Playoff football format brainstorming (1 Viewer)

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I've mentioned it several times to friends, family and this board. One thing that bugs me about playoff football is the win and go home nature of it. There is no series to let the best team surface. One bad game or just a moment of bad luck ends a great team's season. I don't always feel like the best team wins. Maybe the best team that day, but it could have just been a 1 in 100 day. I at least feel like the regular season plays out enough to get the best teams but the playoffs are pretty random. This was before the Saints loss, so it's not just about this year.

There isn't much you can do about it. Football playoffs can't be a series. You need a week to rest and you can't go on for months. It's just the nature of the beast. I wanted to think of a possible solution though. I hate complaining about things without a solution. Just trying to think of something.

I know it wont happen in the end. This is just spitballing. I just wanted to strike a conversation and see if anyone had ideas.

The best thing I could think of is a double-elimination bracket. There are a lot of problems though. It's would extend the playoffs by 2, possibly 3 weeks. There would be a poor week in the middle also when the loser bracket has to settle things. Scheduling the Superbowl would be a pain also since it could get pushed back a week.

For reference, this is an example for one conference




Does anyone know of any better tournament formats that could improve the "randomness" in playoff football? Without completely killing the current format anyway.

Maybe you have a good argument for why the current format is the best possible. Maybe you like the double-elimination bracket (hey more football).
 

Brennan77

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The unpredictability of football is also it's draw. You can't remove the "on any given Sunday" part and have the same sport.

It bites that the Saints aren't in it. But the loss the year gives hope and excitement to every underdog wildcard team in the future. It's just part of the game that it isn't always the best team to advance. And I'm ok with that because that's also how life works.
 
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You just can’t do football like a double elimination baseball tournament. It’s too physical a game. I understand your thought process, but it just can’t be done that way. Plus all the travel involved. Sounds like a logistical nightmare.
I admit it's not perfect. But let's say instead of extending the regular season 2 weeks and shortening the preseason (like they have been discussing). You extend the playoffs 2 weeks and shorten the preseason. Only a few teams will play into those extended weeks anyway.

Yeah, logistics is probably the worst part of this kind of setup though.
 

superchuck500

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The single-elimination makes it dramatic. Winning doesn’t always mean you were the best team - just that when the season story was over, you were the one left standing. It’s different than the series-based formats but I don’t see it as inferior.
 

Darth Deuce

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I admit it's not perfect. But let's say instead of extending the regular season 2 weeks and shortening the preseason (like they have been discussing). You extend the playoffs 2 weeks and shorten the preseason. Only a few teams will play into those extended weeks anyway.

Yeah, logistics is probably the worst part of this kind of setup though.
If I counted right, then by that format a team in those first two games who lost would end up playing 6 total games to win the conference championship. That’s crazy.
 

SuperKid

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The single-elimination makes it dramatic. Winning doesn’t always mean you were the best team - just that when the season story was over, you were the one left standing. It’s different than the series-based formats but I don’t see it as inferior.
You're right and it fits the physically demanding, and violent sport of Football well.

I also don't agree with the notion that the better team 'on paper' always deserves to have the most favorable conditions for them to win. It's already enough that finishing with a better record has you playing at Home (mostly).. If you don't show up, and prove you are the better team that day. You don't deserve to win period. Especially with 6-7 days of preparation.
 
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No. The same could be said about the regular season. Show up or go home. You have one chance so make it count. The Saints didn't want to be in the playoffs. They are right at home like they wanted to be.
I don't feel that way about the regular season. You can absorb a bad Falcons game in the regular season. In the playoffs, it's one bad day and game over.
 

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I don't feel that way about the regular season. You can absorb a bad Falcons game in the regular season. In the playoffs, it's one bad day and game over.
Don't have a bad day, it's simple. The Saints didn't want to be there in front of the home crowd. They didn't deserve another chance. They would have just blown it against GB or whoever else they played. This wasn't a playoff team, it was a regular season team. Maybe next time they will show up but I'm not holding my breath.
 
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If I counted right, then by that format a team in those first two games who lost would end up playing 6 total games to win the conference championship. That’s crazy.
It's 5 with a chance of 6 to get to the Superbowl as a worst-case (versus 3 now). I was hoping there is something else you could do with byes or some other format to get it shorter than that setup. Just the best I knew of.
 
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You can't have a team play 6-7 playoff games.
If they extend the season to 18 games every team will play 2 more games. This would only have a few team play maybe two more games. Worst possible case (which would be rare) is two teams have to play 3 more games.
 

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