Thursday, August 23, 2007

High School Football, Where A Loss Really Isn't A Loss

For the most part, when there are two teams playing each other in any sport you think that either the game counts or it doesn't count for both of them. However, that's not always the case in high school football where "interstate games" often don't count for both teams.

For example, Miami Booker T. Washington asked the FHSAA to make its game against Summerville count as a regular season one. The FHSAA complied because they took "into consideration that Washington, which was 12-2 last season, had only nine regular-season games scheduled". Though, it probably also has something to do with the fact that the game is going to be nationally televised on ESPN, and the more competitive it is the better the ratings will be.

This isn't the first game this season that counts as a regular season contest for one team but not the other.

Jacksonville First Coast, which was 9-2 last season, will meet Berkeley (8-6) at 4 p.m. on ESPNU. That's a game that counts for Berkeley, but not for First Coast.

"One of the agreements we made was, we would play this game like it's playing for a state championship," said Marty Lee, First Coast's coach.

Two weeks ago, Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes -- the South Carolina power that hosts Orlando's Dr. Phillips, on Sept. 6 -- won 41-35 against Charlotte, N.C., Independence. But the loss did not end Independence's 108-game winning streak because it came in a preseason scrimmage.

On the surface these arangements don't seem too unordinary, but I wonder what other teams from these conferences think about one of their opponents getting a win for playing a team that's not "penalized" for losing. It's similar to an NFL team getting credit for a regular season win for a victory they racked up in the preseason. Obviously that wouldn't be fair to the other teams, and I'm curious if anyone has, or ever will, question the validity of these high school games.

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