When KSHSAA went away from the district model to determine playoff teams in classes 6A and 5A, and eventually 4A, it was a step in the right direction.
Now that we’ve seen it in practice for a few years, it’s time to adjust.
Instead of having 32 teams in each class make the playoffs, I’d like to propose that only 16 teams make it. An easy way to determine the 16 teams is do it based off of record, but I’d like to take it one step further and see a strength of schedule component thrown in.
No offense to Washington, which finished the season 6-1, but it was throttled by 1-7 Blue Valley Southwest by 25 points.
The playoffs are supposed to be for those who earned it in the regular season. No offense to Highland Park, but a team that was outscored by an average of nearly 52 points per game in the regular season has no business being in the playoffs. The Scots’ closest game was a two-point loss to Sumner in Week 2 and every other game was decided by 36 points or more.
The average margin of victory in Class 6A in the first round of the playoffs was 26.9 points; 30.6 points in 5A and 28.8 in 4A.
There were zero upsets in 6A, three in 5A and three in 4A.
The games, for the most part, aren’t competitive. I’d like to see Kansas go to nine regular season games.
If this were to be instituted right away, it would mean the Eastern Kansas League could play their round robin and still have two non-conference games to schedule meaning we could see Bishop Miege and Rockhurst every year.
In the Sunflower League, maybe the schools could flex the two additional games based on the prior year and so if Gardner-Edgerton and Free State weren’t scheduled, then they could.
It could also mean that the Mill Valley and St. James rivalry can remain alive and well.
Or we can just merge classes 5A and 6A and take the best 32 teams. Now that would be fun.