Prepare to hear a lot about MaxPreps and its computer rankings in the very near future.
When playoffs begin this fall in football, boys soccer and volleyball, the ratings produced by MaxPreps will play a large role in determining what teams qualify and where those teams are seeded.
The changes to this year’s playoff structure are many and deserve their own article (look for that soon), but in a nutshell, MaxPreps’ computer ratings will be used to determine which teams receive at-large playoff berths and how all teams are seeded.
Let’s say Polk County doesn’t finish this season as the top 1A team in the Western Highlands Conference in football. Once all automatic qualifiers are determined, then the remainder of the available playoff berths will be determined by the MaxPreps rankings, so the higher the Wolverines are rated, the more likely it is they would receive a berth.
Once all qualifiers are known, then teams will be seeded based first on conference finish, then by MaxPreps ranking. So all conference champions will be seeded by MaxPreps ranking, then all second place teams and so on.
There will be 48 playoff qualifiers this year in football, boys soccer and volleyball. Because automatic qualifiers could come from outside the top 48, being ranked 48th or higher doesn’t guarantee a playoff berth. But a team will need to be in the top 48 in the rankings to have a shot at an at-large bid.
Bottom line – this is the year to care about MaxPreps and its rankings.
Given that, here are where Polk County’s football, volleyball and boys soccer teams currently rate:
Football: Polk County is 11th as of Sunday’s updated 1A rankings. The Wolverines dropped two spots after their loss to Pisgah. Conference foe Mitchell is ranked 6th. Tarboro, Murphy, John A. Holmes, Mount Airy and East Wilkes hold the top five spots.
Volleyball: Polk County is ranked ninth in the latest 1A rankings, updated Tuesday. Perquimans, Roxboro Community, Louisburg, Murphy and East Surry are the top five teams in the latest rankings.
Boys Soccer: Polk County is ranked 29th in the latest 1A rankings. Pine Lake Prep, Bishop McGuinness, Franklin Academy, Mount Airy and Granville Central are the top five teams.