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MOUJAES: Playoff system kind and cruel

AnthonyMoujaes • Nov 2, 2010 at 11:22 AM

The Register newsroom was abuzz Friday night, just like it is every Friday night during the fall.

The puzzle that was Week 10 fit in place late Friday-early Saturday with scores across the state flowing into the sports department. Coupled with hitting the refresh button on our web browsers every 30 seconds and what felt like more mathematics than a college-level statistics class, the last week of the season was as exciting as election day -- which, FYI, is today if you didn't know -- in a newsroom.

Is Sandusky in or out?

Did Oak Harbor get enough points from other teams to help the Rockets get in?

Who's at home and who's on the road?

Turns out the Blue Streaks are indeed in, getting help from yet another Clear Fork win (they're 9-1, with the only loss in Week 1 to Sandusky), and having the teams behind them lose. Sandusky slipped two spots to No. 8 -- initially they were pegged at No. 7 before the status changed Saturday morning -- which was still good for a Week 11.

A 6-4 record isn't always good enough for a playoff berth. And teams like Oak Harbor and St. Paul, both with 7-3 records, saw their seasons end.

But the playoff ranking system illustrates the importance of quality wins instead of just any win.

The Blue Streaks aren't the only 6-4 team playing this Friday or Saturday.

There are a handful of teams with five-win seasons who made the playoffs -- one of them, Columbus DeSales, got the No. 8 spot just ahead of Oak Harbor.

Of interest, most of the five-win or six-win teams in the playoffs this year are schools named St. Someone-or-other or Bishop This or Cardinal That.

Private schools.

But private schools who played tough schedules and opted for tough non-conference games. DeSales had games against Lakewood St. Edward, Cincinnati LaSalle, New Albany (all three combined for one loss).

For a while, when there were four playoff teams per region before the expansion to the current eight, there were some 10-0 teams left out of the playoffs.

Say what you want about the merits of 6-4 or 5-5 teams in the playoffs. Just know that 6-4 or 5-5 teams have gone to play a state championship; See DeSales, which played in the state finals 2001.

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