Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Football Committee Calls for Playoff Changes

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Football Committee Calls for Playoff Changes

Article excerpt

The NJSIAA Football Committee has recommended changes to the playoff structure for both public and non-public brackets that could be enacted in time for the 2015 season.

The committee met Thursday at New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association headquarters in Robbinsville for more than three hours and discussed a bevy of topics.

At the top of the list was a tweak to the way the public school football playoffs are organized. Currently, New Jersey has five groups that play down to four sectional champions in each group.

The committee unanimously passed the idea that instead of pulling the eight teams with the most power points out of each geographic section, the top 32 teams based on power points in each group, regardless of location, qualify.

Those 32 teams would then be aligned by their northing number -- a statistical analysis of a school's location from north to south -- the northern-most eight would be placed in North 1, the next eight in North II, eight in Central and eight in South Jersey.

"The rationale is that a couple of years ago, we had some sub- .500 teams in one section and in another you had sections where teams had a 5-3 record that got knocked out," said Ramapo football coach and Football Committee member Drew Gibbs. "Our hope is to eliminate the unqualified teams."

Gibbs said a two-year impact study was performed and found that only in one case would two eventual sectional champions have been placed in the same geographic grouping. The New Jersey Football Coaches Association was polled and said they were in favor of this plan.

This is only one step toward a change. Any proposal will have to pass the NJSIAA's Advisory Committee and then be approved by the body's Executive Committee. But the proposal could be set up as a pilot program and enacted in time for this fall, Gibbs said. …

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