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A look at the strength of each football playoff division and regional grouping

10/22/2019, 11:45am CDT
By Travis Wilson

Defending D4 state champ Racine St. Catherine's is part of the strongest grouping in the playoffs

Each year one of the most-talked about items the first week of the playoffs is the perceived strength, and lack thereof, of each of the seven divisions, as well as the 32 regional groupings.

It is certainly a relatively subjective argument, but there tend to be patterns that do start to form. Looking at win-loss percentage of the teams in each division and each 8-team grouping is an imperfect way to judge the relative strength of a group of teams, but it does provide an objective measurement to consider.

Of course, this data does not factor in the strength of the opposition for each team or account for variances in enrollment ranges. A Division 4 team that goes 9-0 against mostly D5 and D6 competition isn't necessarily better than a 7-2 team in D4 that played against D3 and D4 foes.

We tabulated the win-loss percentage of the teams in each 8-team grouping as well as each of the seven divisions, and it yielded some surprising results.

Full results of the analysis are below.

During the course of the regular season, it seemed that Division 3 was a little weak this season compared to years past. The top-ranked team all season was defending champion Catholic Memorial, but they ended the year with two losses, while number two Menasha had a loss as well. However, a number of very strong teams dropped down to D3 when the official field came out and greatly strengthened the Division, which actually has the highest combined win-loss percentage at 0.743.

Division 6 is very close behind at 0.741.

The lowest combined win-loss percentage of any division belongs to Division 1, where nine of the teams are at or below .500 overall. A 4-5 team, Neenah, even got a home game in Level 1. While D1 has a combined win-loss percentage of 0.669, Division 4 was right behind at 0.670.

While Division 5, Group D does not feature any unbeaten teams, it does have four different squads that finished 8-1 overall, and that grouping has the highest combined win-loss percentage of any eight-team region in the state at 0.778.

The weakest pod in terms of win-loss percentage is Division 1, Group A. As mentioned earlier, a 4-5 Neenah team earned a home game as a four-seed, and five of the eight teams are either 4-5 or 5-4, and unbeaten Kimberly is the only team with fewer than three losses. The group has a combined win-loss percentage of 0.597.

What does all this mean? Perhaps nothing, but it is always fun to give some context and data to the "best division" or "best grouping" conversation.

COMBINED WIN/LOSS % BY REGIONAL GROUPING

Div Group Group W Group L Group Games W%
5 D 56 16 72 0.778
3 A 55 17 72 0.764
3 C 55 17 72 0.764
6 A 55 17 72 0.764
3 B 54 18 72 0.750
6 D 54 18 72 0.750
6 C 53 18 71 0.746
7 B 52 19 71 0.732
1 B 52 20 72 0.722
2 D 52 20 72 0.722
7 C 52 20 72 0.722
1 C 51 21 72 0.708
4 A 51 21 72 0.708
7 D 51 21 72 0.708
6 B 50 21 71 0.704
2 C 50 22 72 0.694
3 D 50 22 72 0.694
4 C 49 23 72 0.681
5 A 49 23 72 0.681
5 B 48 23 71 0.676
7 A 48 23 71 0.676
2 B 47 25 72 0.653
4 B 47 25 72 0.653
1 D 46 25 71 0.648
2 A 46 26 72 0.639
4 D 46 26 72 0.639
5 C 46 26 72 0.639
1 A 43 29 72 0.597

COMBINED WIN/LOSS % BY DIVISION

Division Win/Loss Percentage
1 0.669
2 0.677
3 0.743
4 0.670
5 0.693
6 0.741
7 0.710

About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.

For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)wissports.net.

Tag(s): News Archive  News  Travis Wilson  Playoffs