View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 4/25

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: April 25, 2011 - 12:02 PM



Well the votes are in and the Missouri playoff system is changing. Again.

It seems like we just did this. Well actually we did. Four years ago the playoff system was changed to allow the top two teams in each district to advance to the postseason. We are only three seasons into that plan and it has already been scrapped.

The easy thing to do is to say you hate it or love it. The argument against is simple. Playing nine games and then everybody making into a district tournament is watering down the product. Everybody in the playoffs makes it seem like the postseason isn’t that important. Everybody gets in just like basketball, baseball and pretty much every sport.

That is a legitimate argument. On first look that is the emotional response I had and still have to the new plan. There is something to be said for qualifying for the playoffs. Earning a spot in the postseason by playing your way in not just playing for a seed seems to be a better plan to me.

For those who like it the argument is it makes the regular season mean something. You earn your spot in Week No. 10 by playing nine games. It removes the play well for two or three games at the end of the season and save your season mentality. Where you get seeded depends on the point system based on your nine regular season games.

I see some merit in that plan. I like having the regular season mean something. That makes every game have meaning. The regular season has meaning now but with a three-game district schedule everybody knows that a season can be turned around with two or three wins in the season’s final weeks.

Even though when I started covering high school football back in 1992 I wasn’t sure if I like the three-game district season over time I have become a fan because it works in most cases. Now that I am used to it and understand the points system for tiebreakers, it is gone. Oh well it is time to get ready for the new system.

While it may seem like this change is more than a year away, changes are already in order. The scheduling process has begun and that will be the true test of whether this works.

While it is easy to say just go schedule nine games and then get ready for the postseason it isn’t quite that easy. The scheduling practices that have been in place for more than 20 years are now being totally revamped as conferences and teams search to fill open weeks on their schedule.

The new schedules won’t be released for a while but it should be interesting to see if any new matchups occur. Who knows maybe we will see a few more games between teams who sit on opposite sides of the state line. I know I would be in favor of that.

Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send e-mail to dion@prepskc.com.