Thursday, November 7, 2013

I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but...

...the NHIAA football playoff system needs to be fixed. It is just wrong that Bedford (7-2) is left out of the playoffs while Londonderry (4-5) makes it. Not only did Bedford finish 3 games ahead of Londonderry, but the Bulldogs beat the Lancers head-to-head 19-0. It's a shame that the season had to end last weekend for Bedford.

Bedford isn't the only team that got a raw deal, as both Bishop Guertin (6-3) and Winnacunnet (5-4) had a better record than Londonderry and they are also left out of the playoffs. This same type of thing happened in Divisions II and III as well. In D-II St. Thomas went 6-3, and beat Kennett 39-12 during the season, and Kennett went 5-4. Yet St. Thomas is left out, and Kennett is in the playoffs. Milford (6-3) beat Sanborn (5-4) by a final of 48-23, yet Sanborn made the playoffs and Milford missed out.

"There is nothing I can really say about the playoff situation" said St. Thomas head coach Eric Cumba. "It needs to be fixed for next year, it’s just unfortunate that we had to be one of the examples for the situation. I am sure the committee will get it right."

Same thing in D-III. Epping-Newmarket and Bishop Brady are in the playoffs with 4-4 records, while Mascoma and Campbell are left out even though they went 5-3. Plus Campbell bea both Epping-Newmarket and Bishop Brady during the regular season.

Those are bad, but the Bedford/Londonderry scenario is the worst. The fact that a team can go 7-2 and miss the playoffs is mind boggling.

The NHIAA got it right by switching from a 6 division format to 3. But when they created 4 conferences per division and made it so the top 2 teams in each conference make the playoffs they got it wrong. Here's to hoping they get it fixed soon. Best of luck to all of the teams in the playoffs!


  1. If the team that got left out won the games they needed to it would not have been an issue. Winnacunnet and Bedford both lost 2 conference games to the teams who finished ahead of them. Win your conference games.

  2. You could go unbeaten in your conference and still not make the playoff. Unlikely, but possible.

  3. It's a flawed system. 4 of the eight teams should be wild cards. If bishop guertin had beat Nashua North last week. 7-2 Keene would have been left out. Change it!!!

  4. To the guy/gal who likes this system.... spoken like a true Londonderry fan :)

  5. And Londonderry lost twice in conference too - one to a team beneath them.. There were 4-5 and got destroyed in the playoffs. Playoffs should be for the best teams not the ones that just do enough.

    Beyond fixing their playoff system the NHIAA needs to either fix the conference names or take a geography lesson. In D2, Sanborn is certainly less West than the whole South conference. D3 has Somersworth in the South while the East conference has geographically closer teams to the South.

    But three divisions are better than six!