Here's how football teams will qualify for the postseason, and be seeded

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AURORA — The football postseason is fast approaching. Here's a rundown of how teams in each classification can qualify for the postseason, and then how they will be seeded in their brackets.

Note that seeding committees in all classes are made up of one representative from each conference. The representatives are all administrators; no coaches are permitted on the seeding committees.

Class 5A

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Qualification:

  • The six conference champions will receive an automatic berth to the playoffs. The next 17 teams as ranked by the final RPI standings of the regular season will qualify, with the exception of a second team from the Metro 10 Conference. That is a total of 23 teams.
  • The final spot on the bracket will be selected by the seeding committee as an at-large berth. They will use RPI, head-to-head, strength of schedule and common opponents to determine the at-large berth.
  • The Metro 10 Conference will have its conference champion automatically qualify for the postseason. This league can only have a second team considered for placement through the at-large process conducted by the seeding committee. The league can, at maximum, have two postseason qualifiers.

Seeding:

  • The seeding committee will use the following criteria to seed the bracket, in no particular order: Final RPI ranking, common opponents, strength of schedule and head-to-head matchups.
  • Conference champions are not guaranteed to host first-round games.
  • The seeding committee will try to avoid first-round conference matchups where possible.
  • Geography will also be a consideration in the first round, where possible.
  • Teams seeded Nos. 1-8 will receive a first-round bye. Teams seeded Nos. 9-24 will play in the first round.

4A, 3A, 2A, 1A and 8-man

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Qualification:

  • Conference champions will receive and automatic berth. The remaining teams on the brackets will be filled based upon highest ranking in the final RPI standings.

Seeding:

  • The seeding committee will use the following criteria to seed the bracket, in no particular order: Final RPI ranking, common opponents, strength of schedule and head-to-head matchups.
  • A conference champion seeded in the top 10 will host a first-round game, so long as they are not playing another conference champion. This means that a team seeded No. 10 could host a team seeded No. 7, if the No. 7 team is not a conference champion, and the No. 10 team is. Seeds will not be changed.
  • When possible, the seeding committee will try to avoid a first-round conference matchup.
  • Geography will also be considered in the first round, if possible.

6-man

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Qualification:

  • Conference champions will automatically qualify for the postseason bracket. The remaining teams will be placed into the field based upon highest ranking in the final RPI standings.

Seeding:

  • Teams who finished Nos. 1-8 in the final RPI standings will be seeded Nos. 1-8 on the bracket.
  • Seeds Nos. 9-16 will be seeded based upon RPI standings and geography.
  • Conference champions are not guaranteed a top-8 seed.
  • Where possible, the seeding committee will try to avoid first-round conference matchups.
  • Geography will also be considered in the first round, where possible.

Seeding process for all classes

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The following process will be utilized for all classes when seeding the bracket for 8-man through 5A:

  • Conference champions ranked in the top 16 (or top 24 for 5A) of the final RPI rankings are placed on the board for consideration.
  • The seeding committee will determine the No. 1 overall seed based upon its criteria. The No. 2 team from that same conference as the No. 1 seed will be placed on the board for consideration, along with the other teams currently on the board.
  • The seeding committee will determine the No. 2 overall seed based upon its criteria. The next-highest team from the same conference as the No. 2 overall seed will then be placed upon the board for consideration, along with the other teams currently on the board.
  • This process will be followed until all 16 (or 24 for 5A) teams are seeded.