Suggested seedings, 2012

February 20, 2012 on 9:08 pm | In Uncategorized | 9 Comments

You all know I love trying to figure out how teams should be seeded in the NJSIAA state tournaments. It’s a virtually impossible task (and a thankless one for those who actually have to do it) that lends itself to much debate, especially with the regionalized schedules of recent years.

I haven’t seen a lot of games or teams this year, but I’ve tried to stay on top of the goings-on, so here’s my attempt at seedings. A reminder: These are how I think the teams should be seeded, not how I think they will actually be placed. I am not including potential at-large teams. These took a while and got really complicated in the middle of the public brackets because of the lack of inter-regional play. When possible, I tried to avoid likely intra-league matchups, but it has to happen occasionally.

Post comments and suggestions below, and please use logic based in results or standings if you want to sway my opinion!

* somebody did sway my opinion, providing some additional information about the Cranford-Wall game, which was used to rank different regions. Feel free to write in with your thoughts below.

1. Delbarton (22-1) – An easy one. Unbeaten against N.J. teams since the 2010 Gordon Cup
2. Don Bosco Prep (21-2-1) – Another easy one, despite late-season slip-up against CBA
3. CBA (15-3-5) – Thought long and hard, but they just seem more dangerous than anybody else after rebounding from a rough January
4. Morristown-Beard (13-5-4) – Almost ranked them No. 3, but CBA’s February win over DBP tipped the tables
5. St. Augustine Prep (6-8-4) – Picking the mid-Gordon teams over the top non-Gordons was a tough call. Hermits’ loss to PDS came early in season, and it makes for better matchups
6. Gloucester Catholic (6-10-1) – Playing best hockey now but lost season series to St. Augustine
7. Montclair Kimberley (17-4) – Beat Pin, BE, SHP handily, lost to MB handily
8. Pingry (14-10) – Best win was against PDS, benefitted from Mtgry wins over SJMet, RBC
9. Notre Dame (20-2-2) – Lost to PDS but beat SJMet, SHP, PJ head-to-head
10. St. Joseph Metuchen (17-3-1) – Losses to ND, Mtgry, PDS; beat Rwood, SJV, PJ, StR
11. St. Joseph Montvale (16-4-2) – Lost to Rwood, 1-0-1 vs. PC
12. Paramus Catholic (18-3-3) – 0-1-1 vs. SJMont, beat MsgrF-NY
13. Red Bank Catholic (9-9-6) – Inconsistent but lost to Rid, PDS, Mtgry, PJ; tied MsgrF-NY
14. St. Peter’s Prep (6-14-2) – Lost to Lville, RBC in only games vs. NJ non-Gordon teams
15. St. Rose (17-4-2) – Lost to SJMet and three Shore C/D tms but wins vs. SJV and SHP
16. Seton Hall Prep (7-15-2) – Lost to StR, finished 3rd in National Div., beat BC head-to-head
17. Bergen Catholic (6-10) – 1-1 vs. BE/PJ but had (early) wins over SA, GC, SPP
18. Bishop Eustace (5-14-2) – Split with PJ but beat SHP, SPP
19. Pope John (7-14-2) – Beat SJV and RBC but went 0-1-1 vs. ND, struggled in Gordon
20. St. John Vianney (7-15-2) – Lost to SJMet, PJ, StR; best results came in Shore B
21. Paul VI (8-9-2) – Tied SJHam but stronger strength of schedule
22. St. Joseph Hammonton (7-4-6) – Got in via weak schedule

1. Randolph (17-1-4) – An easy choice as Mennen Division champions with non-league win over Rid
2. Morris Knolls (15-4-3) – Finished second in Mennen, beat Mtgry, Rmpo, Ten, GR
3. Morristown (18-3) – Went 3-2 vs. Mennen Div., beat Rid, Hboro
4. Ridge (15-6-2) – Went 7-0-1 down stretch in Skyland, beat MidS, RBC
5. Middletown South (15-5-2) – Best public-private result with win vs. CBA but inconsistent in losing to Rid, How, SJV
6. Montgomery (19-5) – Went 2-1 vs. Rid, 1-1 vs. BR, beat SB, Mboro, SJMet, RBC, lost to MK
7. Bridgewater-Raritan (17-5-1) – Beat West, Mnroe, OB but went just 4-3 down stretch
8. Hillsborough (11-10-2) – Good wins over BR, Cha make up for tie with OB (which lost to SJMet 0-9), but it was close
9. Ridgewood (17-5-2) – Limited good wins; lost 7-5 to SJMet
10. Westfield (11-9-3) – Beat Rbville, tied Rwood
11. Robbinsville (14-7-3) – lost to West but beat How 4-3
12. Howell (11-10-3) – lost to Rbville but beat GR, split with MidS, tied Para
13. Pascack Valley (13-7-1) – Fell behind How due to tie w. GR; beat Liv
14. South Brunswick (14-3-1) – Best of the rest despite losses to Mtgry, HV
15. Roxbury (14-7-4) – Good in Bridgewater tournament, including win vs. Hboro, but 2-3-1 record down stretch hurt chances
16. Old Bridge (13-4-5) – Finished behind SB, but tied Hboro, dropping below Rox
17. Wayne Valley (11-8-4) – Beat Rmpo for best win, tied NH; lost to Kin 1-3
18. Marlboro (13-8) – With lack of common opponents, loss to Kin 1-6 proves decisive
19. Manasquan (11-10) – Technically, playoff loss to Marlboro shouldn’t factor in, but knowing that it happened, I just couldn’t rank them in a different order
20. Livingston (12-9-2) – Beat Spa but lost to MtO
21. Montclair (10-9-3) – tied NLV head-to-head and played decent schedule but struggled in weak division
22. West Orange (14-8-2) – Head-to-head win over NLV ranked its entire division higher
23. Newton-Lenape Valley (17-4-1) – loss to WO erased wins over Lak, MtO and tie w. Mclr
24. Bernards (13-9-1) – lost to Vero, Mad but stays ahead of FL by virtue of wins over WayH, WM
25. Mount Olive (12-11-1) – beat Liv but tied Spa and lost to Ber, NLV head-to-head
26. Fair Lawn (10-12-1) – losses to Mclr, WayH, WM
27. WWPN (10-9-1) – lost to MtO, best win MidN
28. Woodbridge (10-9-1) – lost to SPF, Dem, Bay


1. Kinnelon (16-6) – The only team to beat Public A top seed Ran also split with Public A No. 2 MK and beat Rmsy, Spa, and several respectable private schools
2. Chatham (14-9-1) – Split with Kin, lost to MK twice by one goal, beat Sum, Spa, Pin, Rbville
3. Summit (17-4-2) – Beat Rid, Mah 9-1, tied BR, MidS
4. Tenafly (19-2-1) – Lost to MK 5-1, no wins outside of Big North
5. Paramus (15-5-2) – Big North Silver reg. season champion stays high despite non-league losses to Mah, Rox and tie w. How
6. Ramapo (11-3-2) – Its 4-0 win over BM and OT loss to MK helped entire region rise in seeding
7. Northern Highlands (14-6-3) – Beat Rmsy, 1-2 vs. Rmpo, and had two close losses vs. Ten
8. Ramsey (14-6-1) – Beat BM in OT, respectable in close losses to Kin (3-4) and Ran (0-3)
9. Brick Township (11-5-4) – Now you see why we highlighted others’ wins over BM; Bri 1-0-1 (1-0-2 after deadline) vs. BM with win by one goal; only significant wins were 3-1 record vs. Shore B. Went 0-1-1 vs. MidS, tied RBC.
10. Mendham (12-10-1) – Lost just 1-0 to Sum, beat John twice
11. Indian Hills (13-7-3) – Beat NLV, Ber but lost to Vero; bailed out by solid record of division teams
12. Lakeland (16-7-1) – Went 2-0 (3-0 after deadline) vs. GR to get higher seed but lost to NLV
13. Glen Rock (12-9-2) – Beat Vero, Pri; tied Ran, PkV and lost to MK only 2-1
14. Mahwah (11-8-3) – Beat Para, Reg, but lost to Sum 9-1, hurting other division teams based on comparative score vs. Men
15. Rumson-Fair Haven (15-2) – Did not play outside the Shore but went 1-1 vs. Wall, Point Pleasant
16. Wall (16-5-3) – One of top teams in tight Shore B race; loss to Cra an outlier that came without five starters
17. Nutley (13-9) – Beat John, Reg, ML and gets edge over Verona based on winning most recent head-to-head game
18. Verona (14-7-3) – Loss to GR, lack of other big results trumps win over IH
19. Point Pleasant Borough (16-3-2) – Went 1-1 against RFH, Wall, but remaining schedule was weak
20. Princeton (14-5-2) – Lost to GR, HV but beat Cra and split with Rbville
21. Hopewell Valley (11-8) – Beat SB, Pri but struggled otherwise
22. Johnson (12-8-2) – Did well enough to finish third in Union Cty but lost to Nut, Men, MidN
23. Cranford (11-8-2) – Wins over Wall, OB crucial in seeding process; lost to Pri
24. Park Regional (12-8-1) – Won Haas Division but lost to Nut, Mah
25. Wayne Hills (10-12-1) – Split with SJMont but had few other good wins; lost to Ber
26. Pequannock (13-6-4) – Lost to FrT and tied Vero but beat Spa
27. Madison (10-11) – Beat Ber, Spa but lost to John
28. Sparta (13-9-1) – Best win vs. WE; lost to Kin, Cha, Mad, Peq


  1. I respectfully disagree about Notre Dame. I know the Gordon is a great league. But you’re going to put a team that was 18-0-2 against NJSIAA schools at the cutoff date and beat two Gordons below teams with losing records?

    ND should be no lower than #6. I can accept #7 if you must put Pingry ahead of them for beating PDS. But absolutely no lower than that.

    Comment by JB — 20 February 2012 #

  2. Josh – It’s a fair point, and you know we could debate it all day, so we’ll have to be content with disagreeing. But thanks for bringing it up!

    I have struggled all year with keeping some of these Gordon teams ranked high. But the whole premise of giving the Gordon teams automatic bids is that you have to consider the competition. I do give credit to Notre Dame for scheduling strong non-league games, and I have seen them but play. Based on results, I think St. Augustine and Gloucester (who I haven’t seen) are a step above, but I can’t say for sure. It’ll be a tough call for the committee.

    Comment by Jonathan Yardley — 20 February 2012 #

  3. Agree with your first four and last three in Privates!

    In looking at seeding I went solely on wins and ties against tournament teams – with weight towards “A” teams (Gordon, PDS and Lville).

    Rather than nit-picking minor changes – I had Notre Dame at eighth behind three Gordon teams with losing records – St. Augustine, St. Peters and Gloucester Catholic (all three had five “A” wins).

    Can’t see MKA (11th) and SJ Regional (19th) ahead of them only because they play so fewer top teams – MKA played two, Montvale didn’t play any.

    Also had Pingry at 15 because their only big win was the PDS game prior to the cut-off. Though in retrospect I should have given them more credit for the Skylands wins since they were considered “A” wins when I seeded the Public A and B tournaments.

    You’re probably closer to their true level when that’s factored in.

    Comment by Tony — 21 February 2012 #

  4. Public A

    Used a slightly different methodology – again focused on wins and ties versus teams in the tournament, then “A” (Gordon, Skylands, Mennen, PDS, Shore A) and “B” tournament teams (All North Jersey leagues since they don’t seem to be tiered, Halvorsen, Union, Shore B, Colonial and Valley divisions).

    This formula may have either inflated values for teams like Livingston (20th for you, 8th here) and Newton-Lenape Valley (23rd to 13th) while understated teams like Old Bridge (16th for you, 22nd me) and South Brunswick (14th to 26th).

    Shore Conference also proved difficult – Middletown South was fifth on yours, I have them ninth. True, they play a lot of A teams, and played many close, but they didn’t win a lot of those games (2-A wins, 3 B wins and 2 B ties). Marlboro had no A or B wins and was 27th of 29 teams on my bracket. Brick Memorial on the other hand, received the only “at-large” and was at 22nd.

    Two other teams you had in the top ten – Hillsborough and Westfield, were 12th and 16th respectively, replaced by the aforementioned Livingston (8) and Robbinsville (10) up one spot.

    Robbinsville ahead of Hillsborough is a close call – all of Robbinsville’s seven wins and one tie are B calibre. Hillsborough had two A wins and 3 B wins.

    Comment by Tony — 21 February 2012 #

  5. Public B

    Same methodology as Public A. No at-large teams.

    Again, it looks like some of the North and NJIHL teams get a bit inflated playing other lower tier tournament teams. Verona at 18 in your projection seems a lot more accurate than the 8th I have (particularly after their tournament loss). Indian Hills was ninth on mine and 11th on yours.

    While the names “Brick” and “Mendham” bring a lot of tradition neither seems to have the necessary wins to be in the top ten. Brick had four wins and one tie versus tournament teams – one A win and 1 A tie and 2 B wins. That had them at 12th. Mendham, as you mentioned, has played several top teams tough, including Bridgewater last week, but they haven’t won many of those games. All four of their quality wins are B wins. They’re at 17th based on the numbers but I’d be surprised if they’re seeded that low.

    On the other hand, I had Park Regional (19th) and Pequannock (20th) a bit higher since both have some B wins and ties while Rumson-Fair Haven (26th) had just one B win and Point Pleasant Boro (27th) did not have any.

    The other Shore team that was a bit lower on mine than yours was Wall (16th to 23rd).

    Hopewell was the biggest Jekyl-and-Hyde team in a league full of them this year but they did have five wins against “B” opponents – which placed them at 11th.

    Thanks for posting your list and opening up both of us to a barrage.

    Comment by Tony — 21 February 2012 #

  6. Hi Tony, thank you for providing your detailed analysis. As I think about it, I guess I could see Notre Dame at #8 as you do, though perhaps for slightly different reasons.

    Unfortunately, Notre Dame gets screwed (as other CVC teams have in the past) by the CVC requiring all schools to play non-division teams once in addition to playing division teams twice. This limits the flexibility teams like Notre Dame have to schedule non-conference games.

    The CVC needs to drop that requirement and go back to two divisions of six teams. You play the teams in your division twice with no obligation to play teams in the other division. Alas, this would require the ADs to do more work.

    Comment by JB — 21 February 2012 #

  7. Tony? Tony? Tony?

    How do you have Hopewell 11th and Wall at 23rd? In earlier post Jon has Wall with 6th Highest winning percentage of Public B Teams, 5th highest winning percentage vs tourney qualifiers (7-4-2 .615 %)and in the only head-to-head like opponent comparision between Wall and Hopwell would be Manasquan (Hopewell lost 3-0, Wall beat 5-2) and WWPS (Hopewell lost 4-1, Wall beat 6-1) – could you possibly have these two transposed?

    Jon, you use the fact that other temas beating SJV as key wins for their ranking (StJ, PJ, StR), yet Wall went 2-0-1 vs SJV with no mention/factor of it?

    Comment by M — 21 February 2012 #

  8. M – Everybody has his own way to do it, but in my thinking, wins over SJV carry more weight in the private bracket, where there are more common opponents. St. John played 0 non-Shore public schools, so results against SJV didn’t help me compare Wall to non-Shore publics. St. John did play St. Joseph Metuchen and Pope John, however, which made for good comparisons in the private rankings. Just how I look at it.

    Comment by Jonathan Yardley — 21 February 2012 #

  9. M –

    Head-to-head never figured into my comparison unless it came down to to teams vyiing for the same spot. As for Wall/Hopewell situation, Hopewell had five wins vs. tournament teams that were in either the A or B categories (see above), Wall had just one win (Howell) and one tie (St. John Vianney) prior to the cutoff.

    I never took into account the common opponent variable – probably should have.

    Comment by Tony — 22 February 2012 #

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