Varsity Kansas

Hutchinson football and a national title?

So I got this e-mail that Hutchinson football is competing in a virtual national football championship. Below is the release.

Hutchinson to compete in 'virtual' national football championship 

HighSchoolSports.net and USA TODAY team up to create the inaugural 'Massey Virtual National Championship' for high school football

McLean, VA – While Hutchinson won't football teams, they may win bragging rights as the best team in the nation.  The same computer technology behind the Bowl Championship Series will simulate a virtual national tournament to determine a national champion.

Starting Jan. 4, Gannett's HighSchoolSports.net and USA TODAY will kick off a virtual tournament bracket whose opponents will play in computer simulations programmed by Ken Massey, one of the mathematicians whose computer models were used to create the BCS rankings for college football in 1999.

HighSchoolSports.net will post a bracket of 64 football teams in the inaugural "Massey Virtual National Championship" on Jan. 4, and the winner will be announced at 11 a.m. ET on Jan. 9 at http://www.highschoolsports.net/masseychamps.

Hutchinson won the Kansas 5A title, beating Gardner Edgerton with a score of 52-14.  As a state champion, Hutchinson has earned an opportunity to compete in this unique national title competition. HighSchoolSports.net will present the 2009 championship trophy to the winning school in early February.

"I'm sure the results will lead to plenty of debate across the country in locker rooms and family rooms, just as the BCS rankings do in college," said Jason Rine, content manager at HighSchoolSports.net, who championed the virtual tournament. "I can't wait." Rine also serves as assistant football coach at Wheeling Central Catholic High School, which has won seven West Virginia state titles in the last decade. 

USA TODAY Sports editors will seed the brackets, initially drawing from 50 state champions and 14 other "at large" picks. Massey's simulations will then determine winners for each round. Massey is professor of mathematics at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.

HighSchoolSports.net is the exclusive distributor of "Massey Ratings," which rank varsity football, girls and boys basketball and boys baseball teams within their league, state and the USA. Added as a first-of-its-kind feature in 2008, the "Massey Ratings" draw passionate audiences of teen athletes and their parents.

"We're very excited to bring this new format to readers," said Monte Lorell, managing editor of Sports at USA TODAY. "This virtual championship is a unique offering and will feature the rich assets of HighSchoolSports,net.  I'm sure we'll have some fun along the way."

HighSchoolSports.net and USA TODAY will refine the virtual national championship format for girls and boys basketball championships in the spring. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

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