We continue our look back to the 2019-20 high school season today by examining the strength of conferences and sections (in AAAA). Not all conferences are created equal. There seems to be a gravity shift to certain conferences. Those that are on the outer fringes of the standard metro area (not quite the exurbs, but close enough) have stronger showings. Some conferences were seen completely, some down to a 50% rate. Each conference was graded on the strength of the class they represent. In other words the conference make up: class of teams divided by number of teams. It should come as no shock that the AAAA conferences are stronger generally with dips going down.
Here is the top conference by class (class being anything rounded 4=4 to 3.7; 3=3.6 to 2.7; 2= 2.6 to 1.8). AAAA Lake, AAA Wright County East; AA Hiawatha Valley.
It should be pointed out that Minneapolis is too high on this list because only four of the seven teams were charted…..none of the bottom feeders. If they were added I would expect Minneapolis to drop at least ten points.
Also here is a list of the conferences seen in full: Lake, South Suburban, Suburban East, NW Suburban, Metro West, Mississippi 8, Lake Superior, Big South, Heart O’Lakes. Thanks to mega Saturday events I was able to get the Lake Superior, Big South and Heart O’Lakes completed in one day.
As for sections AAAA was chosen since I charted each and every team in that classification this year. A caveat: Stillwater was charted for every game. That skews the results for the Suburban East and sections 4 and 5. That means I took them out of the equation for offense and defense.
In the chart below zero equals 70, which means 30 equals 100. Section 2 proves to be the most robust section with a 99.84 pp100. Only section 1 makes it above 95. Without Stillwater in the mix section 4 drops below 80, the lowest of any of the sections. If Stillwater was added the pp100 would jump to 92.69 and that includes the lowest pp100 of any AAAA team this year North St. Paul at 13.7 pp100. Also section 5 would drop 13 points to about 80. I eliminated games with Stillwater in the mix there too—because of Suburban East teams Irondale, Mounds View and Roseville, plus the Park Center confrontations.
THE LOST SUMMER OF 2020….
Listening to government officials in the recent days it seems that what little chance of games this summer in the club scene have evaporated. I keep reading about games without fans, games in isolated locations. I read we have completed 1/10th of the journey in this ordeal so far.
Phase 1 in the “return to normalcy” (which will never be normal again—–sorry) is groups of ten. That would allow a practice to take place maybe. Nothing more. Phase 2 would allow 50 people to gather. That is basically one game—maybe. But club ball brings in 100s of teams to one confined location, with players, coaches, colleges, officials, workers, parents, and fans rubbing shoulders. Now scouting is going to be done in a virtual setting. No one is going to host an event and be liable for a potential outbreak of the virus. And then there may be requirements that all players (and everyone else wanting to get in) have to have documented proof they are virus free thanks to a blood test. The logistics are going to be mind numbing. If you liked your airport wait, you will love the upcoming entry to an event.
Right now, even in locked down Minnesota, some sports will be able to start. These include outdoor sports with proper distancing: golf and fishing. The PGA tour looks like they will venture out first in June. Don’t expect galleries for those events.
If professional leagues are talking about holding games in isolated environments with no fan interaction, don’t expect any lower level “virus bombs” to happen. It happened in Italy in February during a soccer playoff. There are serious financial hits taking place already. Some leagues have already folded—-the XFL part 2. Some teams in some professional leagues may not make it. Officials are talking about delaying the start of the college football season. This is April 18th and already it looks like August and September are at risk. Add in the dreaded expected “second wave” come fall and some higher academic institutions might transition away from education based athletics. It already has happened in the community college level years ago. As Bob Dylan once told me, “The Times They Are A Changin’.”
The media companies crave content. That is why the professional isolated model may happen. But the grass roots level is too risky. They spoke of the lost generation at the end of the Great War (better known as World War I). The 2021s and below will now be this generation’s “Lost Generation.”