With one more year remaining in the four-year trial period for its current football playoff system that advances the top two teams from each district, the Missouri State High School Activities Association is considering a change to the format.
MSHSAA is requesting input from member schools about its playoff system. Three options are being considered:
1. Keep the current system, which advances half of the state’s football teams into the playoffs.
2. Return to the previous system – used from 1988-2007 – which qualified one team from each four-team district.
3. Play a nine-game regular season with the 10th week beginning a seeded tournament that would include every team in the state.
Under option No. 3, teams would be awarded points for wins and bonus points for playing teams in a larger classification or with winning records during the regular season. A discussed system would award 30 ponts for a win, 20 for a tie and 10 for a loss. After Week 9, the teams in each eight-team district would be ranked in order of their point totals.
Week 10 would be considered the opening round of a three-week district tournament. Matchups would be 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 seeds.
MSHSAA provided a bracket of what the system would have looked like with this year’s teams. Houston, seeded eighth, would have played top-seeded Liberty in the opening round. Other matchups in the Tigers’ district would have been: (2) Strafford vs. (7) Hollister; (3) Cuba vs. (6) Ash Grove; and (4) Fair Grove vs. (5) Willow Springs.
Following three weeks of district play, the winner would advance in the postseason bracket. It would be a similar format to the ones used in basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball.