Saturday was perhaps the most controversial day of the high school football season — section seeding day, when teams find out where they rank in their section and who their first-round opponent will be.
A few years ago, many sections decided to avoid the controversy that goes along with the traditional coach-voting process and adopted the QRF (Quality Results Formula), a system that ranks teams according to the quality of a team’s opponents and how they fared against them.
The QRF can be extremely helpful in settling differences by taking subjectivity out of the equation but it falls short when subjectivity is needed (road vs. home victories, injuries, etc.).
Regardless of how it happens, seeds are always worthy of speculation and interest as matchups become apparent. Let’s look at a few of the section football pairings that hold the most interest.
The 6A seedings were set up differently than in 2014. The brackets will not change as they did in 2014, when teams we reseeded before the state tournament.
The four sections seeded their teams 1 through 8 (only one chose to use QRF. The others had section coaches vote). Prior to the seeding process, six brackets were drawn up, matching high seeds vs. lower seeds in various manners using just the seeding number. Once the section seedings were determined, a bracket was selected, also at random, and the corresponding teams were filled in.
• The top seeds were Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Lakeville North and East Ridge.
• All first-round games will be played Friday.
• The most difficult bracket is likely the one headed by East Ridge. In that bracket, Wayzata is seeded No. 2, Cretin-Derham Hall No. 3 and Prior Lake No. 4.
• Edina, despite its 3-5 record, earned the No. 3 seed in Section 6 (based on coaches voting) and will host Mounds View, a No. 6 seed in Section 4, in one of the best first-round matchups.
• Osseo was seeded No. 2 in Section 5 and has a chance to host Rosemount, No. 3 seed in Section 5, in the second round. Osseo was 5-3 in the regular season, Rosemount 7-1.
• Totino-Grace was seeded No. 2 in Eden Prairie’s bracket, setting up a possible matchup between the teams in the state quarterfinals. Totino-Grace has had its season ended by Eden Prairie in three of the past four years, including a 28-27 loss in the 2014 Prep Bowl.
• Top seeds are Owatonna (1), Mankato West (2), St. Thomas Academy (3), SMB Wolfpack (4), Spring Lake Park (5), St. Michael-Albertville (6), St. Francis (7), Moorhead (8).
• Newly formed cooperative SMB (SPA/Minnehaha/Blake) finished the season 8-0 but did not play a team above Class 4A all season. The Wolfpack gets a first-round bye and will host Minneapolis Washburn or Mahtomedi in the Section 4 semifinals on Oct. 20.
• The toughest section, easily, is Section 6. Monticello (7-1) was seeded third after a one-point overtime loss to St. Michael-Albertville on Thursday. If the Magic gets past first-round opponent St. Cloud Tech, it plays at No. 2 seed Rogers on Saturday.