High School Football

KHSAA posts its ‘experimental’ RPI ratings for fall sports

The RPI has arrived* for high school football and other fall sports this weekend.

Note the asterisk.

A check of the standings listed on the Kentucky High School Athletics Association website Sunday revealed a new wrinkle. An RPI or “Ratings Percentage Index” has been posted alongside the standings for football, boys’ and girls’ soccer and volleyball (You have to click down to a specific team to see them. Teams remain sorted by win-loss record and not RPI).

The postings come with a disclaimer, however; “RPI is updated hourly. Teams missing scores at that time are not included. This is experimental, not official, currently under development, subject to revision and must be regarded with skepticism this early in the season.”

However experimental, the KHSAA will use it to help seed the football playoffs once they reach the regional (quarterfinal) round.

The KHSAA said Sunday that its football RPI would become official by Week 6.

Of note after Week 4 of the football season in RPI:

  • Pikeville ranks at No. 1 in Class A with a 0.915 over Paintsville, 0.871.

  • Somerset ranks No. 1 in Class 2A with a 0.784, just barely over Newport’s 0.782.

  • Bell County tops Class 3A with a 0.765 over Paducah Tilghman’s 0.758.

  • Lexington Catholic tops Class 4A (0.734) over Franklin County (0.712).

  • Covington Catholic tops 5A (0.786) over Scott County (0.701)

  • Male (0.742) leads North Hardin (0.733) in Class 6A.

For the other sports, the KHSAA has only said it would look at RPI experimentally and not offer it as a possible alternative to their current playoff formats.

“RPI” is most commonly used in reference to college basketball, but it has come into use in other sports and by other high school athletics associations.

The KHSAA has announced its formula will take into account win-loss records plus opponents’ win-loss records, and opponents’ opponents’ win-loss records. In the formula teams get one point for a win, 0.5 points for a tie and zero points for a loss as the “Game Result.”

The actual formula is Game Result x (0.35 × winning percentage) + (0.35 × opponents’ winning percentage) + (0.30 × opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage). Do that for every regular-season game and then add them all up and you have a team’s RPI.

Running up the score doesn’t benefit teams in this formula. All out-of-state opponents are figured as having an “opponent’s opponents percentage of 0.5, because that’s a more reasonable average than having to chase down potentially hundreds of out-of-state records, the KHSAA said.

In football, RPI does not come into play until after district champions are determined after the second round of the playoffs, and it will be based on an RPI frozen at the end or the regular season (Week 11).

The football regional championships, two games in the east (Districts 1-4), two games in the west (Districts 5-8) in each class, will be seeded with highest seed in the east hosting the lowest seed in the east for a 1 seed vs. 4 seed matchup and a 2 seed vs. 3 seed matchup. The same goes for the west. Then the higher seeds would host each semifinal in each class. Breaking it down by eastern and western areas at the regional stages was done to alleviate travel issues.

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Jared Peck, the Herald-Leader’s Digital Sports Writer, covers high school athletics and has been with the company as a writer and editor for more than 19 years.
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