A proposal to revamp the district assignment method for Class A football has much merit.
That can’t be said for another attempt to split a dwindling number of Class C football teams from two classes to three.
The Class A proposal would place the 28 schools in four districts, instead of five. There would be six district games and three nondistrict games on a nine-game schedule. Schools would be seeded into districts based on the most recent two-year playoff-point averages. So if the plan was in place for this year, the 2010 and 2011 numbers would have been used.
Gone would be Metro Conference-only districts. Those 16 teams would go into the statewide mix.
In theory, it should create more balance among districts and avoid stacked districts like District 2 this year. All five teams in that district — Millard North, Omaha North, Papillion-La Vista, Omaha Burke and Bellevue West — are likely to be in the 16-team state bracket even after beating up on each other for the final five weeks of the season.
Contrast that to Districts 3 and 4, which probably will get only the district winner and runner-up to state.
A further tweak needs to be considered. Mix in the nondistrict contests to break up a season-ending block of district games. Football is a game of attrition. A key injury or two before districts can turn a promising season sour. So why not play nondistrict games every third week starting with the season openers? It would allow the opportunity for a player on the mend to sit out a nondistrict game. It also could spread out rivalry (read: money) games.
As for the creation of Class C-3, don’t hold your breath. From what was heard at Friday’s monthly meeting, the Nebraska School Activities Association board of directors isn’t so inclined. While schools can go through the legislative process to request a change, the board still has the final say.
“We have the least amount of schools ever and they want more classes,” said District I board member Mark Norvell, the superintendent at Class C Fillmore Central.
There are a total of 96 teams in Classes C-1 and C-2. That’s 20 fewer than five years ago. Eight-man ball has lost seven teams in the same interval. But give Class C three classes, and eight-man will want the same.
“Trust me,” said NSAA board chairman Bob Reznicek, the Boys Town athletic director. “That proposal is coming.”
Playoff update: With two weeks left in the regular season, the postseason picture begins to take shape. A safe assumption is that any team with six or more wins will be in the playoffs, the basis for the following projections. In Class A, the top two teams in each district and six at-large teams qualify. In Class B, it’s eight district champions and eight at-large teams.
District 1: Millard West clinches this week with a win over 1-6 Omaha Northwest and an Omaha Creighton Prep win against Bellevue East.
District 2: Millard North has qualified. Omaha North and Papilion-La Vista qualify with wins.
District 3: Omaha Westside has qualified. Millard South qualifies this week with a win against 0-7 Omaha Benson.
District 4: Kearney and Lincoln North Star have qualified. They meet Friday night in Kearney.
District 5: Lincoln Southeast has qualified. Lincoln Pius X qualifies with a win against Lincoln Southwest.
Already qualified are Omaha Skutt and Omaha Gross in District 1, Gretna in District 2, Beatrice in District 5 and Scottsbluff in District 8.
Those projected to qualify with a win this week are Ralston in District 1, Elkhorn in District 3, South Sioux City in District 4, Norris in District 5, Aurora and Grand Island Northwest in District 6, McCook in District 7 and Allliance in District 8.
Top 10 changes: Omaha North got back on track with a 49-21 win against then-No. 3 Papillion-La Vista. The Vikings return at No. 9, with Papio tumbling to 10th.
Gone is Prep (4-3), which has lost three of five games. The most recent was last Thursday, 31-20 to Millard West after leading in the fourth quarter.
Kearney, with its highest ranking of the season, is third behind Millard North and Lincoln Southeast.
Other classes: Grand Island Northwest had the shocking win of the week, blasting host Aurora 54-0 for the Huskies’ second loss in three weeks. Northwest enters the Class B rankings at No. 8 with the Huskies dropping out.
The last two undefeated teams to make the rankings are O’Neill in Class C-1 and Hemingford in Eight Man-1.
Top games this week:
Class A — Friday: Millard North at Omaha Westside, Papillion-La Vista at Omaha Burke, Lincoln North Star at Kearney.
Class B — Thursday: Gretna at Elkhorn. Friday: Omaha Skutt at Ralston, Crete at Norris.
Class C-1 — Friday: Pierce at Norfolk Catholic, Grand Island CC at Adams Central, Boone Central/NG at Columbus Lakeview, Chase County at Kearney Catholic.
Class C-2 — Friday: Crofton at Battle Creek, Thayer Central at Sutton, Hartington CC at West Holt, Doniphan-Trumbull at Hastings SC.
Eight Man-2 — Friday: Kenesaw at Shelton, Wausa at Osmond.
Six Man — Friday: Sioux County at Elkhorn Valley.
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