Friday, October 30, 2015

This Week in Western Kentucky

OK, so here's what high school football in Western Kentucky is now like.

The season starts around the third week of August, when it's really hot.  For a few weeks, teams mostly play their nearby rivals and the games are often quite exciting -- if you don't mind the heat.  Then, just as the weather starts to turn, everyone goes into district play.  Now each district only has one, or, at most, two, good teams.  So the vast majority of district games are blowouts.  I have not seen a single high school football game in Kentucky for at least two years, and I could have predicted at least 90 percent of the results in the last five weeks of play.

This is the last week of the regular season, so we've got some fun games -- like Caldwell County v. Mayfield.  Then the playoffs start as the weather gets cold.  Each class has 32 teams in the playoffs, which means that almost everyone makes it -- but, of course, most of those teams aren't any good.  So we have to have two more weeks of blowouts, until there are only eight teams left in each class.  Then you start to get good match-ups again.  But by then it's the middle of November and it's starting to get really cold.  Plus the Cats have started playing basketball.  Eventually, sometime after Thanksgiving, teams go to Bowling Green -- they don't go to Louisville any more -- and play state title games.  The schools that are still involved get very excited.  Everyone else is worried about UK's basketball team.

Of course, if you're a Western Kentucky school in Class 6A, the playoffs are completely irrelevant, because no school from our end of the Commonwealth is going to win the Class 6A title.

Now presumably this whole system makes sense to a bunch of administrators in the Bluegrass, but it doesn't make much sense to me.  I'm particularly annoyed that schools like Hopkins County Central and Fulton City have to suffer through another week of playoff games.  Haven't those kids suffered enough?  And why can't we play the state title games in Louisville or Lexington?  I like Bowling Green fine, but playing the state championship there is like holding your prom in the school gym.

Here is the last week of regular season games (home teams listed first).  I would go to Princeton for the game between Caldwell County and Mayfield:

Ballard Mem. (4-4) v. Crittenden Co. (6-3)
Bowling Green (8-1) v. McCracken Co. (8-1)
Caldwell Co. (8-1) v. Mayfield (8-1)
Fulton City (1-8) v. Fulton Co. (0-9)
Graves Co. (4-5) v. Calloway Co. (5-4)
Hopkins Co. Cent. (2-7) v. Union Co. (6-3)
Hopkinsville (8-1) v. Marshall Co. (2-7)
Madisonville-North Hopkins (3-6) v. Fort Campbell (2-7)
Paducah Tilghman (6-3) v. Murray (6-3)

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