The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 6, 2013

A Steve Goldman column: It’s never too early to track playoffs

For the Star Beacon

— At this early juncture in the season, we take a look at the conferences in which the area teams play.

Because most teams that participate in leagues play round-robin schedules within those leagues, and that of course has a direct affect on the ability to accumulate computer points.

Geneva, Lakeside, Madison and Riverside remain in the Premier Athletic Conference while Perry is still in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division and Jefferson in the National Division of the All-American Conference.

All have eight members, Grand Valley and Pymatuning Valley reside in the six-school Northeastern Athletic Conference. Conneaut and, for now, Edgewood, are independent.

Looking at a team that plays a full schedule of 10 opponents, each of whom also plays a full slate, there is the potential, at season’s beginning, for nine first-level wins.

 The potential for second-level wins depends on the number of the team’s opponents that face each other, which of course depends largely on the size of the conference.

For a school that plays a round-robin schedule among a group of eight, the number of second-level wins that can be accumulated by one team strictly as a result of games played within the loop is equal to 21.

In addition, there will be three non-conference opponents who will face nine other schools, and the seven league opponents will also play against three non-league schools. That makes up to 48 possible second-level wins that involve a non-conference school, with possibly one or more subtracted if the team faces a non-league opponent that plays another of its opponents.

For a team that plays a round-robin slate in a group of six, the maximum number of second-level wins that can be attained from games played within that group is 10.

However, there will be five non-league foes that play nine other teams each, and the five teams in the loop will each play five opponents from the outside. That makes a total of 70, again with possibly one or more subtracted for duplications.

That basically sets the stage for the computation of computer points for area schools. We will take a look on a more individual basis next week.

Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid. Reach him at