The CIAC football committee took care of one problem on Wednesday, but left another unresolved.
The quarterfinal round will be scrapped for next season as it forced some athletes to play three games in 10 days (i.e. Thanksgiving, and the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds the following Tuesday and Saturday).
Next season, there will be a semifinal round played the weekend after Thanksgiving. The finals follow the weekend after that. It is a one-year deal as the committee will continue to look at other options.
The committee, which features both administrators and coaches, didn't want to reduce the number of qualifiers from 32. They'll decide on a format at their February meeting as didn't want to make a hasty decision.
Keeping the number at 32 poses a problem with one less playoff round.
DO THE MATH — the only way to equally distribute 32 teams and have them only play two rounds is by having eight, four-team divisions.
We're not going to get into why this will suffice, or why it may be the worst thing to happen to football since "Up With People" performed at Super Bowl XVI. The plan is to address all the issues at another date.
Instead, we'll focus on how to format the eight divisions. There were a few ideas bandied about yesterday.
Here's the fairest way to do it — enrollment.
(Kind of obvious, ain't it?)
Here's whatchu' do: continue ranking teams in four enrollment-based divisions (Class LL, L, M and S).
Once the top eight teams have been decided in each division, split each one in half using the school's boys' enrollment.
Finally, seed the eight divisions using CIAC playoff points. This way the points, and the regular season, still mean something.
Here's what the playoffs would've looked like if that system was last season (state champions are in bold):
1. Glastonbury (1,077 boys)
2. Southington (1,009)
3. NFA (1,071)
4. Ridgefield (906)
1. Newtown (905)
2. Hall (725)
3. West Haven (794)
4. Fairfield Prep (896)
1. Darien (659)
2. New Canaan (629)
3. Middletown (674)
4. Farmington (678)
1. Platt (619)
2. New London (536)
3. North Haven (625)
4. Hand (617)
1. Barlow (487)
2. Bethel (502)
3. Ledyard (465)
4. Quinnebaug Valley (508)
1. Valley Regional/Old Lyme (409)
2. St. Joseph (440)
3. Brookfield (433)
4. Gilbert/Northwestern Regional (431)
1. Ansonia (323)
2. Rocky Hill (345)
3. Woodland (363)
4. Prince Tech (359)
1. Capital (239)
2. Morgan (308)
3. Coginchaug (279)
4. Bloomfield (276)
So, ah, what do you think?
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Here are stories about the playoff changes from across the state. They're worth looking at because some reporters talked to coaches in their region, thus giving YOU more opinions on the topic:
Marc Allard, Norwich Bulletin: CIAC eliminates high school football playoff quarterfinals.
Doug Bonjour, Hearst Inc.: Still 32 teams but no quarterfinals.
Kountry Kyle Brennan, Waterbury Republican-American: CIAC proposes changes for football playoffs, practices.
Bryant Carpenter, Meriden Record-Journal: Face of CIAC football playoffs changing again.
Sean Patrick Starfish, JRC Amalgamated: CIAC football committee agrees to eliminate state quarterfinals for 2014.
Tom Yantz, Hartford Courant: CIAC To Limit Contact Drills At Football Practices.
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Appreciate you reading. More later.
Thank you. Drive thru....