This week marks the beginning of the high school football playoffs.

This week marks the beginning of the high school football playoffs.

There’s constant buzz about the new state playoff system. All classifications with the exception of Class 5 have eight-team brackets in place.

Class 5 has an odd number in some cases, which means that some Class 5 teams will have byes during the first week of playoffs. The bracket seeding has been determined by regular-season win-loss records.

A rating system gives points for various factors, including the margin of points for the victor up to 13 points. The 13-point differential was also used in the old system. Another factor in the seeding process is based upon the determined strength of a team’s opponents.

Lower class teams can receive extra points for playing, and especially defeating, a team in a class above them. For example, Lee’s Summit West (Class 5) defeated Blue Springs (Class 6) in overtime, which earned them points. During the entire season, all coaches at all class levels wanted teams they had beaten to go on and have a winning season, because it benefited their own rating.

A huge benefit of the new playoff system is that every football team in the state of Missouri is in the playoffs. A perceived downfall is that it is possible that teams will face one another back-to-back once the playoffs begin.

For example, Blue Springs South and Liberty played in the first round of the playoffs following a faceoff in the final regular-season game. Had the Blue Jays defeated Raymore-Peculiar (the team seeded directly above them) in the regular season, they could have appealed to the other teams in the district for the No. 3 seed.

It’s a portion of the new playoff system that I personally dislike. Personal feelings and/or politics could conceivably alter the seeding.

My belief is that all seeds should be determined on the field of play – period. If the system dictates that teams play back-to-back according to the outcome of a game, then so be it.

I realize everyone does not agree with me and my old-school philosophy and I can live with that. I still place my faith in play on the field.

I have to chuckle at all of the hoopla circling around the new system. The bottom line does not change – you have to WIN to move on, period!

Sooner or later you will need to beat at least three very good football teams in order to earn a championship ring. The road is not – and should not – be easy.

The regular season has ended and the playoffs are in town. Just cut to the chase. It is now all about winning one game at a time, so bring it!

n The St. Louis Cardinals organization does the best job in Major League Baseball of evaluating talent and getting the biggest bang for its buck.

n Kansas State may very well be the biggest surprise/story in college football this year. Coach Bill Snyder is the best in the game. Collin Klein should be a top Heisman Trophy candidate. Unfortunately the media will not consider him unless the Cats play in the BCS championship.

n My quote this week is from former MLB Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti: “Winning in sports has a joy and a discrete purity to it that cannot be replaced by anything else. It is something powerful, indeed beautiful, something as necessary to the strong spirit as striving is necessary to healthy character.”