Posted at: 11/29/2013 4:25 PM
By: J.P. Murrieta, KOB Eyewitness Sports 4
I'm going to get on my soap box and try to get the NMAA and the high school football coaches from across the state to get behind my push to play the state finals in one location.
In Florida, all the title games are played in Orlando in mid-December. In Wisconsin, the champs are all crowned at Camp Randall Stadium. Heinz Field in Pittsburgh will host the Pennsylvania state title games and in Texas the kids get to play at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, home of the Dallas Cowboys. So why don't we play them in one location in New Mexico?
If someone throws out the "We've always done it that way" reason, I'll scream. Some coaches like the 50-50 chance of getting to host a championship game on their home field. This, obviously, creates a huge advantage for the home team. I would argue to those coaches, your kids are missing out on an opportunity to play on a bigger stage and in front of a bigger crowd (in most cases). Wouldn't it make more sense to have the 3A, 4A and 5A finals all played on a Saturday in December in one location?
I've talked with many coaches who would like to play all the title games on one day at either University Stadium or Aggie Memorial Stadium. Heck, you could rotate them each year if you'd like.
State soccer is played at a neutral site. State basketball is played at a neutral site. State baseball is played at a neutral site. Softball is too. Why is football the only sport that doesn't play ALL the championships on one day in one location?
I don't care if it's played in Albuquerque or Las Cruces or some other location, or even rotated, but let's pick a spot and turn Championship Saturday into the same celebration of sports like basketball.
That's my first item I think should be changed with the high school football playoffs. The second is the method of determing home field advantage.
According to the NMAA bylaws, the higher seed will host the first round of 12 and quarterfinal games. In the semifinal and final rounds, the home site is determined by the past history and/or a coin flip if the two schools don't have any playoff history.
In some cases, schools have to go back decades to determine when the last time the two schools met. That's just silly.
Also, why are the rules different in the first round and quarterfinals and then changed for the semifinal and final? Let's make it consistent all the way through the playoffs.
The higher seed should get to host a game all through the playoffs up until the title game, then play the state championships in one location on one day.
When I run for office, I will also move to have the Super Bowl played on a Saturday and trick or treating for Halloween will always be recognized as the last Saturday in October. But I will save those items for another blog.