Grading Playoff Pairings by Class


Aug 15, 2010
There are things that I like with how the state paired teams, and there are things that I don't like, so I thought I would grade each class.

Class 5A: C

Overall these pairings aren't that bad, they essentially went with a true 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, etc. other then sending Valley to PV so Sioux City East could go to Ankeny. My biggest frustration is the amount of rematches, which I understand are somewhat unavoidable, but the week 9 rematch of Prairie vs Linn Mar could have been.

Class 4A: D

There aren't too many things I like about these matchups, too many rematches, and then some teams travel while some don't. Here is what I would have done.

Xavier vs. Fort Madison
B-F vs. Webster City

WSR vs. CR Wash
North Scott vs. Western Dubuque

Lewis Central vs. Le Mars
Spencer vs. Indianola

Liberty vs. Newton
Carlisle vs. Glenwood

Class 3A: C-, again avoidable rematches, and personally I wish the only team that was an auto qualifier is the district champion. Personally I don't think that Grinnell and MOC FV should be in, but what a different topic.

Here is what I would have went with

Harlan vs. MOC FV
Nevada vs Sioux Center*

Mount Vernon vs. Grinnell
Solon vs. Central DeWitt

Humboldt vs. Hampton Dumont CAL
Independence vs. Benton

ADM vs. West Delaware
North Polk vs. Creston

2A: B+, I like these because they are trying to get the 4 best teams to the dome. Again I don't like rematches, I like the western half, but I would have sent Wahlert to Williamsburg, Crestwood to Monticello, Mid Praire to Waukon and Centerville to West Marshall.

1A: A, there is one rematch, but it is a non district game. The state did a nice job of trying to get the 4 best teams in the state to the dome, and overall I think things are pretty evenly divided.

A: B, only because of one round of 16 game, I hate that Wapsie and West Hancock are playing this round. The winner of that game, and I do think that Wapsie is capable of pulling the upset will roll in the next round. Other than that I don't think that the state did a terrible job. There were 5 undefeated teams so 2 of them would have to be in the same pod. I also think HMS gets a chance to play a more manageable opponent in Woodbury Central.

1 question would Lynnville Sully vs. AHSTW be at LS or AHSTW?

8man: A, I really don't have any complaints here and I don't believe that there are any rematches in the round of 16


Aug 31, 2008
I agree with what you did with 4A. While the state thought it was important enough keeping the 5A pairings to the actual seeds that they'd replay a game from last week, in 4A they've got an 8 vs 15 game. What the heck kind of bracket seeding is that?

Your 4A games make a lot of sense. Fort Madison is going through Cedar Rapids on their way to Waverly anyhow, why not stop off there and play Xavier and send the final qualifier Washington up the road to play a team that many think is just as tough (if not tougher) than Xavier? I mean, yes, Washington has to travel as the 16th seed in the playoff, but they're staying in their hometown; they're not actually traveling - while the 12th seeded team has to bus all the way from Webster City to North Liberty. Maybe make your last team in (especially when they back-doored in and got to jump the team above them in RPI) have to take a road trip if at all feasible. And it's very feasible.

Not much use in complaining about Grinnell and MOC-Floyd Valley in 3A; they finished second in their districts, that gets them in according to the rules. At least it wasn't like that year of expanded playoffs in the biggest class when Mason City finished 1-8, but since their one win was over the winless last-place team in their district they qualified as the fourth-place team.

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