Bulldog football not using low seed as a slight, excited for opportunity to battle No. 1 team in the state ahead of Saturday’s first-round tilt
Prior to the games on Saturday, November 14, the Moffat County Bulldogs’ football team ranked No. 3 in 2A, a ranking that would’ve likely seen them play Pagosa Springs at home. Instead, the latest RPI poll came out late that Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s Colorado High School Activities Association’s seeding meeting, and it was tough news for Moffat County.
The Bulldogs dropped to No. 8 in the playoff seedings and No. 6 in the RPI rankings, pitting the 2A Western League champions against the No. 1-seeded Resurrection Christian Cougars in the first round of the 2A state playoffs Saturday at Severance High School, which is roughly 4.5 hours from Moffat County High School.
The fall in the rankings and the subsequent first-round matchup with the Cougars drew the ire from people in the community.
“Looks like the ‘Dogs got punished for not getting to play two games, which was completely out of their control,” David Pressgrove wrote on Facebook. “There’s no other reason for Delta to get seeded ahead of them. Go send a message to CHSAA about your 8 seed Dogs!”
Delta – which lost to the Bulldogs 26-20 on November 6, which gave the Bulldogs the league championship – comes in at No. 7 in the playoff seedings, one spot ahead of Moffat County. The Bulldogs have a -0.3 RPI rating, compared to a 16.2 rating for the Cougars.
“MOCO earned and deserved the seeding for the playoffs that they fought for on the field,” Eric Lloyd added on Facebook. “Moffat County deserves to be ranked as a league champion that they worked so hard for.”
The Adam Bright, an assistant commissioner of CHSAA who oversees football, explained that the RPI rankings are put together using four data points. The four data points that the organization uses are: a weekly coaches poll, the CHSAA RPI rankings, Max Preps rankings, and the Packard rankings.
The Packard Rankings are the only one done by an individual, as Erik Packard, a professor of mathematics at Colorado Mesa University does it with a formula.
“So it kind of depends on your winning percentage, it also depends on your opponents winning percentage and your opponent’s opponents winning percentage; that is how RPI is based,” Bright said to the Craig Press ahead of Saturday’s playoff matchup.
Bright added that the RPI rankings also doesn’t take into account margin of victory, whereas the Max Preps and the Packard rankings do take that into account. Max Preps and Packard only take into account the margin of victory up to 14 points to discourage running up the score on teams, according to Bright. Bright also said that the numbers have changed a lot this season because of the small sample size of only 6 games and the fact that some teams in the state are not playing this fall instead trying to play in the spring.
Moffat County Head Coach Lance Scranton explained the decision by CHSAA to drop his team to the No. 8 seed as a complicated process that involves a lot of moving parts, including a lack of conference games. He also said that the CHSAA had a tough spot because the usual playoffs are 16 teams and this year it is only 8 teams. He didn’t make any excuses for his team though.
“If we want to win it all, we are going to have to beat good teams so this will be a great measuring stick for us,” Scranton said. Scranton’s comments come as the Bulldogs will be without 8 players for this weekend’s game as a result of quarantine due to COVID exposure.
Scranton added that the Bulldogs will not be using this as slight, but instead understanding that to reach their goals they would have to play the number one team in the bracket, so they might as well get it out of the way this weekend.
“At some point, we’re gonna have to beat the number one team, whoever it is, so we might as well do it this weekend,” Scranton said. “That’s our attitude going in. We’re just trying to get better and get ready for Res.”
He also said that he wasn’t worried about the seeding because it was out of their control. Despite that, Scranton said that the fact that the Bulldogs had a tough schedule helps them.
“That [a tough schedule] makes us feel good,” Scranton said. “I mean, there is other factors that go into the bracketing. We don’t have any control over that, so we’re not gonna worry about it too much.”
CHSAA recently previewed the first-round matchup between Moffat County and Resurrection Christian, highlighting Moffat County’s four-game winning streak after a opening-game loss.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Severance High School.
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