CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod proposed a new playoff format for many of its sports including football.
It would be playoff divisions by competitive equity and not by league.
For instance, a school such as defending state champion Redlands East Valley would likely be placed into a higher CIF-SS division than the other schools in the Citrus Belt League.
Cajon coach Nick Rogers is one of those coaches who likes the idea.
“I look at our league and four of the top 10 teams in CIF are in our league,” Rogers said. “Theoretically, the fourth team might not get in (the playoffs), but this would help. I think we’re in a strong league right now.”
Rogers said he feels for the Big VIII League, which is in the Pac-5 Division largely based on the success of Corona Centennial.
This would enable Corona Centennial to be in a higher division than some of the other schools.
“I couldn’t imagine being in that league, but we have REV, the top program around,” Rogers said. “I’d be all for it (the proposal).”
In the proposal, the previous two years of playoff data would be used to determine playoff divisions. Like it is now for basketball, divisions would be set prior to each season.
The problem for football is that brackets can only be 16 teams. Byes will be filled with an at-large process. In theory, four- and five-team leagues would get two guaranteed entries, leagues of 6-8 teams would be guaranteed three, while leagues of nine or more would get four.
But, if more than 16 teams qualify in a division, via the “guaranteed” process, then teams would have to be cut using the same at-large criteria used to fill byes. So guaranteed entries would be a misnomer.
Serrano coach Ray Maholchic is one coach who doesn’t like the idea.
“We focus on trying to win league,” he said. “When you win league, you’re accomplishing something, you should be rewarded. With competitive equity, it’s almost like you’re punishing teams that are winning … or you’re rewarding teams that have mediocrity.”
Maholchic also said many playoff opponents have developed rivalries, and that would be gone under a new format.
My take: I”m not sure if this is a good idea for football. It might be good for other sports, but football is already the No. 1 component in releaguing. And schools should know whether they are automatically in the playoffs before it comes to the committee. Does third place get in or not? I think in many sports, it’s a good idea. But in football, I’d say no.