CFL Playoff Format Changes Considered for 2020 (or 2021)

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Gridiron Ernie
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Read something about this a couple days ago and now this follow-up, wherein it's proposed the changes could already happen this coming season, a decision on that upcoming around middle of March. Interestingly, the changes would perhaps be put in place for a couple years only, to see how it plays out. I've personally got mixed feelings. There's a part of me that loves the tried-and-true traditions of the CFL, and yet I love well thought-through innovations and see the value in the evolution of things. I'd be game for trying it the way it's been proposed. Some very interesting details.
https://3downnation.com/2020/02/18/comm ... 20-season/


Kamloops Lion
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I don't hate it. We would still have a West champion vs. an East champion in the Grey Cup.
Even now with the crossover, there is East versus West in the final, but no guarantee the teams are actually from the East/West.
The choose-your-opponent angle is interesting as it is a neat reward for finishing up in the standings. It is not unique, however, as the Alberta Junior Hockey League used to do that every year (and maybe still does?), with higher-placed teams choosing their first-round opponents. Gives them the option to avoid a team that may be in the final playoff spot , but is on a hot streak.


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I like the idea of giving byes to the division winners and home games to the two teams with the next best records. I don't like the idea of having the team with the best overall record choose its opponent. It's gimmicky and I don't think any first-place team would want to give bulletin-board material to its opponent by labelling them as more beatable. Just have the team with the best record play the lowest seeded semi-final winner.

The seeding of playoff teams would increase the likelihood of the league's first all-West Grey Cup. That could be problematic for ticket sales in some markets but the next two Cups in Saskatchewan and Hamilton are likely to sell out regardless of who plays so it's worth testing a new format for a couple of years.


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Hambone
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I'm with you BCF. What better bulletin-board and motivational material could there be for a team than to effectively be declared the "weakest link" by the #1 team no matter how much spin and sugar that team might heap on them. If it happened to BC making that call I suspect they would always lean to taking a team out of the East purely for the advantage of the travel and time zone differential and historic struggles East clubs have endured at BC Place. Having said that BC would lose quite a bit of the body clock advantage with a playoff game being held at something like 5:00pm Eastern as opposed to 10:00pm Eastern.


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maxlion
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I don't have any problem with the current format, but kind of like the choose your opponent concept. It would definitely bring some drama and speculating.


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Another thought: Is this a sneaky way to switch playoff games to Saturdays? That would deserve a separate discussion. The current schedule calls for divisional semi-finals and finals to be played on Sundays as usual. There’s no need to change the playoff schedule along with the format, especially if the league doesn’t give the top team a day to choose an opponent for the divisional final.


"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy
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Hambone
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TBH I would have no issue with playoff games switching to Saturday. Selfishly it makes it much easier for an out-of-towner like me. Typically on a playoff Sunday I HAVE to get back to PG or wherever in the province I happen to be working as soon post-game as possible that would go for just about anybody else not living in the lower mainland. At least with a Saturday home playoff game (and they are always afternoon games now) out of towners have lots of options to either come in and leave day of game or make a weekend of it without having to make a mad dash out of town post-game.

Where I do enjoy a Sunday playoff game is when it's BC hosting the WDF and Grey Cup is back east in Montreal, Toronto or Ottawa. Then I'll take advantage and leave Van on the Monday and spend the whole week in some terrific cities.


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TheLionKing
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Don't like the idea of the best team choosing their next opponent.


Matt Baker
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We've seen New York face New England in the Super Bowl twice in the last 12 years. An All -California matchup ( Niners-Chargers) in the past as well. Baseball has had two New York teams face off in the World Series as well as Anaheim and San Francisco since the turn of the century.

Even in our league, the flip-flopping of Winnipeg between divisions has resulted in the Bombers facing us as well as Saskatchewan and Calgary in the Grey Cup. Moral of my story? There is no disaster in getting rid of the divisions and facing a higher prospect of a more "regional" Grey Cup game. I get the ticket sales angle. But they had to give away free pizzas to sell an Ottawa-Calgary game in Toronto. I'm guessing Winnipeg and Hamilton didn't sell out McMahon this past November either. If the league went to ten teams, I'd be all for having the top 6 ( or 8) make the playoffs and let the matchups fall as they may. Not a fan of picking opponents though.

I'll always go back to my first year with the Lions in 2016… At 12-6, we were clearly the second best team overall in the regular season. At 8-9-1, Ottawa gets a bye and hosts the East Final. Lions steamrolled them twice in the regular season if I recall, too. No way that should be justified.


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BC 1988
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https://www.tsn.ca/radio/vancouver-1040 ... -1.1451415
Finally got around to listening to this (I didn't catch it live on TSN 1040). Ambrosie Monday morning with Halford & Brough (typically the most useless for talking CFL).

He covered a lot of ground--Proposed new playoff format--he said CFL coaches hated the idea. Also his ongoing search on behalf of David Braley to find a suitable buyer for the Lions, the Halifax franchise, CFL 2.0.


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David
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Yes, I get the feeling these two would rather call their dentist to schedule a local anesthesia-free root canal than talk Lions or CFL. Brough is the more "CFL friendly" of the two (for want of a better term), but admits his affection for the league severely waned over the years. He fondly recalls the big crowds of the 80s at BC Place as a kid and has been to numerous Grey Cups.

The Ambrosie interview was okay, but then they kind of ripped 2.0 apart after he left (I can't say I disagree with some parts of their arguments. Ambrosie's Yao Ming analogy is absurd). The Rick Campbell interview yesterday at the Waterboys breakfast was really good. Rick is a smart, insightful guest and they seemed genuinely engaged by him.

https://post.futurimedia.com/ckstam/pla ... 936.747575


DH :cool:


Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.
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