The NCHSAA was trying something new this season with its football playoff seedings. They wanted to incorporate Maxpreps.com more into the seedings and final pairings and used the nationwide website to do just that this year.
Granted, I understand the seeding process is a tough job, and especially so in football, where they break teams into “A” and “AA” ranks based on average daily enrollment for each of the four classifications.
But they missed the ball this year.
The most egregious of the mistakes – and the one that has gotten the most heat on Twitter and other social media sites – is the case of South Caldwell.
The Spartans out of Hudson, N.C. have not had a good year. They were outscored by nearly 300 points, went 1-6 in their conference and only defeated McDowell, who is 2-9.
Yet, despite their 1-10 record, they have a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the 4-A playoffs.
There are other cases of the NCHSAA messing this up.
South Meck (2-9), Ardrey Kell (3-8, 10th seed) made the 4-AA bracket, Graham got a No. 5 seed in the 2-A brackets despite a 3-8 record and South Roberson is a No. 3 seed in the 1-A bracket despite a 3-8 record. In all, 38 teams are in the playoffs with losing records, but I understand that probably has to happen in the lower classifications where there are fewer teams.
Another of the biggest flub ups comes from Union County.
The Maxpreps and NCHSAA partnership was supposed to take Maxpreps classification rankings and rely heavily on those to seed teams.
In a way, that makes sense, but they didn’t stick to it.
With Charlotte Catholic qualifying as a 3-A school, it seemed fair for Maxpreps to have the Mavs ranked No. 1 in 3-AA play after a great 10-1 regular season.
But when it came time to seed the teams, the Mavs were given a No. 5 seed.
I can’t understand why.
Worse, Sun Valley was ranked sixth in the 3-AA subclass, but the Spartans – after an 8-3 record and in a conference with Catholic, defending state champion Weddington and Marvin Ridge – were given a No. 12 seed and a first-round matchup at Marvin Ridge.
The first meeting between the teams was outstanding and I fully expect the rematch to be the same, but I hate having conference rivals face off in the first round.
Even more, I hate that the system is so flawed.
The NCHSAA tried something new, but it didn’t work at all.