OSN Time Out
Josh Callaway 10/16/20
Week 7 of the Oklahoma High School Football season is now a wrap after the annual Thursday night slate of games to accommodate schools’ fall breaks.
That means there are just three weeks of regular season remaining, and it is now certainly time to start to pay very close attention to the playoff races all around the state.
This year is extra messy given teams playing different schedules with different amounts of games competing for the same playoff spots.
The headaches and arguments are surely coming as the OSSAA and coaches try to sort out how exactly to finish this season as fairly as possible.
It has been widely suggested for weeks the potential of playing multiple games in a week to make up for the district games missed.
For example, moving a game up from a Friday to a Thursday, and then playing the following Monday before returning to Friday action just a few days later.
Some people think this works, others do not.
That is a lot of time spent on the field in not a big span of time for the players, but you can best believe they would be all for it in order to get all their games in.
If schools did that, it would allow everyone to get their full district schedule played and thus making the normal playoff determination valid.
The other big option for a fair resolution to the season, and it’s gaining traction, would be to expand the playoffs.
Obviously, not all classes are the same size so it would need to be a case-by-base basis for how exactly to expand – but this seems extremely plausible overall.
With 6A split into 6A-I and 6A-II they are a non-issue for expansion.
5A, 4A, and 3A are all the same in that they have four, eight-team districts. Typically, the top four in each district make the playoffs to form a 16-team bracket.
It is completely doable to just allow all teams in, make a 32-team bracket, and use that to determine a champion.
It would only add one week onto the postseason, and most of these teams have missed at least one game at this point anyway.
Where it gets hard is the lower levels where there are simply more schools competing for that championship.
Take 2A for example, where they have eight districts of eight teams – which would create a 64-team playoff bracket.
That would be two extra weeks of games (barring postponements) and I don’t know if that’s a road those schools are going to want to go down.
But for 3A and above, it seems like an easy one-year change to make to try and get this season to as satisfying of a conclusion as possible.
Everyone gets their shot to prove themselves in the postseason, leaving no room for arguments over unfair scheduling.
The drawbacks to this plan would be how much football season is now running into basketball season considering it already does in a normal year – and now we are talking about adding extra playoff rounds.
Also, another obvious hurdle is going to be the fact there are games postponed in Oklahoma every single week at a fairly high clip.
Just being a realist, it’s impossible not to expect for some playoff games to get impacted at some point especially i f we are expanding and adding more games.
What exactly happens when a playoff game can’t be played? Your guess is as good as mine.
But, at the end of the day, this looks to be among the most fair ways to determine state champions this year.
Is it perfect? No, of course not – but what is in 2020?
It’s been a wild regular season, we might as well have a wild postseason as well.