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Football

The Formula

We know a lot of you want to know how the computer rankings we publish here on HighSchoolOT.com are developed.

While we are not going to reveal the formula, we will explain how the rankings came to fruition.

The rankings are not subjective, unlike a typical media poll, such as the AP Poll or the OT Top 12 Polls. These rankings are derived from a mathematical formula that is the same for each team.

First off, these rankings start from scratch. No team is given a value based on how it finished last season. Everyone starts at zero.

Why is this?

Every season is a new season. Teams change, coaches change, players transfer, and the only way to objectively judge teams is based on what they've done on the field and what challenges they have faced.

The HighSchoolOT.com Power Rankings awards points based on the week-to-week challenges it faces from its opponents. The first step in determining the challenge is identifying how much a given game is worth by comparing the two classifications.

Games between teams of the same classification are given a worth of 10 points. If a team plays an opponent who is in a classification higher than its classification, the game is worth more points. For example, if a 2-A team plays a 3-A team, the game will be worth more to the 2-A team.

If a team plays an opponent who is in a classification lower than its classification, the game is worth less points. So if a 4-A team plays a 3-A team, the game will not be worth 10 points.

The system also awards a bonus for teams who are on the road.

Once this is determined, games are then rated based on the margin of victory or defeat and a multiplier is put into place on the total game value. Teams that win by 21 or more points get the full multiplier, and the multiplier works its way down in value in a staggered manner until you get to a team that lost by 21 or more.

The next step is to look at strength of schedule for each team.

Since the rankings do not compare teams in one classification to teams in another classification, the strength of schedule takes into account the class of each team played. For example, 4-A teams are given a weight of 0.3, while 1-A teams are given a weight of 0.15.

Games against non-N.C. High School Athletic Association opponents do not count in these rankings. Such games don't necessarily hurt a team, but a team with multiple non-NCHSAA opponents may see more fluctuation in their ranking than teams who play exclusively teams from the NCHSAA.

Why are these teams omitted? It's nearly impossible to accurately and fairly assign these teams a value.

Points can be earned in losses too, provided the game is closer than 21 points. So if a team loses to a highly-rated team by a less than 21 points, it will help the strength of schedule and add points to the teams ranking. This is based on the principle that not all losses are bad losses.

At the end of the season, 2 points will be added to out-right conference champions, 1 point to each co-conference champion, and 1.5 points to the top team in split-classification conferences.

If you have questions about the HighSchoolOT.com Power Rankings, follow James Alverson on Twitter @JamesAlverson

HighSchoolOT Forums
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  1. Chris__Edwards: Just finished my first polls for @HighSchoolOT ’tis the season, y’all.
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 7:03 PM
  2. ZachMayoHSOT: Good interviews from @waltersblake7 and @FournierCoach. They're talking Heritage football Friday on #HSOT24. http://t.co/VgzqJEf0Pw
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:28 PM
  3. HighSchoolOT: 24 Hours of High School Football starts midnight Thursday on http://t.co/pGWDmjVwmt. Almost 100 videos coming your way that day! #HSOT24
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:28 PM
  4. Chris__Edwards: Had some great conversations today, lots to be excited about this fall!
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:25 PM
  5. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Putting the finishing touches on a story about @SDurhamFootball. Look for it Aug. 1 during #HSOT24. http://t.co/urTcgROpBJ
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:55 PM
  6. ZachMayoHSOT: Putting the finishing touches on a story about @SDurhamFootball. Look for it Aug. 1 during #HSOT24. http://t.co/urTcgROpBJ
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:53 PM
  7. NickStevensHSOT: 24 Hours of HS Football starts Thus night at midnight on @HighSchoolOT. Going to be a fun 24 hours! #HSOT24
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:03 PM
  8. HighSchoolOT: What do you think about the new header on http://t.co/9qqseesaE4? #countdowntokickoff http://t.co/gXGX3QA5Jn
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:55 AM
  9. HighSchoolOT: RT @ErinESummers: Nothing better than waking up & hitting a football field. Had a great time at Rolesville this am, gonna be fun watching t…
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 10:33 AM
  10. NickStevensHSOT: GREAT article about how we take amateur/youth sports too serious. "Your kid & my kid are not playing in the pros:" http://t.co/VrvoHHwCKZ
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:57 AM
  11. NickStevensHSOT: RT @WRALSportsFan: NCAA settles head injury suit, will change rules http://t.co/Y1Ek9c4NLH
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:30 AM
  12. NickStevensHSOT: RT @Coachhm: @danspainhour @NickStevensHSOT Great Article it is spot on
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:27 AM
  13. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Have a story you want to share about club basketball, scouts or trainers? Planning a follow-up to my columns. nstevens…
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:26 AM
  14. NickStevensHSOT: Have a story you want to share about club basketball, scouts or trainers? Planning a follow-up to my columns. nstevens@wral.com. #HSOT
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:26 AM
  15. HighSchoolOT: RT @NJHS_Football: Appreciate Highschoolot hosting lunch @wral thanks #HSOTKickoff great to hear coach Steve Logan speak. Awesome job!
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:05 AM
  16. ZachMayoHSOT: Twitter recruiters are so pathetic.
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:18 AM
  17. HighSchoolOT: RT @Coach_Hammer: Today @HighSchoolOT kickoff event Steve Logan said,"find a way to win when you aren't supposed to, one of the greatest fe…
      — Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:17 AM
  18. Chris__Edwards: Tonight is one of those sleep with the window open kinda nights.
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 11:04 PM
  19. JamesAlverson: RT @Chris__Edwards: @JBBucsFootball @JamesAlverson Thanks for coming, coach! Looking forward to calling a couple of games this season.
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 9:16 PM
  20. ZachMayoHSOT: Just when I think I've seen it all on the #HSOT Forum.....
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 6:08 PM
  21. NickStevensHSOT: RT @danspainhour: Terrific article by @NickStevensHSOT. Recommended reading for parents, players & coaches. http://t.co/G7IfsVGUUG
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 5:18 PM
  22. HighSchoolOT: RT @jcconway: Kicking off #HSOT football coverage with coaches' and players' lunch at WRAL. Steve Logan, Tom Suiter on hand.
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 5:16 PM
  23. HighSchoolOT: RT @JBBucsFootball: Joe Stevenson in studio #WRAL #HSOTKickoff http://t.co/raTx5JGU4c
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 5:16 PM
  24. HighSchoolOT: RT @PHS_Bulldogs: @wral for #HSOTKickoff lunch @codygarner14 @CoachMinor
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 5:16 PM
  25. HighSchoolOT: RT @shoelesskc: @TaraAtWRAL @steveloganshow "Our defense couldn't stop an ice cream truck with a $100 bill" #HSOTKickoff #LoganZone
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 5:16 PM
  26. HighSchoolOT: RT @JBBucsFootball: Joseph Legg and Joseph Stevenson got their first taste of on-camera interviews today. #WRAL #HSOTKickoff @JamesAlverson
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 5:16 PM
  27. HighSchoolOT: RT @seth_champion: Had a great day at the #HSOTKickoff ! Also had a very good interview with @ErinESummers ! I hope to see y'all this seaso…
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 5:15 PM
  28. ZachMayoHSOT: Darius Robinson said in interview today that whoever comes out of the Big 8 will be a state champion at the 3A level. No arguments here.
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 4:18 PM
  29. HighSchoolOT: Winterton, Strunk among NCHSAA Hall of Fame honorees http://t.co/kwLloj3Y4W
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 3:31 PM
  30. HighSchoolOT: ALERT: N.C. High School Athletic Association names Hall of Fame class http://t.co/tGsZ5Bs3XC
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 3:22 PM
  31. HighSchoolOT: RT @jgravleyWRAL: You know high school football is nearing when the @HighSchoolOT kickoff takes place at #wral. http://t.co/9kB64KL5bS
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:53 PM
  32. HighSchoolOT: RT @waltersblake7: Thanks to @HighSchoolOT for such a great event today! Also thanks to @ZachMayoHSOT for the interview and @steveloganshow
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:39 PM
  33. ZachMayoHSOT: RT @waltersblake7: Thanks to @HighSchoolOT for such a great event today! Also thanks to @ZachMayoHSOT for the interview and @steveloganshow
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:35 PM
  34. HighSchoolOT: Thanks to everyone who came out to the #HSOTKickoff! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:34 PM
  35. ZachMayoHSOT: RT @Kendall_Hinton3: Great day at #HSOTKickoff
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:33 PM
  36. HighSchoolOT: RT @Kendall_Hinton3: Great day at #HSOTKickoff
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:33 PM
  37. HighSchoolOT: RT @JamesAlverson: #HSOTKickoff big day when Steve Logan speaks to HS Coaches and players here at WRAL. Ready for FB season #HSOT
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:33 PM
  38. JamesAlverson: RT @kleighru: Feeling so Friday Night Lights, doing pre-season interviews with coaches and players at the #HSOTkickoff
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:32 PM
  39. NickStevensHSOT: RT @hornetsad: @HighSchoolOT @NickStevensHSOT Great articles Nick!
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:27 PM
  40. ZachMayoHSOT: Thanks to all the teams that made it out to the #HSOTKickoff! Always great catching up with @Kendall_Hinton3. http://t.co/qtqFZl8Kuq
      — Monday, July 28, 2014 2:12 PM
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