It’s really no wonder that some folks want an expanded high school football playoff plan for Michigan.  They keep hearing “bowl eligible,” the phrase that seems to measure a successful season for many college football teams.  Six wins and you might get a bowl invitation, even if you’ve also lost six games.

Whether it’s college football, the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB or . . . qualifying for postseason play defines a good season , or at least defines something other than a bad season.

So it’s really not a surprise that limiting the MHSAA Football Playoffs to 42 percent of football schools – all those which win six games and a few that win five – is unsatisfying to some of our constituents.

But it is disappointing that those involved in educational athletics don’t insist on a better way of measuring success.  Like making the most of one’s talent.  Like showing improvement from one year to the next.  Like increasing the number of players on the team, and their grade-point averages in school, and their citizenship in the community.


# Adam
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 3:52 PM
Mr. Roberts, I have to respectfully disagree. You've acknowledged that scheduling is a problem. Schools are having a legitimately difficult time finding enough opponents to fill out a schedule. Why? Because everybody's paranoid about finding 6 wins. The *same thing* would happen if only 42% of schools qualified in basketball. But that's not what happens; 100% do. And if 100% of Football schools qualified, the scheduling problems would also dissipate.
# John
Thursday, January 21, 2010 7:49 AM
The scheduling problems would not be fully taken care of, because the teams still want that revenue from a home playoff. Only thing that would to have to happen is to reward a say div 6 team playing div1234and 5 teams as part of a regional district.
# Adam
Friday, January 22, 2010 6:26 PM
John, even if the problems would not be "fully taken care of," they'd be at least partially taken care of, and isn't that better than nothing at all? I mean, there are 3 competing concerns:
1. Should a school be able to decide for itself what league it belongs to and, consequently, what it's schedule looks like? I think most people feel "yes" (myself included), although there's a proposal to have the MHSAA govern that.
2. Should a school be able to fill out a schedule with similarly-sized schools and not subject itself to unreasonable travel? I say yes, and I think most people agree, except (perhaps) outside of a few metro areas where the locals have no real concept of what travel is like in the rural parts of the state.
3. Should only "deserving" schools make the playoffs? People seem to feel yes.

I think you can only have 2 out of 3, and if I had to discard one, it'd be the 3rd.

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