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The Long(o) and short of it

November 03, 2000

Tony Altobelli

Before my column officially begins, let the record show that I was

going to write about this even if the Vanguard University men's soccer

team would have won on Wednesday. Also, let the record show that the

Lions' coaches and players did not use the two-hour drive as the reason

why they were eliminated from the NAIA Region II playoffs by Point Loma,

2-0.

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With that said, let's begin.

Have you ever wondered just how someone could invent certain things?

The automobile, the airplane, computers, Twinkies....

Well, here's another one that just baffles me. It's the Longo Rating

System to determine playoff seedings for the NAIA men's soccer playoffs.

I will try, to the best of my ability, try to explain this ridiculous

formula to those daring enough to read on. Please do not operate any

heavy machinery while trying to solve this puzzle.

Well, this Longo person put a point system to every possible two-team

combination, this side of AYSO vs. L.A. Galaxy.

For example, if the Lions were to play, let's say a NCAA Division I or

II or NAIA Top-25 club, depending on what the score was, they would

receive anywhere from 175 to 650 points.

Factors include whether the game was home or away and by how many the

Lions won or lost by. A 4-0 win at home equals 575 points, while a 4-0

win on the road would be 650 points.

Makes sense so far? Well, here comes the fun part.

Longo, feeling giddy, also put together a section for NCAA Division

III Top-25 and NCAA Division II as well as a section for NAIA and NCAA

Division III that are NOT Top-25.

But wait, there's more. Longo also broke up the teams into five

different winning percentage classes to further add to the calamity.

For the three or four who are still with me, this means that a major

chunk of points need to be accumulated in those first few games before

Golden State Athletic Conference competition begins. Plus, you are also

at the mercy of how the other teams are doing when it comes to the number

of points you get.

Well, if you're confused, join the crowd. Let's break it down by the

two teams.Point Loma played such mighty teams as Patten College, United

States International University and Occidental, while the Lions took on

four CSU schools as well as The Master's College (the No. 2 seed in these

playoffs) and Pomona Pitzer College.

In GSAC play, the Lions finished runner-up to Azusa Pacific with a

7-1-1 record, while PLNU finished tied for third with a 6-3 mark. The

Lions (10-4-1) had a better winning percentage than the Crusaders

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