First, keep in mind that a number of regional top seeds received first round byes and there were several forfeits, so not all of the better teams played. There were 77 games actually played. The winning teams averaged 39.7 points and the losing teams averaged 8.4. That’s an average winning margin of 31.3 points. We saw scores like 77-0, 72-0, 70-0, and so on, and the winning team scored at least 50 points in 16 games. There were 37 games which ended with a running clock (48%), and 25 shutouts (32%). The bottom line is that this past weekend was an abject waste of time which did no one any good. I know this year’s format was supposedly a one-shot deal, but these games should forever end the discussion of having all-inclusive football playoffs, like they have in other sports. Football is unique. And anyone who believes in the idea that all of the weak teams would have fared similarly in a typical Week 10 under the system used through 2018 is living in an alternate universe. In a traditional Week 10, a mediocre team could have been matched against another mediocre team just as easily as it could have been matched up against a strong team, depending on how the scheduling worked out. In 2021, the bad teams were overmatched in every playoff game, and we saw the results.
Body Bag Weekend I in 2019 was only slightly better. In 64 games, the winning team averaged 36.9 points, the losers 11.3, working out to an average winning margin of 25.6 points. 22 games ended in running clocks (34%). In this format, the “top 32” teams qualified for the playoffs in classifications which totaled 44-45 teams. This format, which is expected to return in 2022, needs to be scrapped. When 71+% of teams are able to qualify for the playoffs, something is wrong. The MPSSAA should return to the format they used from 2005 through 2018, which included 16 teams in each classification. This was an ideal number. Teams need to EARN playoff berths, and mediocrity should never be rewarded. A return to the 16-team format will also allow ten regular season games, and the playoffs would be completed in four weeks instead of five, as they are now.