Statewide football playoff system in the works?

Could the latest push for a state-wide football playoff system have legs to it?

Yesterday the MIAA Football Committee unanimously in favor of the latest proposal for a six-division, statewide state championship from the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association that looks appealing.

Playoffs would start in Week 8 under this latest proposal, with all six state championships being held at Gillette Stadium the week after Thanksgiving. All Thanksgiving Day rivalries would be kept intact, and a scheduling committee would fill out the remaining weeks for teams that do not qualify for playoffs.

Like the state tournament in many other spots, the state is split up into North, South, Central and West regions, with the former two competing in all six divisions while the latter two just four. Each region will have eight playoff spots, with the exception of the West region (which will have just four). Each league and school is left to determine its own schedule, with leagues containing more than five teams getting two automatic bids, and seeding being left up to power rankings.

One of the key detractors working against the last state championship proposal, in 2010, was that it did away with some traditional league and non-league rivalries. That, in turn, led to concerns about gate receipt. Keeping traditional league games and non-league rivalries intact could be a factor this time around. The committee will meet on March 12 to finalize their vote before taking it to the MIAA's Tournament Management Committee on May 12.

The entire 14-page proposal can be found here in its entirety, courtesy of Swampscott head coach Steve Dembowski. We've also posted the sample schedules for 12-team and 16-team divisions.