Class 6A football is comprised of 32 schools among 8 sectionals. Due to the growth of schools in and around Indianapolis, and the population shift from the Northern part of the state, the only schools in Class 6A truly geographical North are:

Lafayette Jefferson, Lake Central, Crown Point, Portage, Penn, Elkhart, Warsaw, Carroll, and Homestead.

I get nine. Do you get nine?

My idea usually spawns among fans of Class 6A high school football in the central part of the state, and the most recent year (2017) where they made a case for seeding was 2017, when the Penn Kingsmen traveled to Lucas Oil Stadium and suffered a 63-14 thrashing at the hands of the Ben Davis Giants, probably – in fact – one of the strongest rosters in Ben Davis’s illustrious football program history.

My idea – seeding once teams reach regional level – does not stem from the perceived North-South disparity. It instead stems from the limited amount of true North regional games among the top three classes.

My mock regional I’ll use for my case, however, will be solely Class 6A. The scenario has local color in terms of interest, too.

I believe two things should happen among Classes 4A through 6A:

First, the eight sectional champions from each of the aforementioned classes should be seeded once the sectional champs are crowned. Second, they should play at neutral fields.

I’ll also preface my 6A regional scenario with additional thoughts. I still believe the sectional format should remain as it is. I believe there should be the added spice of one of those teams in each round hosting the two – or three in the case of Class 4A – sectional rounds. After all, the state playoff is open to all participating schools, unlike neighboring states Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

Here is my idea after the 300-word preamble.

Let’s hypothetically crown Lafayette Jefferson, Warsaw, Homestead, Westfield, Ben Davis, Cathedral, Warren Central, and Center Grove the eight sectional champs in Class 6A.

Only three of these teams are truly in the northern part of the state. Southern/Central grousing (more specifically the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference – the MIC) from the past originated from the sentiment the MIC and other area schools had superior talent cannibalized in sectional, regional, and semistate action with the state title game merely being a “showcase trial” against an inferior team from the North.

I believe programs like Merrillville (now in Class 5A), Warsaw, Elkhart and Homestead have improved the collective Northern talent in recent years, so I take umbrage. Maybe I’m biased, too.

Instead, my case for seeding satisfies the MIC’s provincial grousing, and possibly saves some regional and semistate travel issues for Northern teams with the idea of neutral sites.

The seeded matchups are:

Center Grove (1) vs. Warsaw (8); Cathedral (2) vs. Homestead (7); Westfield (3) vs. Ben Davis (6); Lafayette Jefferson (4) vs. Warren Central (5).

I’m sure I’ve opened an assortment of debatable problems merely suggesting these hypothetical seeds. You too, though, can play this game at home if you like with the scenarios you prefer.

There are four games in Class 6A, and the additional eight games from classes 5A and 4A total twelve regional football clashes requiring a neutral field.

We need a neutral field with an AstroTurf or field turf surface. We need neutral locations as equidistant as possible between the two schools’ locations. The tricky part is we need a school who has no dog left in the fight and is willing to host on short notice the Sunday prior to the regional games.

I didn’t say my idea would be perfect. Whether I’ve worked in a stringent publicly traded company or an entrepreneurial private or start-up company I’m rather proud of my ability to stomach the ambiguity of an idea if it’s legal and ethical.

The first tricky issue is “regional Friday” coincides with numerous girls’ high school basketball games played throughout the state on a Friday or Saturday night. The IHSAA confines all playoff games until the state finals to Fridays only, so we must assume a host school will or will not host a regional game due to a conflict with managing a girls’ basketball game with their limited, hard-working event staff.

Be of good cheer, though, because there are (aside from the eight Class 6A “home” locations) 24 other qualified locations in the big school “caste”, 23 of the 32 Class 5A facilities, and 38 of the 63 Class 4A gridiron fields.

There are plenty of neutral locations for not only hosting the top three classes for regional action, but also enough neutral locations among the top three classes’ fields for Classes 1A though 3A.

I believe the Class 5A field has a decent blend of Northern and Southern geography in addition to the competitive potential between the best of both geographic areas for a state final. The addition of Merrillville and Chesterton will make the Northern 5A postseason meatgrinder a great watch.

Class 4A however, with the dominance demonstrated in recent years from the South, and the return of New Palestine to Class 4A, should consider seeding to prevent a lopsided Class 4A finals match. Again, I believe Class 6A would benefit from seeding due to a lack of true Northern-location teams. The Class 6A finals will be more competitive than the 2017 ben Davis-Penn thrashing.

Of course, the semistate round, in my opinion, should be comprised of neutral sites among all six classes in IHSAA football. How hard is it, girls’ basketball venues hosting games notwithstanding, to find twelve high-quality, somewhat equidistant football venues on the Friday before Thanksgiving?

I’m comfortable, once again, with the ambiguity I’ve left you today. Have fun playing the home version of my regional seeding game.