Well it's that time of year again. MHSAA playoffs start this weekend, by no means will I be able to give a complete run down but here is my attempt at key games this weekend. Some games are good matchups, others simply involve Michigan recruits/targets. If I blatently miss one please let me know.
Traverse City West (6-3) at Rockford (7-2)
Perennial state championship contenders both very solid programs historically. Should be a very sound football game.
Catholic Central (5-4) at Hartland (8-1)
Tough season for CC, but their record could be misleading due to a very tough regular season schedule. *key player* Wyatt Shallman Catholic Central RB/DE
Cass Tech (7-2) at Grosse Pointe South (8-1)
Cass Tech has so much talent it is hard to believe they finished 7-4. *Key players* Jourdan Lewis Cass Tech CB, Jayru Campbell Cass Tech QB, David Dawson Cass Tech OG.
Farmington Hills Harrison (6-3) at Fenton (8-1)
Fenton enters the game ranked #10 in the state (current Michigan Punter Kenny Allen's alma mater) Harrison is always loaded with talent, and should be the favorite even on the road. *Key player* Lorenzo Collins Harrison RB (Class 2014)
Brother Rice (7-2) at Port Huron (7-2)
Once again Brother Rice should factor into the State Championship. Although I think Midland and Muskegon are the top teams in the division.
Marysville (6-3) at Detroit East English Acadamy (7-2)
Michigan recruit Khalid Hill (TE) leads the PSL runner-ups into the playoffs.
Chandler Park (6-2) at Gross Ill (8-1)
Michigan recruit Csont'e York plays for Chandler Park... Sorry I don't have more info.
Also, for a found this website that has complete brackets for all 8 Divisions.
I don't see the playoff expanding too much, and yes, it is for the #1 item on Brian's list, that is, academics. Expanding a playoff would be difficult for two (academic) reasons:
- Fall semester/quarter final exams
- Spring semester/winter quarter classes begin
Because the season (conference championship) isn't over until the first weekend in December you can't fit too many games in before classes start again in January. Here is a list of all of the Saturdays in December 2011-January 2012 until classes start.
- December 3 - Conference championship game
- December 10 - (Potential) CFB national quarters *
- December 17 - End of finals week
- December 24 - Student - Athletes go home for Christmas holiday **
- December 31 - CFB national semis
- January 7 - CFB national championship on following Monday (the 9th) ***
- January 14 - Classes have started (Probably by the 9th) or are about to start (16th)
December 10th and the 17th could probably be flip-flopped depending on how you wanted to handle it. For this reason, I see the ceiling at 8 teams. I also think that there is a diminishing return on a title game the later that you schedule it. For example, I didn't watch any more football after the Sugar Bowl this season. It just didn't make it across my radar. That, and I didn't really care about the Bama - LSU rematch.
* I never understood the whole "the best teams can't go to bowl games if the playoff is too big" argument. The "other 4" bowls can pick from the quarterfinal losers for their games. This idea also rebuts the argument against home sites (at least for the quarters) because they can still go to a bowl game somewhere that there is warm weather.
** I guess that there is an implicit "think of the children" argument here by letting them go home for Christmas. Bowl games played on/around Christmas at least let the student - athletes go home for New Years. Either way, letting 18-22 year olds go home to Mama doesn't seem like a big thing to consider.
*** I so hope that they play one of these at Lambeau. Or Soldier Field would be ok too. Or even Yankee Stadium (I guess...but then I'll have to call certain people "cold-weather pansies")
According to Dennis Dodd over at CBS (came across my twitter feed, haven't seen a link yet), the ACC confirms that the league controls broadcast rights in new Orange Bowl Deal and they plan to take it to market. Dodd claims that this is a game changer, and it is.
In terms of the angst over how the bowls just have these guys-in-suits who make all this non-profit cash and embezzle the hell out of it (see the Fiesta Bowl)... they're getting somewhat squeezed out in the new playoff system. If the conferences start controlling the TV money, that's a bunch of millions that will go directly to the conferences rather than the bowls/guys in suits.
With the B1G/Pac12 collaboration, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rose Bowl TV $$ heading straight for the conferences soon.
Hey guys, just thought I'd give everyone a heads up that Detroit City FC plays its final regular season game tomorrow at Cass Tech high school in Detroit. So far, the team has a 4-1-5 record, with its only loss being to AFC Cleveland. DCFC is in first place in its division, and thus controls its own destiny during its last two games (we play tonight, away, at FC Buffalo).
If you have yet to come out to any of the games, please take this opportunity to do so! Last weekend we had a record crowd of 1743, and we hope to break that this weekend against Erie. Additionally, tomorrow is family day at the game, so all kids 12 and under get in free. Plus, if you love the atmosphere of the student section at a Michigan football game, you will absolutely LOVE the atmosphere of the supporters' section. It's a one of a kind experience.
Here's to an exciting night of hockey!
Ottawa @ NY Rangers 7:00pm ET
Washington @ Boston 7:30pm ET
San Jose @ St. Louis 7:30pm ET
Chicago @ Phoenix 10:00pm ET
I love Ken Dryden's writing, his book (The Game) was amazing. I'd recommend it to all sports fans.