It’s Playoff Time
High school football playoffs are here. We’re one week into Missouri’s new playoff system. I don’t have a lot of objections to the new system. I like being able to track the points and district standings as the season unfolds. It’s similar to the system Illinois has been using for a few decades. However, I don’t like the idea that teams can challenge for a higher seed based on head to head results. Either leave it strictly to the points or give the higher seed to the head to head winner automatically in those first round matchups. Voting on seeds can and does become “political” from time to time.
That being said, the system used from 1988 through 2007 settled state football championships on the field. Everyone started even as week 8 started in that system. Yes, I remember the situation a dozen or so years ago when Palmyra, Centralia, Monroe City and South Shelby were all loaded and all in the same district. The best team went 3-0 and into the 16 team bracket. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got to beat ‘em sometime. Doesn’t make a lot of difference to me whether that tough opponent comes in week #10 under the current system or over Thanksgiving Weekend in St. Louis.
There will also be some hollering and complaining on football message boards and in various other social media about some districts being stronger or much weaker than others. Most likely, this will come from the same people who never caught on to the idea that the “playoffs” actually began with week #8 from 1988 through 2011.
That seed doesn't help much if your team isn't ready to go at kickoff time. If you're not ready to go, there are exactly 48 minutes left in your 2012 high school football season.