I'll get right to the point with this one, folks. This Friday night's Salem/Timberlane has got me thinking...As I see it, either one of two things needs to happen when it comes to football crossover matchups.
a) Games between schools from different divisions will not count in the standings, won't affect playoff positioning, way the teams are ranked, and the stats from these games won't count towards players career stats. If a game doesn't count, it should be an exhibition game. All exhibition games should be played BEFORE the actual season starts. It is absurd to have a meaningless game thrown into the middle of a team's schedule. It is absurd for a team to play regular season games vs. division oppoents, games that all matter in the standings, and then right in the middle of the season they play a meaningless game. The Salem/Timberlane game is essentially an exhibition game in the middle of the season. What if a key player gets hurt in this game? Both of these teams are contenders in their respective divisions. Coaches in a game like this want to have their team playing well towards the end of the season, and it is a rivalry game so they want to win. But they don't want to risk their starters getting hurt in a game that doesn't count. So what do they do? Coaches should NOT have to make these kinds of decisions. Crossover matchups should be exhibition games played at the beginning of the season, BEFORE any divisional matchup. The regular season will consist of just 8 games, where each team plays each of the 8 teams in their division once each. The two weeks prior to the regular season will consist of crossover matchups that will be exhibition games.
b) Crossover games WILL count to the standings, playoff seeding, team rankings and towards player's stats. They will be played during the REGULAR season, whether that be week 1, week 5 or week 9. This way, teams could play rivalry games, like Salem/Timberlane, Dover/Portsmouth, Souhegan/Plymouth, etc. and actually have them count. If this were to happen, the Heal Points System would have to be in place. (For clairifications on the Heal Points System, refer to my post on here about it). The regular season will be 10 games. You play each team in your division once each. As for the other two games, one will be home, on will be away. And they will be against teams from other divisions, will count in the standings. And the Heal Point System will be used to determine the worth of a win such a game.
One of these two things has to happen. The current system does not sit well with me.
Week 1 of the HS football season the past 2 years...I think it's great that we've seen matchups like BG/Pinkerton and Exeter/South. But it is hypocritical that the stats count for the teams and players in these games but they don't count in the standings!
And it also drives me nuts that we have games in the middle of the season like Salem/Timberlane, Concord/Winnacunnet and Laconia/Souhegan. These teams go from playing scrimmages in the preseason to playing games that actually matter vs. division opponents, back to playing games that don't count. It's like the NFL randomly throwing in exhibition games in the middle of a team's season. Except these exhibition games, while they don't count in the standings, they DO count to a player's career stats! It's ridiculous!