State Football Playoffs 101

State Football Playoff 101

     I wanted to address some of the misinformation that I hear yearly when it comes to state football, and what is state and what is not.  It bothers me, and my hope is to educate people so they understand the system better.  

     The state of Iowa, for class 3A, has 16 teams who make the state tournament at the end of the season.  Football is the only sport that does not have a postseason bracket to get into the state tournament.  Football is also the only sport that doesn’t give every team an opportunity to play in the postseason.  In football, you must earn your way in through regular season play. The RPI system and District standings determine who makes it, and who does not.  The biggest misconception is that you do not make the state tournament until you reach the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.  This is completely wrong.

     As our girls are competing in the state tournament now in Coralville, they will complete the tournament in 3 days.  In football, we have to have 6-7 days off in between each contest for the safety and recovery of the players.  One is not better than the other, they are just different. .  

     The UNI Dome costs a lot of money to rent and to try and rent the facility for every state tournament playoff game would not be feasible.  That is why we host games at different locations.  At this time, hosting sites are determined by RPI and district standings.  In the future, I see more neutral locations at schools with turf fields.

     This week we are playing an Elite 8 (Quarterfinal) game in Mount Vernon.  The winner will advance to the final four in the state of Iowa in Class 3A.  When you play in the Dome it does not mean you made it to state, it means the state can now afford to host at a neutral location.  You are now playing in the 3rd round of the state tournament.  

      We want to make sure that our football families and players understand how difficult it is, and how special it is to play in the State Tournament for football.  There are still more steps to take, but this team has accomplished a great deal so far! 

     What a great fall it has been for Mount Vernon.  I am so proud of all the kids who were once my middle school Health students and are now so successful at the high school level.  I want to wish everyone the best of luck!  As always if you have any questions please let me know!

It is a GREAT day to be a Mustang!

Coach Pedersen