week. Clark County plays a non-conference game against independent Sho-Ban. Here are the scenarios:

If Butte County beats Rockland
Butte County takes seed 5-6B and Rockland takes seed 5-6C.

If Rockland beats Butte County
Rockland takes seed 5-6B and Butte County takes seed 5-6C.




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