In Play with Tom Markowski


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Avid fan predicts pairings in advance

By: Tom Markowski, October 19, 2014, 12:00 am



Grand Rapids – For many of us this is the best time of the year for high school sports.

It’s football playoff time.

On Halloween the playoffs will begin for 256 teams divided into eight divisions.

But what are the matchups? Will Muskegon compete in Division 3? And will Birmingham Brother Rice be placed in a district with Oak Park and Southfield?

Those answers will officially be known on Oct. 26, better known as Selection Sunday, as the Michigan High School Athletic Association will announce the pairings on Fox Sports Detroit.

  Inquisitive as we are, we just can’t wait that long, can we? Isn’t there a system, more efficient than just guesswork that will allow to have insight as to matchups?


As many of you know, there is. The website is A person in the Grand Rapids area started it in 2006 after he questioned why Coopersville and Zeeland West met in the Division 4 title game. The schools are located about 10 miles apart and this person, let’s call him John Doe because he asked to remain anonymous, “was curious how those teams got there”. Geographically one would assume that Coopersville and West would have played each other earlier in the playoffs.


“I got a map out and looked at how the MHSAA did it,” Doe said. “That first year I did it, it re-enforced that they did a good job.


“You’ve got to split the state somehow, north/south or east/west, however you do it. There are times when I got it right and there were other times I didn’t. I like to call it maptology, not snooze2you. It kind of stuck.”


 Whatever you call it, it feeds the beast. High school football fans eat it up.


Doe said he got the name from the nickname, Snooze, he was given by a basketball coach in high school and the website is sort of a takeoff on “news to you”. He doesn’t get paid for it. It’s a hobby, an extension from his interests in sports, tournaments and maps.


 Doe starts his website after the third week of the season and each week his predictions are based on if the playoffs started that week. He does not take into consideration the teams’ schedules the remainder of the season. This might be a cause for conversation as some would argue a team’s strength of schedule for the remainder of the season should be taken into consideration.


He does receive assistance from a friend who is a statistician. They start with teams in Class A and they take the average number of teams in this class that made the playoffs in the past. Then they go to Class B.


“We don’t look into the future,” Doe said. “This (ninth week) week will be different. When we get together on Sunday night my friend will go through a formula that predicts every game, who wins and who loses. We use that in our predictions for the preview of the ninth week.”


He said he does review his picks each year, compares them to those of the MHSAA and inspects his percentage of correct picks.


“I don’t look at ours being right or wrong,” he said. “And I don’t look at theirs as being right or wrong.”


Last week he added more followers as he started predicting the eight-man football playoff pairings.