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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Selection Sunday raises as many questions as answers

After a somewhat tiring afternoon of perusing playoff brackets, I have a few thoughts about my first LHSAA "Selection Sunday."

This has been a little different to a Texan like me, where the top four teams in each district advance to the playoffs and the largest school in each district plays in the Division I bracket. I'm not sure which system is better, to tell you the truth, after watching how things went down today.

- The top seeds in the playoff field: (Destrehan in 5A, Shaw in 4A, Parkview Baptist in 3A, John Curtis in 2A and Cedar Creek in 1A). To compare, the LSWA Top 10 poll's No. 1 teams from the previous week, which should hold true because none of the top teams lost: (West Monroe in 5A, Bastrop in 4A, Parkview Baptist in 3A, Calvary Baptist in 2A and Cedar Creek in 1A).

- So ... just like with the BCS and the AP poll in college football, computers and humans find themselves with a difference of, um, analysis. Three of the No. 1s are different in the respective rankings but, unlike in the NCAA, the playoffs will ultimately settle it all on the field. However, seeding can play a big role in the route certain teams take to the Superdome. I'm not sure which system is better because, as a poll voter, I've seen only a couple handfuls of the 50 teams I vote for weekly. But something more clinical, like plucking off the top 3 teams in each district would seem to be more sensible to me. So, advantage Texas.

- I'll probably delve deeper into the LHSAA ratings system in a story later this week. I'm curious as to how this process developed and how the ratings are tabulated. If anyone cares to steer me in the right direction, please feel free.

- I can't understand why the LHSAA would release the brackets on their Web site hours before the TV show announcing the matchups. Unfortunately, I missed the TV broadcast because of, well, the Patriots and Colts game. Sorry - I truly forgot the LHSAA show was on.

- Seems weird to me that four teams from District 1-5A would be forced to play one another in the first round. Somehow, it doesn't seem fair to whittle down the district's ranks one round into the playoffs. And, trust me, none of the coaches involved are too happy about it either. "This is ridiculous," said Captain Shreve coach Ken Ivy, whose Gators will have a rematch with Byrd on Friday. I'd have to agree, coach.

- The power ratings did District 1-4A no favors either. The winner of the Benton-Bossier game on Friday could have to face Haughton in the second round, should the Bucs get past McDonogh #35 in their playoff opener.

- Not sure how John Curtis can lose to St. James in the regular season but still grab the top seed in Class 2A. I bet undefeated and top-ranked Calvary would want to know the reason behind that, too.

OK. That's plenty. Check back for more this week. There's plenty of playoffs stuff to get into.


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