Circling back to a point Karl made a few pages ago now..,
karl(east) wrote: ↑
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:41 pm
I realize there are a bunch of AA schools that can't compete with what we might call the elite tier of schools, and I don't think blocking opt-ups would strengthen the Class A tournament since it would really just strengthen the Class A sections that are already the best sections. One thing I think they could do is limit AA to 64 teams and bump low-enrollment schools down to A to accommodate the opt-ups.
I don't dislike this idea, though it would probably create a musical chairs effect with schools opting up or down during various cycles, and also impact a few sections disproportionately. I counted ten teams that currently opt up, so here would be the ten AA teams with the lowest enrollments that would be pushed down to Class A.
Tartan High School 1347
Hastings High School 1343
Rochester Century High School 1307
Spring Lake Park High School 1306
St. Francis High School 1303
Cambridge-Isanti High School 1302
Owatonna High School 1276
Chaska High School 1270
New Prague High School 1250
St. Louis Park High School 1240
That's actually not a bad list, as several of those schools were recently in Class A, and/or haven't been that competitive in AA. However, you are losing several programs from 1AA, and if they don't opt up then more south suburban schools would be forced down into that section.
As for the musical chairs effect, obviously Chaska would want to opt up for the current few cycles, but what happens after the "golden generation" graduates? Do they choose to return to Class A and be accused of sandbagging a la Hermantown? Century and Hastings are also currently strong, and would probably romp through 1A if they didn't opt up.
And if there are any more teams that opt up, we keep creeping up the list. Next up is Duluth East (1378), who obviously would choose to opt up, and then two Minneapolis schools, Washburn and South, who are part of the Minneapolis cooperative that appeals down to A. That finally brings us to Apple Valley (1392), which has been down for some time but is an awfully large school to be competing in Class A. I guess it comes down to whether you prioritize limiting Class A to smaller schools or allowing the current fringe AA teams to be more competitive by moving them down.