Here we are just days away from brackets being filled out and playoff games being scheduled. In Kansas and Missouri every team makes the postseason and it has been that way for enough time that we can come to some conclusions. The systems, while better than the old 4-team districts, could use some changes on both sides of the state line.
In Missouri the splitting of the classes into eight districts in classes 1-5 and four districts in class 6 has been around since 2012. There have been slight changes made to how the classes are divided and how private schools are treated but the format has remained unchanged.
In Kansas the everyone makes the postseason started with Class 5A and 6A in 2016 and then Class 4A went to that format in 2018. Classes 1A-3A still have a district format where teams are eliminated. Currently most districts eliminate one school with a few eliminating two as 32 teams make the postseason in each class.
Ok, there is the history lesson on the overall format so let’s dive into what is working and what is not.
In Missouri Class 6 is different than the others because it is limited to 32 teams. I think with that number and given the size of the schools that format is fine. In Class 1 there are 64 teams and in Classes 2-5 the numbers are spread out evenly with a few rules on school size thrown in. The range is 52-54 for each of those classes.
So my question is this. Should more than 32 teams make the postseason each year? I don’t think so. Class 6 is fine so there should be no change there.
I would make sure 1-5 each have at least 56 teams. You would have at least 7 teams in each district so in week 10 the bottom two teams would play each other for a 10th game. If a district has eight teams the top two seeds would get byes, if it is a 7-team district the top team.
This removes some of the biggest blowouts we see in week 10 and gives teams that haven’t had much success a chance to end their season on a positive note against a team that should be of similar accomplishment.
In Missouri you could still use the points system if you like though there should probably be some tweaks there but that’s another column.
On the Kansas side I would do something similar. If the format is 32 schools split into two brackets give the top two seeds a bye and let 15 and 16 play each other in the final week. That solves a problem that is worse than a bad 1 vs. 8 in Missouri Class 1 or a bad 2 vs. 7 in Classes 2-5.
In Kansas the 1 vs. 16 and the 2 vs. 15 games are not good and need to go away now. All you need to see is a game like Mill Valley and Topeka Highland Park from last year in 5A. The Jaguars easily got to 38-0 before a player was injured right before halftime and after a long delay the game was ended. Nobody benefitted from that.
I would definitely change how Kansas seeds just based off record but again that’s another column.
Just a thought as we enter another postseason.