Annual playoff dissection reveals trends

As we put magnifying glass to the playoff bracket for our annual dissection of the state high school playoffs, we have discovered that parity is beginning to affect the records of those who play on.

BILL MARTIN BILL MARTIN Either that, or an abundance of crappy teams are crawling their way into the bracket.

While Rockdale will fall into that murky 5-5 water with the rest of the break-evens, we cannot be too critical. The Tigers certainly earned a trip to the playoffs, soundly whipping an 8-2 Caldwell squad that three weeks earlier had been ranked No. 9 in the state and 7-0.

This is why they play the games. If they didn’t, Texas and Oklahoma would play for the national championship every season. Oh, sorry.

If you remember last season, we had our first 1-9 team weasle its way into the state playoffs, in the form of 6-man school Sierra Blanca. And as a reward, they were given a firstround bye.

The Vaqueros went 1-8 this season, but were shut out in district play at 0-3 in a new division and new league that featured defending state champions and No. 1 ranked Garden City, who racked up 122 points in the state championship game.

In 2010, there are 61 teams with losing records that made the playoffs, not including 48 teams with a 5-5 mark.

And if you have forgotten, Class 5A and 4A take four teams.

That is 13 more losers than last season and one less 5-5 team than last year.

There are five games that pit teams with 5-5 records against each other.

There are six two-win teams in the playoffs, including Tyler Lee in Class 5A, North Forney in 3A and Panhandle, Shamrock, Seagraves and Gateway in Class A.

There were several candidates for our worst game of the week, but the absolute stinker goes to Detroit (2-7) versus Beckville (3-6), should you care to drive to Gilmer to see two teams with five wins between them.

Hard to choose the best game, not really a marquee matchup in the bunch, but No. 15 Navasota (8-2) and No. 6 Sealy (9-1) playing at Waller is intriguing.

The Rattlers feature the probable District 23-3A MVP in senior quarterback Ian Day who has amassed 2,400 yards of total offense in 2010 and is the latest in a long line of outstanding Rattler quarterbacks.


Our 6-man neighbor to the north, Buckholts, will be making its first playoff appearance since 1997, but it will be no easy task against 10-0 Richland Springs.

The 8-2 Badgers are hosting however and will have home field advantage to draw strength from.

Richland Springs is ranked No. 6 in the state and has racked up three state championships (2004, 2006, 2007) under coach Jerry Burkhart who’s record is 110-11 as a head coach.

On the other hand, Buckholts head man Cory Schwartz is the Badgers’ 10th coach in the past 13 years.

Buckholts is coming off a 46-0 loss to district champion Calvert in a meaningless game where both teams had already clinched Division II playoff berths.

In two district wins, they outscored their opponents by the combined score of 129-0.

The 5ive

Here are the five schools with the most football playoff appearances in the state of Texas:

1. Highland Park (5A)—51 2. Amarillo (4A)—48 3. Plano (5A)—45 4. Hondo (3A) —45

5. Refugio (2A)—41

*As a bonus, the team with the longest playoff drought is Class 3A Whitesboro, which has never made the playoffs since the school opened in 1936.

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