TSSAA votes to change football playoff system

HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Message received.

After years of gripes and complaints about the Tennessee high school football playoff system that went into affect in 2009, change is on the horizon.

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) met Monday at a Board of Control meeting to discuss a variety of topics, including a possible change to the playoff system.

The board voted unanimously for a 6-class plan for football classification in Division I. The change will go into affect following the 2014 season.

Under this system, the 32 largest schools based on enrollment will be placed in Class 6A and all 32 will automatically qualify for the playoffs.

The remaining schools will be put in five classes, divided evenly based on their enrollment figures, and qualify for the playoffs as they did in the old 5-class system. The top 4 teams in each region (8 regions per class) will qualify for the playoffs.

If a team wants to move up down from 6A, or up from 5A, it can do so, as long as there a school to 'trade' with.

For example, because it is one of the top 32 schools in terms of enrollment, William Blount will be placed in Class 6A.

If the Governors wanted to move down to 5A, they could as long as a 5A school was willing to move up. (There has been talk that this will happen. With William Blount going down, and Maryville--a 5A school--moving up.)

In the Knoxville area, Bearden, Farragut, Hardin Valley, Jefferson County, Sevier County and William Blount all fall under the new Class 6A plan.

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