WVC football: New district rating system differs little from PIAA method

By John Erzar - [email protected]
Although Wyoming Valley West quarterback Jake Shusta and the Spartans lost to Wallenpaupack last Friday, they remain ahead of Wallenpaupack in the District 2/11-5A standings under the new Power Rating System. If the PIAA points system was utilized like in the past, Wallenpaupack would be in front of the Spartans. - Bill Tarutis file photo | For Times Leader

District 2 scrapped the PIAA Points System and introduced the Power Rating System this year to determine seedings for the upcoming football playoffs.

Much more complicated than the simplistic PIAA points method, the Power Rating System is based on two factors — a team’s weighted winning percentage (TWWP) and a team’s opponents weighted winning percentage (OWWP).

What the heck are these? Well, here is the explanation taken verbatim from the District 2 website. The TWWP is based on the results of all games that a team plays. It values wins and losses by the classification of the opponent. The OWWP is calculated by totaling the weighted win values and weighted loss values of all of the team’s opponents.

There’s more to it, including some math calucations of both, and a complete explanation is available on piaad2.org. It’s nothing new, as other districts have been using it over the past few seasons.

But is it worth complicating things for football? Under the PIAA points system, playoff pairings were easy to figure out upon the immediate completion of Week 10. Not so now, although District 2 has done an excellent job getting power ratings up as soon as possible for all sports.

Here’s how things are shaking out with the Power Rating System in comparison with the PIAA Points System. You judge if it’s better or worse. The Power Rating System carries its rankings to six numbers to the right of the decimal point, but they’ve been rounded down to three in these listings.

CLASS 6A

Power Ratings: 1. Williamsport (4-2, .598); 2. Delaware Valley (3-3, .531); 3. Hazleton Area (2-4, .520); 4. Scranton (1-5, .361)

PIAA Points: 1. Williamsport (410); 2. Delaware Valley (320); 3. Hazleton Area (240); 4. Scranton (100).

Analysis: Everything falls into place no matter which method is used.

CLASS 5A

Power Ratings: 1. East Stroudsburg South (4-2, .674); 2. Wyoming Valley West (3-3, .562); 3. Wallenpaupack (3-3, .545); 4. Southern Lehigh (3-3, .536); 5. Pocono Mountain East (2-4, .474); 6. Whitehall (1-5, .468); 7. East Strousburg North (0-6, .297).

PIAA Points: 1. East Stroudsburg South (470); 2. Wallenpaupack (390); 3. Wyoming Valley West (350); 4. Southern Lehigh (310); 5. Pocono Mountain East (240); 6. Whitehall (120); 7. East Stroudburg North (0).

Analysis: Here’s where OWWP figures into flip-flopping Wyoming Valley West and Wallenpaupack in the two different rankings.

Wallenpaupack defeated Valley West, so it is second and Valley West third in PIAA points. But the OWWP figures in losses. Valley West lost to Dallas (6-0) and Berwick (5-1), while Wallenpaupack has losses to Hazleton Area (2-4), Honesdale (1-5) and Valley View (6-0).

CLASS 4A

Power Ratings: 1. Valley View (6-0, .881); 2. Berwick (5-1, .741); 3. Dallas (6-0, .729); 4. North Pocono (4-2, .627); 5. West Scranton (3-3, .603); 6. Pittston Area (3-3, .535); 7. Nanticoke Area (3-3, .497); 8. Honesdale (1-5, .377); 9. Abington Heights (1-5, .373); 10. Crestwood (1-5, .356); 11. Tunkhannock (2-4, .348); 12. Coughlin (0-6, .246); 13. Montrose (0-6, 173).

PIAA Points: 1. Valley View (780); 2. Dallas (740); 3. Berwick (670); 4. North Pocono (530); 5. West Scranton (400); 6. Pittston Area (350); 7. Nanticoke Area (330); 8. Tunkhannock (190); 9. Honesdale (140); 10. Abington Heights (110); 11. Crestwood (100); 12. tie, Coughlin (0) and Montrose (0).

Analysis: Again, OWWP figures into Berwick and Dallas in different spots in the two rankings. Dallas’ OWWP of .340 is the lowest in the classification. Berwick’s is .579, so the Dawgs aren’t being punished too much for losing to unbeaten Valley View last Friday.

The biggest loser is Tunkhannock, which would be holding the final playoff spot entering Week 7 based on PIAA points. The Tigers, though, are hurt by two factors that drive down their power rating to 11th — their OWWP is second lowest and their victories were against winless opponents.

CLASS 3A

Power Ratings: 1. Scranton Prep (5-1, .722); 2. Wyoming Area (6-0, .702); 3. Western Wayne (5-1, .684); 4. Lake-Lehman (4-2, .579); 5. Lakeland (4-2, .570); 6. Meyers (4-2, .515); 7. Hanover Area (2-4, .346); 8. GAR (1-5, .275); 9. Holy Redeemer (.142).

PIAA Points: 1. Wyoming Area (700); 2. Scranton Prep (680); 3. Western Wayne (650); 4. Lakeland (470); 5. Lake-Lehman (460); 6. Meyers (420); 7. Hanover Area (210); 8. GAR (100); 9. Holy Redeemer (0).

Analysis: First off, it’s ridiculous eight of nine teams make the playoffs. A six-team playoff, with the top-two teams earning first-round byes, makes more sense.

Rant aside, Wyoming Area is unbeaten, but its OWWP (.274) is second-lowest in the entire district. Only two-win Holy Cross (.249) has a lower one. Prep’s OWWP is .543 and the Cavaliers aren’t being hurt by losing to undefeated Valley View.

Lake-Lehman and Lakeland flip-flop places in the two standings, but the difference is negligible.

CLASS 2A

Power Ratings: 1. Dunmore (4-2, .564); 2. Riverside (4-2, .533); 3. Susquehanna (3-3, .417); 4. Mid Valley (1-5, .330); 5. Carbondale Area (1-5, .312).

PIAA Points: 1. Riverside (500); 2. Dunmore (490); 3. Susquehanna (350); 4. Carbondale Area (120); 5. Mid Valley (110).

Analysis: Here’s where the power ratings make the most sense. Dunmore defeated Riverside 49-0 two weeks ago, yet would trail Riverside in PIAA points. Plus, Dunmore lost to Scranton Prep (5-1) and Lackawanna Trail (6-0), while Riverside doesn’t play either.

CLASS A

Power Ratings: 1. Lackawanna Trail (6-0, .742); 2. Old Forge (4-2, .495); 3. Northwest (2-4, .404); 4. Holy Cross (2-4, .275).

PIAA Points: 1. Lackawanna Trail (780); 2. Old Forge (500); 3. tie, Northwest (250) and Holy Cross (250).

Analysis: Because of the discrepancy in records, everything lines up in both standings.

***

WEEK 7 AT A GLANCE

Berwick (5-1) at Hazleton Area (2-4)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: Berwick’s Frank Sheptock (23-9, 3rd year); Hazleton Area’s Mike Brennan (130-94, 17th year)

Last Meeting: Berwick 24-10 in 2017

All-Time Series: Berwick leads 18-5

Scouting Berwick: Berwick was able to escape a bland offensive performance two weeks ago at Selinsgrove. Not so last week in a 35-7 loss to unbeaten Valley View. The offense sputtered to a season-low 208 yards. The defense didn’t help by allowing a season-high 328 yards. Chances for the D2-4A top seed possibly ended last weekend.

Scouting Hazleton Area: The Cougars faltered down the stretch last Friday in a 42-31 loss to Delaware Valley. DelVal scored two late touchdowns to rally for the win. What’s troubling is DelVal’s offense hasn’t been very potent all season, including some mighty struggles against one-win Honesdale three weeks ago.

What To Expect: Berwick to rebound in a competitive, close game.

Crestwood (1-5) at Tunkhannock (2-4)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: Crestwood’s Greg Myers (81-77, 14th year); Tunkhannock’s Mike Marabell (2-4, 1st year)

Last Meeting: Crestwood 41-18 in 2017

All-Time Series: Tied 9-9

Scouting Crestwood: Homecoming certainly didn’t go as planned in a shocking 47-14 loss to Nanticoke Area. The Comets were penalized 20 times, turned over the ball five times and allowed 374 yards rushing to the Trojans’ Joe Ammons. The offense never seemed in sync after falling behind in the second quarter.

Scouting Tunkhannock: The Tigers tossed themselves in a hole at halftime against Towanda and couldn’t recover in a 42-32 loss. QB Jack Chilson and RB Garrett Hopkins put up some solid numbers, but the defense allowed over 42 points for third time. Still in playoff contention, though.

What To Expect: Tough one to figure out. Crestwood, maybe, in a close game.

Dallas (6-0) at Nanticoke Area (3-3)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: Dallas’ Rich Mannello (21-18, 4th year); Nanticoke Area’s Ron Bruza (36-52, 9th year)

Last Meeting: Dallas 55-0 in 2007

All-Time Series: Dallas leads 20-16-2

Scouting Dallas: Coming off a big win two weeks ago against Wyoming Valley West, Dallas needed some time before putting away Coughlin 35-7. The defense was on top of its game, but remember Coughlin hasn’t done much with the ball all season. A crisp performance is needed with Valley View, Berwick and rival Lake-Lehman coming up.

Scouting Nanticoke Area: RB Joe Ammons was like Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl in a 47-14 win vs. Crestwood, rushing for 374 yards and five touchdowns. The Trojans struck with big plays throughout the night, quite puzzling since they scored three TDs in their previous three games combined. Things will be much tougher tonight.

What To Expect: Dallas to roll into next Friday’s showdown with Valley View.

GAR (1-5) at North Penn-Mansfield (4-2)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: GAR’s Paul Wiedlich Jr. (53-43, 9th year); North Penn’s Tom Dickinson (141-118, 25th year)

Last Meeting: never played

All-Time Series: never played

Scouting GAR: The Grenadiers’ offensive woes continued last Friday in a 42-6 loss to Northwest. A touchdown with less than two minutes to play prevented a shutout. GAR has scored just three touchdowns in its last three games. The defense has allowed 42, 41 and 42 points in that span. Just not clicking anywhere right now.

Scouting North Penn: While GAR has done little on offense, North Penn has done a lot. The Panthers routed Wyalusing 53-6. A week prior, they pounded Cowanesque Valley 54-8. QB Brent Burleigh and RB Garrett David are the main weapons. Oh yeah, the defense has been solid for the most part, allowing just one TD in each of the four wins.

What To Expect: North Penn in a game between teams heading in opposite directions.

Holy Redeemer (0-6) at Lake-Lehman (4-2)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: Redeemer’s Dwayne Downing (27-49, 8th year); Lake-Lehman’s Jerry Gilsky (61-36, 9th year)

Last Meeting: Lehman 35-7 in 2017

All-Time Series: Lehman leads 11-0

Scouting Redeemer: The Royals scored their first points since Week 1 in a 41-12 loss to Hanover Area. The reason – exciting freshman QB Justice Shoats, who looks like a building block moving forward. He’s a threat any time he touches the ball. Unfortunately, there are too many holes elsewhere for Redeemer to be competitive.

Scouting Lehman: Down 6-0 to Wyoming Area at the half, Lehman turned over the ball on three of its first six plays of the third quarter, resulting in a 29-7 loss. Take away those miscues and the game could have gone either way. The Black Knights might get another crack at the Warriors in the D2-3A playoffs. Could be a different result.

What To Expect: A game decided by halftime.

Meyers (4-2) at Wyoming Area (6-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: Meyers’ Jeff Labatch (23-17, 4th year); Wyoming Area’s Randy Spencer (55-49, 10th year)

Last Meeting: Wyoming Area 14-8 in 2013

All-Time Series: Wyoming Area leads 24-8

Scouting Meyers: The Mohawks continued to share the ball on offense as four different players scored in a 51-27 victory vs. Susquehanna. Three guys, headed by PIAA gold medal hurdler Nazir Dunell, have scored at least five touchdowns. The losses were in overtime to Riverside and by blowout to Lake-Lehman.

Scouting Wyoming Area: The Warriors pretty much solidified their identity in a 29-7 win vs. Lake-Lehman. They’re a defense-first team and have an offense that takes advantage of what’s given to it. The defense shut down Lehman, except for a long TD pass, and forced five turnovers. The offense pounced on the chances.

What To Expect: Like last week, Wyoming Area to pull away in the second half.

Northwest (2-4) at Hanover Area (2-4)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: Northwest’s Lon Hazlet (107-103, 20th year); Hanover Area’s Mike McCree (8-28, 4th year)

Last Meeting: Northwest 55-22 in 2017

All-Time Series: Northwest leads 6-3

Scouting Northwest: The Rangers came into the season inexperienced, and if they played their schedule in reverse, they would be in contention for a D2-A playoff spot. The schedule was top-heavy and too much to handle at the time. They’re a team on the upswing, but perhaps it will be too little too late to get a district berth.

Scouting Hanover Area: Hanover Area started slowly against Holy Redeemer before rolling to a 41-12 win. QB Aaron Hummer and cousin Connor Hummer hooked up twice for TD passes. RB Joe Curcio ran well, The defense, though, has its issues against better offenses — and Northwest is starting to find its footing.

What To Expect: A close game with Northwest coming out on top.

Williamsport (4-2) at Pittston Area (3-3)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: Williamsport’s Chuck Crews (40-42, 8th year); Pittston Area’s Nick Barbieri (98, 2nd year)

Last Meeting: Williamsport 20-14 in OT in 2014

All-Time Series: Williamsport leads 10-8

Scouting Williamsport: It’s been a rough year for RB Treyson Potts, a Minnesota recruit. He missed Week 2 with an injury and then suffered an apparent knee injury in last Friday’s 27-10 win vs. Scranton. It’s a shame because he’s worth twice the price of admission. If he can’t go, expect the Millionaires to lean heavily on standout QB Joe Fagnano.

Scouting Pittston Area: The Patriots got the good version last Friday of West Scranton, a team which has been up and down all season. The result was the Invaders piling up 430 yards in a 41-14 victory. Things need to be tightened up on defense because even if Williamsport is without Potts, it can score in the blink of an eye.

What To Expect: Williamsport to run its win streak to four games.

Wyoming Valley West (3-3) at Coughlin (0-6)

7 p.m. Friday

The Coaches: WVW’s Pat Keating (79-33, 10th year); Coughlin’s Ciro Cinti (71-67, 13th year)

Last Meeting: Valley West 42-0 in 2017

All-Time Series: Valley West leads 33-17-3

Scouting Valley West: The Spartans dropped their third in a row, losing 34-28 to Wallenpaupack in a key game as far as the D2/11-5A standings go. The defense surrendered three touchdown passes, and after giving up 54 points in the first three games has allowed 106 in the last three. However, the schedule has been taxing as of late.

Scouting Coughlin: The Crusaders’ final season isn’t going as hoped. Unbeaten Dallas totaled 504 yards in routing Coughlin 35-7. Only a late touchdown prevented a shutout. There aren’t many options available because for a 4A school it has a small roster. Based on what lies ahead, the Crusaders might finish without a win for the first time since 2001.

What To Expect: Valley West to snap its three-game slide.

Although Wyoming Valley West quarterback Jake Shusta and the Spartans lost to Wallenpaupack last Friday, they remain ahead of Wallenpaupack in the District 2/11-5A standings under the new Power Rating System. If the PIAA points system was utilized like in the past, Wallenpaupack would be in front of the Spartans.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_TTL090118HSF-WVW-HazArea_2.jpgAlthough Wyoming Valley West quarterback Jake Shusta and the Spartans lost to Wallenpaupack last Friday, they remain ahead of Wallenpaupack in the District 2/11-5A standings under the new Power Rating System. If the PIAA points system was utilized like in the past, Wallenpaupack would be in front of the Spartans. Bill Tarutis file photo | For Times Leader

By John Erzar

[email protected]

TIMES LEADER DISTRICT 2 TOP 10 RANKINGS

District 4’s Williamsport is included in the rankings since it plays in the Wyoming Valley Conference and qualifies for the district playoffs through District 2. Last week’s ranking in parentheses. NR means not ranked the previous week.

1. (3) Valley View (6-0)`Beat two No.1 teams, get the No. 1 spot

2. (2) Dallas (6-0)`Gets its crack at Valley View at home next week

3. (4) Wyoming Area (6-0)`Defense forced five turnovers vs. Lake-Lehman

4. (5) Scranton Prep (5-1)`On the road three of the remaining four games

5. (1) Berwick (5-1)`Lack of offense showed in 35-7 loss to Valley View

6. (6) Lackawanna Trail (6-0)`Has Old Forge in probable D2-A title preview

7. (9) Western Wayne (5-1)`Toughest game thus far Friday at Valley View

8. (7) Lakeland (4-2)`Should have little trouble with one-win Carbondale

9. (NR) Williamsport (4-2)`Brings three-game win streak into Pittston Area

10. (10) Lake-Lehman (4-2)`Turnovers crushed hopes against Wyoming Area

Dropped out: Wyoming Valley West (3-3)

Given Consideration: Delaware Valley (3-3); Dunmore (4-2); Meyers (4-2); North Pocono (4-2); Old Forge (4-2); Riverside (4-2); Wallenpaupack (3-3); West Scranton (3-3); Wyoming Valley West (3-3)

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar