06/20/2024
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By Sonny Jones

Ready to hear about the Ratings Percentage Index. It won’t be long before the N.C. High School Athletic Association releases its initial rankings for high school fall sports teams.

The rankings are used to fill out state playoff brackets after automatic bids are seeded. So, it’s something to follow during the second half of the season. The first rankings are released once a season reaches the halfway point. That will be soon.

For us statistical nerds, here’s the RPI formula that’s used for qualification and seeding in all team playoff brackets except for dual team wrestling, according to the NCHSAA.

Pay attention and take notes because there will be test.

Ready? (0.3 x team winning percentage) + (0.4 x opponents’ winning percentage) + (0.3 x opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage) = Ratings Percentage Index.

So, since football has played the fewest games and there are people who are paid to design programs to figure these ratings out quickly, let’s see if we can determine East Bladen and West Bladen’s RPI through four games.

You were warned there would be a test.

Both East Bladen and West Bladen are 1-3 and have a .250 winning percentage. That’s the simple part.

Opponents’ winning percentage does not include the team whose RPI is being calculated. For example, Wallace-Rose Hill is 3-1, but would be 2-1 in the formula to determine East Bladen’s RPI. Also, the OWP is not determined by the combined records of the opponents, but rather by averaging each winning percentage.

East Bladen has played Wallace-Rose Hill (2-1, .667), South Columbus (1-2, .333), Whiteville (2-1, .667) and Laney (1-1, .500). If I’ve done this correctly, that’s a combined winning percentage of 2.167 divided by 4 which is an OWP of .542.

West Bladen has played South Columbus (0-3, .000), West Columbus (2-1, .667), South Brunswick (2-0, 1.000) and East Columbus (0-2, .000). That’s a combined winning percentage of 1.667 divided by 4 which is an OWP of .417.

Anyone have an Excedrin?

Now, without a spreadsheet, the tough part. The winning percentage of a team’s opponents’ opponents’ using the same qualifications as OWP, which means the OOWP does not include the team whose RPI is being calculated.

Wallace-Rose Hill has played East Bladen (1-3), Clinton (3-1), Leesville Road (4-0) and Pender (2-1).

South Columbus has played West Bladen (1-3), East Bladen (1-3), Loris (3-0) and North Brunswick (3-0).

Whiteville has played North Brunswick (3-0), West Brunswick (0-3), East Bladen (1-3) and Rosewood (1-3).

Laney has played Conley (2-2), Lumberton (0-3) and East Bladen (1-3).

West Columbus has played Union (0-3), West Bladen (1-3), Sandhills (0-2) and North Moore (4-0).

South Brunswick has played Richlands (2-2), Midway (2-2) and West Bladen (1-3).

East Columbus has played Wilson Prep (3-0), Hobbton (3-1) and West Bladen (1-3).

Following all of this?

Wallace-Rose Hill’s opponents’ winning percentage is .708. South Columbus’ is .583. Whiteville’s is .417. Laney’s is .222. West Columbus’ is .333. South Brunswick’s is .556. East Columbus’ is .667.

I don’t drink, but this is making me consider it.

Now, for the RPI (drum roll please)!

East Bladen
(0.3 x .250) + (0.4 x .542) + (0.3 x .483) = .437

West Bladen
(0.3 x .250) + (0.4 x .417) + (0.3 x .535) = .402

That may or may not be correct, but it should be close and shows the formula the NCHSAA uses to help determine postseason berths. The higher the number the better.

The Southeastern Athletic Conference will get two automatic bids for each sport that fields at least six teams. The league will get only one automatic bid for each sport that fields five teams or less.

Now, time for recess. We need to play on the see-saw after this.

THURSDAY’S PICK TO CLICK

Jonquel Jones will have a double-double in helping Connecticut avoid a sweep by Las Vegas in the WNBA Finals. It’s unlikely the Sun will rally to win the five-game series after losing the first two in Vegas, but should get a win on its home floor.

WEDNESDAY’S PICK: Tampa Bay pitcher Drew Rasmussen took the loss Aug. 2 when he pitched against Toronto, although he allowed only one run in six innings. He’ll get the win this time against the Blue Jays. Rasmussen was the American Pitcher of the Month for August and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a start since July 14. RESULTS: Well, so much for streaks. Rasmussen was tagged for four runs on six hits in four innings and took the loss in a 5-1 defeat.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

• DP WORLD TOUR: Italian Open, 7:30 a.m., GOLF

• MLB: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland, 1 p.m., MLBN

• LPGA: Portland Classic, 3 p.m., GOLF

• NASCAR TRUCKS: UNOH 200 qualifying, 4:30 p.m., FS1

• PGA: Fortinet Championship, 6 p.m., GOLF

• WOMEN’S SOCCER: High Point at N.C. State, 6 p.m., ACCN

• NASCAR ARCA: Sioux Chief Showdown 200, 6:30 p.m., FS1

• MLB: Oakland at Houston or Pittsburgh at NY Mets, 7 p.m., FOX

• FOOTBALL: Savannah State at Benedict, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU

• FOOTBALL: St. Frances Academy (Md.) High at Venice (Fla.) High, 8 p.m., ESPN2

• NFL: LA Chargers at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m., PRIME VIDEO

• NASCAR TRUCKS: UNOH 200, 9 p.m., FS1

• WNBA FINALS: Las Vegas at Connecticut, 9 p.m., ESPN

• MLB: San Diego at Arizona or Cincinnati at St. Louis, 10 p.m., MLBN

Sonny Jones can be reached at wibbyj@gmail.com and follow on Twitter @FOSonnyJones.

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