My thoughts are still the same. 10 AAA, 10 AA, split the rest as you see fit.
Based on the new plan that goes into effect for 2011:
AAA: Minot (1098), Bismarck High, Bismarck Century, Mandan, GF Central, GF Red River, Fargo South, Fargo North, West Fargo, Davies (499)
AA: Williston (487), Jamestown, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Wahpeton, Belcourt, Valley City, Grafton, Shanley, St. Marys (155)
Both divisions: Everyone plays everyone. Top 6 to playoffs. Week one: 6 at 3, 5 at 4, 1 and 2 byes. Week two: 6-3 winner at 2, 5-4 winner at 1. Week three: state title.
32 in A (with largest enrollment, smallest enrollment of group in parenthesis), including former AA Beulah, Carrington, Minot Ryan, Bottineau, Rugby, Trinity, Central Cass, Lisbon, Griggs-Barnes, and Kindred (133, largest of the group). The next 22 would include Larimore, Langdon, Watford City, Enderlin-Maple Valley, Hatton-Northwood, Stanley, Lewis and Clark, Williams County, Hazen, May-Port-C-G, Oakes, Northern Cass, Westhope-Newberg-Glenberg, Midway-Minto, Des Lacs-Burlington, New Town, Garrison-Max, Washburn-Wilton-Wing, New Salem-Glen Ullin, Killdeer, Oak Grove (77), Richardton-Taylor-Hebron.
1 (SE): Central Cass, Lisbon, Griggs-Barnes County, Kindred, Enderlin-Maple Valley, Oakes, Oak Grove, Northern Cass
2 (NE): Rugby, Bottineau, Carrington, Larimore, Langdon, Midway-Minto, Hatton-Northwood, May-Port-C-G
3 (NW): Williams County, Stanley, Lewis and Clark, Westhope-Newberg-Glenburn, Garrison-Max, Des Lacs-Burlington, Minot Ryan, New Town
4 (SW): Beulah, Trinity, Watford City, Hazen, Washburn-Wilton-Wing, New Salem-Glen Ullin, Richardton-Taylor-Hebron, Killdeer.
Should Harvey and Velva continue to opt up, as they have chosen to again in 2011, Oak Grove and Richardton-Taylor-Hebron would be moved down. Harvey would be added to Region 2, and MPCG would be moved to Region 1, replacing Oak Grove. Velva would be moved to Region 3, with Garrison-Max moving to Region 4, replacing Richardton-Taylor-Hebron.
Playoffs: same as current system
9-man is whats left.
Yes, there are some long road trips. This is football, you only have to make that trip every other year. Yes, there are only 10 teams in the top classes. I'll say again, a title by Bismarck or West Fargo is not enhanced because there was a Devils Lake or a Jamestown to kick around in their class. A title by Shanley or Devils Lake at AA is not enhanced because there was an Oak Grove or Kindred to kick around, although the latter doesn't happen often.
I think the classes have schools that look very similar to one another, the scheduling is easily worked out, the playoff system is clear. I just don't see a downside.
God is bigger than football.