High school football playoff format will have new look in 2017

Changes are coming to the football playoff system in Florida next year.

In a 14-2 vote Monday, the Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted to approve a new playoff format for the 2017 season.

District play will be eliminated in Classes 1A-4A.

In 5A-8A, district play will remain intact but only the 16 district champions are assured of a playoff spot in each class. The remaining 16 spots up for grabs in each class are wild cards and will be determined by a point system.

The district champs will receive a 1-4 seed based on the point system and four eight-team brackets will be set up in each class. The higher seed will always be the host team for a playoff game.

“Based on feedback from our membership, the majority of our constituents wanted our old playoff system changed,” FHSAA Executive Roger Dearing stated in a press release. “We are hopeful this change will create the most exciting high school football postseason in America.”

The points will be based on a team’s win-loss record and its opponent’s win-loss record, with the system rewarding teams for a tougher strength of schedule. All teams must play a minimum of eight games to be eligible for the postseason.

Beating a team with eight or more wins is worth 50 points and a loss to that team is worth 35 points. A win over a team with six or seven wins is worth 45 points and a loss to that team is worth 30.

A victory over a team with four or five wins is worth 40 points and a loss to that team is valued at 25 points. A win over a team with three wins or less is worth just 35 points and loss to that team is worth 20 points.

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