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MIAA football playoff proposal passes early test

FRANKLIN - A potential state-wide football playoff system took another step forward Monday as the MIAA Football Committee voted, 13-6, in favor of sending the proposal to the Tournament Management Committee.

The committee agreed that the proposal it will put before the TMC next Monday isn’t black and white but rather a work in progress that could be adjusted as the proposal heads to a final vote. And despite a lengthy debate about whether the TMC should see a “concept’’ or a “proposal’’ the bottom line was that the proposal passed its first test.

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“At least there’s a process in place now so it goes to the next logical board to have some input,’’ said committee chairman and Ipswich principal Barry Cahill. “We’re definitely closer than we were this morning, particularly if there had been a no vote by this committee.’’

But while committee representatives will make a presentation to the TMC next Monday, many of those same members will meet the same day in the same building to begin discussing realignment in the event the TMC votes the idea down.

And what’s being presented to the TMC isn’t a hard-and-fast document.

“It got softer as the meeting went along,’’ Cahill said. “It’s a proposal with room in it to change.’’

But the basics shouldn’t change. The proposal retains the league structure and will finish with six state champions, as opposed to the 19 Super Bowls of last December. Divisions will be based on enrollment and it will provide increased postseason opportunities with multiple teams from each league potentially qualifying for the playoffs.

The Thanksgiving setup remains the same. And unlike last fall when there were 74 teams playing after Thanksgiving, the proposal would have just 12 teams playing. The proposal would be for two years and would start in either 2013 or 2015.

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