Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Which was the better team...
The 7A champion Hilltoppers finished the season undefeated, at 14-0, and ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps, the Tribune and the Sun-Times. The Caravan, above, won the 8A crown but had a 30-27 overtime loss in Week Six to Loyola. They're ranked No. 2 by all three news services, but they looked awfully good against Neuqua Valley in the semifinal and Glenbard North in the final.
So what do you think would happen if the two powerhouses squared off against each other? Wouldn't you like to know? I would.
During the season, the two schools had only one common opponent, Lyons. Here were the results (home team in CAPS):
Week Three: GLENBARD WEST 49, Lyons 7
Week Twelve: Mount Carmel 45, LYONS 10
Not much help, huh?
And given the current IHSA playoff system, we can only speculate on which team would win.
So allow me to go into my annual rant about postseason play in Illinois.
What if -- what if -- the IHSA combined the current eight classes into just four? What if they dropped the nine 5-4 teams in 8A: Brother Rice, Lyons, Naperville North, Glenbrook South, Niles West, Evanston, Warren, Fremd and Lane; and the two in 7A: Elk Grove Village and Jacobs?
I know what you're thinking: But Lyons won two games and advanced to the quarterfinals! And you're right. But the other ten all lost in the first round.
And consider this: in 8A the higher seed won eleven of the sixteen first round games; in 7A it was twelve out of sixteen. Surely you could cull the herd somewhere. (And make for much better first round games.)
Now I know what my son would say: Come on, Dad; they're just high school kids! They want to play in the postseason and their parents want to watch them.
Okay; fair enough. Then take the higher seeds in 8A and combined them with the higher seeds in 7A. Call that bracket 8A. The lower seeds can play a "consolation" tournament called 7A. (And do the same with the other six classes.) That way we'd have a definitive "big school" champion. And I would stop complaining. (Yeah, right.)
This year the best team would be either Glenbard West or Mount Carmel, but not both.
Wouldn't that be better?