Sideline Pass: Adam Sullivan 9/28

Adam Sullivan

By Adam Sullivan PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 28, 2018 - 2:27 PM

If you’re a Kansas high school football fan you’ve likely made a joke at some point about the Kansas State High School Athletic Association. More times than not, those jokes are deserved. KSHSAA has a long-standing tradition of being behind the 8-ball so to speak when it comes to high school sports. Now with that being said, I’ll be the first to say this new playoff system has given new life to Kansas football.

Gone are the days of deciding state champions based on geographically based districts which often time had several pairs of powerhouses in one group while another group consisted of cupcakes. We can finally see who the best football team in each class is and have that determined by games against one another.

The regular season is now relevant again on the Kansas and boy does it feel good.

This new 32-team format for classes 6A-4A deliver important games each week regardless of ranking. As we head into week five of action tonight, look around the state scoreboard and you’ll see countless matchups that will have drastic impact on playoff seedings. Last week Shawnee Mission North edged Olathe West 35-34 in a game for the ages. Not only did the win provide SM North head coach Zach Rampy with his first career victory, but it bumped the Indians up five seeds in the playoff bracket. Heading into last week North would have been the #16 seed at 0-3 facing off against then #1 seed Olathe North. With the win, the Indians improved to the #11 seed which would have them against #6 Shawnee Mission Northwest. One win doesn’t seem like much but for the Indians it provides them with a real chance at moving on in the post-season.

Games like Olathe West (0-4) against Shawnee Mission West (0-4) or Olathe East (1-3) and SM North (1-3) now have large playoff implications to make these matchups more exciting and intriguing. On the other side of the spectrum sits Free State and Derby. Kings of the western side of the class 6A bracket, these two powerhouses are on a collision course for a Friday night in November. But first, one of these two must claim the top seed in the west bracket. Teams are rewarded up to 13 points based on margin of victory giving teams like Free State and Derby an added reason to keep the points up.

While KSHSAA hasn’t always been perfect, this new system is at least a step in the right direction of making games relevant again.