Commish Considers Playoff Shakeup
I think this is a pretty good idea. I know Steeler's owner Dan Rooney doesn't like it, but that's probably because they finished 2 games below the team they ended up hosting in the Playoffs. If you play in a week division and win it, I don't think that should automatically put you above teams that are in tougher divisions but finish with better records.
Reseeding the entire playoffs might get a little tricky. I think the temptation is to always get a juggernaut matchup in the Super Bowl or League Championship game. But as the Colt's and Giants (hardly pre-playoff fav's the last 2 years) proved, there is no determining that through seeding.
By BART HUBBUCH
February 2, 2008 -- PHOENIX - The Giants' wild-card run to Super Bowl XLII would have looked different under a plan being studied by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Speaking here in his annual state-of-the-league address, Goodell revealed a potential shakeup to the existing playoff system that would allow wild-card teams the possibility of a home game.
In the early stages of Goodell's plan, which would require the owners' longshot approval, the bottom two division winners by record in each conference would go on the road the first week if they have a worse mark than the wild-card teams.
If the plan had been in place this year, the wild-card Giants (10-6) would have hosted NFC South winner Tampa Bay (9-7) and the wild-card Jaguars (11-5) would have hosted the AFC North champion Steelers (10-6) in the first round. Ironically, in light of Goodell's plan, the road team ended up winning both of those games.
"The focus that we'll probably give it in the short term would be to look at our seeding process," Goodell said. "What we'd like to look at is, if a wild-card team has a record that's better than a division winner, should that give the [home-field] advantage to the wild-card team?"
Although it's unlikely, Goodell went a step further by saying the plan could expand in future years to include a complete reseeding of the playoffs based on record.
"There are a number of variations on the table," he said.
Goodell's aim is to cut down on the obvious tanking of games at the end of the season by teams that have already clinched playoff position, the most glaring recent example being the Colts' final-week home loss to the Titans this year.
But Goodell appears likely to face fierce opposition from the owners, several of whom said yesterday they would be reluctant to take away the meaning of winning the division. Any change would require approval from at least 24 of the 32 owners. "If the team wins its division, it should play at home," Steelers owner Dan Rooney said. "It's as simple as that."
Re: Commish Considers Playoff Shakeup
I'd say as long as winning the division guarantees you a playoff spot, you're still playing for something.