2018 TSSAA football playoff projections, championship week

The projections went 11-1 last week, bringing them to 169-43 in the playoffs (79.7%) after a 279-54 regular season. Not bad! At this point, I don’t have to repost the championship probabilities sheet – because this is Championship Week, I’ve just added each team’s likelihood of winning the game in parentheses next to the score. Here’s this week’s games in spreadsheet form:

Good luck to all teams participating this weekend, and safe travels for all fans.

THURSDAY

  • 11:00 AM, 2A Championship Game: Peabody (13-1) 24, Trousdale County (11-3) 22 (Peabody 55.1%, Trousdale County 44.9%)
    • Peabody was the second-most likely team to make the 2A Championship Game behind Meigs County, who Trousdale County beat. Trousdale is undoubtedly the single most surprising state championship participant, a team that went 7-3 in essentially a two-team region and had a 1-3 record against teams in the top 100 of the state on MaxPreps prior to the playoffs. All they did was beat three of the top four favorites for the 2A title. In contrast, Peabody’s road looks downright easy – Waverly Central last week was their first game within 30 points since a 14-10 loss to Gibson County on September 28. Both have been stout defensively against most teams; Peabody tossed up 8 shutouts this year, while Trousdale had 4 plus another 4 games where they held the opponent to single digits. Trousdale’s more battle-tested and probably has multiple better wins than Peabody, but Peabody’s dominance of nearly every opponent puts them ahead in the ratings. I wonder how much Trousdale has left in the tank, personally. Player to watch: Peabody RB Jarel Dickson.
  • 3:00 PM, 4A Championship Game: Greeneville (14-0) 37, Haywood (10-4) 19 (Greeneville 85.6%, Haywood 14.4%)
    • Haywood’s run isn’t as Cinderella-y as Trousdale, but it’s remarkable in its own right. Haywood started 2-4 and lost to Dyersburg 48-14, but hasn’t lost since and almost fully reversed the Dyersburg score two weeks ago in a 47-14 win. (I’d guess it was in the back of their minds.) Greeneville simply has been the unstoppable bulldozer of the likes we may never see again in 4A. Just one game has ended within 20 points – their 35-20 win over Elizabethton – and the much-hyped rematch against Anderson County was over in the second quarter. Greeneville led 42-7 in that game before letting in a pair of late touchdowns. As good as Haywood has been for two months now, it would take a monstrous effort to defeat a Greeneville team that would be a 6A championship favorite. Greeneville has four FBS commits on offense alone.
  • 7:00 PM, 6A Championship Game: Oakland (13-1) 32, Whitehaven (11-3) 21 (Oakland 73.7%, Whitehaven 26.3%)
    • Whitehaven is the other major surprise participant. This feels funny to say, considering Whitehaven won the 6A Championship two years ago, but you’ve got to look at who they beat on the way here: 10-1 Houston, 12-0 Germantown, and 11-2 Ravenwood, all very good or elite teams. (Germantown was the 6A favorite heading into the postseason.) Oakland, on the other hand, isn’t a surprise, but it was certainly stunning how thoroughly they owned Maryville. Oakland won 38-0 and it felt like 78-0; the game was over by halftime. The path to a Whitehaven win is reliant on holding Oakland to 21 or less – it’s happened just twice this year, and Oakland needed a late stop against Mount Juliet to hang on in a 14-7 win. Pay special attention to Oakland’s two outstanding players, DE Joseph Anderson (South Carolina) and WR Woodi Washington (Oklahoma). For Whitehaven: ATH Keveon Mullins (South Carolina), OG Melvin McBride (Tennessee), and 2020 ILB Bryson Eason (likely Oklahoma).

FRIDAY

  • 11:00 AM, II-A Championship Game: Davidson Academy (12-0) 38, Friendship Christian (10-2) 26 (Davidson Academy 74.5%, Friendship Christian 25.5%)
    • It’s a weird time on a weird day, but this will be the single most fun game of the weekend, and I hate that the calculations I use are so conservative on point projections. (I’ll work on this for 2019.) Davidson Academy has yet to score fewer than 40 points in a game this year, and their 54.3 PPG average would rank #2 in state history. Let me tell you this: they beat teams 62-55 and 62-56 this year. If you are in Cookeville, spend the money. Friendship Christian, a good team, feels downright boring in comparison – just one 60+ point game on the year. They’ve won games 14-7 and 19-0. SNOOZE! Davidson hasn’t been seriously threatened since the referenced 62-56 win over Fayette Academy nearly two months ago, the team Friendship just beat 14-7. Maybe this ends up being an upset, but you can bet it’s the game with the most points.
  • 3:00 PM, II-AA Championship Game: Christ Presbyterian Academy (13-0) 33, Battle Ground Academy (11-2) 20 (Christ Presbyterian Academy 77.1%, Battle Ground Academy 22.9%)
    • CPA has already beaten BGA 31-20 earlier this season and they ended Lausanne’s three-year winning streak two weeks ago in the semifinals. (A note: not a single Tennessean writer of the seven available picked CPA to win II-AA, while this very site said they were favorites to win it all. Congrats to me.) BGA obliterated Franklin Road Academy 50-7 in the semifinals and beat a good Webb team 30-10, but lost to their two toughest opponents (CPA and Evangelical Christian) by a combined score of 51-27. It doesn’t look great for them. Players to highlight: CPA ILB Kane Patterson (Clemson commit) and WR Noah Henderson (likely Arkansas State); BGA 2020 S Antonio Stevens (Missouri offer) and 2019 OLB Chico Bennett Jr. (Georgia Tech).
  • 7:00 PM, II-AAA Championship Game: Brentwood Academy (10-2) 27.0, Memphis University School (11-0) 26.9* (Brentwood Academy 50.2%, Memphis University School 49.8%)
    • This is the best game you can see in Cookeville this year. Brentwood Academy was considered a top-three team statewide, on a 24-game winning streak, before a shocker 31-27 loss to McCallie. They’d lose 25-24 to Montgomery Bell Academy two weeks later. Since, BA has avenged the MBA loss, and outside of those two games, their defense has been untouchable. (The offense leaves a bit to be desired.) MUS has simply been the premier team in private school football, a team that’s 6-0 against top 50 teams in Tennessee and has only faced two serious down-to-the-wire challenges, including their 10-7 semifinal win over McCallie. Both schools have several legitimate D1 prospects, and MUS brings shutdown corner Maurice Hampton (LSU commit) to the battle. (Recruiting people would also recommend you watch MUS 2020 OT Marcus Henderson, a likely Ole Miss commit, and BA 2020 ILB Devyn Curtis, who holds South Carolina and Vandy offers along with interest from several ACC schools.)

SATURDAY

  • 11:00 AM, 1A Championship Game: Whitwell (14-0) 29, Cornersville (14-0) 24 (Whitwell 60.9%, Cornersville 39.1%)
    • Compared to the rest of the divisions, 1A went almost perfectly to form. The four semifinal participants had a 48% chance to make the semifinals or better, and the only mild surprise was Cornersville making it instead of Huntingdon. This was the second-most likely championship game, and we should be so lucky to have a title game with two 14-0 teams, both of whom would be first-time champions. Cornersville made the title game last year, but lost to Greenback; Whitwell has never played in a championship game before and had a lone semifinals appearance to their name prior to this season. (Another small brag: the Tennessean didn’t even list Whitwell, my 1A favorite, as a darkhorse. At least George Thompson made the correct pick.) Whitwell figures to have a small offensive edge, while Cornersville’s defense is probably a little better. This should be excellent football.
  • 3:00 PM, 3A Championship Game: Alcoa (14-0) 36, Covington (14-0) 18 (Alcoa 84.0%, Covington 16.0%)
    • Covington finally put the Stratford miracle run to bed last week, defeating a 5-8 team 20-14 in the semifinals. Alcoa played a very good Upperman team and won 27-14 despite the fact that Upperman wasn’t going to score a point on Alcoa’s defense. (Sorry.) Alcoa has six wins better than Covington’s best; I don’t see this one being a Covington win. As usual, the best strategy, if there is one, would be for Covington to choke the clock by running it on 95% of plays.
  • 7:00 PM, 5A Championship Game: Henry County (13-1) 25, Knoxville Central (12-2) 24 (Henry County 51.8%, Knoxville Central 48.2%)
    • Finally, we’ve reached the end of the nine-game weekend. Hopefully, it’s as fun as promised – Henry County’s lone loss was to an excellent Germantown team, while Central is on a 12-win tear after a rough 0-2 start. You could convince me of any potential result here. Henry County will run the ball early and often, and there’s a good chance this ends up being a lower-scoring game than projected. Central will throw it around some, but their defense will welcome a run-prominent challenge; they’ve handled that pretty well essentially all season long. This is the best game involving an East Tennessee team by a mile. Henry County has won the title twice in the last 7 years, but Central’s never won it. Perhaps the third time’s the charm. In all honesty, I expect to be wrong on this game.

2018 TSSAA football playoff projections, semifinals

It’s getting harder and harder to project the toss-ups! After a year in which teams favored by 0-9.9 points greatly outperformed their expected win rate (to the tune of around 8 more wins than expected), it’s come crashing back down to earth in the playoffs. While all but one 20+ point favorite has won their game, the rest have been coin-flips and somewhat mild upsets. The system went just 20-10 last week, matching its worst week ever.

Figuring out this week’s games is just as much of a challenge. I don’t have a single game projected above a 16-point spread, and 7 of the 12 games are projected to end up within 10 points. The projections suggest 8 of the 12 favorites will win, but given the regression to the mean, this could be a crazy week still.

Here’s the regional probabilities, updated:

And this week’s games in spreadsheet form:

This week, we’ll do something a little different. All 12 games have short previews beneath their initial bullet points. With the tools I’ve got on hand, I can at least get you halfway to a mildly decent statistical preview that no other outlet is going to provide. The games:

1A

  • Whitwell 31, Greenback 25
    • Greenback fanatics will be a little surprised to see their team as an underdog to anyone in 1A, and it’s hard to blame them – the Cherokees are on a 19-game win streak, with only the first of those 19 being within single digits. This is their first meeting with Whitwell in at least two decades if not further back. Whitwell’s favored because they played a slightly tougher schedule; South Pittsburg (who Whitwell just beat) and Trousdale County are higher-rated than anyone Greenback played this year. The teams are extremely similar by points (45.2 PPG, 9.8 allowed for Whitwell; 45.1 PPG, 11.0 allowed for Greenback), but Whitwell has averaged about 36 yards more per game and grabbed 8.4 yards per carry on 30.5 attempts per game. That’s pretty good, if you’re wondering. Greenback’s Bryce Hanley has completed 60% of his passes, a fine rate, but his completions are going for 20.8 yards a pop. This feels very much like a game that comes down to whoever’s got the ball last.
  • Cornersville 34, Lake County 22
    • I couldn’t find quality numbers on either of these teams, but I can tell you this: Cornersville’s rude defense, which has allowed 53 points in 12 games this year, held a Huntingdon offense averaging 434 yards a game to seven points. On the flip side, Lake County dropped 52 on a Freedom Prep Academy defense with 21 interceptions on the season. They gave up 33 points of their own, including 30 in the second half, though. Both teams are playing their best football (five of Lake County’s six best performances per CalPreps have come in the last six games, and Huntingdon was easily the best team Cornersville has defeated this year), but it feels like Cornersville is simply better.

2A

  • Trousdale County 25, Meigs County 19
    • This is the same Trousdale County group that started the season 1-2 and finished second in their own region, and it’s the same Meigs County that has received zero serious challenges in 2018 and has yet to allow more than 14 points in a game. What gives? Well, two things: Trousdale’s defense is even better, having allowed a total of 38 points in regulation in their last 9 games despite playing Whitwell (13-7 OT loss), 10-2 Tyner Academy, and formerly undefeated Watertown. Meigs has done everything they’ve been asked to do, but this is easily the best team they’ve played in 2018. Neither has yardage stats publicly available, but it’s worth noting they’d favor Meigs without adjustments – this is the first team on Meigs’ schedule to have more than 8 wins on the season.
  • Peabody 32, Waverly Central 26
    • Serious request: if you live in the Milan/Jackson area and have little to do on Friday, go to this game. These are the top two offenses remaining in the 2A playoffs and two of the top three overall. Waverly’s offense has been hilarious: 462 yards per game, 10.3 yards per carry on 297 attempts, and 21.7 yards per completion. Montez Bradley (1,206 yards on 106 carries) and J.D. Dixon (1,538 yards on 63 receptions) are legitimate threats to any team. Peabody matches this with a great defense that’s allowed 68 points all season and just 28 since August. Basically, if you’re looking for the Michigan-Oklahoma of 2A football, this is it.

3A

  • Alcoa 33, Upperman 17
    • Jesse Smithey of 5 Star Preps has said that if Upperman scores a single point in this game, he’ll give someone a free site subscription. He has a good point, because Alcoa’s defense has been absolutely absurd against just about everyone. They gave up 28 points to Maryville, but have given up 45 in the other 12 games. It shouldn’t be discounted how good Upperman has been this year – they averaged 9.3 yards per play, which is a great accomplishment even against a bad schedule – but Alcoa should roll. I do think Upperman scores, though. Blake Metzgar (1,863 yards on 221 carries) will be the guy to do it.
  • Covington 33, Stratford 18
    • I can’t believe this game is real. Stratford, prior to the postseason starting, had a 0.1% shot of making the semifinals. (Adjusted week-by-week to what they’ve been since, this would be closer to about a 0.6% chance, which is still incredibly small.) That’s similar to a lesser 16 seed making the Elite Eight, in theory. It’s an absolutely baffling accomplishment, that of a 2-8 team making the state semifinals. Covington was heavily favored to make it here, and is heavily favored to end this, as Stratford still has completed just 37.1% of their passes this year, but James Moore (2,127 yards on 301 carries) is awesome.

4A

  • Greeneville 32, Maplewood 20
    • Fun fact: the Greeneville Greene Devils have scored exactly 666 points this season. More fun facts: Greeneville needs 83 points in their final two games (assuming they win) to set a school record for points in a season. It’s very unlikely they catch Fulton’s 862-point season in 2013 (57.5 points per game!), but 91 points will get them to second place all-time. Maplewood has been very good on their own rights – they’ve allowed just 31 points in their last 7 games – but they also haven’t played a team with fewer than two losses this season. Their best hope is riding Bobo Hodges (66.0% completion rate, 36 TDs, 6 INTs, 12.2 yards per attempt) to the big day Stanton Martin didn’t have.
  • Haywood 32, Springfield 23
    • If you’re in the Brownsville area, do go see this game. Haywood just destroyed a 12-0 Dyersburg team that had beaten them by 34 in September; Springfield has scored fewer than 40 points once in their last six games and just beat both Jacksons, North and South. They haven’t updated his stats since September, but Dee Hines (Haywood QB) already has at least four 100+ yard rushing performances, with a 207 yard performance against 5A favorite Henry County.

5A

  • Knoxville Catholic 26, Knoxville Central 22
    • This is a fun one. Both have firmly rebounded from poor starts (Central 0-2 to 11-2, Catholic 7 straight wins after a 2-3 start with an awful 17-7 loss to Soddy-Daisy at home), both are beating quality competition (Central defeated 8 playoff teams, while Catholic has beaten 5 but just beat the two favorites in 5A), and both are getting better by the week offensively. Catholic’s dormant offense has come to life over the second half of the season, averaging 40.7 a game in their last six. Central’s 23-12 win over David Crockett was the first time since August 23 against Fulton that they’d scored fewer than 35 points in a game. Central has the better defense and it’s not particularly close (allowing 9.7 points per game), but Catholic’s offense is white-hot. My favorite player on either side of the ball here, other than a family friend on Catholic, is Central’s Xavier Washington, who has 21 tackles for loss and seems likely to play at either Tennessee Tech or Austin Peay.
  • Henry County 32, Beech 19
    • Beech probably was lucky to best Hillsboro last week – they trailed 19-6 midway through the fourth quarter – but they’re here, and it’s yet another great accomplishment for a high-quality program. They have three 900+ yard rushers this year, and all three (Tysean Jefferson, JaSean Parks, and Aaron Foxx) have 13 or 14 touchdown runs this year alone. This is a rematch of a 14-7 Henry County win in September, but this has legitimate shootout potential – Beech’s defense has given up 20 or more points in 7 of their 13 games, while Henry County never found their way to a shootout but did find their way to 7 40+ point outings.

6A

  • Oakland 27, Maryville 25
    • The rematch of the non-region game of the year. Oakland-Maryville I in August was electric, a non-stop battle of two of this state’s 3-5 best programs, and two programs who could easily compete on a national scale. As usual, Oakland is more well-known for its defense, but Maryville’s is nothing to sneeze at: no opponent since Fulton on September 21 has topped 14 points, and a Farragut team averaging 360 yards a game only got to 10 because of a touchdown in garbage time. Oakland has obliterated all oncomers since their loss, although Mount Juliet (14-7 win) nearly ran them off the road last week in a defensive slugfest. Even in that game, though, Oakland felt in control – Mount Juliet just barely passed 150 total yards. Like Whitwell-Greenback, this comes down to who has the ball last.
  • Whitehaven 27, Ravenwood 21
    • On the flipside of the 6A bracket are two heavily flawed teams that struggled mightily to find their way for most of the season before finding it at the exact right time in the playoffs. You know Whitehaven as the 2012 and 2016 6A champions, and you know Ravenwood as 2015’s 6A champion. What you might not expect is that these two come in with a combined five losses – Whitehaven lost to Lausanne and North Little Rock in back to back weeks before finishing on a 7-1 run and finding a hot-and-cold offense (36.9 PPG in wins, 25.7 PPG in losses) to counterbalance a hot-and-cold defense (9.9 PPG allowed and four shutouts in wins, 36.3 PPG allowed in losses). Ravenwood has been more consistent – a 4-0 start bookended by a 5-0 finish – but it took them quite a while to find a sustainable way to win after having to win their first three games by a combined 15 points against three teams that finished 12-19. They just got done obliterating a Brentwood team they lost to in September and, two weeks ago, beat an 11-0 Cane Ridge team at their house. It’s two teams peaking at the right time, meaning it’s a dangerous opposition for whoever comes out of Oakland/Maryville alive.

Some stats:

  • Expected public school championships by region: East Tennessee 2.65, Middle Tennessee 1.94, West Tennessee 1.41.
  • Expected private school championships by region: Middle Tennessee 2.44, West Tennessee 0.56.
  • Around 1.81 of public school championship favorites will lose. The most likely of these losses is Oakland to Maryville (55.1%) and Trousdale County to Meigs County (63.7%).

And, if you’re looking ahead, here’s next week’s championship schedule on the TSSAA website.

Good luck to all teams involved this week, and hopefully, we’ll all have great games to look forward to next weekend.

2018 TSSAA football playoff projections, quarterfinals

Last week was the most upset-filled week of the season since Week 1. My projections went 45-15, a brutal 75% rate…which is funny, because 75% accuracy was my goal at the start of the year. Anyway, here’s a few numbers on the massacre:

  • Of the top five teams in each public school region – 30 total teams – seven lost. That’s 23% of the favorites carved out in one week, including the favorite to win 5A (Fulton) and the #2 team in 3A (Pearl-Cohn, who lost to 3-8 Stratford weeks after beating them 55-0).
  • The private schools had much more uniform results – Notre Dame was the only loser with more than a 1% shot at the championship – but this now sets up extremely competitive semifinal games that I’ll touch on later.
  • The second-biggest upset of the season (Soddy-Daisy were 39 point underdogs to a Knoxville Catholic team that was still figuring things out) happened as Stratford beat Pearl-Cohn as a 32 point underdog. Again, I can’t stress this enough – Pearl-Cohn beat Stratford by 55 a month ago. High school football is weird. Stratford started the playoffs with a 0.4% chance of making the quarterfinals!!
  • FIVE double-digit favorites lost, but the real haymakers were to the down-ballot games – teams favored by 9.9 or less went just 8-10.

It’s going to be hard for the quarterfinals to top the second round for unpredictability, but because so many of this week’s games should be close, there’s going to be a lot of coin-flips. I don’t expect to get more than 70-75% of games correct the rest of the way; picking close games is way harder than picking Greeneville versus Fill-in-the-Blank Overmatched Region Team. I’m excited to see how the system does, regardless. This is just as much about gathering info and tweaking these projections to make them better in 2019 as it is getting it right in 2018.

Anyway, the games. There are 30 in total. If you’re reading this and don’t know it already, the private schools get Thanksgiving week off before their Cookeville championships. That means next week will have just 12 games, but there will be 9 championship games from November 29 to December 1. The more you know! Don’t forget – all game score projections are rounded to the nearest whole number. I don’t expect a final score of 41-11 this week, but you can expect that team to win by ~30 points, if that makes sense.

1A

  • Greenback 37, Coalfield 13
  • Whitwell 30, South Pittsburg 17
  • Huntingdon 34, Cornersville 26
  • Lake County 33, Freedom Prep Academy 21

2A

  • Meigs County 40, South Greene 11
  • Watertown 26, Trousdale County 22
  • Waverly Central 31, Riverside 27
  • Peabody 34, Union City 16

3A

  • Alcoa 41, Austin-East 11
  • Upperman 28, Red Bank 17
  • Fairview 29, Stratford 21
  • Covington 40, Milan 24

4A

  • Greeneville 33, Anderson County 26
  • Maplewood 30, Tullahoma 16
  • Jackson North Side 29, Springfield 26
  • Dyersburg 32, Haywood 26

5A

  • Knoxville Central 25, David Crockett 18
  • Oak Ridge 25, Knoxville Catholic 21
  • Hillsboro 29, Beech 19
  • Henry County 34, Kirby 23

6A

  • Maryville 28, Farragut 21
  • Oakland 24.2, Mount Juliet 23.9*
  • Ravenwood 25, Brentwood 24
  • Germantown 31, Whitehaven 21

II-A

  • Friendship Christian 28, Fayette Academy 26
  • Davidson Academy 46, Nashville Christian 17

II-AA

  • Christ Presbyterian Academy 35, Lausanne Collegiate 27
  • Battle Ground Academy 26, Franklin Road Academy 18

II-AAA

  • Montgomery Bell Academy 26, Brentwood Academy 23
  • Memphis University 32, McCallie 21

Some notes on this week’s games…

  • To no one’s surprise, this is the best set of games yet this season. Just 4 of the 30 have projected scoring margins of 20 or more, and for the first time this playoffs, less than half (14 of 30) are projected to have double-digit margins. If you’re in the right spot in Tennessee, you may have your pick of great games to attend.
  • In the top three flights of divisions – 4A, 5A, and 6A – zero of 12 games are expected to have final margins of more than 14 points. There is a ton of insecurity there, and if you’re into sums, you can expect about four of those 12 favorites to lose. Could Oakland see their rematch dreams with Maryville die in the quarterfinals? Could Knoxville Central become the new 5A favorite? Who knows?
  • Basically, 3A (add 5A if Greeneville wins, but even with a tough game at Anderson County, they’re still nearly 50% to win it all) is the only division that appears set in stone; Alcoa has clearly been the best team from the start of the season, and the #2 and #4 teams (Pearl-Cohn and East Nashville) lost last week. Of their remaining possible matchups, only the road game at Upperman would be under a 20-point spread.
  • Of the currently wide-open regions, all five* have games with massive championship implications.
    • 6A: Oakland at Mount Juliet (31.8% total championship odds at stake), Whitehaven at Germantown (31.4%), Farragut at Maryville (30.9%)
    • 5A: Henry County at Kirby (29.0%), David Crockett at Knoxville Central (28.9%), Knoxville Catholic at Oak Ridge (24.2%)
    • 4A: Greeneville at Anderson County (59.3%)
    • 2A: Trousdale County at Watertown (38.6%)
    • 1A: Cornersville at Huntingdon (36.5%), South Pittsburg at Whitwell (36.1%)
  • The private school divisions, especially II-A and to a lesser extent II-AA, are significantly less exciting. However, there’s a great game lying in each:
    • II-A: Fayette Academy at Friendship Christian (22.8%)
    • II-AA: Lausanne Collegiate at Christ Presbyterian Academy (82.3%)
    • II-AAA: Brentwood Academy at Montgomery Bell Academy (44.8%)
  • The system projects favorites to go about 21-9. 20+ point favorites should be safe; under that, good luck.

Here’s the full regional probabilities:

Hopefully the colors make sense. Here’s some stats:

  • Expected public school titles by region: East Tennessee 2.65, Middle Tennessee 1.84, West Tennessee 1.51.
  • Expected private school titles by region: Middle Tennessee 2.19, West Tennessee 0.81. East Tennessee is fully eliminated from any championships, unless you consider McCallie part of East Tennessee. Your call.
  • About 1.94 of the nine championship favorites are expected to lose this week – 1.29 in public schools, 0.65 in private. The two most vulnerable schools are Greeneville and Christ Presbyterian Academy. The two most likely to be safe are Alcoa and Davidson Academy, also very easily the two largest championship favorites.

Good luck to all teams this week, and I look forward to seeing the results the quarterfinals bring us.

2018 TSSAA football playoff projections, round 2

The second round is here! Last week, the projections went 93-17 (84.5%), including an 80-1 record in games with projected margins of 10 or greater (Southwind over Clarksville being the only loss). This week promises to be more competitive. As always, you can find regional probabilities here:

All games will be played on Friday at 7 PM local time. If this is not correct, please first contact TSSAA, then contact me. I work independently, and these schedules are from the state themselves. Public schools first, from 1A to 6A, followed by private schools, from II-A to II-AAA. Games are listed from Region 1 to 8, with the road team’s region listed first. My schedule is below, but for a full bracket, here’s all of TSSAA’s brackets.

If you would like this week’s schedule in Excel form, go here.

1A

  • Cloudland 24, Coalfield 20
  • Greenback 39, Oliver Springs 12
  • South Pittsburg 32, Gordonsville 14
  • Whitwell 44, Lookout Valley 3
  • Huntingdon 42, Mount Pleasant 16
  • Cornersville 40, Wayne County 14
  • Freedom Prep Academy 25, Greenfield 20
  • Lake County 36, West Carroll 16

2A

  • Oneida 28, South Greene 16
  • Meigs County 35, Rockwood 6
  • Tyner Academy 25, Trousdale County 21
  • Watertown 36, Westmoreland 12
  • Waverly Central 32, Columbia Academy 28
  • Lewis County 27, Riverside 22
  • Fairley 32, Union City 16
  • Peabody 36, Trinity Christian Academy 15

3A

  • Alcoa 53, Unicoi County 2
  • Austin-East 30, Gatlinburg-Pittman 16
  • Red Bank 30, Sequatchie County 16
  • Upperman 32, York Institute 21
  • East Nashville 33, Fairview 20
  • Pearl-Cohn 41, Stratford 9
  • Covington 38, McNairy Central 17
  • Milan 33, South Gibson 26

4A

  • Elizabethton 32, Anderson County 29
  • Greeneville 47, Sullivan South 9
  • Maplewood 32, Nolensville 19
  • Tullahoma 25, Marshall County 17
  • Jackson North Side 29, Montgomery Central 19
  • Springfield 27, Jackson South Side 20
  • Dyersburg 40, Crockett County 15
  • Haywood 41, Ripley 15

5A

  • Knoxville Central 28, Daniel Boone 18
  • David Crockett 27, Tennessee 21
  • Oak Ridge 37, Soddy-Daisy 17
  • Fulton 30, Knoxville Catholic 15
  • Hillsboro 27, Shelbyville Central 23
  • Page 27, Beech 22
  • Henry County 35, Ridgeway 19
  • Kirby 34, Southwind 18

6A

  • Maryville 39, Science Hill 15
  • Farragut 34, Ooltewah 20
  • Blackman 24, Mount Juliet 23
  • Oakland 37, Hendersonville 15
  • Cane Ridge 31, Ravenwood 20
  • Brentwood 32, Independence 27
  • Houston 25.8, Whitehaven 25.7*
  • Germantown 35, Memphis Central 14

II-A

  • Fayette Academy 35, Middle Tennessee Christian 22
  • Davidson Academy 50, Grace Baptist Academy 19
  • Mount Juliet Christian 27, Nashville Christian 25
  • Friendship Christian 34, Clarksville Academy 14

II-AA

  • Battle Ground Academy 23, Webb 18
  • Notre Dame 28, Franklin Road Academy 21
  • Christ Presbyterian Academy 50, St. George’s 9
  • Lausanne Collegiate 35, Evangelical Christian 21

II-AAA

  • Brentwood Academy 36, Christian Brothers 17
  • McCallie 35, Ensworth 20
  • Memphis University School 35, Pope John Paul II 11
  • Montgomery Bell Academy 33, Briarcrest Christian 9

Notes on the 60 games below:

  • A solid 18 of the 60 games (30%) are expected to have single-digit scoring margins. This is a higher rate than the first round (29/110; 26.3%) and is indicative that, as we get deeper into the playoffs, the games will get better and it will be tougher to win.
  • Likewise, just 21 of 60 (35%) games have expected scoring margins of 20 or more. That’s way down from 55 of 110 (50%) in the first round.
  • Of the 60 favorites, about 47 can be expected to win. That seems low (the projection system’s record on the year would suggest more in the 50-52 range), but we could be headed for an upset-filled second round. Fulton is the only regional favorite (80.0%) that’s below a 91.8% expectation of winning in the second round.
  • If you like games with lots at stake, these are the games projected within 10 points that have the highest impact on their respective championship races: Trousdale Academy at Tyner Academy (8.8% swing), Blackman at Mount Juliet (7.6%), Shelbyville Central at Hillsboro (7.3%), Elizabethton at Anderson County (6.4%), and Columbia Academy at Waverly Central (6.4%).
  • Highest projected point total of the week: 68.5 (Grace Baptist Academy at Davidson Academy). Lowest projected point total: 40.8 (Rockwood at Meigs County).
  • You can expect about 1.22 of the six public school champions to be a non-top-three team by current champion odds. The most likely of these is Cornersville (12.2%) in 1A, which is not surprising.
  • Championship odds by region: East Tennessee 3.05, West Tennessee 1.59, Middle Tennessee 1.36.

Good luck to all teams this week, and expect quarterfinals projections by the middle of next week.

2018 TSSAA football playoffs first round projections (East Tennessee only)

These are East Tennessee-only projections for the first round of the 2018 TSSAA football playoffs. To read projections for all of Tennessee, click here.

All games will be played on Friday at 7 PM local time. If this is not correct, please first contact TSSAA, then contact me. I work independently, and these schedules are from the state themselves. Public schools first, from 1A to 6A, followed by private schools, from II-A to II-AAA. My schedule is below, but for a full bracket, here’s all of TSSAA’s brackets.

As with the regular season work I do, all scores are rounded to the nearest whole number. This leads to some wonky-looking scores. Pay attention to the projected scoring margin, not as much the exact point totals themselves. In games decided by less than 0.5 points, decimals are used to emphasize the winner.

1A

  • Coalfield 49, Jellico 0
  • Greenback 1, Unaka 0 (Unaka ineligible to play; Greenback gets Round of 16 bye)
  • Oliver Springs 42, Hancock County 0
  • Midway 23.3, Cloudland 23.0*

2A

  • Oneida 31, Happy Valley 15
  • Meigs County 50, Sullivan North 0
  • Rockwood 20, Hampton 15
  • South Greene 30, Wartburg 23

3A

  • Austin-East 49, Chuckey-Doak 3
  • Alcoa 70, Claiborne 0
  • Kingston 26, Unicoi County 20
  • Johnson County 23.1, Gatlinburg-Pittman 22.9
  • Upperman 41, Loudon 5

4A

  • Chattanooga Central 25, Sullivan South 23
  • Anderson County 47, Union County 12
  • Elizabethton 39, Howard Tech 10
  • Greeneville 47, East Hamilton 0

5A

  • South-Doyle 28.0, Tennessee 27.5*
  • Knoxville Central 40, Cocke County 12
  • Daniel Boone 34, Gibbs 16
  • David Crockett 38, Halls 9
  • Knoxville Catholic 24, Knoxville West 14
  • Soddy-Daisy 32, Clinton 21
  • Oak Ridge 39, Rhea County 12
  • Fulton 45, Lenoir City 4

6A

  • Ooltewah 29, Hardin Valley 27
  • Maryville 33, Bearden 14
  • Science Hill 28, Bradley Central 27
  • Farragut 40, Cleveland 11

II-A

  • Clarksville Academy 35, King’s Academy 23

II-AA

  • Notre Dame 39, CAK 13
  • Franklin Road Academy 32, Grace Christian 18
  • Webb 29, Chattanooga Christian 13

 

2018 TSSAA football playoff projections (first round)

This is the state-wide projections post for the first round of the 2018 TSSAA football playoffs. To read projections only for East Tennessee, click here.

All games will be played on Friday at 7 PM local time. If this is not correct, please first contact TSSAA, then contact me. I work independently, and these schedules are from the state themselves. Public schools first, from 1A to 6A, followed by private schools, from II-A to II-AAA. Games are listed from Region 1 to 8, with the road team’s region listed first. My schedule is below, but for a full bracket, here’s all of TSSAA’s brackets.

As with the regular season work I do, all scores are rounded to the nearest whole number. This leads to some wonky-looking scores. Pay attention to the projected scoring margin, not as much the exact point totals themselves. In games decided by less than 0.5 points, decimals are used to emphasize the winner.

1A

  • Coalfield 49, Jellico 0
  • Greenback 1, Unaka 0 (Unaka ineligible to play; Greenback gets Round of 16 bye)
  • Oliver Springs 42, Hancock County 0
  • Midway 23.3, Cloudland 23.0*
  • Jo Byrns 22, Lookout Valley 17
  • Gordonsville 42, Sale Creek 6
  • South Pittsburg 39, Monterey 2
  • Whitwell 50, Clay County 0
  • Wayne County 27.3, Huntland 26.9*
  • Huntingdon 46, Moore County 12
  • Mount Pleasant 30, Collinwood 17
  • Cornersville 49, McEwen 5
  • West Carroll 21.4, Hillcrest 20.9*
  • Freedom Prep Academy 41, South Fulton 12
  • Greenfield 21, MASE 19
  • Lake County 39, Westwood 13

2A

  • Oneida 31, Happy Valley 15
  • Meigs County 50, Sullivan North 0
  • Rockwood 20, Hampton 15
  • South Greene 30, Wartburg 23
  • Trousdale County 35, Marion County 12
  • Watertown 40, Bledsoe County 4
  • Polk County 26, Westmoreland 19
  • Tyner Academy 45, East Robertson 5
  • Riverside 28, Eagleville 20
  • Waverly Central 40, Forrest 20
  • Columbia Academy 33, Hickman County 8
  • Lewis County 39, Houston County 7
  • Mitchell 22, Trinity Christian 17
  • Fairley 30, Gibson County 17
  • Union City 27, Frederick Douglass 17
  • Peabody 38, MAHS 5

3A

  • Austin-East 49, Chuckey-Doak 3
  • Alcoa 70, Claiborne 0
  • Kingston 26, Unicoi County 20
  • Johnson County 23.1, Gatlinburg-Pittman 22.9*
  • Sequatchie County 34, Brainerd 18
  • Upperman 41, Loudon 5
  • York Institute 27, Signal Mountain 24
  • Red Bank 38, Smith County 10
  • Camden Central 25, Stratford 21
  • Fairview 44, Whites Creek 7
  • East Nashville 45, Sycamore 1
  • Pearl-Cohn 53, Cheatham County Central 0
  • McNairy Central 24, Raleigh-Egypt 22
  • Wooddale 26, South Gibson 22
  • Milan 37, Trezevant 18
  • Covington 45, Melrose 4

4A

  • Chattanooga Central 25, Sullivan South 23
  • Anderson County 47, Union County 12
  • Elizabethton 39, Howard Tech 10
  • Greeneville 47, East Hamilton 0
  • Tullahoma 30, Livingston Academy 10
  • Maplewood 46, DeKalb County 1
  • Nolensville 30, Macon County 12
  • Stone Memorial 25, Marshall County 21
  • Jackson South Side 27, Creek Wood 15
  • Jackson North Side 36, Portland 13
  • Hardin County 23, Montgomery Central 22
  • Springfield 38, Chester County 14
  • Crockett County 33, Craigmont 16
  • Millington Central 27, Ripley 26
  • Haywood 49, Fayette Ware 0
  • Dyersburg 60, Memphis East 0

5A

  • South-Doyle 28.0, Tennessee 27.5*
  • Knoxville Central 40, Cocke County 12
  • Daniel Boone 34, Gibbs 16
  • David Crockett 38, Halls 9
  • Knoxville Catholic 24, Knoxville West 14
  • Soddy-Daisy 32, Clinton 21
  • Oak Ridge 39, Rhea County 12
  • Fulton 45, Lenoir City 4
  • Beech 27, Summit 17
  • Hillsboro 36, Lincoln County 13
  • Shelbyville Central 34, Gallatin 17
  • Page 45, Hillwood 14
  • Ridgeway 37, Dyer County 18
  • Kirby 35, Kenwood 9
  • Clarksville 32, Southwind 18
  • Henry County 43, Munford 9

6A

  • Ooltewah 29, Hardin Valley 27
  • Maryville 33, Bearden 14
  • Science Hill 28, Bradley Central 27
  • Farragut 40, Cleveland 11
  • Hendersonville 34, Riverdale 20
  • Mount Juliet 37, Cookeville 11
  • Blackman 34, Lebanon 10
  • Oakland 42, Rossview 5
  • Ravenwood 34, Nashville Overton 8
  • Brentwood 35, McGavock 13
  • Smyrna 30, Independence 23
  • Cane Ridge 32, Franklin 16
  • Whitehaven 34, Collieville 12
  • Germantown 47, Arlington 9
  • Cordova 24, Memphis Central 21
  • Houston 34, White Station 16

II-A

  • Clarksville Academy 35, King’s Academy 23
  • Middle Tennessee Christian 31, Jackson Christian 16
  • Grace Baptist Academy 31, Tipton-Rosemark Academy 23
  • Nashville Christian 39, Ezell-Harding 17

II-AA

  • Lausanne Collegiate 50, Goodpasture Christian 11
  • Evangelical Christian 31, Lipscomb Academy 12
  • Christ Presbyterian Academy 44, University School of Jackson 5
  • St. George’s 28.3, Harding Academy 28.1*
  • Notre Dame 39, CAK 13
  • Franklin Road Academy 32, Grace Christian 18
  • Battle Ground Academy 41, Silverdale Academy 5
  • Webb 29, Chattanooga Christian 13

II-AAA

  • Briarcrest Christian 38, St. Benedict at Auburndale 8
  • Ensworth 32, Father Ryan 13
  • Baylor 26, Pope John Paul 18

Some notes on games:

  • 55 games have expected scoring margins of 20 points or more. The expected win rate in these games is about 96.3%, which means about two of these large favorites should be expected to lose. These would constitute some pretty shocking losses, so keep your eyes out.
  • 29 of the 110 games on Friday are projected to have single-digit scoring margins, including six in 3A alone.
  • Of last year’s nine class champions, about 2.46 of these teams are expected to repeat. Those with the highest odds: Alcoa (3A, 69.7% odds of title), Greeneville (65.6%), and Greenback (31.4%).
  • There’s a 61% chance that a top-five team in one of the public school divisions loses. The most likely favorites to lose are Fairley (2A, 78.4% odds of winning), Maryville (86.7%), and Blackman (91.7%).
  • About 2.67 of the projected six public school champions are expected to actually win the title; 1.8 of the three private school champions should do the same.
  • Projected public school championships by region: East Tennessee 3.12, Middle Tennessee 1.74, West Tennessee 1.14.
  • Projected private school championships by region: Middle Tennessee 2.12, West Tennessee 0.67, East Tennessee 0.21.

Here’s the full probabilities for each round for ALL 231 TEAMS in the field:

Good luck to all teams this week, and check back next week for Round of 16 projections.

East Tennessee high school football projections, week 11

The projections went 24-6 (80%) last week, bringing the season total to 251-48 (84%). This has been a far better season than I anticipated, and I’m excited to hopefully project the playoffs mostly correctly. Thanks to all who have shared these posts, the eyeballs you’ve gotten them in front of, and Brad Jones for a live TV appearance.

As we close in on the state playoffs, a reminder that I will be doing state-wide projections as opposed to just the 51 teams in the coverage area. I finally accomplished automating all of this this week, and, potentially, 2019 may see this blog covering every team in the state from an analytical view. We’ll see.

For the final week of the playoffs, Jesse Smithey/5 Star Preps did an excellent job of previewing what’s still at stake in terms of playoff positioning. TSSAA, in one of the few helpful digital things they’ve done this season, put up a list of statewide playoff possibilities.

As a reminder, you can keep track of the season via this spreadsheet:

Click over to your favorite team’s page for fully updated win projections throughout the season. I’ve reorganized the tab to show the projected standings in each region, though, of course, it only covers the 51 teams that this site covers.

Here’s this week’s games and their projected outcomes. Remember, ALL projected scores are rounded to the nearest whole number, so that’s why you see some wacky ones. A lot of games got moved to Thursday because of impending storms, so let me know if these are correct or not @gyratestats on Twitter. Games with playoff seeding implications have a short preview explaining the importance below the game projection.

THURSDAY

  • Fulton 25, Oak Ridge 22
    • The winner of this game wins 5A-3 and most likely draws Lenoir City in the first round. The loser finishes second and most likely draws Rhea County. Both games would be at home.
  • Maryville 35, Bradley Central 18
    • Maryville has not lost a region game since 2000 (an unfathomable 123-game winning streak), and a win here means another 6A-2 title. Bradley Central is safely in the playoffs and finishes third with any type of loss; a win means a first-place finish. The winner draws either Science Hill or Bearden in the first round.
  • Powell 28, South-Doyle 25
    • Powell cannot make the playoffs, but they can muck up the playoff picture. South-Doyle will finish second in 5A-2, unless Knoxville Central loses to Gibbs. If South-Doyle and Gibbs both win, South-Doyle wins 5A-2. If South-Doyle loses and Gibbs wins, the tiebreaker likely goes down to which team’s schedule had the most winning opponents. If the most likely scenario of Central winning happens, South-Doyle finishes second and draws Tennessee High in round one.
  • David Crockett 36, Morristown East 8
    • David Crockett wins 5A-1 in all possible scenarios. Morristown East must win and have Volunteer beat Cocke County to make the playoffs. This has approximately a 0.8% chance of happening, but it does exist.
  • Oliver Springs 22, Midway 21
    • The winner finishes third and travels to Hancock County in round one, where both would be favored. The loser must travel to Cloudland, who is ranked statewide.
  • Greeneville 60, Sullivan East 0
    • There are no playoff implications, but a Greeneville victory completes a 10-0 season, their second in a row. They draw the loser of Howard/East Hamilton in round one.
  • Halls 27, Seymour 21
  • Sevier County 25, Carter 19
  • Anderson County 46, Sequoyah 16
    • There are no playoff implications, but an Anderson County victory completes a 10-0 season, their second in a row. They draw the winner of Grainger/Union County in round one.
  • Cocke County 38, Volunteer 19
    • Cocke County can lose this game and still make the playoffs in 5A-1, but a win clinches the #4 seed. Their opponent depends on the result of the Knoxville Central/Gibbs game, and, if needed, the South-Doyle/Powell game.
  • Hampton 35, Cosby 8
    • A Hampton loss means a fall to the #3 seed in 2A-1 and a round one road game at Oneida. A win means the #2 seed and a home game against, most likely, Rockwood.

FRIDAY

  • Farragut 30, Hardin Valley 17
    • The winner of this game wins 6A-1 and will play the winner of Cleveland/McMinn County in round one. The loser cannot finish lower than third in the region, but Hardin Valley cannot finish second due to losing to Science Hill.
  • Alcoa 41, Austin-East 12
    • The winner of this game wins 3A-2 and could play any of West Greene, Chuckey-Doak, or Claiborne at home in round one. The loser will finish no lower than second. Alcoa has yet to give up a point in region play (!@%)*#!!!!), so you’re okay to assume stuff here.
  • Dobyns-Bennett 31, Jefferson County 24
  • Knoxville Catholic 33, Lenoir City 15
    • Knoxville Catholic, with a win, can finish no lower than second in 5A-4. They need Walker Valley to defeat Soddy-Daisy (around a 23-point favorite) to win the region. A loss of any kind places them third in the region. Lenoir City, with a win, wins the region. Simple as that. With a loss, they can finish anywhere from second to fourth, depending on the results of other games. The most likely event is a fourth-place finish. Because the 5A-3 seeding is wildly unsettled and neither team has a defined first-round opponent, we’ll skip that for now.
  • Bearden 38, Morristown West 10
    • Morristown West cannot make the playoffs, and Bearden’s playoff spot is clinched. However, Bearden needs Hardin Valley to defeat Farragut to finish any higher than fourth in the region (would finish second in this scenario). If Bearden finishes fourth, they likely draw Maryville in round one. If they finish second, Bradley Central at home.
  • Knoxville Central 38, Gibbs 11
    • A Central win of any kind locks up the 5A-2 title after an 0-2 start. Gibbs is in the playoffs regardless, but a win means they could potentially win the region depending on tiebreakers. Central can finish no lower than third. If Central wins, they will most likely face Cocke County in round one.
  • Stone Memorial 26, William Blount 25
    • Stone Memorial has already won 4A-3 and William Blount is mathematically eliminated from the 6A playoffs.
  • West 28, Campbell County 16
    • The winner of the game can finish no higher than third in 5A-3. The loser of this game could miss the playoffs. If West defeats Campbell County and Clinton defeats Karns, West finishes third and Clinton fourth. If Campbell County wins and Clinton defeats Karns, Campbell County finishes third and Clinton fourth. Both make the playoffs if Karns wins, no matter what. Because the 5A-4 seeding is very unsettled, we’ll skip that for now.
  • Oneida 21, Coalfield 17
  • Clinton 30, Karns 29
    • The game is simple: if Clinton wins, they make the 5A playoffs in either third or fourth place in 5A-3, depending on the result of West-Campbell County. A loss means elimination.
  • Ooltewah 53, Heritage 8
    • Ooltewah finishes second with a win in 6A-2 and third with a loss. Heritage is 0-9, so assume the former. Ooltewah could play Farragut, Science Hill, or Hardin Valley in round one.
  • Gatlinburg-Pittman 25, Kingston 16
    • Gatlinburg-Pittman has clinched their playoff bid. They finish third with a win and fourth with a loss, playing at either Johnson County or Unicoi County in round one. Kingston can only make the playoffs with a win and can only finish third, playing at either Johnson County or Unicoi County in round one.
  • Grainger 26, Union County 24
    • The winner of this game makes the playoffs as the #4 seed in 4A-1, playing at Anderson County in round one.
  • Red Bank 37, Loudon 7
    • Both teams are in the playoffs. Red Bank has clinched the 3A-3 title and will host either Northview Academy or Gatlinburg-Pittman in round one. Loudon can only finish third or fourth, meaning they play at the loser of Austin-East/Alcoa in round one.
  • Chattanooga Christian 35, Grace Christian 17
    • There are five different scenarios in play here, and I’m not going to list them all, visit TSSAA’s website linked above. Basically: Chattanooga Christian finishes either third or fourth in AA-E. Grace can finish anywhere from third to sixth.
  • Webb 34, Silverdale Academy 7
    • Webb has clinched second in AA-E and will play the fourth-place team in AA-E in round one (up in the air). Silverdale will finish either fourth or fifth, meaning they could replay this game at Webb in a week.
  • Meigs County 47, Wartburg 7
    • Meigs County has clinched the 2A-2 title and will play Sullivan North in round one. Wartburg’s fortunes if they lose are entirely dependent on Rockwood defeating Cumberland Gap. A win means Wartburg finishes third; a loss means either no playoffs or the #4 seed if Rockwood wins. In the most likely scenario, Wartburg gets the #4 seed and travels to either Happy Valley or South Greene in round one.
  • Rockwood 26, Cumberland Gap 14
    • Same as Wartburg to a T: a Rockwood win clinches a 2A-2 playoff spot and the #3 seed. A loss means they need Meigs County to beat Wartburg. Cumberland Gap is in with a win and out with a loss.
  • Ezell-Harding 36, King’s Academy 30
    • KING’S ACADEMY WON A GAME!!!!!! Not much at stake here – the winner finishes fifth in AA-E and travels to either Christ Presbyterian or Battle Ground Academies; the loser finishes sixth and travels to Friendship Christian.
  • Scott 33, Pigeon Forge 18
  • CAK 34, Boyd-Buchanan 10
    • The winner of this game makes the AA playoffs. CAK can finish fifth with a Chattanooga Christian win or sixth with a Grace win. Any loss means they’re out of the playoffs. Boyd-Buchanan can finish no higher than sixth with a win.
  • Sunbright 22, Unaka 17

WHEW. That’s a lot of words!

Now, for season-long updates. You can view the Running Win Totals on the spreadsheet above.

  • Biggest overachievers versus preseason expectations: Midway (+3.02 wins above preseason projection), Union County (+2.72), Cocke County (+2.27), Oliver Springs (+2.22), Bearden (+2.03).
  • Biggest underachievers: Pigeon Forge (-4.15 wins below preseason projection), Sunbright (-2.97), King’s Academy (-2.82), Morristown East (-2.72), Kingston (-2.33).
  • Four teams can finish the regular season undefeated, and one already has. In order: Greenback (10-0 with Oakdale forfeit), Greeneville (99.9% chance of 10-0), Anderson County (95.6%), and Alcoa (94.5%).
  • With King’s Academy’s GIANT win over Donelson Christian, only one team is left on our Defeated chart: Heritage (99.6% chance of 0-10).

As a reminder: the Gyrate Stats Matchup Projector Tool is now available! You can project any game your heart desires at a home, road, or neutral site with all 347 state of Tennessee teams that are in my database. It’s the easiest, most complete projection system on the market that doesn’t rely entirely on one set of power ratings (it relies on THREE!). You can use it at this link. It’s also embedded below, if you’d like to see it first.

Good luck to all teams this week! I’ll have a full set of playoff previews and numbers by Wednesday next week.

East Tennessee high school football projections, week 10

23-5 (.821) last week, which actually brings my percentage down for the season (227-42, 84.4%). I’m still pleased by this; the goal at the beginning of the season was simply to predict 75% or more of the games correctly. To be beating that after nine weeks and 269 games by nearly a full ten percent is amazing. Thanks to everyone who’s read and shared these posts; I look forward to living out my goal of going on WBIR one day in a t-shirt and blue jeans.

As we close in on the state playoffs, a reminder that I will be doing state-wide projections as opposed to just the 51 teams in the coverage area. I finally accomplished automating all of this this week, and, potentially, 2019 may see this blog covering every team in the state from an analytical view. We’ll see.

As a reminder, you can keep track of the season via this spreadsheet:

Click over to your favorite team’s page for fully updated win projections throughout the season. I’ve reorganized the tab to show the projected standings in each region, though, of course, it only covers the 51 teams that this site covers. Just two weeks left in the season, which means we’re nearing the playoff hunt.

Here’s this week’s games and their projected outcomes. Remember, ALL projected scores are rounded to the nearest whole number, so that’s why you see some wacky ones:

THURSDAY

  • Fulton 29, West 10

FRIDAY

  • Bearden 27, Hardin Valley 18
  • Oak Ridge 31, Powell 18
  • Central 26, South-Doyle 25
  • Science Hill 31, Jefferson County 21
  • Alcoa 46, Gatlinburg-Pittman 5
  • Bradley Central 35, William Blount 18
  • Red Bank 27, Lenoir City 21
  • Dobyns-Bennett 35, Morristown West 24
  • Greeneville 50, Grainger 0
  • Maryville 58, Heritage 0
  • Anderson County 38, East Hamilton 16
  • Greenback 37, Midway 15
  • Cocke County 30, Morristown East 24
  • Sevier County 29, Halls 23
  • Webb 30, CAK 13
  • Oliver Springs 23, Coalfield 17
  • Campbell County 31, Clinton 20
  • Gibbs 29, Carter 16
  • Karns 30, Seymour 29
  • Grace Christian 31, Silverdale Academy 20
  • Austin-East 38, Northview Academy 8
  • Marion County 32, Loudon 17
  • Kingston 25, Pigeon Forge 15
  • Union County 30, Sullivan Central 25
  • Donelson Christian Academy 31.4, King’s Academy 30.7*
  • Lookout Valley 32, Sunbright 13
  • Rockwood 39, Hancock County 0
  • Wartburg 36, Sale Creek 17
  • Harriman 1, Oakdale 0 (forfeit)
  • Cosby 24.4, Jellico 24.2*

Notes on this week’s games…

  • Fulton-West and Powell-Oak Ridge are likely building blocks towards the inevitable – a Week 11 battle to the death between a 5-0 Fulton and a 5-0 Oak Ridge for the 5A-3 title. The likelihood of both teams winning this week is about 66%, so we should get the game we want next Friday. West is coming off a bye week after a 36-21 home loss to a Powell team that’s simply playing for pride at this point, as is Powell. Fulton has been more dominant in 5A-3 play (average outcome: Fulton 49.5, 5A-3 opponents 8), but Oak Ridge has already played a tough West team that’s better than their record suggests and Clinton gave them a much tougher outing than expected last week.
  • South-Doyle at Central is the game of the week for me. It will decide the 5A-2 title, and it’s two teams that have taken different paths to get here. South-Doyle was my preseason #2 for this region, but they’ve been better than pretty much everyone anticipated; their only blemish is a road loss to a Bearden team that looks like a legitimate 6A title contender. The Cherokees’ smallest victory margin this year: 22 points. Meanwhile, Central arrives at 6-2 and 4-0 after a nightmare 0-2 start.  They were huge favorites to defeat Tennessee in Week 1, but Tennessee pulled off the upset and appears to be a pretty good team. Central’s ripped off six straight wins, has allowed 10.7 points per game in their win streak, and gets critical home-field advantage. Winner avoids David Crockett until the quarterfinals.
  • Science Hill-Jefferson County is of interest only to Hardin Valley; a Science Hill win means Hardin Valley has to beat both Bearden and Farragut to avoid Maryville in the first round.
  • Greenback-Midway does hold legitimate Class 1A interest. Midway is the only team that can prevent Greenback from winning 1A-2 and getting the first round bye (Unaka ineligible for playoffs). Also, they can prevent a Greenback 10-0 season. The 1A-2 playoffs are mostly set – Greenback, Coalfield, Midway, and Oliver Springs have all clinched bids – but seeding for 2-4 is still up in the air.
  • Oliver Springs-Coalfield is why. The mission for Coalfield is simple: win, and you finish in second place and get a first-round home game (and, because the top four 1A-2 teams are all favored over their 1A-1 opponents, possibly a second-round home game) at 5-1 in region play. Lose, and there’s the serious potential of a three-way tie at 4-2 where all three teams are 1-1 versus each other and none of them lost to the bottom three teams in the region. In this scenario, because Coalfield would be guaranteed to finish with the most losses on the season of the three teams, they’d receive the #4 seed and would travel to 7-1 Cloudland. Not great! (#2, per TSSAA, would have to go down to being decided by which team faced the schedule with the most opponent wins…which Midway would lead, 39 wins to 37, as of now.)
  • Morristown East-Cocke County decides a playoff spot. MoEast sits at 2-2 in 5A-1 play despite a 2-6 record on the year, because they’ve beaten the two worst teams in the region. Cocke has played the top three and lost to all, which means they must win their final two games to make the playoffs. Oh, and a win means Cocke County clinches their first season over .500 in 22 years. No pressure.
  • Halls-Sevier County will also likely decide a playoff spot. Carter, who joins these two teams in a three-way tie at 1-3, plays Gibbs, but they’re 13 point underdogs. The winner draws the winner of David Crockett/Daniel Boone in the first round.
  • King’s Academy-Donelson Christian Academy, regrettably, also decides a playoff spot. It technically doesn’t determine if one of these teams can avoid going winless in 2018, but King’s Academy’s “win” is a forfeit victory over a Concord Christian team that does not exist this season. So, in that spirit, it’s two teams with a combined record of 0-16, and the winner gets to go to the state playoffs, most likely to Clarksville Academy, where both would be 20+ point underdogs. King’s Academy has yet to lose a game by fewer than 15 points, while Donelson has given up 30+ points in five of its eight games. Can you feel the excitement?

Now, for season-long updates. You can view the Running Win Totals on the spreadsheet above.

  • Biggest overachievers versus preseason expectations: Midway (+3.05 wins), Oliver Springs (+2.94), Bearden (+2.77), Union County (+2.08), Cocke County (+1.91). This is already guaranteed to be Midway’s best team since 2013 and Oliver Springs’ best since 2011.
  • Biggest underachievers: Pigeon Forge (-3.84 wins), King’s Academy (-3.42), Sunbright (-2.83), Loudon (-2.68), Kingston (-2.61), Morristown East (2.34).
  • With Farragut’s loss last week to Bearden, there are just four teams with a chance to finish the regular season undefeated, and it’s unlikely that any of the four will lose. In order: Greeneville (99.8% chance of 10-0), Alcoa (95.7%), Greenback (89.5%), Anderson County (85.7%).
  • There are still just two teams left with a chance to finish Defeated (winless on the year): Heritage (98.6% chance of 10-0) and King’s Academy (36.9%).

Lastly, a huge announcement, and I’m really excited to share this with you. The Gyrate Stats Matchup Projector Tool is now available! You can project any game your heart desires at a home, road, or neutral site with all 347 state of Tennessee teams that are in my database. It’s the easiest, most complete projection system on the market that doesn’t rely entirely on one set of power ratings (it relies on THREE!). You can use it at this link. It’s also embedded below, if you’d like to see it first.

Good luck to all teams this week!

East Tennessee high school football projections, week 9

Another good week – 24-3 (88.9%) for week 8, and now 204-37 (84.6%) on the season. Pretty cool!

I’ll just repeat what I said last week: Thank you to everyone who’s sent this out or has told someone they know about it or, in some way, is helping publicize these projections. They’re fun to do, and even if I only reach one fan of a smaller school, it means the world to me that someone at Oliver Springs is getting to see a computer projection model of their football team.

As we close in on the state playoffs, I’m going to start working in likelihoods of seeding finish if at all possible. This is so coaches, fans, and players can start envisioning which team(s) they’ll draw in the first round.

As a reminder, you can keep track of the season via this spreadsheet:

Click over to your favorite team’s page for fully updated win projections throughout the season. I’ve reorganized the tab to show the projected standings in each region, though, of course, it only covers the 51 teams that this site covers. Next week, I’ll attempt to add tabs that project the likelihood of region winners and maybe some other stuff. Just TWO weeks left in the season after this week, which means we’re nearing the playoff hunt.

Here’s this week’s games and their projected outcomes. Remember, ALL projected scores are rounded to the nearest whole number, so that’s why you see some wacky ones:

THURSDAY

  • Farragut 26, Bearden 16
  • Sevier County 24, Seymour 23
  • Austin-East 39, Pigeon Forge 6

FRIDAY

  • Greeneville 34, Elizabethton 22
  • Maryville 40, Ooltewah 18
  • Dobyns-Bennett 30, Hardin Valley 26
  • Chattanooga Christian 22, Webb 19
  • Fulton 41, Campbell County 10
  • Science Hill 38, Morristown West 17
  • Alcoa 52, Kingston 0
  • Daniel Boone 38, Cocke County 17
  • Anderson County 34, Chattanooga Central 17
  • McMinn County 31, William Blount 20
  • Oak Ridge 42, Clinton 4
  • Gibbs 29, Halls 23
  • Notre Dame 41, Grace Christian 15
  • Greenback 41, Harriman 9
  • Bradley Central 48, Heritage 7
  • Knoxville Catholic 51, Walker Valley 6
  • Northview 31, Scott 21
  • Morristown East 33, Volunteer 17
  • Rockwood 29, Wartburg 14
  • Loudon 25, Sweetwater 21
  • Friendship 44, King’s Academy 13
  • Grainger 38, Sullivan Central 15
  • Midway 42, Sunbright 2
  • Cumberland Gap 39, Cosby 8

Notes on this week’s games…

  • Farragut-Bearden decides who wins 6A-1. Only Hardin Valley could change this, and they’d have to win out despite being underdogs in their remaining three games. (The odds of this are 0.5%.) This is a massively important game, simply because a Farragut loss means they’d likely draw Maryville in the second round. What a brutal ending to a great season that would be. For Bearden, Science Hill owns the tiebreaker with them and has a 76% chance of winning their final two games. Bearden’s surprising and fun season would finish by losing home-field advantage in the first round and having to travel to Ooltewah.
  • Sevier County-Seymour is also important, because it continues a fairly interesting battle for the final playoff spot in 5A-2. Both still have to play Halls, who hold the spot right now, and Seymour holds a loss to fifth-place Carter, which could end up being important.
  • The game of the week outside of Knoxville is easily Elizabethton-Greeneville, where the two best teams in 4A (yes, it’s true) will play to win 4A-1. A loss doesn’t kill either team, though second place in 4A-1 will face Anderson County in the second round. (The winner will play them or the loser of this game in the quarterfinals.) It would also end Greeneville’s 22-game winning streak, the second-longest in the state and T-30th longest in America. This is the best Elizabethton team since the group that went to the 3A semifinals in 2009, so it’s going to be a fun one.
  • Hardin Valley and Dobyns-Bennett is essentially a playoff play-in game. A loss here means Hardin Valley goes into their final two games as double-digit underdogs at 2-2 in the region, which very likely means no playoff berth. A win, and they shove Dobyns-Bennett to 1-3 with the tiebreaker over them. The winner will play Maryville in the first round.
  • Chattanooga Christian-Webb is of interest, as the winner is likely to finish second in AA-E and would play the winner of the CAK/Grace/Silverdale tiebreaker in fourth. The loser likely finishes third and plays the loser of Franklin Road Academy/Battle Ground Academy in round one.
  • Chattanooga Central-Anderson County is notable for one reason only: it’s probably the best chance for Anderson County to drop a regular season game. Chatt Central are 17 point underdogs, but no game for ACHS has had a spread this close since the August William Blount game where ACHS had to come back from a 10-point deficit.
  • Gibbs-Halls will decide third place in 5A-2. They’d play the loser of David Crockett/Daniel Boone, likely.
  • Sullivan Central-Grainger has little meaning, but Sullivan Central won their first game in 37 tries last Friday. That’s cool.

Now, for season-long updates. You can view the Running Win Totals on the spreadsheet above.

  • Biggest overachievers versus preseason expectations: Midway (+3.07 wins above preseason projection), Oliver Springs (+2.92), Union County (+2.14), Cocke County (+2.11), Bearden (+2.05).
  • Biggest underachievers: Pigeon Forge (-3.71 wins below preseason projection), King’s Academy (-3.29), Loudon (-3.17), Sunbright (-2.75), Kingston (-2.66).
  • Five teams still remain in contention to finish the regular season without a loss. They are: Alcoa (95.8% chance of 10-0), Greenback (84.9%), Greeneville (76.4%), Farragut (68.1%), and Anderson County (67.5%).
  • There are just two teams still in contention for the Defeated (0-9 or 0-10) season: Heritage (98.9% chance of 0-10) and King’s Academy (30.1% chance of 0-9).

Lastly, I have a crowdsourcing request if you’ve read this far. If you would be interested in a state-wide playoff projection involving all ~210 teams that would make the field, please Tweet me @gyratestats or email statsbywill@gmail.com. I could use your help.

Good luck to all teams this week!

East Tennessee high school football projections, week 8

Thank you to everyone who’s sent this out or has told someone they know about it or, in some way, is helping publicize these projections. They’re fun to do, and even if I only reach one fan of a smaller school, it means the world to me that someone at Oliver Springs is getting to see a computer projection model of their football team.

Last week, the projection model went 33-1 (97.1%; forgot to include Grainger’s win over Sullivan East initially in my tweet). This brings the model to 180-34 (84.1%) on the season and 158-23 (87.3%) from Week 2 onward. This is an absurd run that will be tough to keep up over the final four weeks + playoffs, but it’s been fun to watch.

As a reminder, you can keep track of the season via this spreadsheet:

Click over to your favorite team’s page for fully updated win projections throughout the season. I’ve reorganized the tab to show the projected standings in each region, though, of course, it only covers the 51 teams that this site covers. Next week, I’ll attempt to add tabs that project the likelihood of region winners and maybe some other stuff. The season’s going to be nearly two-thirds over after this week!

Here’s this week’s games and their projected outcomes. Remember, ALL projected scores are rounded to the nearest whole number, so that’s why you see some wacky ones:

THURSDAY

  • Maryville 46, Cleveland 9

FRIDAY

  • Farragut 39, Dobyns-Bennett 15
  • Science Hill 28, Hardin Valley 25
  • Powell 21, West 20
  • Greeneville 50, Sullivan South 6
  • Tennessee 34, Cocke County 24
  • Jefferson County 31, Morristown West 21
  • Austin-East 28, Gatlinburg-Pittman 18
  • Lenoir City 25.4, Stone Memorial 25*
  • Fulton 44, Clinton 1
  • South-Doyle 37, Halls 18
  • Grace Christian 29, CAK 24
  • Elizabethton 54, Union County 2
  • Greenback 37, Coalfield 12
  • Gibbs 31, Seymour 17
  • Harriman 24, Midway 17
  • Central 34, Carter 8
  • Campbell County 39, Karns 26
  • Kingston 25, Scott 24
  • Knoxville Catholic 52, West Greene 0
  • Northview 22, Pigeon Forge 20
  • York Institute 43, Wartburg 14
  • Webb 37, Boyd-Buchanan 1
  • Oliver Springs 45, Sunbright 0
  • Grace Baptist Chattanooga 44, King’s Academy 17
  • Lookout Valley 37, Oakdale 3
  • Grainger 35, Chuckey-Doak 16

Some notes on this week’s games:

  • Maryville-Cleveland doesn’t look like it’ll provide much interest past the first 15 minutes or so, but Cleveland has yet to truly be blown out in a game despite sitting at 3-3. None of their wins suggest they’ll come close to an upset (2-5 William Blount is their best win, by 23 points), but none of their losses suggest a destructive outcome (no loss by more than 18 points despite playing Bearden, Knoxville Catholic, and Bradley Central). Cleveland almost certainly won’t win this game, but they may hang around for longer than expected.
  • Powell-West has some pretty important playoff implications. As of now, the 5A-3 playoff race likely finishes as such: 1. Winner of Oak Ridge/Fulton; 2. Loser of Oak Ridge/Fulton; 3. Winner of Powell/West; 4. Loser of Powell/West. (UPDATE, 10/4/2018: Powell has forfeited their 6-1 record, which means Campbell County is now the new fourth-place team.) The difference between 3 and 4 may not mean much to most – it’s still a road game in the first round – but if Soddy-Daisy and Knoxville Catholic both win out, Soddy-Daisy will win 5A-4 due to defeating Catholic, 17-7. This means that losing this week’s game may be a first-round advantage, as Catholic would still be favored by about 12 points on a neutral field over Soddy-Daisy and both Powell and West would be favorites on a neutral field. (UPDATE, 10/4/2018: Campbell County would be around a 10-11 point underdog.)
  • Likewise for Science Hill-Hardin Valley. The Hilltoppers have inarguably been disappointing – they, Farragut, and Dobyns-Bennett all looked to have region title hopes prior to the season starting – but they could reclaim a lot of goodwill with a win here. A win moves them to 2-2 in region play with Jefferson County and Morristown West remaining, which likely means 4-2. For Hardin Valley, a win pretty much locks up a playoff spot: they’ll be at 3-0 with the three toughest regional teams remaining, but with significant room for error and the tiebreaker over SCHS. There’s a ton of value in finishing third instead of fourth in the region, as the third-place finisher avoids Maryville in the Round of 32.
  • Farragut and Dobyns-Bennett may not be a close game, but it’s important for both. A Farragut win moves them to 8-0 and 4-0 in region play, which both locks up at least a third-place finish in all likelihood and moves Farragut another win closer to their first 10-0 regular season since 1978. For D-B, the margin of error the rest of the way is thin: to have any hope at the playoffs, they must go 2-2 over their final four games, which includes games against Hardin Valley and Jefferson County. Neither of those are easy. The 6A-1 standings project to finish as follows: 1. Farragut (6-0); 2. Bearden (4-2); T-3. Science Hill (3-3), Hardin Valley (3-3), Dobyns-Bennett (3-3). In this scenario, D-B has to defeat Hardin Valley to stay alive, as they lost to Science Hill earlier this season.
  • Tennessee-Cocke County has fun implications. A Tennessee win essentially locks up their playoff bid at 3-1; they’ll be significant favorites at Cherokee later in the season and will have a lot of room for error. Cocke County can clinch a winning season for the first time since 1996 with a win, but they’ve got three other opportunities to do so if this one fails. The Fighting Cocks’ final two opponents have a combined record of 3-11, so winning this game would likely lock up a third-place region finish or better.
  • A loss by Jefferson County to Morristown West eliminates the Patriots from postseason play after a 3-1 start to the season.
  • This week is loaded with fun games, because Austin-East and Gatlinburg-Pittman got seventh on the bill. Both are undefeated (2-0 and 3-0) in region play, and the winner of this game will finish second to Alcoa in 3A-2. Hosting the first round game is important, but both would be 10+ point favorites against both Johnson County and Unicoi County on the road. As such, it doesn’t really have a ton of meaning, and it’s strongly unlikely either finishes lower than third.
  • Grace Christian-CAK has a mild amount at stake. Six of the seven II-AA East teams make the playoffs, so that’s not the source of interest; the winner of this can start thinking seriously about stealing third-place in the region. Why does this matter? Because they’d most likely draw Franklin Road Academy instead of Battle Ground Academy or Chattanooga Christian in round one, which makes for a four-point difference in the projected spread. As I said, it’s a mild amount of stakes, but it does matter somewhat. A loss probably locks the loser in at fifth-place, where they’re likely to draw Battle Ground in round one.
  • 1A-2 report: Greenback-Coalfield was a better game when the season started, but all it serves as now is a likely win for Greenback to move closer to 10-0. Plus, Coalfield’s already locked up a playoff bid at 4-0; Harriman-Midway is massively important to who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t. Harriman’s already lost two region games with Greenback still to come; a loss to Midway effectively ends their season. Same for Midway, who still has Greenback and Oliver Springs to come after this game. Neither team can afford a loss here, which means it might be the single most enjoyable game in the area Friday night. Current projected 1A-2 finish: 1. Greenback (6-0); T-2. Coalfield (4-2), Oliver Springs (4-2); T-4. Harriman (3-3), Midway (3-3).
  • The bottom four teams in 3A-2 are all pretty bad: Northview, Kingston, Scott, and Pigeon Forge all project to finish either 1-5 or 2-4 in region play. Kingston-Scott and Northview-Pigeon Forge serve as important games for figuring out the fourth playoff spot, though. Northview’s win over Kingston gives them a leg up with Scott still to come after this; a win over Pigeon Forge may well lock up fourth place for them. Kingston has been massively disappointing this season, but a win over Scott with Pigeon Forge still to come means they can still potentially salvage fourth place.

Now, for season-long updates. You can view the Running Win Totals on the spreadsheet above.

  • Biggest overachievers versus preseason expectations: Powell (+3.15 wins above expectation), Oliver Springs (+3.03), Cocke County (+2.51), Midway (+2.20), Bearden (+2.19), Union County (+2.19).
  • Biggest underachievers: King’s Academy (-3.30 wins below expectation), Kingston (-3.26), Loudon (-3.25), Pigeon Forge (-3.13).
  • Only five teams are left in the coverage area with a chance at an undefeated season. They are as follows: Alcoa (96.13% chance of 10-0); Greenback (79.74%), Greeneville (79%), Anderson County (58.48%), Farragut (56.58%). About 3.70, or four, of these teams should end up 10-0. Greeneville’s expectation is going down every week because they’ve still got to play Elizabethton, who has been significantly better than expected and a legitimate Top 20 team statewide.
  • Congrats to Loudon and Sunbright for getting off the Defeated chart with their wins last week. King’s Academy technically gets off of this chart because Concord automatically forfeited all 2018 games, but I’m not sure it should count. If it doesn’t, they’re still in this. Anyway, there are just two teams still in contention for the Defeated (0-9 or 0-10) season: Heritage (98.4% chance of 0-10) and King’s Academy (31.7% chance of 0-9).

Good luck to all teams this week and enjoy the games.