Ind brackets 2018.jpg

(10-7-18) It is a fall tradition, IHSAA Football Playoff Selection Sunday.

The ugly argument about seeding teams in the IHSAA football tournament always happen this time of year. Is it fair to not seed teams or just continue the blind draw. Why are teams not seeded, is there an official answer?

You don’t have to be a Rocket Scientist to see what happens in numerous brackets. Take a look at the Stateline area teams in Class 1A Sectional 43.

Sectional Records

  • 8-0 Adams Central
  • 8-0 Southwood
  • 7-1 Churubusco
  • 6-2 South Adams
  • 5-3 Eastside
  • 4-4 Northfield
  • 1-7 Southern Wells
  • 1-7 Fremont

Did you know….

  • Three of the best records play in the bottom bracket, Churubusco will play South Adams in the opener, if seeded by record they would have been #3 and #4.
  • Southern Wells (1-7) has only one win this season, a 42-0 win over Fremont, who they play in the Sectional opener. Had they been seeded by record they would have been #7 and #8.
  • Fremont’s first win of the season was Friday night over Prairie Heights (1-7) 35-34 (Prairie Heights only win was over a home-school football team the Tri-State Crusaders 64-0)
  • Churubusco’s first loss of the season happened last Friday night, losing to West Noble 17-14
  • Southwood, has scored 257 points (32.1), while giving up just 29 point6s (3.6), including four shut outs

Jay County

Jay County FB 2018


Bellmont FB 2018

So what’s fair? There will always be arguments about how schools are placed in brackets for football tournaments.

Ohio has a computer points system for schools to qualify in football, seven divisions, eight schools based on these points qualify in each region, there are four regions in each class. Each region is seeded according to their ranking in that area.

Illinois has eight divisions and for any school to at least qualify for the playoffs they need five wins (doesn’t guarantee a spot) out of a nine game schedule, six wins guarantee you a spot, even if you won against those teams with all losing records. Teams are seeded according to regular season records and the higher seed always hosts the 1st round game.

Indiana is an exception to these and many other states, everyone makes the playoffs and their is no seeding for sectionals, with a blind draw. This allows for some of the situations we talked about in today’s draw. After playing a full-regular season of games their is no consideration for an undefeated school or a reward for having done well.

Which way works the best? If the goal is to find the best team in each class, blind draw makes it difficult sometimes for that to happen, some will say it is only fair to have a blind draw, because ‘everyone is equal‘. Some say you have to beat everybody anyway to win the title, while on the other side you take away a lot of the anticipation of making the playoffs since evryone qualifies.

It is hard to find two states out of the 50 that play football who handle playoffs the same. There is no perfect answer, some are better than others.