How the 2023 NCHSAA football playoffs would be arranged if MaxPreps ratings were used instead of RPI.

Over the weekend, there was a discussion taking place regarding the efficiency of the NCHSAA’s RPI rating method for state playoffs. The RPI system was initially well-received when it was introduced in 2021, but there has been a growing demand for its elimination.

Here is a brief lesson on history:

  • In preparation for the 2017 season, the NCHSAA opted to utilize the MaxPreps computer rankings for playoff seeding. This suggestion originated from basketball coaches. As a result, all conference winners were given the top seed, while at-large teams were included based on their MaxPreps rating.

  • The experiment was conducted during one autumn season and was cut short due to the realization that the MaxPreps ranking system considers the margin of victory, which goes against the core principles of the NCHSAA. As a result, the NCHSAA received modified rankings from MaxPreps that excluded this factor. These adjusted ratings were utilized from the winter of 2017 until the spring of 2021. It is unusual for a change to be made to the playoff format in the middle of a school year, as was done in 2017-2018.

  • Several coaches developed a distaste for utilizing the Adjusted MaxPreps calculation due to their lack of knowledge about the specific components and their corresponding weights.

  • )

    The NCHSAA implemented the RPI formula for the 2021 season in response to concerns. The formula is a basic calculation that is well-known in the state and includes factors such as a team’s winning percentage, their opponents’ winning percentage, and their opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage.

  • There is a prevailing view that RPI is either too simplistic or gives disproportionate weight to certain factors.

I have created a visualization of the potential structure for the 2023 football playoffs using the original MaxPreps ratings instead of RPI. All other aspects of the process, including conference championship seeding and leapfrogging rules, remained unchanged.

4A East

The initial five teams eliminated, as reported by MaxPreps.

1. Overhills
2. Broughton
3. Athens Drive
4. Sanderson
5. Gray’s Creek

Select this link to view the current 2023 brackets calculated using RPI.

According to MaxPreps, enclosure.

(1) Rolesville vs (32) Topsail

Jordan plays against Wake Forest.


(8) Hillside vs (25) Apex

Jack Britt and South Garner will face off in a match, with Jack Britt ranked 9th and South Garner ranked 24th.


(5) Pinecrest vs (28) Ashley

Twelfth-ranked Millbrook competing against twenty-first-ranked Middle Creek.


(13) Laney vs (20) Heritage

The matchup between Cardinal Gibbons and D.H. Conley, with seeds of 4 and 29 respectively, is set to take place.


(3) Hoggard vs (30) Wakefield

The matchup between Leesville Road and Richmond ranks at 14 and 19, respectively.


The match between New Bern (6) and New Hanover (27).

(11) Clayton vs (22) South View


Apex Friendship (7) will go up against Fuquay-Varina (26).

The matchup between Pine Forest (10) and Southeast Raleigh (23)


The matchup between Holly Springs and Garner features two highly ranked teams, with Holly Springs ranked 15th and Garner ranked 18th.

“Matchup between Cleveland and Chapel Hill, with Cleveland ranked 2nd and Chapel Hill ranked 31st.”

4A West

The top five teams are ranked by MaxPreps.

1. Asheville
2. South Mecklenburg
3. Southwest Guilford
4. Alexander Central
5. Parkland

Please click the link to view the 2023 brackets according to RPI ratings.

Bracket, according to MaxPreps:

The matchup between Grimsley and Northern Guilford, with Grimsley as the first seed and Northern Guilford as the thirty-second seed.

(16) Mount Tabor vs (17) Davie


(8) Watauga vs (25) Cuthbertson

Ninth seeded T.C. Roberson will face off against twenty-fourth seeded Cox Mill.


(5) Mooresville vs (28) Page

“West Forsyth, ranked 12th, will face off against Ardrey Kell, ranked 21st.”


Thirteenth-ranked Porter Ridge versus twentieth-ranked Sun Valley

The matchup between (4) Hough and (29) Hickory Ridge.


Weddington High School versus A.L. Brown High School, with Weddington being the third seed and A.L. Brown being the thirtieth seed.

The match between (14) Independence and (19) Marvin Ridge.


East Forsyth and Providence are ranked 6th and 27th, respectively.

Mallard Creek (11) will face off against Northwest Guilford (22).


(7) Myers Park vs (26) North Mecklenburg

(10) Chambers vs (23) Reagan


Lake Norman is ranked 15th and Charlotte Catholic is ranked 18th.

(2) Butler vs (31) Glenn

3A East

The top five teams, as reported by MaxPreps:

1. East Wake
2. West Johnston
3. Westover
4. South Brunswick
5. Croatan

Click here to compare to the actual 2023 brackets based on RPI

According to MaxPreps, bracket refers to the organized pairing or grouping of teams in a tournament or competition.

“The matchup is between the 71st and 32nd ranked teams, Seventy-First and South Central, respectively.”

The 16th seeded Cape Fear team will face off against the 17th seeded Hunt team.


(8) Fike vs (25) Triton

(9) Vance County vs (24) Richlands


The match between Scotland and West Carteret has a score of 5 to 28.

(12) Northern Nash vs (21) Southern Durham


(13) Jacksonville vs (20) Person

The game between Southern Nash (ranked 4th) and Rocky Mount (ranked 29th).


(3) Southern Alamance vs (30) Lee County

The match between Eastern Alamance and J.H. Rose is ranked 14th and 19th respectively.


(6) White Oak vs (27) Southern Lee

Harnett Central (11) will face off against Terry Sanford (22).


The North Brunswick team competing against the South Johnston team.

(10) Currituck County vs (23) C.B. Aycock


Cannot reword.

(2) Havelock vs (31) Orange

3A West

The top five teams, according to MaxPreps, are the following:

1. Forestview
2. Carson
3. Concord
4. Freedom
5. Ashe County

Please click the link to view the 2023 brackets calculated using the RPI.

Parenthesis, as stated by MaxPreps.

Crest takes on West Iredell in a competition.

The match-up between Pisgah and North Lincoln is between the 16th and 17th ranked teams.


In the matchup between A.C. Reynolds and Huss, A.C. Reynolds is ranked 8th and Huss is ranked 25th.

Hibriten, ranked 9th, is facing off against North Henderson, ranked 24th.


(5) Hickory vs (28) Erwin

Eastern Guilford will face Central Davidson in the upcoming match.


Thirteenth-ranked South Point takes on twentieth-ranked Rockingham County.

Oak Grove (ranked 4th) will face off against Smoky Mountain (ranked 29th).


The West Charlotte team will face off against Tuscola, who is ranked at number 30.

Ledford High School versus West Mecklenburg High School, with Ledford ranked 14th and West Mecklenburg ranked 19th.


Sixth-ranked West Henderson will face off against twenty-seventh-ranked West Rowan.

(11) Northwest Cabarrus vs (22) Ashbrook


Seventh seed Jay M. Robinson will face off against twenty-sixth seed Northeast Guilford.

The matchup between Kings Mountain (10) and North Gaston (23)


(15) Statesville vs (18) East Lincoln

The matchup between Dudley and North Davidson featuring seed numbers 2 and 31.

2A East

The top five teams, as determined by MaxPreps:

1. Ayden-Grifton
2. Fairmont
3. Roanoke Rapids
4. West Bladen
5. J.F. Webb

To view the current 2023 brackets according to RPI, click on the provided link.

Parenthesis, as stated by MaxPreps.

(1) Clinton versus (32) North Johnston

The legal case between Holmes and James Kenan, numbered 16 and 17 respectively.


“In the match between Cummings and Greene Central, Cummings won with a score of 8 while Greene Central scored 25.”

Martin County, ranked 9th, will go head-to-head against Northwood, ranked 24th.


SouthWest Edgecombe is ranked 5th while Southeast Alamance is ranked 28th.

“Number 12, Hertford County, will compete against number 21, Eastern Wayne.”


The match-up between West Craven (ranked 13th) and North Pitt (ranked 20th).

Fourth-ranked Wallace-Rose Hill will face off against twenty-ninth-ranked Trask.


Nash Central (3) will face off against Red Springs (30).

The matchup is between Farmville Central, ranked 14th, and St. Pauls, ranked 19th.


(6) Whiteville vs (27) Kinston

The East Duplin team will be playing against the Midway team, with East Duplin ranked 11th and Midway ranked 22nd.


(7) Princeton vs (26) Camden County

The Lousiburg team is facing off against the South Granville team, with the latter ranked 23 and the former ranked 10.


(15) Southwest Onslow vs (18) Beddingfield

(2) Northeastern vs (31) Washington

2A West

The top five teams, as determined by MaxPreps:

1. McMichael
2. North Forsyth
3. Hendersonville
4. Trinity
5. East Davidson

To view the current 2023 brackets according to RPI, please click on the following link.

According to MaxPreps, the bracket is as follows:

(1) Monroe vs (32) Madison

(16) Lincolnton vs (17) Bandys


Brevard faces off against West Stanly, with Brevard ranked 8th and West Stanly ranked 25th.

The matchup between North Stanly (ranked 9th) and Lexington (ranked 24th).


Fifth-ranked Reidsville will face off against twenty-eighth-ranked Providence Grove.

Match 12 between Burns and 21 T.W. Andrews.


(13) West Lincoln vs (20) West Stokes

Bunker Hill, ranked 4th, will face off against East Rutherford, ranked 29th.


(3) Shelby vs (30) Pine Lake Prep

(14) East Gaston vs (19) Anson


Sixth-ranked Randleman versus twenty-seventh-ranked Southwestern Randolph.

Forest Hills takes on East Surry in a matchup of (11) and (22).


The match between the Community School of Davidson and Mount Pleasant is between the 7th and 26th ranked teams.

The matchup is between North Surry (10) and Newton-Conover (23).


(15) Maiden vs (18) CHASE

Salisbury will face off against East Burke, with Salisbury being ranked 2nd and East Burke being ranked 31st.

1A East

To view the 2023 brackets according to RPI, please click on the link provided.

Parentheses, as per MaxPreps:

(1) Tarboro vs (32) BYE

The match between Washington County and Hobbton, ranked 16th and 17th respectively.


North Duplin versus KIPP Pride, with North Duplin ranked eighth and KIPP Pride ranked twenty-fifth.

The ninth-ranked Southeast Halifax team will face off against the twenty-fourth-ranked East Columbus team.


In a match-up between Wilson Prep and Chatham Central, the teams ranked 5th and 28th respectively will face off.

(12) Perquimans vs (21) Weldon


(13) Rosewood vs (20) Southside

(4) Northside-Pinetown vs (29) BYE


(3) North Moore versus (30) BYE

Gates County (ranked 14) will face off against Warren County (ranked 19).


Sixth seeded Lakewood will face off against the 27th seeded Northwest Halifax.

Bertie, represented by 11, and Pamlico County, represented by 22, are facing off against each other.


The Bear Grass Charter team will be facing off against Union, who is currently ranked 26th.

The East Bladen and North Edgecombe teams are facing off, with East Bladen ranked 10th and North Edgecombe ranked 23rd.



“Northampton County, ranked 15th, will be facing off against Pender County, ranked 18th.”

(2) West Columbus vs (31) BYE

1A West

The four teams eliminated, as reported by MaxPreps:

The institution known as Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy.
2. Winston-Salem Prep
3. North Stokes
4. Highland Tech

Please click the link to view the 2023 brackets corresponding to RPI.

According to MaxPreps, bracket refers to a graphical representation of a tournament or playoff structure.

(1) Mount Airy vs (32) Rosman

(16) Mountain Island Charter vs (17) Corvian Community


The Bishop McGuinness team will be facing off against Avery County, who holds the 25th rank.

The football teams from Swain County and South Stanly are facing off, with Swain County ranked 9th and South Stanly ranked 24th.


(5) Mountain Heritage vs (28) South Stokes

The matchup is between Starmount and Polk County, with Starmount being represented by the number 12 and Polk County being represented by the number 21.


(13) Hayesville vs (20) East Wilkes

(4) North Rowan vs (29) Elkin


The match between Eastern Randolph and Cherryville, with seed numbers 3 and 30 respectively.

(14) Draughn vs (19) Andrews


The matchup between Albemarle (6 seed) and South Davidson (27 seed).

Match between Thomasville and Christ the King, with Thomasville being ranked 11 and Christ the King being ranked 22.


The matchup is between Bessemer City, ranked 7th, and Carver, ranked 26th.

(10) Murphy vs (23) Alleghany


(15) Mitchell vs (18) Cherokee

Robbinsville versus Union Academy