For any sport, most people would agree that a playoff is the best way to crown a champion, whether it be the NFL or college sports holding a tournament. However, the MIAA would disagree with that. They think that the best way to find a champion for football (but not any other sport) is to crown the top team in the regular season as the champion. However, every other sport in the MIAA, such as soccer, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, and so on, has a champion crowned through a playoff system. In addition to this, the individual, but team-scored, sports such as cross country, track and field, swimming, tennis and wrestling do not have playoff games, they have a specially designated tournament after the regular season to crown a champion.
Originally in the MIAA, every level of every team sport’s champion was determined by a playoff system. This was later done away with on the Freshman and JV level, keeping the playoffs for the varsity level. However, after the 2012 season for football, the MIAA decided to get rid of the playoff system completely, instead crowning the champion based on the team with the best regular season.
Perhaps one reason that the MIAA doesn’t have the playoff for football is due to the Turkey Bowl, the Thanksgiving day game between Loyola and Calvert Hall, seen as the end of the MIAA football season. Mr. Rod Cameron, a longtime member of the Mount community in both athletics and academics, said about the MIAA’s decision, “When you have traditional games like the Calvert Hall-Loyola game on Thanksgiving, it makes it difficult to put a playoff in and also have the regular season schedule.”
Mr. Cameron also spoke on how the relatively small size of the “A” conference for football could be a reason that they do not have a playoff. He said, “With the limited number of teams that are in the “A” Conference, it’s tough to reach a setup and have that work.” With only seven teams, having a playoff could be seen as pointless if there is a clear regular season champion.
The reason that I believe a playoff system is the way to go is because in many seasons there has not been a clear-cut winner. If there is a team that is the clear winner of the regular season, then the current setup works. However, with the past several seasons, we have had outcomes that warranted a playoff due to teams having very similar records, so one loss could have essentially eliminated a team from contention. Therefore, I think that the current setup is a cop-out from hosting a playoff.