The Debate Over Seeding the IHSAA Tourney Will Have to Wait for 2021


Debates. There’s been plenty of them in 2020.  Whether or not to wear a mask, whether sports can or should be played, and who is the better candidate in the 2020 election have all been debated plenty.

It’s also time for my annual debate on whether or not we need to seed the IHSAA State Tournament for football.

There’s only one problem…the ping pong balls got it right this year.

Believe me, I WANT to find evidence to support my case that the days of trusting randomness are over.  It’s unfair to teams that have success during the regular season to get drawn consecutively and play each other in an opening game.  Teams that have good seasons should be rewarded with an easier postseason path, but too often we see Sectional favorites meeting before the championship round.

This year, it seems my rant will have to wait for 2021.  The championship games, scheduled for November 6, could be a parade of the best two teams in each sectional.  We could have some great football to decide who advances to area regionals.

For instance, in 6A, the consensus would be the rematch of Homestead-Carroll would be the best possible championship game.  You have an improving Snider team and a dangerous Warsaw team that are worthy challengers, but we all remember 70-41.  We remember the 10 straight possessions that Homestead scored touchdowns.  We know the rivalry that has grown over the past few decades between these schools, and with Carroll at Warsaw and Homestead hosting Snider, they would meet at Carroll to decide the championship if both avoid upsets in round one.

In 5A, Northrop and North Side will open the sectional to decide who meets Dwenger for the title.  No offense to Anderson, who has won two in a row after an 0-5 start, but Bishop Dwenger is not in the same class (figuratively, not literally) as the teams the Indians have played this season.

In 4A, Sectional 19 has so many good teams it’s difficult to pick a top two, but Leo, Northridge and East Noble stand out.  With Columbia City once again fading when playing the top teams in the NE8, and Angola not playing the same schedule as the others, I believe the other three would be considered the top “seeds”.  While Leo traveling to Northridge seems like an unfair opener, the Lions would be at home for NorthWood and likely host East Noble in the championship should both make it.

In 3A, Concordia and Norwell wouldn’t meet until November 6th, and if the favorites survive each round, the Cadets wouldhost the championship.

In 2A, Eastside (7-1) at Bluffton (7-1) is an intriguing opener, but the winner should advance to the championship against the survivor from the bottom half of the bracket, where Luers and Fairfield (7-0) could meet in a semi-final at Fairfield.

In 1A, South Adams (8-0) wouldn’t play Monroe Central (5-1) until the final, and Adams Central/Southwood, the favorites in sectional 44, are on opposite sides of the bracket and could play for the ticket to regional on November 6th.

With most of the brackets pretty well balanced, the date November 6 should be circled on everyone’s calendar.  It could be a special night of huge match-ups to decide sectional champions.

And give me absolutely nothing to complain about.

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