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A breakdown of Class AAA’s Maxwell Playoff Projections

Playoff speculation always rears its head when inter-league competition starts to yield each region's playoff seedings. In a few short weeks, the playoff brackets will begin to fill, and at this point -- midway through October -- it would be nice if someone ran the playoff bracket through 1,000,000 simulations and gave us a crystal-ball look at how things will play out.

Oh wait, Loren Maxwell, the founder of the Maxwell Ratings, did just that. 

To save the reader trouble, here is Maxwell’s explanation of his "Maxwell Ratings Playoff Projection" system that is used predict the high school football future, so to speak.

“The Maxwell Ratings playoff projections are based on a Monte Carlo simulation of the 2018 season. The simulation completed 1,000,000 seasons. While the Maxwell Ratings reflect each team’s strength, the simulation highlights the impact of the season’s structure as defined by the games, region alignments, and playoff brackets. All out-of-state opponents were considered equal to the average of the GHSA team’s classification (i.e., out-of-state opponents of Class AAAAAAA GHSA teams were treated as an average Class AAAAAAA team). Although regions may use different criteria, in the simulation all standings were determined by 1) region record, 2) head to head, 3) point differential, 4) classification record, and 5) random tie-breaker.”

Let’s look through the results to break down this week’s Class AAA rankings. Each number below signifies how many times the team made the respective round in the simulations – playoffs in general, quarterfinals, semifinals, championship game and a state-championship victory.

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Of the top-10 teams, six made the playoffs in each of the 1,000,000 simulations (listed below). The top-four teams – Calhoun, Cedar Grove, Monroe Area and Peach County – won 863,661 championships out of 1,000,000 simulations. Peach County, however, was one of the top-10 teams to not make the playoffs in all of the 1,000,000 simulations, missing the playoffs 33 times. No. 5 Westminster, No. 9 Dawson County and No. 10 Pace Academy were the other ranked teams to miss the playoffs a number of times during the simulations.

It really is fairly simple: If you look under ‘finals’ and your team has a greater number than another teams, it means that your team is most-likely to make it to the finals than the other team. Again, this is all speculation. In the semifinals, look for the top-four teams listed below, and you can speculate which four teams might make it through the first three rounds of the playoffs.  

  1. (1) Calhoun (7-0)

Playoffs -- 1,000,000 

Quarterfinals -- 823,045

Semifinals -- 730,779

Finals -- 526,671

Champion -- 296,087

 

(2) Cedar Grove (7-1)

Playoffs -- 1,000,000 

Quarterfinals -- 907,641

Semifinals -- 683,319  

Finals -- 554,609 

Champion -- 361,293 

 

(3) Monroe Area (8-0)

Playoffs -- 1,000,000 

Quarterfinals -- 708,147

Semifinals -- 586,521

Finals -- 218,183

Champion -- 94,264 

 

(4) Peach County (5-2)

Playoffs -- 999,967 

Quarterfinals -- 847,219

Semifinals -- 565,368

Finals -- 260,387

Champion -- 112,017

 

(5) Westminster-Atlanta (4-3)

Playoffs -- 999,831 

Quarterfinals -- 200,855

Semifinals -- 124,786 

Finals -- 45,864

Champion -- 12,566

(6) Greater Atlanta Christian (6-2)

Playoffs -- 1,000,000 

Quarterfinals -- 646,740

Semifinals -- 283,387

Finals -- 91,387

Champion -- 25,870

(7) Benedictine (6-1)

Playoffs -- 1,000,000

Quarterfinals -- 813,763

Semifinals -- 284,849

Finals -- 183,807

Champion -- 78,102

(8) Jefferson (7-1)

Playoffs -- 1,000,000 

Quarterfinals -- 169,311

Semifinals -- 67,483 

Finals -- 8,997 

Champion -- 1,317

(9) Dawson County (6-1)

Playoffs -- 999,992 

Quarterfinals -- 177,323

Semifinals -- 94,781 

Finals -- 13,173 

Champion -- 2,205

(10) Pace Academy (5-3)

Playoffs -- 999,986 

Quarterfinals -- 152,148

Semifinals -- 49,250 

Finals -- 9,601

Champion -- 1,602 

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