High school football: Felt's Facts Week 1 (17 items)
The 121st season of Utah prep football opens with record highs: 103 teams – including new Corner Canyon, 574 games – plus any intra-region playoffs, and six classifications. Endowment Week sees a record 51 games involving 101 Utah schools, and Bonneville (Idaho). Only Monument Valley and Rich take the week off.
For the first time since 1993, the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) added a classification, but for football only.
(There was a temporary contraction to four classes in football for four seasons from 1997-2000 when the few 1A schools playing football competed in 2A as 1A teams. Utah returned to five classifications in 2001 when 1A got its own league back.)
The additional classification was just one of several alterations affecting prep football during the offseason, including rule and by-law modifications.
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1 of 17. Significant rule changes
Thus, an automatic first down in prep football is awarded only when there’s roughing (1) the kicker or holder, (2) the passer or (3) the snapper. A team looses a down only by (1) an illegal forward pass (including grounding), (2) illegal touching of a pass by an ineligible player or (3) illegally handing the ball forward.
Other rule changes are treated later on.
2 of 17. Vacated Contests
This provision provides an additional penalty to apply to violators, typically teams that have used ineligible players. The first choice is for the violator to forfeit a game or games. However, that can’t always be “practically applied,” as the by-law states.
Timpview, by its own admission, used ineligible players in the 2011 playoffs, but they weren’t discovered until 2012. Thus, Timpview couldn’t “practically” forfeit its two playoff victories. Instead, they vacate the wins. The by-law reads, “The effect of vacating a win is to nullify the results of a contest for the offending school or individual in contests won.”
However, the losses for Timpview’s opponents, Woods Cross and Westlake, remain.
While this may sound confusing, the NCAA and some other states use this approach on the premise that the penalized team didn’t do what was required to win: not all its players were eligible. But the losing team didn’t fulfill all the requirements, either: it didn’t score enough points to defeat its opponent. Thus the victory is erased from the penalized team, but the loss for the losing team remains.
The bracket for the 2011 Class 4A tournament should show a first-round game with Timpview defeating Woods Cross, 31-14, but noting, “later vacated,” and a quarterfinal contest with Timpview defeating Westlake, 24-17, again noting, “later vacated.”
Timpview’s official 2011 playoff record is 0-1, as the T-birds lost to East in the semifinals. (Woods Cross is also 0-1 and Westlake is 1-1.)
3 of 17. Winning Streaks
Manti has the next longest current winning streak, 10 games, followed by Timpview (9), Jordan (7) and Dixie (4). Six other squads, which won their last regular season game, but failed to advance to the playoffs, have one-game winning “streaks”: American Leadership, Bonneville, Cyprus, Juab, Roy and West.
4 of 17. Striking Distance
5 of 17. Realignment and Wasatch
Gone are games against five long-time rivals: Morgan (83 games – the state’s 10th most-played rivalry – last missed in 1994), Park City (82 games, last missed in 1992), Union (59 games, last missed in 1978), Grantsville (54 games, last missed in 2001) and Judge (51 games, last missed in 1998).
Instead, the Wasps meet seven teams for the first time (by week): Timpanogos (1), Mountain View (2), Ogden (3), Salem Hills (5), Maple Mountain (7), Spanish Fork (8) and Timpview (9). Wasatch hasn’t faced two other programs since 1950 – American Fork (1949, won, and 1950, lost) and Provo (1928, lost, and 1950, won).
This year, Springville is Wasatch’s most-played opponent; they’ve met five times, the last in 2008.