Iowa high schools will still be put a priority list together for non-district football games even though those games may help determine their playoff fate. The Iowa High School Athletic Association has adopted a Ratings Percentage Index that will determine at-large playoff bids beginning next season.
“Schools will still have the opportunity starting on Monday to go in an enter their priority list for non-district games”, said Todd Tharp of the IHSAA. “Understanding that those games will be part of the playoff process if they don’t win their district.”
The new RPI will not penalize teams that schedule teams from lower classes in the non-district portion of the schedule and Tharp says it is a way to help preserve longstanding rivalries.
“We decided that whether an A school wants to play a 3A or a 4A there would be no deduction for the larger school. It will just be a win or a loss.”
Beginning next season Iowa schools will be allowed to play out-of-state competition but don’t expect to see class 4A power Dowling Catholic against Hoover of Alabama on ESPN. Tharp says an Iowa team may appear on television but it must be against a school from a contiguous state or Kansas.
“They are not going to be able to play a team from Florida, Ohio or California”, added Tharp. “If an Iowa team wants to play a team from a border state we would certainly allow that game to be played on ESPN. But they are not going to play anybody from Texas or Florida. That is not going to happen.”