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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

 

5A Statewide Football Playoff & Tiebreaker Scenarios
Published: 10/15/2017 12:33:02 PM

A look at all of the 2017 football playoff and tiebreaker scenarios for 5A schools.


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 berths to the state tournament: two.

Clinched Playoff Berth
Coeur d'Alene Vikings
Post Falls Trojans

Eliminated
Lewiston Bengals
Lake City Timberwolves

*In contention for 5A at-large berth (see the bottom of this article)

Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls have already punched their ticket to the state tournament, while Lake City and Lewiston are down to their final chance for a conference win this season.

This week, Lake City hosts Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene is at home against Post Falls. Here are the scenarios:

1.    If Coeur d'Alene beats Post Falls.

Coeur d'Alene finishes first and takes the North #1 seed, Post Falls finishes second and takes the North #2 seed,

2.    If Post Falls beats Coeur d’Alene.

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



5A District 3 Southern Idaho Conference - West Pod A

Total berths to the state tournament: three.

Clinched Playoff Berth
Capital Eagles
Mountain View Mavericks

Still In Contention
Meridian Warriors
Columbia Wildcats

Eliminated
Nampa Bulldogs
Boise Braves

*In contention for 5A at-large berth (see the bottom of this article)

Capital and Mountain View have assured themselves of a trip to the postseason with the two top seeds from the pod, although their seeding order is yet to be determined. Meridian and Columbia are in the running for the final berth from the pod, while Boise and Nampa have been eliminated from contention.

This week, Mountain View hosts Capital and Columbia is at Meridian. Here are the scenarios:

1.    If Capital beats Mountain View and Meridian beats Columbia

Capital finishes first and takes the West A #1 seed, Mountain View finishes second and takes the West A #2 seed, Meridian finishes third and takes the West A #3 seed, and Columbia finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth.

2.    If Capital beats Mountain View and Columbia beats Meridian

Capital finishes first and takes the West A #1 seed, Mountain View finishes second and takes the West A #2 seed, Columbia finishes third and takes the West A #3 seed, and Meridian finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth.

3.    If Mountain View beats Capital and Meridian beats Columbia

Mountain View finishes first and takes the West A #1 seed, Capital finishes second and takes the West A #2 seed, Meridian finishes third and takes the West A #3 seed, and Columbia finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth.

4.    If Mountain View beats Capital and Columbia beats Meridian

Mountain View finishes first and takes the West A #1 seed, Capital finishes second and takes the West A #2 seed, Columbia finishes third and takes West A #3 seed, and Meridian finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth.



5A District 3 Southern Idaho Conference - West Pod B

Total berths to the state tournament: three

Clinched Playoff Berth
Eagle Mustangs
Rocky Mountain Grizzlies
Borah Lions

Still In Contention
Kuna Kavemen*
Timberline Wolves*

Eliminated
Centennial Patriots

*In contention for 5A at-large berth (see the bottom of this article)

This one just comes down to a matter of seeding for Eagle, Rocky Mountain, and Borah, who have all clinched trips to the postseason. For Kuna and Timberline, they both face must-win situations this week to still be in the running for the at-large berth. Centennial has been eliminated.

This week, Eagle hosts Borah, Rocky Mountain hosts Centennial, and Timberline hosts Kuna. Here are the scenarios:

1.    If Eagle beats Borah, Rocky Mountain beats Centennial, and Timberline beats Kuna.

Borah, Eagle, and Rocky Mountain all tie for first place. Timberline finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, while Kuna is eliminated.

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.

2.    If Eagle beats Borah, Rocky Mountain beats Centennial, and Kuna beats Timberline.

Borah, Eagle, and Rocky Mountain all tie for first place. Kuna finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, while Timberline is eliminated.

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.

3.    If Eagle beats Borah, Centennial beats Rocky Mountain, and Timberline beats Kuna.

Eagle finishes first and takes the West B #1 seed, Borah finishes second and takes the West B #2 seed, Rocky Mountain finishes third and takes the West B #3 seed, Timberline finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, while Kuna is eliminated.

4.    If Eagle beats Borah, Centennial beats Rocky Mountain, and Kuna beats Timberline.

Eagle finishes first and takes the West B #1 seed, Borah finishes second and takes the West B #2 seed, Rocky Mountain finishes third and takes the West B #3 seed, Kuna finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, while Timberline is eliminated.

5.    If Borah beats Eagle, Rocky Mountain beats Centennial, and Timberline beats Kuna.

Borah finishes first and takes the West B #1 seed, Rocky Mountain finishes second and takes the West B #2 seed, Eagle finishes third and takes the West B #3 seed, Timberline finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, while Kuna is eliminated.

6.    If Borah beats Eagle, Rocky Mountain beats Centennial, and Kuna beats Timberline.

Borah finishes first and takes the West B #1 seed, Rocky Mountain finishes second and takes the West B #2 seed, Eagle finishes third and takes the West B #3 seed, Kuna finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, while Timberline is eliminated.

7.    If Borah beats Eagle, Centennial beats Rocky Mountain, and Timberline beats Kuna.

Borah finishes first and takes the West B #1 seed, Rocky Mountain finishes second and takes the West B #2 seed, Eagle finishes third and takes the West B #3 seed, Timberline finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, while Kuna is eliminated.

8.    If Borah beats Eagle, Centennial beats Rocky Mountain, and Kuna beats Timberline.

Borah finishes first and takes the West B #1 seed, Rocky Mountain finishes second and takes the West B #2 seed, Eagle finishes third and takes the West B #3 seed, Kuna finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, while Timberline is eliminated.



5A District 5-6 East Idaho 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*

Eliminated
Bonneville Bees

*In contention for 5A at-large berth (see the bottom of this article)

Highland has claimed the district title for the fifth season in a row and has earned the East #1 seed. Madison has completed their conference schedule and has earned the East #2 seed. However, the battle for the third spot is alive and well between Hillcrest and Rigby. Bonneville’s only chance at reaching the postseason is through the at-large berth.

This week, Highland hosts Hillcrest and Bonneville hosts Rigby. Here are the scenarios:

1.    If Hillcrest beats Highland and Bonneville beats Rigby

Hillcrest finishes third and takes the East #3 seed, Bonneville finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, and Rigby is eliminated.

2.    If Hillcrest beats Highland and Rigby beats Bonneville.

Rigby finishes third and takes the East #3 seed, Hillcrest finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, and Bonneville is eliminated.

3.    If Highland beats Hillcrest and Rigby beats Bonneville

Rigby finishes third and takes the East #3 seed and Hillcrest finishes fourth and is in the running for the at-large berth, and Bonneville is eliminated.

4.    If Highland beats Hillcrest and Bonneville beats Rigby.
There is a 3-way tie for third place between Hillcrest, Bonneville, and Rigby.

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 Hillcrest, Bonneville, and Rigby:

Hillcrest
Beat Bonneville 34-13. Differential: +13
Lost to Rigby 58-52. Differential: -6
Total differential = +7

Bonneville
Lost to Hillcrest 34-13 Differential: -13
Total differential = -13.
(Bonneville plays Rigby on Oct. 20)

Rigby
Beat Hillcrest 58-52. Differential: +6
Total differential = +6.
(Rigby plays Bonneville on Oct. 20).

What does this all mean? It’s simply going to come down to if Bonneville can beat Rigby and by how much. Here’s what I mean:

If Bonneville beats Rigby by 10 points or more, the Bees point differential will sit between -3 and 0, while the Trojans point differential will sit between -4 and -7, with Hillcrest’s point differential remaining at +7. In this scenario, Hillcrest would finish third and take the East #3 seed, Bonneville would finish fourth and be in the running for the at-large berth, and Rigby would be eliminated.

If Bonneville beats Rigby by 9 points or less, the Bees point differential will sit between -4 and -12, while the Trojans point differential will sit between -3 and +5, with Hillcrest’s point differential remaining at +7. In this scenario, Hillcrest would finish third and take the East #3 seed, Rigby would finish fourth and be in the running for the at-large berth, and Bonneville would be eliminated.



5A At-Large Berth

For the third straight year, there is an 'at-large' berth available to the postseason in the 5A classification. This berth is available to the fourth place finishing teams out of the East, West Pod A, and West Pod B and the third place finishing team from the North.

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 at the top between teams after that, those teams’ point differentials against ‘Big School’ opponents (with a cap of 9 points per game) will be used. The team with the highest point differential would earn the at-large berth.

There are 9 schools that have a chance to finish in position to have a shot at the at-large berth. They are Lake City, Lewiston, Meridian, Columbia, Timberline, Kuna, Rigby, Hillcrest, and Bonneville.

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:

Rigby: 3-2 = 0.600%
Hillcrest: 2-2 = 0.500%
Timberline: 3-4 = 0.429%
Meridian: 3-4 = 0.429%
Columbia: 2-4 = 0.333%
Kuna: 2-4 = 0.333%
Lewiston: 1-4 = 0.200%
Lake City: 0-5 = 0.000%
Bonneville: 0-4 = 0.000%

With the above numbers in mind, a few teams will be eliminated even if they win their games this weekend. Those teams are: Bonneville, Lake City, and Lewiston.

There are a few teams that are in contention for automatic berths from their own conference, including Rigby, Hillcrest, Meridian, and Columbia. However, if Columbia or Meridian wins this week they will be the West A #3 seed, but if they lose their win percentage will not be high enough to earn the at-large berth). 

There are 10 possible scenarios when it comes to determining the at-large berth, all of which rely on three games to determine the final outcome: Rigby vs. Bonneville, Hillcrest vs. Highland, and Timberline vs. Kuna. Eight of the 10 scenarios involved Rigby losing to Bonneville, with four of those assuming Rigby loses by 10 or more points and four more assuming they lose by 9 points or less. For more information on that, please read bullet point #4 in the 5A District 5-6 East Idaho Conference scenarios above.

Here are the at-large berth scenarios:

1.    If Rigby loses by 10 or more points to Bonneville, Hillcrest beats Highland, and Timberline beats Kuna.

Rigby would be no longer eligible for the at-large berth, as they would finish in last place in their conference, Hillcrest would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, and Timberline would be awarded the at-large berth with a 0.500 win percentage.

2.    If Rigby loses by 10 or more points to Bonneville, Hillcrest loses to Highland, and Timberline beats Kuna.

Rigby would be no longer eligible for the at-large berth, as they would finish in last place in their conference, Hillcrest would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, and Timberline would be awarded the at-large berth with a 0.500 win percentage.

3.    If Rigby loses by 10 or more points to Bonneville, Hillcrest beats Highland, and Kuna beats Timberline.

Rigby would be no longer eligible for the at-large berth, as they would finish in last place in their conference, Hillcrest would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, and Kuna would be awarded the at-large berth with a 0.429 win percentage.

4.    If Rigby loses by 10 or more points to Bonneville, Hillcrest loses to Highland and Kuna beats Timberline.

Rigby would be no longer eligible for the at-large berth, as they would finish in last place in their conference, Hillcrest would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, and Kuna would be awarded the at-large berth with a 0.429 win percentage.

5.    If Rigby loses by 9 points or less to Bonneville, Hillcrest beats Highland, and Timberline beats Kuna.

Rigby would be no longer eligible for the at-large berth, as they would finish in last place in their conference, Hillcrest would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, and Timberline would be awarded the at-large berth with a 0.500 win percentage.

6.    If Rigby loses by 9 points or less to Bonneville, Hillcrest loses to Highland, and Timberline beats Kuna.

Hillcrest would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed. Rigby and Timberline would both have the same ‘Big Schools’ winning percentage, which is 0.500. The second tiebreaker would then take effect, which is the combined overall point differential against ‘Big Schools’ with a cap of nine points. That means that a win by nine points is counted the same as a win by 50 points. Here is how that would break down based on current records:

Rigby’s Five Games Against ‘Big Schools’
Douglas (NV) – Won 56-32. Point differential = +9 (capped)
Kuna – Won 58-40. Point differential = +9 (capped)
Madison – Lost 22-21. Point differential = -1
Hillcrest – Won 58-52. Point differential = +6
Highland – Lost 33-0. Point differential = -9 (capped)

Total = +14

Timberline’s Seven games Against ‘Big Schools’
Bonneville – Won 42-27. Point differential = +9 (capped)
Boise – Won 45-14. Point differential = +9 (capped)
Capital – Lost 34-17. Point differential = -9 (capped)
Rocky Mountain – Lost 39-32. Point differential = -7
Eagle – Lost 35-21. Point differential = -9 (capped)
Borah – Lost 40-20. Point differential = -9 (capped)
Centennial – Won 27-26. Point differential = +1

Total = -15

With this in mind, the most that the point differential can move for either team after this week’s games is nine points. Even if Timberline blows out Kuna this week, they cannot make up the deficit they face in the overall point differential. That means that Rigby would then earn the at-large berth via this second tiebreaker and Timberline would be eliminated from postseason contention.

7.    If Rigby loses by 9 points or less to Bonneville, Hillcrest beats Highland, and Kuna beats Timberline.

Rigby would be no longer eligible for the at-large berth, as they would finish in last place in their conference, Hillcrest would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, and Kuna would be awarded the at-large berth with a 0.429 win percentage.

8.    If Rigby loses by 9 points or less to Bonneville, Hillcrest loses to Highland, and Kuna beats Timberline.

Hillcrest would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, Rigby would be awarded the at-large berth with a 0.500 win percentage, and Kuna would be eliminated from postseason contention.

9.    If Rigby beats Bonneville, Hillcrest beats Highland, and Timberline OR Kuna wins against each other.

Rigby would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, Hillcrest would be awarded the at-large berth with a 0.600 win percentage, and both Timberline and Kuna would be eliminated from postseason contention.

10.    If Rigby beats Bonneville, Hillcrest loses to Highland, and Timberline OR Kuna wins against each other.

Rigby would finish in third place in their conference and claim the East #3 seed, the winner of Timberline vs. Kuna would earn the at-large berth (Timberline with a 0.500 win percentage or Kuna with a 0.429 win percentage) and Hillcrest would be eliminated from postseason contention (their win percentage would be 0.400).




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