CIAC Football Playoffs Need to Consider the Players

We are in the middle of he CIAC Football state playoffs, and as it stands right now, four teams qualified from each of the six divisons. This year the semi-finals are Dec. 1 and the state finals follow three days later.

There is a problem here.

With Staples holding the top spot in the playoffs, including the Thanksgiving clash with Greenwich, they could be looking at playing three games in nine days.

Three games in nine days? What about the high risk of injury?

UConn Head Coach Randy Edsall has been openly critical of CIAC’s playoff system. According to Edsall, the CIAC signals that it wants to keep players safe by restricting the start of contact practices. Then they contradict themselves by asking athletes to play three games in nine days.

The coach is right; this is ridiculous. Finally, this message was received by CIAC chairman Leroy Williams; starting in the 2010 season, there will be a new and improved playoff system.

The solution was simple: let more teams in on the fun and expand the season.

The CIAC has been hesitant to extend the football season because of the start of winter sports. But come on, is it really that big of a deal to add one more week to the schedule?

Under the new system, instead of twenty-four teams, thirty-two teams would qualify, and the six subdivisions would be condensed into four.

So, eight teams from each class would have the opportunity to be a part of playoff football. The quarterfinals will be played the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the semi finals Friday of that week, Dec. 4, and the finals the following week, on Saturday Dec.11.

This is the only way to judge our state’s best teams at their best condition.

In addition, the Thanksgiving tradition that Connecticut football prides itself on will remain intact and the CIAC will not have to start the season earlier.

More teams will be able to compete to be a part of the post-season atmosphere. Teams will truly earn the state title by having to defeat three teams.

The evidence is overwhelming; the 32-team playoff system is the way to go.

Mr. Williams, is it about time that you came to your senses. For the sake of the players health, I thank you

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