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By Scott Mincher


It’s that glorious time of year again! A few weeks ago in a story posted by members of the YSN team, the topic of conversation was the history of the OHSAA football playoffs. In that article, the YSN team covered the infancy of the playoffs, how many teams get in, The previous eras and formats in the playoffs, etc. While it’s great to know about such a long and tremendous history when it comes to playoff football in Ohio, None of it would exist without a playoff system along with specific formats for the system that is in place. Just so we’re vividly clear, We at YSN are by no means experts on the playoff point system. So a lot of what’s used in this story will not only be educational to a lot of the people who read this story but to the team at YSN as well. We’ve continuously dug for nuggets of wisdom and have come up with some interesting stuff to this point. This information is courtesy of

As a direct request from the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Tournament Committee, and approved by the OHSAA Board of Directors, a new divisor is used to determine second-level points that are based on the number of games that opponents have played to date. For each open date that an opponent has had to date, a smaller divisor is used to calculate second-level points. Before any games are played, the computer assumes that the opponents on each school’s schedule will play a full complement of games and assigns the divisor of 100 (10 weeks times 10 opponents = 100). After each week of the season, for each open date that occurs for an opponent that a school has played to date, the computer subtracts the divisor by one. In other words, if week five has just been completed and all five of a school’s opponents have played a full complement of games, then the divisor remains at 100, and second level points are divided by 100. If one opponent on a school’s schedule to date has had an open date, then the divisor reduces by one to 99, and second level points are divided by 99. If two opponents on a school’s schedule to date have had an open date, then the divisor reduces by two to 98, and second level points are divided by 98, and so on. The second level points are then multiplied by the factor 10 to move the decimal point higher so that the averages are comparable to those in past years. First and second level point averages are then added together for an average total. 

Ties result in half of the point value being earned.

Now on to one example of how the points are awarded and how to read the OHSAA computer rankings:




Wins over a Division I school – 6.5 points 

Wins over a Division II school – 6.0 points 

Wins over a Division III school – 5.5 points 

Wins over a Division IV school – 5.0 points 

Wins over a Division V school – 4.5 points 

Wins over a Division VI school – 4.0 points

Wins over a Division VII school – 3.5 points



  • Team A, a Division III school, is 3-0. 
  • Each opponent Team A has defeated is Division III. 
  • Opponents 1 and 2, which Team A has defeated, are each 2-1, with their victories coming over Division III schools. 
  • Opponent 3, which Team A has defeated, is 1-1, with its victory coming over a Division III school. Opponent 3 has had one open date. 

First level points – 16.5 points {3 wins times 5.5 points (for defeating Division III opponents)} divided by 3 (the number of games Team A has played thus far) = 5.5000 first-level points.

Second level points – 11.0 from Opponent 1 {2 wins times 5.5 (for defeating Division III opponents)}, 11.0 from Opponent 2 {2 wins times 5.5 (for defeating Division III opponents)} and 5.5 from Opponent 3 {1 win times 5.5 (for defeating a Division III opponent)} for 27.5 points. These 27.5 points are then divided by 99 (since Opponent 3 thus far has had an open date) and multiplied by 10 = 2.7778 second-level points. 

Total Points: 5.5000 (first level points) plus 2.7778 (second level points) = 8.2778 

NOTE: Say during week four, Opponent 1 has an open date. Then the second level points divisor for Team A after week four becomes 98 since Opponent 3 has had one open date and now Opponent 1 has had one open date.




16.5000 27.5000 8.2778 1 A-TOWN TEAM A

  • To find out what the first level average is, divide the 15 points by the number of games Team A has played to date (15 divided by 3 = 5.0000)
  • Next, subtract the 5.5000 from the total average of 8.2778. This number (2.7778) shows what the second level average is.
  • So, 5.5000 first level points plus 2.7778 second level points = 8.2778 total points. 
  • To find out what divisor was used to determine second-level points, divide the total level-2 points (27.5000) by the second level average (2.7778). So, 27.5000 divided by 2.7778 = 9.8999208. This means the divisor used was 99, which shows that one of Team A’s opponents has had an open date.

All this math makes my head spin! But you have to wonder that if the NFL implemented a system like this, would it in the very least stagger The Machine that has been the New England Patriots or that pure evil organization they call the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Editors Note: Both our Founders are Steeler Fans, I just wanted to see if we could get this through.) I would bet that all NFL fans outside of Boston want the Patriots to destruct but with the way the football gods have smiled on Brady and Belichick that might be a pipe dream.

We may never know what would happen if the Patriots had to abide by this point system. But that doesn’t mean you can’t draw up all the scenarios and fun possibilities in your head that might come with it, right?


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