Award rankings not just ramblings of a madman

Published 10:56 pm Thursday, July 10, 2008

Putting this page together was one of the most interesting projects I’ve undertaken during my time at The Clanton Advertiser.

I can’t take full credit for the idea. The Director’s Cup ranks college programs nationally based on their performances in all sports. The difference between the Director’s Cup and the All-Sports Award, though, is that our approach does not consider every sport equal.

While it’s great that Chilton County High has a golf team, for example, there’s no pretending that program carries the same weight as, say, boys basketball. That’s not a slight on the CCHS golfers, who work hard and are talented.

But it takes more players to compete in boys basketball. It takes more coaches and more money, and more fans show up to watch. So, in coming up with a formula to decide the Award, these considerations had to be considered.

I won’t pretend the formula is perfect. I try to explain it in the story that precedes the rankings. Basically, one sport (football) started with a four-point scale. Some sports started with a three-point scale (baseball, softball, basketball), some started with a two-scale…you get the idea. So, for a two-point scale, just having a team would have earned you 0.33 points, a winning record would have earned you 0.67 points, a county tournament championship would have earned you 1 point, etc.

The results surprised me. I thought CCHS would blow away the competition simply because it has many more teams than anyone else. But the key to winning turned out to be success in the sport, football, where the most points were available.

Maplesville nabbed almost twice as many points as any other team in that sport, and it turned out to be too much to overcome. Jemison, at No. 2, was perhaps the biggest surprise. Maybe the Panthers didn’t stand out in my mind because none of the major boys sports had what could be called an outstanding season, but the school showed that balance between success in boys and girls sports is respectable, at least when it comes to the All-Sports Award.