KHMO’s Bill Shuler Sees Room For Improvement in Missouri’s Football Playoff System
Brace yourselves for some very ugly final scores in football games around Missouri this weekend.
Ever since Missouri started determining football champions on the field in 1968, there have been complaints about deserving teams not getting in to the playoffs.
Until 1988, there was considerable merit to that argument. Some great, and undefeated Hannibal teams had to stay home in 1979 and again in 1981 due to the point system then in use to determine playoff participants. Other schools across Missouri had similar beefs.
I had no problem with the three team district system in place from 1988 through 2007. If you were good enough to win your three district games and kept on winning after that, you brought home a state title. Otherwise, it was time for basketball, wrestling or more work in on strength and conditioning. Evidently, the biggest problem with that was that too many people couldn't comprehend the idea that the playoffs really started with week 8 instead of week 11.
Letting the district runners-up into the bracket and adding an extra round wasn't a good idea in my book. There were a lot of one sided games and a lot of turboclockings in those regional games.
The current system has everyone involved at the start as the old three team district did. However, we now have even more mismatches in the first round, and in some cases second round games than we had under the three team district system.
Those 49-0, 77-6 and 55-0 drubbings are not good for football, yet we're going to see a lot of them in the next couple of weeks.
Not everyone needs to play beyond the end of the regular season. I would hope we'll see another adjustment to post season football from the MSHSAA soon.