Football committee recommends new seeding committee and criteria for playoffs

Valor Christian Grandview football

(Steve Oathout)

AURORA — Football may be moving toward a more unified and consistent approach to playoff seeding. It also may be using a new set of criteria as part of that process.

During the sport's committee meeting on Thursday, the group recommended that classes 1A through 5A be seeded by one seeding committee. The aim is consistency in seeding, something the committee felt was lacking in 2018.

"That is the one thing we heard more than anything else, was concerns about how things were seeded," said Chris Noll, the chair of the football committee, who is the district athletic director of Colorado Springs School District 11. "This will ensure consistency."

This model of one committee to seed all classes is currently used by volleyball.

The 6-man and 8-man brackets would continue to be seeded by their individual committees because of the uniqueness of their classifications, but also because of the classifications are satisfied with their current setup.

"They do an amazing job," Noll said. "They've got it figured out."

So the recommendation, which would need approval from the Legislative Council during its meeting in April, is to have the football committee seed all brackets from 1A-5A. The football committee is made up of two representatives per classification. Any active coaches would be replaced by another representative from that class due to a bylaw that prohibits coaches from sitting on seeding committees.

The number of qualifiers wouldn't change. That means 16-team brackets in 6-man through 4A, and a 24-team bracket in 5A.

Additionally, the way teams qualify is not different from the current setup. That means league champions qualify automatically, and the remainder of the field is filled by the final RPI standings of the regular season in all classes but 5A.

In 5A, after league champions automatically qualify, the next 17 spots are filled by teams from leagues other than the Metro 10 League according to the final RPI standings. The final spot on the 5A bracket is filled via an at-large berth which is selected by the seeding committee.

But the recommendation, which would begin in 2019 if approved, also includes a change in criteria that would be used by the seeding committee. They would use the following, equally weighted:

  • RPI rankings, posted on CHSAANow.com.
  • MaxPreps rankings, posted on MaxPreps.com.
  • Packard rankings, created and maintained by Erik Packard, an associate professor of mathematics at Colorado Mesa.
  • Coaches poll, facilitated by CHSAANow. All head coaches would be invited to vote at the beginning of the season, and could only vote in their own classification. In order to vote in the final poll, coaches must vote in eight out of 10 polls for a 10-week season, or seven out of nine polls for a nine-week season.

Once on the bracket, teams could be moved one spot at maximum based upon head-to-head, if they are consecutive seeds. If the scenario exists where three or more consecutive seeds have all beat one another, they would be left as originally placed on the bracket.

When possible, conference opponents would not be paired against one another in the first round. Geography could also be considered. These adjustments would be made for seeds Nos. 9-16 in 1A-4A, and seeds Nos. 17-24 in 5A.

6-man schedule change

The committee recommended that 6-man move its season up a week, and return to playing its championship game one week before all other classes. They would begin play on the same week as the rest of the classifications.

If approved, the 2019 title game would be on Nov. 23.

"All 6-man schools are in favor of this," said classification representative Ryan Christiansen of Cotopaxi.

Notables

  • The officials association presented on the declining number of officials. In 2013, there were 744 officials. Last season, there were 574. As a result, 97 games had to be moved off of Friday nights due to a lack of officials.
  • Denver Christian is resuming its football program, and will have a JV team next season. The plan is for the team to be varsity in 2020 as an 8-man program.
  • A major topic of discussion was how to help struggling programs. "We know, more than ever, that we need to as a state association try to find ways to help those programs stay afloat," CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green told the committee.
  • In that same train of thought, Cheyenne Mountain athletic director Kris Roberts discussed an idea to create a league in 4A similar to the Metro 10 in 5A, which aims to help struggling programs rebuild. "We want to put together a group that can go out and play some like schools and have some success," Roberts said.