Sullivan South will take the place of Cleveland in the Class 5A football playoff bracket due to an error in the tie-breaking procedure. They will travel to Columbia Central in the first round of the playoffs.
The reason Sullivan South has qualified for the playoffs and Cleveland does not qualify for the playoffs is due to an error in determining the final Wild Card spots in 5A based on the tie-breaking procedure, TSSAA officials said.
Section II. B. of the Football Regulations states:
“In the event of a tie for a championship, second place, or qualifier, should one of the team’s opponents play 11 games, only the first 10 games played shall be counted.
Enka High School in North Carolina was one of the opponents of Sullivan South. Enka played 11 games during the regular season. When the brackets and qualifiers were initially set, Enka’s record of 5-6 was taken into account when determining the tie-breaker procedure in Section III. D. of the Football Regulations which states: “The team who plays the greatest number of team who win 50 percent or more of their games.“ The initial view of Enka’s 5-6 record gave Sullivan South one less team who won 50 percent or more of their games. When Section II.B. is applied, it makes Enka’s record 5-5, therefore adding a team to the number that Sullivan South has played that have won 50 percent or more of their games. This places Sullivan South ahead of Cleveland in the tie-breaker procedure.
As of noon on Saturday, the bracket was set.
Officials said, "This is not the first time that a mistake has been found after the initial release of the brackets. In every situation in the past, it has been dealt with by making the correction that affects the least amount of teams in the bracket."