Football playoffs: Cienega still has a chance but Sahuaro has a better oneby Andy Morales on Oct. 27, 2013, under Sports
Now that Salpointe, Sabino, Canyon del Oro and Pusch Ridge have earned their section championships, the obvious focus moves over to the race over at Division II/Section 2.
Sahuaro is in the driver’s seat with a 4-0 record in the section but Cienega (3-1) appears to be in the hunt if they pull off an upset at Sahuaro this Friday night. Buena (3-1) cannot win the section under any scenario but they can make life difficult for Cienega.
There are three scenarios and Sahuaro wins two of them:
1: Sahuaro beats Cienega, then it becomes a moot point. Sahuaro would win, get the automatic bid and both Cienega and Buena will not qualify for the playoffs based on their low AIA/MaxPreps seeding points.
The top 16 teams get in (7 automatic and 9 at-large) but Section 4 is so weak that the winner of that section will steal the 16th spot, meaning Buena will have to finish in the top 15.
2: If Cienega beats Sahuaro and Buena gets beat by Sunnyside then Cienega will be section champs because they would hold the head-to-head tie breaker over Sahuaro and Buena would have two section losses.
Section 2 would then send two teams to the playoffs and Cienega would bump another team from the top 16 and that could be Ironwood Ridge or Sunnyside.
3: If Cienega beats Sahuaro and Buena beats Sunnyside then the AIA will need to go to the next round of tie-breakers to determine the section champion because each would have one section loss. Sahuaro wins the section in this scenario….
Under this scenario, Sahuaro would have a loss to Cienega, Cienega would have a loss to Buena and Buena would have a loss to Sahuaro.
The next tie-breaker after head-to-head is the win percentage in the division:
Sahuaro lost to Division III Sabino earlier in the year so that loss would not count and they would be 8-1 (89%) in D-II.
Cienega lost D-I Desert Vista and D-III CDO and they beat D-III Catalina Foothills. Those two losses and the win would be tossed but they would still only have a divisional record of 4-3 (57%) so they would be out of the playoffs.
Buena’s games against Corona del Sol, Chandler and Douglas would be pitched. Their divisional record would be 4-3 (57%). Not good enough.
So, Sahuaro controls its own destiny and Cienega needs help from Sunnyside. The fact that Cienega (4-5 overall) is still in the hunt for a playoff spot is a testament to the history of the program.
From the AIA:
How Section Champions/Automatic Qualifiers are Determined
For purposes of determining the section champion/qualifiers, it is based first on win percentage within section games only. Therefore, the section standings are sorted based on section win percentage.
If teams are tied on section win percentage, the tie breaker is as follows, and will be noted on the standings pages as such:
1. Head to Head in Section Games
2. Division Win Percentage
3. Overall Win Percentage
4. Overall Power Ranking
5. Coin Flip if simply to break a tie for seeding
6. Mini playoff if to get into the tournament