View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 11/1

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: November 1, 2012 - 2:59 PM

The first round of the playoffs or the postseason can always produce some bad matchups. There are always a few blowouts along the way, and some can get pretty ugly.
This year in Missouri we had a change so that every team played in the first round of the district tournament. According to the seeding process, the best team was scheduled to play the worst and so on in an eight-team bracket.
In the old system, the idea was that you would see some one-versus-four matchups that would be blowouts was very possible. There were some bad ones along the way, and I’m sure those games were as ugly as what we saw this last week.
Actually I’m sure these same games and scores happened last year in the old district system. They had to because these teams were going to see each other at some point in the final three weeks of the season. Good teams played bad teams in the old district system and blowouts happened.
The big difference is they didn’t all happen on the same night. If you were following the scores last week you saw some shocking games. If you weren’t following every score, and I understand that some of you don’t follow every score, this might have slipped by you.
There were four or five games on the Missouri side that highlighted the difference between the old playoff system and the new playoff system. These games featured some of the best teams in the state, so you can probably understand what happened to their opponents.
In the first half of the games between Oak Grove and Southwest, Maryville and Lincoln College Prep and Lafayette County and Afrikan Centered College Prep the score was a combined 173-0. Oak Grove, Maryville and Lafayette County rolled the three Interscholastic League schools in a very scary fashion.
In fact, word has it that Oak Grove’s freshmen were playing starting early in the first half. I’m sure the other games were handled in similar fashion and the games could have been worse than they really were.
There were some other games like this. Holden, Lathrop, Park Hill South all won easy games in what looked like an incredible set of mismatches.
What we are seeing here the law of unintended consequences. We have a new playoff system that was designed to have the best teams playing as long as they should be playing. This new system allows everyone in a seeded manner so they can be weeded out by superior competition.
That part I am fine with but there is something different. The old system had these same blowouts, but they didn’t all come on the same night and didn’t all end the losing team’s season. In the old season there was still a chance to win your last game even if you weren’t playing an 11th game. It gave you hope and something to build on.
Now only six teams get to win their last game and the rest end on a loss, and a lot of those end on an embarrassing mind numbing destruction of a loss.