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Post  bumper on Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:10 pm

With almost 30 games decided by 3 tds or more in the first two weeks, is it safe to say 3 divisions is not the answer?


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Post  JAF on Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:58 pm

So what's your suggestion then?

Hard to shoot a cannonball across the bow without providing some details or even suggestions. Which games/teams are you referring to?

<tongue-in-cheek>
Defending champion Campbell losing two weeks in a row by large margins? Previous contender Gilford? Laconia?? Perhaps it's Plymouth??

Or am I reading it wrong - perhaps you think some teams are too good for the division they are in? So it must be Goffstown - a former lower division program now putting a hurt on Concord and Keene in consecutive weeks - they must be too good for D1 and should be in some elite division. Or perhaps Bedford putting up points at will on both the Nashua public schools...
<end tongue-in-cheek>

IIRC it's week 2 of year 3 of a 4 year cycle. Considering the NHIAA tweaked the playoff formula based on results - I wouldn't be surprised if they tweaked divisions after next year, but I wouldn't count on it either.

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Post  bumper on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:04 pm

Michigan State completed a study to determine the best way to classify high in athletic competition(public schools only in this study). They determined enrollment is the best way. The research showed that there is a direct correlation between size of school and winning percentage.

At a 30% percent difference the disparity begins. At 50% larger enrollment the larger school wins 70%a the time. The disparity continues. The largest difference in school population was double or 100% difference. Here the larger school won 92% of the time. The study only looked at school with a population from 825 students to 3600.

Does this translate to NH? I do not know. But based on the study the maximum difference for an even playing field would be 30%.

Here in NH that would give us 5 divisions. (if my math is correct)

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Post  JAF on Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:30 pm

Not sure it translates well to NH - there's a few "population centers" and "regional schools" that mess with numbers, see:

http://education.nh.gov/data/documents/hs_enroll14_15.pdf

So Pinkerton would be D1 all by itself (3100+)... The next closest is 1800+ (Central, South). That's like 60%... Only 20 of 93 listed are 1000+ and only 7 of the next 20 (501-1000) have 800+ (not a single 1 in D1 football).

Three may be too few, Five is too many, but how do you split Four

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Post  NH12345 on Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:26 am

Love the three conferences. . . great decision by NHIAA to move the sport forward. Now, they need to start working on other sports.

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Post  SeacoastDad on Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:56 pm

Not a big fan of the three division setup.  The historically top teams will rarely have a down year, while the bottom teams may catch lightning in a bottle and make the playoffs once every 8-10 years, they won't be consistently competitive.

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Post  JAF on Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:59 pm

Not that I follow him, but Roger Brown's webpage has a link like here to his twitter feed and it looks like he is having a twitter spat with some guy going by "The Chin"... Of course my curiosity got the best of me... Followed to a website that had an interesting breakdown for 4 Football Divisions:

https://leadingwiththechinnh.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/our-view-4-divisions-for-new-hamphsire-football/

(typo in title not mine ;-))

While I'm not going to enter that fray - I would comment with the following changes:

His D1 - Move Alvirne, Keene, & Spaulding down to his D2. Let's face it, none have been that competitive in D1. Keene could argue they want to stay, but their travel would be better in D2 and like other "tweener" teams - they are up and down. Spaulding has natural seacoast rivalries (Dover, Winni, StThomas!)... Alvirne is just mess (except when they were good when an old BG coach was there ;-), but let's not dredge that up again - haha)... That leaves 11 teams - perfect 10 game schedule. Could have a 4 team playoff easily. These teams are deep enough to handle that.

His D2 - Adding 3 teams makes odd count of 17; however, it seems Plymouth may complain the loudest (travel, loss of natural rivals. They are having a down year too (whether that's a year or a result of Lenahan only time will tell - I have my suspicions though). So drop them to his D3, then there's 16 teams. Either 2 conferences of 8 or 4 of 4. Playoffs still top 4 teams. I figure less games for this group could help since they aren't as deep.

His D3 - I don't know the teams that well, but adding Plymouth gives the same 2 or 4 conf and playoff setup.

His D4 - 3 conferences of 5? Play everyone once in conf, then have 4 crossover games with other conferences. Use point rating system to seed 4 teams for playoffs. Theoretically each conf winner and 1 wildcard. Less games probably works well here too since these are even less deep.

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Post  SeacoastDad on Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:27 pm

Thanks. I've been following the twitter spat. I probably haven't searched enough, but I can't find where Roger actually outlines why he likes the 3-division setup.

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Post  JAF on Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:32 am


Once you start expanding the number of divisions, you end up with the same problem all over again but now with 4 divisions. Then 5 divisions get created... You're always going to have "bottom" and/or "smaller" teams complaining about the "top" and/or "larger" teams. That was my point about the proposed new divisional breakdown in another thread. The teams at the bottom of the size in the new D2 basketball are surely going to complain about the 1000+ student schools in D2. Those at the top are happy they're not the bottom of D1's size.

I think Goffstown is helping a lot with the "it can happen" for a smaller school to be successful. Whether they can keep that up for years - who knows. Certainly easier for the coach to 'attract' athletes to come out when the team's doing well. I also see that Merrimack has rebound nicely after a *long* period of down years (they used to only play well against BG). Timberlane also is having a good year....

On the other end of the spectrum you have Memorial - a school in a large town which just hasn't competed in recent years (I guess they can only recruit basketball players Very Happy - just kidding T&F). Central has also taken it's lumps - it's not like they're as dominant as they once were (different coaching regime, I know). Nashua's teams are struggling this year, but they'll rebound. South has a good coach and North just needs stability.

Attracting your athletes to football requires a successful coach and program. It's all about numbers and flexibility to fit a program around the players or to have the same players running the same system since they were young (Exeter). Numbers give you a means to sustain the injury problem... Injuries to key players generally leads to losing. Losing leads to not having the numbers (either players don't want to play or parents try to stop them).

If you look at today's standings and likely playoff participants - the top teams are mostly former D2/D3 (Exeter, Winnacunnet, Bedford, Goffstown, Timberlane, Merrimack, BG) while only Pinkerton, Salem, Central, and North are former D1 teams with > .500 record. Of those D1 teams, only Salem has locked up a playoff spot. It'll be either Central or North based on results... If Pinkerton loses to Exeter, they could be out too based on other outcomes. So former D1 will have either 2 or 3 playoff spots.

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Post  NH12345 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:12 pm

We have our state champions. . .
Division 1- Goffstown with an enrollment of 1106 (18th out of 20 in D1)
Division 2- St. Thomas with an enrollment of 527 (20th out of 21 in D2)
Division 3- Newport with an enrollment of 346 (15th out 16 in D3)

I would say that this year proved that the smaller schools in the division not only can compete, but can win.


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