From the perspective of a fan who has no rooting interest, a close game always makes for a more interesting experience than a blowout.
And from that perspective, Wyoming’s six-man classification in 2022 may have given us some of the most boring football we’ve ever seen.
Last year in Class 1A six-man, the chances were significantly better that the game would end with a running clock than in a down-to-the-wire finish — and it wasn’t even close.
More than 61% of six-man games in 2022 (36 of 59) ended with the winning team winning by at least 45 points, the cutoff point for the mercy-rule running clock. This included all seven playoff games. Only two of those 59 six-man games (3.4%) were decided by a margin of a single possession or less. Overall, only 10 of those 59 games last season were decided by less than 20 points.
The average margin of victory was 44.3 points.
Not all that exciting.
The hope is that the blowout trend in 2022 was just an anomaly. After all, the 61% blowout rate was the highest at the six-man level since its return to Wyoming in 2009. And the 3.4% single-possession game rate was the lowest.
Blowouts have always been more plentiful than single-possession games, but the differences in 2022 were stark:
|Year||Total games||Margin 45 or more||Margin 8 or less||Percent finishing with mercy rule||Percent single-possesison|
Some hope that 2023 might return to some kind of normalcy is the fact that the 2021 season was maybe six-man’s most exciting. In that season, 20% of six-man games finished as one-possession games, the highest rate since six-man’s return in 2009.