Crunching the numbers, ranking the 4A playoff teams from 1 to 16

Rice-Eccles Stadium is the site of the 4A championship once again | File photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

With the 4A football playoffs beginning on Friday, we’ve put together a 1-16 ranking of all the playoff teams, taking into consideration record, strength of schedule, point differential, past history and scoring for and against. Here’s our list:

Record
1. Sky View 9-0
2t. Dixie 9-1
2t. Mountain Crest 9-1
4. Orem 8-2
5. Pine View 7-3
6t. Stansbury 6-3
6t. Spanish Fork 6-3
8t. Salem Hills 6-4
8t. Bear River 6-4
8t. Ridgeline 6-4
11. Desert Hills 5-4
12. Tooele 5-5
13. Cedar 4-5
14t. Park City 4-6
14t. Bonneville 4-6
16. Mountain View 3-7

St. George News Strength of Schedule (based on region strength, plus preseason schedule and MaxPreps SOS)
1. Dixie SOS = 44.1 – Beat top 5A team (Springville) and good 6A team (Lone Peak), plus roadie at Tooele. Only loss is to very good Cali team in Madison. Region 9 is tough, too.
2. Desert Hills SOS = 43.9 – Two toughies in preseason in Jordan and undefeated Mission Hills (Calif.), plus easy one vs. Salem Hills. Again, harsh Region 9 schedule.
3. Orem SOS = 41.7 – Played two undefeated team, 6A Bingham and 5A Corner Canyon (lost both). Also played two California teams and a mediocre 5A Provo team. But Region 10 is weak.
4. Sky View SOS = 40.7 – Points for preseason road games at decent Stansbury and Tooele, plus win over good Idaho team. Also beat 5A Springville.
5. Mt. Crest SOS = 38.8 – Played and beat two good 5A teams (Highland and Wasatch), plus mediocre Box Elder and 4A teams Stansbury and Tooele.
6. Bear River SOS = 35.7 – Beat a decent Juan Diego team in preseason, but rest of non-region slate was ho-hum. And excepting Sky View and Mt. Crest, Region 12 is bad.
7. Ridgeline SOS = 34.0 – Not a great team on the RiverHawks preseason schedule – at least not one they competed with (both Spanish Fork and Snow Canyon whipped them).
8. Pine View SOS = 33.5 – Played a good 5A Lehi, but rest of preseason was soft. Earned stripes in tough Region 9 schedule.
9. Cedar SOS = 31.2 – Played in toughest region, but had one decent opponent in preseason in Provo (lost by seven).
10. Spanish Fork SOS = 30.5 – Lost a close one to Springville in preseason, but rest of schedule was very mediocre, including Region 10 slate.
11. Tooele SOS = 28.6 – Kudos to the Buffs for scheduling Dixie, Sky View and Mt. Crest for non-region games, especially since Region 11 was weak.
12. Stansbury SOS = 27.0 – Lost by 10 to Sky View in the preseason, then by 33 to Mt. Crest. The rest of the Stallions’ schedule was marshmallow, including the weakest Region 11.
13. Mt. View SOS = 26.2 – Lost to some good teams (Wasatch, Orem, West), lost to some bad teams (Payson, Hurricane). How’d they get into the playoffs again?
14. Salem Hills SOS = 23.2 – Desert Hills was only decent non-region foe, and region was just mediocre.
15. Park City SOS = 19.9 – A very poor non-region schedule, and a very poor region.
16. Bonneville SOS = 17.8 – Played Fremont, Roy and Northridge, but did not compete in any of those games, plus lost to terrible Ogden.

Tradition/Experience
Some would argue that tradition means nothing when it comes to actually playing the games. But success breeds success. Plus, there’s no other way to get playoff-type experience except to actually play in big games. So we’ve divided this category into three sections: Rich, Fair and Poor.

RichDixie, Desert Hills and Pine View automatically are in this one due to their dominating performances over the years in the 3AA playoffs. Sky View has also been very good for a long time in 4A. Bear River also always puts together a good team, no matter the Bears’ classification.

FairMt. Crest used to be a powerhouse, but has struggled the past five years or so. Cedar fits here, with decent playoff success coming out of tough Region 9. Tooele seems to do all right in the playoffs until the Buffs run into a Region 9 team. The same for Stansbury.

PoorOrem hasn’t had a good year since 2012. Just two years old, Ridgeline gets a few points for a playoff win last year, but that’s it. Spanish Fork is enjoying its first winning record since 2012. Mountain View hasn’t had a winning record in a decade. Salem Hills opened in 2008 and has never been past the quarterfinals. It’s been awhile since Park City was good. Bonneville has averaged just two wins a year the past five years.

Point differential
What does this mean, considering some teams run up the score on weaker opponents? It’s simply this: Point differential gives us an idea, along with strength of schedule, of how well a team performs.
1. Mountain Crest +224
2. Orem +219
3. Pine View +206
4. Sky View +200
5. Dixie +184
6. Bear River +118
7. Stansbury +86
8. Desert Hills +71
9. Spanish Fork +69
10. Salem Hills +58
11. Ridgeline +56
12t. Tooele -10
12t. Park City -10
14. Cedar -49
15. Bonneville -61
16. Mountain View -216

Points per game
1. Orem  39.1
2. Dixie  38.5
3. Pine View  36.8
4. Sky View  35.2
5. Stansbury  34.7
6. Mountain Crest  33.5
7. Desert Hills  32.2
8. Spanish Fork  32.0
9. Salem Hills  31.5
10. Tooele  29.2
11. Ridgeline  28.5
12. Bear River  23.3
13. Bonneville  21.6
14. Park City  20.0
15. Mountain View  19.2
16. Cedar  15.0

Points allowed per game
1. Bear River  11.5
2. Sky View  13.0
3. Mountain Crest  13.1
4. Pine View  16.2
5. Orem  17.2
6. Dixie  20.1
7. Cedar  20.4
8. Park City  21.0
9. Ridgeline  22.9
10t. Desert Hills  24.3
10t. Spanish Fork  24.3
12. Stansbury  25.1
13. Salem Hills  25.7
14. Bonneville  27.7
15. Tooele  30.2
16. Mountain View  40.8

O.K., we’ve crunched the numbers and this is how we rank the 16 playoff teams as we head into Friday’s 4A state football playoffs.

Overall Rating
1. Sky View – Record 1, SOS 4, Experience 1, Differential 4, PPG 4, PAPG 2 = Total 16
2. Dixie – Record 2, SOS 1, Experience 1, Differential 5, PPG 2, PAPG 6 = Total 17
3. Orem – Record 4, SOS 3, Experience 3, Differential 2, PPG 1, PAPG 5 = Total 18
4. Mt. Crest – Record 2, SOS 5, Experience 2, Differential 1, PPG 6, PAPG 3 = Total 19
5. Pine View – Record 5, SOS 8, Experience 1, Differential 3, PPG 3, PAPG 4 = Total 24
6. Bear River – Record 8, SOS 6, Experience 1, Differential 6, PPG 12, PAPG 1 = Total 34
7. Desert Hills – Record 11, SOS 2, Experience 1, Differential 8, PPG 7, PAPG 10 = Total 39
8. Stansbury – Record 6, SOS 12, Experience 2, Differential 7, PPG 5, PAPG 12 = Total 44
9. Spanish Fork – Record 6, SOS 10, Experience 3, Differential 9, PPG 8, PAPG 10 = Total 46
10. Ridgeline – Record 8, SOS 7, Experience 3, Differential 11, PPG 11, PAPG 9 = Total 49
11. Salem Hills – Record 8, SOS 14, Experience 3, Differential 10, PPG 9, PAPG 13 = Total 57
12. Cedar – Record 13, SOS 9, Experience 2, Differential 14, PPG 16, PAPG 7 = Total 61
13. Tooele – Record 12, SOS 11, Experience 2, Differential 12, PPG 10, PAPG 15 = Total 62
14. Park City – Record 14, SOS 15, Experience 3, Differential 12, PPG 14, PAPG 8 = Total 66
15. Bonneville – Record 14, SOS 16, Experience 3, Differential 15, PPG 13, PAPG 14 = Total 75
16. Mountain View – Record 16, SOS 13, Experience 3, Differential 16, PPG 15, PAPG 16 = Total 79

There you have it – it’s science! It’s analytics! It’s Moneyball!

According to the numbers, the semifinalists will be Sky View, Dixie, Orem and Mountain Crest, with the Bobcats edging the Flyers in the 4A championship game.

Of course, injuries, turnovers and weather were not factored in, so maybe we ought to go ahead and play the games anyway.

4A first round playoff games (all games on Friday)
Upper Bracket

Salem Hills (R10-3) at Mt. Crest (R12-2), 6 p.m.
Park City (R11-4) at Dixie (R9-1), 7 p.m.
Cedar (R9-4) at Stansbury (R11-1), 6 p.m.
Ridgeline (R12-3) at Spanish Fork (R10-2), 4 p.m.
Lower Bracket
Tooele (R11-3) at Pine View (R9-2), 5 p.m.
Mt. View (R10-4) at Sky View (R12-1), 5 p.m.
Bear River (R12-4) at Orem (R10-1), 4 p.m.
Desert Hills (R9-3) at Bonneville (R11-2), 4 p.m.

Check back at St. George News sports all week for more on the upcoming 4A football playoffs.

4A football playoff bracket

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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