From all the talk this week, you’d think everyone wants the BCS to come in and take over the state football tournament.
Yes, on Saturday afternoon, No. 1 Lakes plays No. 2 Skyline in the round of 16. For some, this is apparently becoming a borderline issue of national security.
Forget that the 1 and the 2 preceding both these teams are purely subjective measures, and nobody has seen each of each of these teams’ games (other than maybe the two coaching staffs).
And forget that No. 4 O’Dea has been a tour de force this season, or that No. 3 Kamiakin didn’t give up a single point until its sixth game. Couldn’t either of these two teams be No. 1 or No. 2? And if you didn’t notice, No. 5 Ferndale and No. 6 Franklin Pierce haven’t lost yet, either.
Or forget that NINE teams are either the top seed from their conference or a division champ. Yes, nine:
O’Dea (Metro League Mountain)
Meadowdale (WesCo 3A)
Kamiakin (Columbia Basin)
Lakes (Western Cascade)
Skyline (KingCo 3A)
Nathan Hale (Metro League Sound)
Franklin Pierce (SPSL 3A)
And Camas finished tied for the Greater St. Helens League, so really, we have 10 division/conference champions in 16-team tournament. We’d have 11 if Newport hadn’t knocked out Columbia River in the first round (and co-Seamount champs Renton and Kennedy also lost in the first round). So guess what? A few of them are going to have to play one another right off the bat.
And when teams play completely different schedules, who are we to say which teams deserve different roads to the state tournament? Every top seed gets a favorable matchup in the district cross-over round. After that, I say they fend for themselves. As Herm Edwards would say:
Lakes coach Dave Miller suggested the WIAA possibly use the AP poll, or maybe even a panel of retired coaches or a tournament committee to better seed the tournament. Miller is a heck of a coach, but I think he’s making a good thing complicated here.
High school sports is the one of the few places that hasn’t been touched by our bracketology-obsessed world. These days, everything must be ranked. I’ll let you in on a secret: the rankers aren’t all-knowing. We put a great deal of thought into our rankings, but we honestly don’t know. We haven’t seen any teams east of the Cascades, and not a single writer here has seen a team more than three or four times all year.
You want us to decide who plays whom in the playoffs? Really?
Tonight’s top games
1. State quarterfinals, volleyball, 3:30 to 8 p.m, Toyota Center in Kennewick. Can Bishop Blanchet defend its 3A title? Can someone knock of Mead in Class 4A?
2. Holy Names at Lakeside, girls soccer, 7 p.m. at Southwest Athletic Complex. The girls from Holy Names haven’t beaten Lakeside in three tries. But the fourth time will be all that matters, with a spot in next weekend’s semifinals on the line.
3. Nathan Hale at Franklin Pierce, football, 7:30 p.m. The time to celebrate last week’s upset of Kennedy’s has been short. Because for Hale to keep moving on, it will need a few more upsets, starting with sixth-ranked Pierce tonight.