In January, 31 of the 32 Class 6A schools were represented at a meeting of mostly football coaches and athletic directors to discuss what they hoped to see as the future of the class. The majority of them favored a plan in which no divisions were made until after the regular season, at which point, the larger half of the playoff teams were put in one bracket, and the smaller half in another.
That plan was sent to the OSSAA, but the rules committee chose two different options for the ballot.
On Thursday, a day after the new plan for Class 6A football was made official, many coaches were most frustrated that their proposal wasn't given a chance in the vote.
Here's what some Class 6A coaches had to say after Wednesday's news of the new plan for Class 6A football:
Randy Breeze, Lawton: “It sounds like a good deal for us. Anybody that's in 17-32, it's a fair shot for them. We've had the pleasure of playing Jenks and Union quite a bit lately. In the last seven years, we've lost to one of those teams four times. We had Jenks beat at halftime and they came back and beat us, then we had Union down in overtime and they came back and beat us.
“I know people look at it and talk about there just being 16 teams, but when you think of the number of kids involved in those teams, that's a great deal of players.
“I think something needed to be done.”
Bob Wilson, Putnam City North: “I don't think it's a very good alternative. It's not what the coaches came up with, but I guess we have no say-so. It doesn't do anything but water down 6A, as far as I'm concerned.”
Todd Watters, Moore: “I'm not very happy with it. It doesn't benefit us. It hurts us since we're in a rebuilding process. I grew up in Oklahoma and coached in Texas and know the opinion of high school football there. I just think it waters it down. It's like the sports philosophy of ‘everybody gets a trophy.' I just don't think it represents the pride and quality of football as Oklahoma has.
“I just don't think there's any answer to the discrepancy between large schools and small schools in 6A.”
Steve Chard, Enid: “Guys' main concern is, how does it affect where I work? That's our jobs. Some people want it, some thing it's watering it down. It's definitely school-specific.
“I wish it was this fall. There's no doubt it changes the landscape tremendously for a school our size. We all know who's won the last 17 titles. This gives us a legitimate chance to win a title.”
Rocky Martin, Putnam City West: “Obviously, we feel it's good. It's gonna make the bottom 16 more competitive. It's good for us. Does it solve all the problems? No. I don't think there's an answer to fix every coach's concerns. But for us, it will help us while we work to build our program.”
Todd Wilson, Yukon: “I definitely think it has a chance to make our goal of winning a state championship tougher. If 13 of the 16 teams in Division I made the playoffs last year, there's going to be some good teams that don't get to experience the playoffs. It's hard for me to totally understand how that leveled the playing field.”
Justin Merideth, Edmond Memorial: “I probably would have leaned keeping things the way they were. I think there are going to be scheduling issues. I think there could be travel issues.
“It doesn't change my situation at all. I see the argument. I see the reasoning, but I also see a lot of potential negatives.”
Jeremy Dombek, Edmond North: “The only thing I would have liked to seen was a third option to keep it the same. I would have been curious to see how that would have turned out. I think that vote would have been really close.
“I think a lot of sports are going to want to know why they can't split their classes now.”