|2020 Schedule Analysis Superlatives and Numbers|
By Frank Vajcner
Since I finished writing my FNV 16-part schedule analysis series in April, and the Covid-19 pandemic is still here, I decided to go back through all 16 parts to see who was where in terms of the toughest schedule, most travel, and a few other interesting tidbits.
Without further ado…
MOST TRAVEL: Bedford. The Mules will have traveled 348 miles in all four road trips. The longest of those trips is a 102-mile round trip to Dexter. The shortest? A 74-mile round trip to Saline. Others with long travel are Ida (322 miles), SMCC (284 miles), and Monroe (264 miles)
LEAST TRAVEL: Carlson: The Marauders won’t have to set foot outside of Wayne County, as they will only be on the road for 100 miles of travel, and no road trip being longer than 15 miles one way. Jefferson (102 miles), Huron (108 miles), and Flat Rock (128 miles) round out the list.
LONGEST ROAD TRIP: SMCC will make a 176-mile round trip to Almont and back in Week 1. Hopefully the Touchdown Club tailgate group is ready for another long trip. Other long trips are Monroe’s trek to Jackson in Week 5, Dundee’s trek to Hillsdale in Week 8, and Bedford’s trip to Dexter in Week 3.
SHORTEST ROAD TRIP: I actually had to look this up, since I’m still a greenhorn when it comes to rivalries in the Huron League. Flat Rock gets this one, as their Week 8 trip to Huron is just under four miles of driving distance one way.
SCHEDULED PLAYOFF QUALIFIERS: Ida will face seven teams that made the playoffs last season. Gross Ile, Jefferson, and Monroe will each face six. Conversely, Airport, Erie Mason, and Whiteford will each face only three.
OPPONENT WINNING PERCENTAGE: Grosse Ile’s opponents have a combined winning percentage of 63.8%. Ida (63.4%), Dundee (60.9%), and SMCC (60.2%) all have an opponent winning percentage greater than 60%. At the other end of the spectrum, we have Summerfield (42.2%), Erie Mason (44.2%), Whiteford (45.3%), and Carlson (48.8%).
COMMON OPPONENTS: What do Ann Arbor Huron, Blissfield, Hudson, and Onsted, all have in common? All four teams face a blog team three times. Ann Arbor Huron will face Bedford, Flat Rock, and Monroe; Blissfield gets Whiteford, Dundee, and Ida; Hudson gets Erie Mason, Ida, and Dundee; and Onsted will face Jefferson, Dundee, and Ida. In addition, the rest of the Tri-County Conference will get plenty of coverage here, as each of those teams will face Erie Mason, Summerfield, and Whiteford. We’ll also see Melvindale (Airport and Huron), Ypsilanti (Monroe and Bedford), and Wyandotte (Monroe and Carlson) more than once .
BY THE NUMBERS:
11: The number of teams who will face a State Semifinalist. Besides SMCC (Almont) and the rest of the Huron League (SMCC), Dundee and Ida will face Onsted, while Monroe will face Chelsea.
2: The number of State Semifinalists Jefferson will face (SMCC and Onsted).
4: The number of teams who have an opponent that went winless last season: Airport and Huron (Melvindale), Carlson (Taylor), and Jefferson (Detroit Pershing).
THREE QUESTIONS WITH THE STAFF
Who has the toughest schedule?
Frank: Pick your poison between Ida and Grosse Ile. If either of those teams earn a bid to the postseason, it will be well-earned. As I mentioned earlier, Ida has the most teams who qualified for the playoffs, while Grosse Ile’s opponents have the highest combined winning percentage.
Chris: Since I have to pick, I would say Ida. The combination of travel and quality opponents on paper appears pretty daunting. Airport and Whiteford as the non-league opponents is quality and the addition of Clinton to the LCAA makes a tough league slate even tougher.
Gary: I have to go with my homeboys here, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central. Who else regularly schedules teams you see at Ford Field? Road trips to Almont, Airport (hopefully they can put the radio crew in the booth this year) Riverview and the Island will prove this schedule to be quite formidable. Those of you worried about a week 9 game.. they are working on it. Takes 2 to tango.
Who has the easiest schedule?
Frank: It will be interesting to see how many playoff points the Tri-County Conference contingent of the blog earns. Erie Mason and Whiteford face only three playoff qualifiers, while Summerfield has four. In fact, the Bulldogs’ opponents have the worst combined winning percentage. Summerfield will be needing their non-conference opponents to win a lot.
Chris: It seems to me that Riverview has the easiest schedule although I believe it is relative. The Pirates are the only team I see that have a legitimate chance to run the table. The schedule includes 5 home games. The Pirates return a ton of young talent. The Huron League appears a little down from 2019. Riverview has a larger enrollment than all but one team (Thurston) on the schedule.
Gary: I’ll go with Riverview. Largest school in the league with cupcake city in week 1. Couple that with the fact I expect the Pirates to be really good this year. I read Chris’ comment and I completely agree, it’s all relative here. They might just show up in week 10 with a 9-0 mark.
Which schedule is the most interesting?
Frank: I’m going to go with Monroe. The second half of the Trojans’ schedule is loaded for bear, with playoff qualifiers from Week 5 on. Three of those games will be at home. Will home-field advantage help the Trojans in October?
Chris: I think Bedford has a very intriguing schedule. Northview, Dexter, and Woodhaven are all games the Mules could lose. The Ann Arbor schools along with Ypsilanti always have talent, it’s just whether these teams can put it together. Throw in the SEC Red champion Saline along with bitter rival Monroe and you have a schedule that would keep any first year head coach up at night.
Gary: All the schedules at this point hold my interest. Everyone is 0-0 and hope abound. I just hope we can get the season in safely.