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Mac the Knife

Future NFL Playoff Seeding Change?

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As has become tradition, each Friday prior to the Super Bowl the NFL's Commissioner (Roger Goodell the past two years) has had a "State of the NFL Address," basically a press conference in which he makes himself available to various questions.

While many have made mention of Goodell's responses to the conference's questions about the Patriots 'Spygate' incident, there was one thing that particularly struck me as interesting, though it essentially was ignored by those in attendance: the possibility, if not likelihood, that the league is going to eliminate home-field advantage for each conference's division champion #3 and #4 seeds.

His comments in essence were that the league would be giving serious consideration to awarding home-field advantage to wild card playoff qualifiers that had better records than the #3 and #4 division champions in each conference, eliminating the 'guaranteed home playoff game' that division champs now receive.

Personally I don't like the idea, favoring instead an increase in the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14, but I understand the theory behind it: teams that have locked in a #3 or #4 seed and have no incentive to win in the final week or two of the season (as was the case this year) can coast, which could affect the outcome of other playoff slots. But on the other hand, winning a division, even one with only 4 teams, should carry with it some type of ancillary benefit.

Did anyone else catch this statement, and if so, what are your thoughts?

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If they go forward with that plan, then you might as well switch the league to 2, 2 division conferences. After all, if you play like the NBA you should look like them. I also do not care for teams sitting all their players on the final weekend or two. I'm not sure about increasing the amount of playoff teams, either.

Considering the league pushes parity as is, the situation could be worse. I would rather he focus on increasing the number of regular season games to 18, then add one playoff team per conference.

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I think the league from how it is structured and how its playoff format is setup is perfect.

Diluting the importance of the regular season by adding teams would be a foolish mistake.

If I had to pick something to change, I would cut the preseason in half and add two games to the regular season as mentioned by quantumfreak.

Winning the division no matter how weak that division is has to carry some weight.

Also, there is nothing in the rules that states a team has to or doesn't have to rest its players. That is a team decision.

I think more often than not that plan hasn't worked out too good.

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I prefer that way it is now. I don't like the NBA system, because winning your division really means nothing in my eyes except a banner. But having two more games, as mentioned, would be nice. It just feels the season is too short.

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I like rewarding teams for winning their division. It should mean more than just getting into the playoffs. If you are upset as a Wild Card about not getting the game, you should have done more to win your division.

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I'm not sure, I think if the Wild Card has a better record then the division champ the Wild Card should get the home game.

Look at the NFC South this year, say if there is a year where a team goes 8-8 to win a division, and a Wild Card in the same conference is 12-4.

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I'm not sure, I think if the Wild Card has a better record then the division champ the Wild Card should get the home game.

Look at the NFC South this year, say if there is a year where a team goes 8-8 to win a division, and a Wild Card in the same conference is 12-4.

They should have gotten it done against their division's champion then, Tank. Them's the breaks.

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Going with that seeding would be ridiculous. Let's use this season's Browns as an example. They played a pretty easy schedule as a result of a 4-12 year last season. So they go 10-6 against weaker competition and their inter-conference schedule has them playing the NFC west. Let's say a team like Tennessee survives a brutal NFC south schedule, plays the NFC East and wins the division at 9-7. Are they telling me that The Browns deserve a home game over The Titans? One team went 10-6 and gets a wildcard on basically a Big 10 schedule while another wins their division playing an SEC schedule and the Big 10 team gets home field? That ain't right at all if you ask me.

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Any playoff format is gonna have its criticisms, but I think the NFL's is as close to perfect as possible. Just enough teams are let in so it's not like baseball where half the teams are out of it by the all star break, but enough teams are kept out so it's not like basketball where teams with losing records have a realistic shot of making it every year.

If I HAD to make an ammendment to the NFL playoff system, I'd switch the #4 and #5 seeds if #5 had a significantly higher winning percentage (what qualifies as significant is up for debate). Or maybe just make it a mandate that a team has to have a winning record to host a playoff game... but then you run into the debate of whether or not a 9-7 wild card really has that much more of a right to host than an 8-8 division champ.

Overall though, I feel like if you take away the advantages of being the division champ, you defeat the purpose of having divisions. For the same reason, I think baseball should add another wild card and make them play a 3 game series (home-away-home) to see who goes to the divisional round.

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Any playoff format is gonna have its criticisms, but I think the NFL's is as close to perfect as possible. Just enough teams are let in so it's not like baseball where half the teams are out of it by the all star break, but enough teams are kept out so it's not like basketball where teams with losing records have a realistic shot of making it every year.

If I HAD to make an ammendment to the NFL playoff system, I'd switch the #4 and #5 seeds if #5 had a significantly higher winning percentage (what qualifies as significant is up for debate). Or maybe just make it a mandate that a team has to have a winning record to host a playoff game... but then you run into the debate of whether or not a 9-7 wild card really has that much more of a right to host than an 8-8 division champ.

Overall though, I feel like if you take away the advantages of being the division champ, you defeat the purpose of having divisions. For the same reason, I think baseball should add another wild card and make them play a 3 game series (home-away-home) to see who goes to the divisional round.

I believe the NFL does it right, a home field game for all 4 division champs. The Jaguars had a better record than the Steelers this year if I recall correctly, and they won on the road. The Giants were a 5 seed, and all they did was defeat THREE home division champs, and ultimately the Super Bowl last night. The Steelers just 2 years ago were a SIX seed, and won three ROAD games. To me, if a 13-3 wildcard team goes into a division champion's home stadium who went 10-6, the team with the better record SHOULD beat the team with the worse record anyway, regardless of homefield. And while historically, homefield has proven important in the NFL playoffs, in recent years (especially the past 3 years and with parity at an all time high), it seems unnecessary to give a wildcard team a HOME game. That's why they're a WILD CARD team, and TRULY have to earn it, which is what this year's Giants did, and what the 2005 Steelers did as well. I'm not wanting a 7th playoff team from either conference, 6 is plenty. I prefer the division champ to get at least ONE home game.

As for adding yet another round of playoffs for baseball, I disagree completely. The baseball playoffs go on long enough as it is with the 1 wildcard team, and the division series, and LCS's. An extra round of MLB playoffs I think would increase the amount of disinterest that already exists with baseball's post-season, partly due to the fact that many of the games don't end until after midnight on the east coast. Furthermore, adding an extra wildcard round, would "throw off" the 3 division winners, having to wait an extra 3 or 4 days, which would throw off those teams' timing with hitting, pitching, etc. Baseball is an everyday game, and having an extra wildcard round would throw off those teams. Look at how the long layoff affected the Colorado Rockies, as they were swept. Also, and this seems to be in the NL always, there's a 1 game playoff to determine the wildcard team (Rockies Padres in 2007, Mets/Reds one year, and there was 1 other 1 game playoff for the wildcard as I recall). The home/away/home thing wouldn't work for me either. Suppose it were the Mets & Giants vying for the wildcard berth. Do you really expect the Mets to host one game, fly 3,000 plus miles to play another game, only to have to fly back 3,000 miles again for a potential game #3? I don't see the "wildcard" round working in MLB, 4 teams from each league is more than enough.

I like Goodell in the NFL (or is it Goodall, I always forget), but I dislike the idea of having a wildcard team hosting a post-season game. I also dislike having regular season games being played abroad. On these things I disagree with him. I'm also curious why he destroyed and burned the "evidence" against the Patriots. That kind of rubbed me the wrong way, and chances are if it rubbed me wrong, it has to have rubbed someone else wrong. I do like his strong armed disciplinary approaches to wayward players however, just don't agree with some of his ideas is all.

Regards,

Bill

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Any playoff format is gonna have its criticisms, but I think the NFL's is as close to perfect as possible. Just enough teams are let in so it's not like baseball where half the teams are out of it by the all star break, but enough teams are kept out so it's not like basketball where teams with losing records have a realistic shot of making it every year.

If I HAD to make an ammendment to the NFL playoff system, I'd switch the #4 and #5 seeds if #5 had a significantly higher winning percentage (what qualifies as significant is up for debate). Or maybe just make it a mandate that a team has to have a winning record to host a playoff game... but then you run into the debate of whether or not a 9-7 wild card really has that much more of a right to host than an 8-8 division champ.

Overall though, I feel like if you take away the advantages of being the division champ, you defeat the purpose of having divisions. For the same reason, I think baseball should add another wild card and make them play a 3 game series (home-away-home) to see who goes to the divisional round.

I believe the NFL does it right, a home field game for all 4 division champs. The Jaguars had a better record than the Steelers this year if I recall correctly, and they won on the road. The Giants were a 5 seed, and all they did was defeat THREE home division champs, and ultimately the Super Bowl last night. The Steelers just 2 years ago were a SIX seed, and won three ROAD games. To me, if a 13-3 wildcard team goes into a division champion's home stadium who went 10-6, the team with the better record SHOULD beat the team with the worse record anyway, regardless of homefield. And while historically, homefield has proven important in the NFL playoffs, in recent years (especially the past 3 years and with parity at an all time high), it seems unnecessary to give a wildcard team a HOME game. That's why they're a WILD CARD team, and TRULY have to earn it, which is what this year's Giants did, and what the 2005 Steelers did as well. I'm not wanting a 7th playoff team from either conference, 6 is plenty. I prefer the division champ to get at least ONE home game.

As for adding yet another round of playoffs for baseball, I disagree completely. The baseball playoffs go on long enough as it is with the 1 wildcard team, and the division series, and LCS's. An extra round of MLB playoffs I think would increase the amount of disinterest that already exists with baseball's post-season, partly due to the fact that many of the games don't end until after midnight on the east coast. Furthermore, adding an extra wildcard round, would "throw off" the 3 division winners, having to wait an extra 3 or 4 days, which would throw off those teams' timing with hitting, pitching, etc. Baseball is an everyday game, and having an extra wildcard round would throw off those teams. Look at how the long layoff affected the Colorado Rockies, as they were swept. Also, and this seems to be in the NL always, there's a 1 game playoff to determine the wildcard team (Rockies Padres in 2007, Mets/Reds one year, and there was 1 other 1 game playoff for the wildcard as I recall). The home/away/home thing wouldn't work for me either. Suppose it were the Mets & Giants vying for the wildcard berth. Do you really expect the Mets to host one game, fly 3,000 plus miles to play another game, only to have to fly back 3,000 miles again for a potential game #3? I don't see the "wildcard" round working in MLB, 4 teams from each league is more than enough.

I like Goodell in the NFL (or is it Goodall, I always forget), but I dislike the idea of having a wildcard team hosting a post-season game. I also dislike having regular season games being played abroad. On these things I disagree with him. I'm also curious why he destroyed and burned the "evidence" against the Patriots. That kind of rubbed me the wrong way, and chances are if it rubbed me wrong, it has to have rubbed someone else wrong. I do like his strong armed disciplinary approaches to wayward players however, just don't agree with some of his ideas is all.

Regards,

Bill

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What about a total seeding system? Top 6 teams from each conference make it? It's ridiculous to have the possibility of an 11-5 team miss the playoffs while a 8-8 division winner goes.

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Well winning a division should get you a home game guaranteed.

However, who's to say after wild card weekend that you can't reseed?

Say you have:

3 Seed: 10-6

4 Seed: 9-7

5 Seed: 12-4

6 Seed: 11-5

And now say the 9-7 team beats the 12-4 team, and the 11-5 #6 seed beats the #3 seed.

Why not make that 11-5 team face the 2 seed and the 9-7 team face the #1 seed?

As it is now, the 11-5 team would face the #1 seed and the 9-7 team gets the #2 seed in the Divisional round...

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What about a total seeding system? Top 6 teams from each conference make it? It's ridiculous to have the possibility of an 11-5 team miss the playoffs while a 8-8 division winner goes.

If this were used, then why bother having divisions at all? A 9-7 division champion doesn't qualify for the playoffs because there are other 2nd and 3rd place teams from other divisions who are 10-6 or 11-5, so what's the point of having divisions or divisional play at all then?

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What about we just fire Goodell...

No, no, that must wait until after he talks with Specter.

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Of course, in times like these, we can always look to Australia for inspiration. Increase the playoff teamage to eight, extend the playoffs by a week. Seed the division winners 1-4 and the wildcards 5-8.

Week 1:

-- Game A [1v4], Game B [2v3], winners get bye to Week 3, losers play Week 2

-- Game C [5v8], Game D [6v7], winners play Week 2, losers eliminated

Week 2:

-- Game E [Loser Game A v Winner Game D]

-- Game F [Loser Game B v Winner Game C]

Week 3:

-- Game G [Winner Game A v Winner Game F]

-- Game H [Winner Game B v Winner Game E]

Week 4:

-- Game I [Winner Game G v Winner Game H] (Conference Championship)

Week 5:

-- Super Bowl [Winner of each conference's "Game I's"]

Remembering of course that weeks one through four happen in each conference.

Yeah, it's needlessly complicated, but then again, so is the West Coast Offense. ^_^

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I bet the only reason this is an issue is because the Giants lost out on the revenue from a home playoff game and their owners bitched about it.

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Leave it as is. What's the point of a division if you don't get a reward for winning it? Baseball has too few teams in the post-season. Hockey and basketball seem to have too many. Football is just right.

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