It's been a confusing couple of days for some Class 6A football teams, but the state playoff picture finally is clear.
The Kansas State High School Activities Assn. released playoff brackets on its Web site Sunday, allowing Lawrence High and Free State High to get down to preparing for Friday's regional playoff games.
The Lions (7-2) will play host to Blue Valley North (6-3), while the Firebirds (7-2) will travel to Shawnee Mission East (3-6).
That's not what coaches thought on Friday night, though.
When SM East lost to SM South, 35-34, and Blue Valley North beat KC Wyandotte, 17-8, the district standings had SM East, SM South and BVN tied at 2-1. The Lancers were declared the winner because of its point total Â district points, which award up to 13 points per district win depending on margin of victory Â while SM South was second and BV North third.
So LHS coaches started preparing for SM South because they should have been the second team to qualify, right?
"That's what we thought when we traded film with South," LHS coach Dirk Wedd said.
But BV North was awarded the second district playoff spot because it beat SM South in its head-to-head matchup.
Talk about your playoff headaches.
"It's been hectic with us coaches because we're a half a day behind. Usually we'll have film broken down by now, but we just got done," Wedd said Sunday night.
Adding to the playoff oddities are the cross bracketing that goes on because of the added playoff team from each district, which began this year. The cross bracketing prevents two teams from the same district from playing each other until the state semifinals.
That's why the Lions, as the No. 2 seed in the North region, play a team with a better record, while the Firebirds, the runner-up in Lawrence's district and fifth in the North, plays SM East.
"That's just a little quirk of the system," FSHS coach Bob Lisher said. "We kinda figured it would work out that way."
Considering the possible quarterfinal matchups Â if FSHS wins, it would play the winner of the Olathe North (9-0) and Shawnee Mission North (6-3) game, while if LHS wins it would play the winner of Shawnee Mission Northwest (5-4) and Olathe East (6-3) Â things probably worked out favorably for both teams.
After all, in the playoffs there aren't any "bad" teams.
"Shawnee Mission East is a quality team," Lisher said. "They've been in every game they've played. They've come out on the wrong side of some of them, but they'll be tough."
The South section of the 6A playoffs include Wichita Southeast (6-3) at Hutchinson (9-0), Emporia (5-4) at Wichita Northwest (7-2), Maize (7-2) at Derby (8-1) and Wichita West (5-4) at Wichita Heights (8-1).
The semifinal winners will compete in the state championship Saturday, Nov. 30, at Kansas University's Memorial Stadium.