Claremore Daily Progress

Sports Columnists

April 12, 2013

COLUMN: Devalued titles only make it easier for Jenks, Union

(Continued)

NORMAN — Not only that, but you’ve now robbed the Normans, the Edmonds and Moores the full pleasure of knocking off Jenks or Union. Now, the state title any one of them might claim, fighting an uphill and against-the-odds campaign along the way, will only be in a quest to be the best among a group of schools only twice the size of the Mid-State Conference.

It won’t be the same.

The real selling point for the new plan? That’s easy, even if nobody’s talking about it.

It’s for the vast majority of Class 6A programs that have been competitive but not that competitive or not competitive at all.

Now maybe Enid, Sapulpa, Stillwater or Ponca City can threaten the second-round of the playoffs. Now maybe Putnam City, Putnam City West, Choctaw or Sand Springs can hang in the playoff hunt longer. And maybe just a little success can drive those programs’ numbers higher, incite fan interest to be greater and, just maybe, make everybody healthy enough to go back to a 32-team Class 6A sometime in the next 10, 15 or 20 years.

Too bad.

Nobody’s selling the only reason this plan might be worth buying.

Now it’s easier than ever for the dominant to remain dominant, no easier for those on the next rung to challenge and twice as hard for them to win any playoff game. At the same time, winning a state championship remains more difficult than winning your district.

Barely.

Also, the behemoths have even less reason to split themselves up — fast fact: three NHSes make up less than one Broken Arrow and two Norman Norths, Edmond Memorials, Westmoores, Edmond Santa Fes, Southmoores, Putnam City Norths or Putnam Cities still don’t make up one Union — unless they do it to create shorter road trips.

The season ends a week earlier, too. So basketball coaches will be happy.

I guess that’s something.

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