WPIAL Football Tiebreaker Explanations

Saturday, October 31, 2015 | 10:35 AM

Nowadays, any Tom, Dick or Harry can find out from other what is going on and then tweet it out like they are Tom Brokaw breaking a new flash. If you listened to Friday nights WPIAL Scoreboard Show, you found out who was in and some of the why. Here is a more insightful look into how the tiebreakers worked to figure out the 2015 WPIAL football playoff field.

First, an explanation the Gardner Point system: A team earns ten points for all the wins earned by every conference team they beat. What? Here is a simple way to explain. If you beat Team A who had a 6-2 conference record, you earn 60 Gardner Points for their 6 wins. If you beat Team B and they were 2-6 in conference, you earn another 20 points for their 2 wins.

Gardner points is the first tiebreaker used AFTER head-to-head. If that is tied, then you go to the WPIAL tiebreaker points. These points are determined by margin of victory or margin of loss with a maximum of + or – ten points. If you win 21-14, you earn +7. if you win 42-24, you earn +10. If you lose 17-14, you have -3 and if you lose 60-0, you have -10 for that game.

Keep in mind that in the rare exceptions (Quad-A wild card and third place this year), only conference games are used in Gardner Points and WPIAL Tiebreaker Points.

Also, in three way or more tie-breakers, once one tie is broken, you start over with head-to-head to break other ties.

Quad-A wild card this year was easy. Hempfield had the best record of the sixth place teams vs Shaler and Peters Township. Quad-A third place…not so much. North Allegheny was a tri-champ in the Northern eight Conference so at 6-1, they easily earned a home game as the third team out of the conference (more on how they were third later). That left Kiski Area and Bethel Park tied for the other home game with five wins each. (With less teams than the Foothills, the cross-over games between the Northern Eight and Southeastern count toward wild card and third place chase, but BP lost their cross-over to Pgh Central Catholic). Both teams had 120 Gardner Points, but Bethel Park ended up with +25 points Tiebreaker Points while Kiski Area had +20.

Back to the AAAA Northern Eight and the three way tie for first With Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Pine-Richland and North Allegheny. All were 1-1 in head-to-head and all were tied with 160 Gardner Points. Both Central and Pine were +50 in tiebreaker points with NA at +47, dropping the Tigers to 3rd. Then it goes back to head-to-head between Central Catholic and Pine-Richland with the Vikings taking first and the Rams second. 

The only other tie in AAAA was Kiski Area and Plum for third p[lace in the Foothills Conference.  The Cavaliers beat the Mustangs in head-to-head.

The Class AAA wild card chase was a little more complicated as Trinity, Gateway and Chartiers Valley were all 4-4 as sixth place teams. (Trinity finished 4-5 in conference, but because the Big Ten had one more team, all first week results were excluded in wild card and third place tiebreakers, leaving the Hillers at 4-4 since they lost in Week One). Both Gateway and Chartiers Valley had 100 Garden Points while Trinity dropped out of the chase with only 60. In tiebreaker points, Chartiers Valley was a 0 while Gateway was -9, thus giving the Colts the wild card.

In home field for third place teams. Thomas Jefferson was 7-2 to earn one spot while Montour was 6-2 to earn the other. Hollidaysburg was the third place team out of the Greater Allegheny with a 5-3 mark.

Central Valley and West Allegheny are co-champs in the Parkway Conference but Warriors get #1 seed based on Friday’s win over the Indians.

Ambridge, New Castle and Chartiers Valley finished in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Parkway. Ambridge takes fourth by going 2-0 in head-to-head, then New Castle is fifth based on head-to-head with Chartiers Valley.

Armstrong, Hollidaysburg and Hampton finished tied for fourth in the Greater Allegheny Conference. They all went 1-1 in head-to-head. Hollidaysburg is third with 170 Garden points while the other two had 130 points. Hampton is then fourth based on head-to-head win over Armstrong.

There were two three-way ties in Class AA.

In the Allegheny Conference, Apollo-Ridge, Deer Lakes and Valley finished tied for third place with 5-3 records. Apollo-Ridge was 2-0 in head-to-head and takes third place while then Deer Lakes is fourth based on their head-to-head win over Valley.

In the Interstate Conference, McGuffey, Burgettstown and Derry finished tied for third place with 5-3 records. They were all 1-1 in head-to-head and tied with 110 Gardner Points. McGuffey had +27 tiebreaker points, compared to +15 for Derry and +11 for Burgettstown, so McGuffey is third. Then Burgettstown is fourth based on head-to-head tiebreaker with Derry.

The only tie right now in Class A is for fourth place in the eastern Conference where Springdale clinched based on head-to-head win over Monessen.

There will be a tie for second or third based on what Bishop Canevin does Saturday. I(f the Crusaders beat Brentwood, they will tie Avonworth for second place and Bishop Canevin will be the second place team based on a head-to-head win over Avonworth.  If the Crusaders lose, it drops them into a tie for third place with Chartiers-Houston. Once again, Bishop Canevin would win out based on head-to-head win over Chartiers-Houston.




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