The Michigan High School Athletic Association released the football divisions for the upcoming 2020 football season. This is a change from previous seasons, when the divisions were determined at the end of the season. The new strength of schedule system was put in place for this year and rewards teams for playing a tougher schedule. Part of the change included determining divisions based on enrollment and forming 8 equal divisions prior to the start of the season. That date was today April 20th.
Here are the where the schools that FNV covers ended up.
Division 1: Monroe
Division 2: Bedford
Division 3: Carlson, Huron, Riverview
Division 4: Airport, Jefferson, Milan
Division 5: Dundee, Flat Rock, Grosse Ile
Division 6: Ida, Erie Mason
Division 7: SMCC
Division 8: Whiteford, Summerfield
A few schools appear to have moved around a bit and for the most part it will benefit those schools.
Ida (6) has qualified for the playoffs 7 out of the last 9 seasons. Each of those has been played in Division 5.
Flat Rock (5) last qualified for the playoffs in 2017 and played in Division 4.
Grosse Ile (5) has qualified for the playoffs 5 out of the last 9 seasons and played in Division 4.
SMCC (7) seemingly qualifies every year for the playoffs and has bounced around a bit, but usually falls in Division 6.
The biggest thing coming out of the new playoff format is the announcing of the divisions in April. FNV thinks this is a win for everyone
Division 1 is absolutely loaded, but this comes as no surprise. That is always the case.
Division 3 will be super competitive with teams like Detroit Martin Luther King, Birmingham Brother Rice, Muskegon, Orchard lake St. Mary’s, River Rouge and the two Zeeland schools. This will be a tall task for the FNV teams; Carlson, Huron and Riverview to navigate. Those schools could draw a River Rouge or an MLK early on.
From what FNV can tell, is that Division 4 will be one of the most manageable for the local teams. If teams like Milan and Airport can have quality seasons again, they could advance in the playoff.
SMCC appears to have been better off if they would have stayed in 6 because Division 7 looks ridiculous. The division includes Lumen Christi, New Lothrop, Pewamo-Westphalia, Detroit Loyola, Ithaca, Schoolcraft and Traverse City St. Francis. That is a virtual whose who in lower division football in the state of Michigan.
Division 5 could be a nice place for Flat Rock, Grosse Ile and Dundee. No other local teams (meaning Detroit area) really stand out. If these schools can make the playoffs, one of them could put together a little run.