Palmetto State’s football playoffs need some layoffs

Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?

OK, so it’s hard to do my best Jim Mora Sr. impersonation in print, but you get the idea.

As the former Indianapolis Colts coach was irritated by a reporter’s question about the postseason following his team’s loss, I’m equally outraged over the state of South Carolina’s high school football playoff system.

The Palmetto State uses a four-classification system for all high school sports – except football. The SCHSL now crowns seven state championships, splitting three of the four divisions in half in the postseason.

Class AAA is the only one that holds a true playoff system for every school in the classification. A, AAAA and now AA divide the class in two, from smallest to largest, and hold a mockery of a postseason to make the most people happy.

It might make sense if S.C. was the size and population of say Texas, Florida or California, where crowning seven state champs might make sense to cut down on travel costs. When you’re dealing with 2,000 schools instead of 200, it may work.

But for one of the nation’s smallest states to hand out hardware like The Home Depot does not compute. Making the playoffs should be a reward for a great season, and winning a state championship should mean beating the best in your class.

Instead, the Palmetto State treats the postseason like an open house. “Come on in and take your coat off. What’s that, you didn’t win a game this season? That’s OK, we’ll find a spot at the table for you.”

You think I’m exaggerating? Take the case of the Kingstree Jaguars, who are coming off a miserable 0-10 season. You would think the Jaguars would be ready to say “We’ll get ’em next year” and break out the basketballs.

But no, now that Class AA has decided to split into Divisions I and II for the postseason, even the winless Jags are invited to the party. By the way, they open next week against Timberland, which beat them 60-0 last Friday. I wonder who will win the rematch?

So what if a few extra kids get to wear a state title ring? Because that right is supposed to be earned or it doesn’t have the same meaning. Why not just give them to everybody and call the playoffs off?

Is South Carolina really that different from other states? Glad you asked. YES. Fortunately for me, the fine folks at SCVarsity.com did all the research and math, allowing me to remain sane and cite their homework.

Before this season, S.C. allowed more teams in the playoffs (65 percent) than all but one other state, Wyoming, which invites 70 percent of its schools. Since Wyoming is roughly the size of 10 South Carolina’s, the Cowboy State gets a pass.

But now that S.C. has decided to allow every school from Class AA to make the playoffs, Kingstree included, we are now No. 1. Yeah, we’re No. 1 – at having an open-door playoff policy. But this is one category you’d rather not win.

A better term for “playoffs” in South Carolina might be “payoffs” since that’s really what the pigskin postseason is all about in the Palmetto State. The more teams that make it the more playoff games, the more fans that buy tickets, the more money that flows into the SCHSL coffers. After all, the governing body needs all the cash it can get to buy all those state championship trophies.

There are dozens of counter-proposals for better ways to run the football postseason, and I’m for almost any of them that understands one simple principle: When it comes to holding a playoff for a state champion, sometimes less is more.

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to wins

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to winsA year ago, Darius Hough decided the only bright lights [more]

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in region

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in regionThe Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach volleyball teams remained [more]

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame induction

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame inductionCoastal Carolina baseball head coach Gary Gilmore will be inducted [more]

Monday Roundup: CF, SJ impress at Lady Patriot

Monday Roundup: CF, SJ impress at Lady PatriotThe Carolina Forest and St. James girls golf team made [more]

Strand sends record-tying four stars to Shrine Bowl

Strand sends record-tying four stars to Shrine Bowl Horry County has had an on-again, mostly off-again relationship with [more]

Chants do it with defense for second straight week

Chants do it with defense for second straight weekNot even a 44-minute lightning delay midway through the third [more]

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeateds

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeatedsJon "JJ" Jones returned to his old stomping grounds at [more]

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat Braves

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat BravesSt. James traveled to Prestwick Country Club on Wednesday to [more]

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyball

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyballThe reigning Class 4A state champion North Myrtle Beach High [more]

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former school

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former schoolMyrtle Beach football player J.J. Jones has been cleared to [more]

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loop

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loopDespite Hurricane Dorian costing Horry County Schools a week of [more]

Chants capture historic victory over Jayhawks

Chants capture historic victory over JayhawksCoastal Carolina football recorded its first-ever win over a Power [more]

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls Like it did after last year’s state championship games, Horry [more]

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports schedule

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports scheduleHurricane Dorian is not expected to make landfall on the [more]

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup title

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup titleCoach R.J. Bass wanted a strong early test for his [more]

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers opened their season the same way [more]

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openers

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openersTommy Norwood tried to nix the Gatorade bath. He raised [more]

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootout

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootoutWilliam Welch (West Islip, N.Y.) shot a net 69 (gross [more]

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-match

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-matchThe Carolina Forest girls golf team made a strong showing [more]

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by Warriors

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by WarriorsThe Palmetto State made a strong showing in the Border [more]

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World Am

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World AmBeautiful weather greeted the 3,215 golfers participating in the 36th [more]

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champs

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champsTwo Coast FA boys teams returned home as champions from [more]

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to wins

Week 4: Seahawks top CF; Sharks, Chiefs roll to winsA year ago, Darius Hough decided the only bright lights [more]

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in region

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in regionThe Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach volleyball teams remained [more]

3 responses to “Palmetto State’s football playoffs need some layoffs”

  1. Tom Vitt says:

    Terry,
    Love the new site. Excellent coverage of non-mainstream sports like triathlon and cycling. And good article here.

    Quick fact check: Wyoming is the Cowboy State. Big Sky is the unofficial nickname for Montana.

  2. Joe says:

    Totally agree Terry. When an 0-10 team is included in the playoffs, you know the playoff “system” by the SCHSL is sham and a mockery.

  3. admin says:

    Thanks Tom, I’ve made the correction—
    Tyler

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach