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AIA to name an outright high school football champion in 2019

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 20:42:28-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona Interscholastic Association is making a big change to its high school football state championship format.

There will now be just one outright state champion, which will come from a playoff involving the best eight teams from conferences 6A through 4A.. There will still be a class 6A through 1A conference champion, but those tournaments will involve teams that don't make the prestigious eight team playoff.

"The best should play the best," said Pueblo High School head coach and athletic director Brandon Sanders. "There will be some people upset, for whatever reason, but this opens up the field for more schools to play for conference championships."

Had this been in place for 2018, it is likely Scottsdale Saguaro would have been playing in the outright state championship playoff, as opposed to defeating Salpointe for the class 4A title.

The top eight teams will be determined in part by a computer ranking, with details still left to be worked out.