In the end, it was all about the favorites.
OK, so the 2015 IHSA state finals will go down as less than spectacular.
Five out of the eight games played at NIU’s Huskie Stadium last Friday and Saturday didn't exactly set the football world on fire.
The Class 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 8A games became running clock affairs, or games where the IHSA's 40-point mercy rule took effect.
So how did this happen? And how can it be prevented?
First off, in regards to the results: the favorites (or a better metric: the higher ranked teams) won. It's just that simple.
Just take a look at the final @CSNPreps Football Power Rankings and see just how many of the top teams won. Also, look and see where those same teams ranked the week before the state title games.
Top ranked Loyola Academy in 8A, Montini Catholic in 6A, Nazareth Academy in 5A and Phillips in 4A all won in lopsided fashion. In the best game played on Saturday, the 7A tilt, featured No. 2 ranked Glenbard West coming from behind to beat No. 3 ranked Libertyville 34-28. Again, the favorites played like favorites on Saturday.
[MORE PREPS: Final 2015 CSN Preps Football Power Rankings]
Loyola, Glenbard West, Montini and Phillips all posted 14-0 records. It’s a feat that I honestly can't remember ever happening for so many teams in the same year.
Now, as expected, comes the postseason outcries, which include off the cuff proposals to "fix" the IHSA football playoffs.
You will never be able to guarantee that every state final game will be epic. Far from it, actually. No playoff system will ever be able to accomplish that feat. We sometimes see blowouts and bad championship games in every sport at every level. Some matchups wind up being great (Glenbard West vs Libertyville), and some are just not so good.
The new 1-32 seeding system in Class 8A and 7A works. And several coaches in these classes have told me the same thing. The IHSA’s 1-32 seeding can never promise or deliver a great state title game. In 2015, the new system provided new matchups and a seeding system that coaches can understand. Would/could this work in, say, 6A through 1A? I think yes — and have had that stance since the glorious day the IHSA's 1-32 true seeding system was announced. But again, that's not my call. Let those coaches and administrators in those smaller enrollment classes look at it, discuss it and then make the call.
What about the other issues involving separating the public and private schools come IHSA state playoff time? Or that there are too many classes in the football playoffs?
Hey...I've got 268 days left until IHSA Kickoff 2016, we have plenty of time to get to those issues.