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High school sports quick hits from Kosmo the all-knowing Oakland Press seer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Football playoffs not in dire need of change

There is some controversy right now in the football community, as on Thursday the MHSAA Executive Council decided to keep the playoff format the way it is despite the urgency of some to change it to where more points would be given to teams who play good competition. Under the current format, teams that get to six wins automatically qualify for the playoffs, so proponents of change are correct in pointing out teams just want to schedule bad teams in order to get to that mark rather than schedule a great team and likely lose. A change would've meant greater rewards for scheduling great teams, even in a loss. It all sounds great, but ultimately it's not that big of a deal that it wasn't adopted. First of all, and this is an argument why seeding hasn't been adopted in other sports, is that there can still be too many variables when taking account who an opponent played. What if a team beats a great team at a time where that squad had a best player or best players who were injured? A team can finish 6-3 and not look that impressive, but maybe was 6-0 with a certain quarterback who was hurt the other three games. Also, what if a team is sophomore and junior laden that got off to a slow start, but was playing like a great team by season's end? A victory over that team late in the season when it was playing well wouldn't look as good on paper given the overall season record as it should be in reality. Kosmo also doesn't understand the mindset of qualifying for the playoffs. Teams shouldn't have that mindset solely and thus why even in the current format, teams should be motivated to play great squads anyway. What good does it do to be 6-3 every year, only to lose by 40 points in the first round on the road? What is gained? It can't be extra revenue. All it is is pride, and obviously teams with that mindset don't have much. If teams are truly serious about getting better and teaching life lessons, they'll schedule great teams to begin with. Those are the type of games that develop players on the field and lead to not only making the playoffs, but wins in the postseason. Yes, it seems like a good idea on the surface to further reward teams to play good competition, but it's likely a new format would lead to softer scheduling because they know seven or eight wins would guarantee a berth. Besides, as mentioned above, the real winners want to play the best anyway and usually get rewarded with 5-4 berths and deep runs in the playoffs. The current format still keeps that in play, so while change would've been fine, it's not 100 percent needed.


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