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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Coaches weigh in on new playoff proposal

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trial period for the current systems ends after 2011 season

sd_sports@yahoo.com

COLUMBIA -- The 2011 high school football season will mark the final year of a four-year trial period pertaining to the two-team playoff system.

The Missouri Sports High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) is currently exploring new ideas for after the trial with three possible options for the MSHSAA Board of Directors to choose from.

The first option is to return to the previous playoff system.

Before the four-year trial, only one team would qualify for the playoffs from each assigned district and all games would be played on Friday or Saturday.

The second option is to keep the current system where two teams qualify for the post-season and playoff games will remain on a Wednesday, Monday, Saturday schedule.

The third option is a new direction.

The new proposal will involve a nine-game regular season with the 10th week signaling the beginning of a district tournament style bracket. Eight teams will be placed into each district and then seeded by a point system based on their performance throughout the nine-game season, which is similar to most MSHSAA sports today.

Games would still be played on a Wednesday, Monday, Saturday schedule.

"I wouldn't have any problems with it at all," Chaffee head coach Charlie Vickery said about the new proposal. "The seeding I think is fine as well. For small schools, probably a little more travel would be involved but I don't think that's such a big deal. By in large, there's not that many teams that would have to travel throughout the state.

"If you look at this year, if they would have cross-bracketed, there wouldn't have been much more travel than what there is."

Teams will have the freedom to schedule any team weeks one through nine. Depending on each team's conference size, however, will determine how many open games are available. Conference games have to be played, but the remaining open games can be played against any team.

"I know the system right now allows more teams in the playoffs and it can be good but, the thing I don't like about it now is that you come back and play the same team you would have maybe played two weeks earlier," Vickery said. "I don't see anything wrong with the seeding and how they would do it with the new one. I think the biggest disadvantage would be figuring out what to do with your conferences."

Depending on each team's results in the regular season and the point system that will be in place, teams will then be seeded for the post-season bracket.

Teams will be given points for wins (30), ties (20) and losses (10). There is still discussion on using the current +/-13 point system here.

"I don't particularly care for it," New Madrid County Central football coach Arlen Pixley said about the new proposal. "I'm an old school type of guy and I like where one team gets in and that's it. You have your three district games towards the end of the season and you battle it out."

There are also chances for schools to be given points based on who they play. Teams could be given a one-half point credit for each class size you play up or a one-half point debit for each class you play down.

For example, if Sikeston, a Class 4 school, plays a Class 2 team, they will be deducted one whole point (-1/2 + -1/2 = -1 point) from their season total.

"I don't really think it's a good thing that you may get penalized for playing a smaller school," said Pixley.

Points may also be given based on strength of schedule. Points will be based on the sum of an opponent's win/loss record. (i.e., beating three teams with records of 6-3, 8-1 and 2-7 will result in five points -- 3+7-5 = +5.)

Adding the points from the above mentioned categories and dividing them by the total number of games played will give each team their total points from the regular season and will determine the seedings in the eight-team district -- the highest number of points will be given the top-seed, while the lowest will fall to the eight-seed.

"We're going to vote in favor of the new proposal. We feel like it's the best thing for our program." Charleston head coach Brett Blackman said. "We're trying to address some needs in our schedule so, we feel like the best thing for us is to go with the new proposal.

"It actually plays into our favor as much as we play up (in classes). We just don't see our schedule moving the way we want it to."

The points system will be tracked weekly on the MSHSAA website.

The new proposal is still subject to change as it is still under review.

"I don't think any of them are bad," said Vickery. "I'm not really gung ho on this one being my favorite and one being my least. I can live with any of them."