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Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

Monday Mailbag: WBL, upsets and Big 10

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about the 2020 Western Buckeye League football format, Friday night upsets and Big 10 football.

Q: Question to WBL officials and athletic directors – why didn’t the league do what the NWC did in football, arrange for a league playoff so a WBL football champion could be crowned? My understanding is there won’t be a league champion in football? Name withheld upon request

A: A two-division setup was discussed by the Western Buckeye League but in the end, the majority of coaches weren’t in favor of it because without teams playing all WBL opponents, there would be no true way to crown a champion.

For what it’s worth, the divisions would have looked like this: Van Wert, Kenton, St. Marys Memorial, Celina and Defiance in one division, and Bath, Elida, Ottawa-Glandorf, Shawnee and Wapakoneta in the other.

The argument could easily be made that with two divisions of five, the division winners (four division games, plus one crossover or rivalry game) could have simply met in Week No. 6 in a WBL championship game, but it’s my understanding that support for that simply wasn’t there.

That would have been different than what the Northwest Conference is doing (three regular season games, three weeks of a conference tournament), but it would have served the same purpose. I do know that a late season WBL playoff was discussed as well, if all teams were eliminated from the OHSAA playoffs, but it’s difficult to schedule something like that with so many unknowns.

You’re correct, no league champion will be crowned this year. It just adds to an already bizarre 2020. Yes, it would have been nice to crown a WBL champion, but the kids are able to play and that’s the most important thing.

Q: Was Celina beating Wapakoneta the biggest upset on Friday night? Name withheld upon request

A: There’s no doubt the 14-10 win by the Bulldogs certainly opened some eyes. Both teams suffered some significant graduation losses, but it’s safe to say Wapakoneta was the favorite going into that game.

I think Delphos St. John’s over Parkway (29-20) on Saturday could be considered an upset as well. Delphos Jefferson almost pulled off what would have been an upset, but came up just short in a 50-48 overtime loss to Paulding.

Q: The Big 10’s latest plan to start the season Thanksgiving weekend – what’s the point of that? It makes zero sense. Name withheld upon request

A: I’m in total agreement with you.

The apparent proposal out there most likely isn’t a done deal or anything remotely close, but it just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

If the Big 10 isn’t going to start the season in late September or early October (that still could be done), then why bother? Starting Thanksgiving weekend would mean while the Big 10 was in Week No. 2 or 3 of its season, other teams would be playing for conference championships and playoff spots.

I saw a story that said if the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and some of the mid-majors play, the Big 10’s decision could be the biggest blunder in sports history. Although plenty of people agree with that, I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but it would be a huge blunder.

If the Big 10 is actually considering playing, conference leaders need to 1) speed up the decision process and 2) make sure the season starts within the next 4-5 weeks.

The Monday Mailbag will take a break for the Labor Day holiday, but will return on September 14.

POSTED: 08/31/20 at 4:01 am. FILED UNDER: Sports