View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 9/18

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: September 18, 2017 - 8:11 PM

About a year and a half ago I went to a meeting that helped to bring about the Sunflower-Suburban showdown. It was an event that needed to happen and after a lot of talk and time it was finally happening.

Last fall we saw the first set of 10 games, 11 if you throw Shawnee Mission East and Rockhurst, and even though Missouri won all 11, I still feel it was a success.

So, this year as the games went on I started asking around if the series would continue. I finally got the answer that it would not. The Suburban Conference wanted to continue but the Sunflower League did not.

The reason I have been given is with the new playoff system in Kansas wins were the most important thing and teams in the Sunflower League felt they would be better served not playing the Suburban.

Let that sink in.

They wanted to find wins, not the best competition. I’m not in love with the message that sends. I understand the Kansas system does not have a strength of schedule component like Missouri. It doesn’t give any bonus for playing up. That is a failing of that system.

The Missouri system is far from perfect but it has seemed to mostly work the way it was intended. Of course, the best system is the easiest one to manage. Have eight team districts and everyone plays each other and the top four teams go on to the postseason. Then you could still use the point system to seed in the postseason. That’s a discussion for another time.

I don’t know if I blame the Kansas system, the coaches or the principals for not wanting to play the best games when possible. It may have been a little one-sided in terms of wins again this year but many of these games were competitive and came down to the final plays of the fourth quarter including one overtime game.

You see the funny thing is you may want that win to get a better seed in the postseason but guess what, that tough game against a good team that you never have to see the rest of the season will pay more dividends that just an easy W.

I just wish everyone could see that.