Sunday, November 25, 2007

the Evolved Playoff

The concept is simple:

a Playoff + the Polls = the Evolved Playoff

Step 1: Setup a regular playoff bracket, #1 vs #16, #2, vs #15, etc.
(or #1 vs #8, #1 vs #32 – it works with any amount of teams).

Step 2: Play the games

Step 3: Re-rank the teams

The #1 team lost? Fine, they deserve to drop in the rankings. Do they deserve to drop out of the playoff? No, probably not. But losing just earned them a harder matchup in the next round.
Set up the next round of the bracket using the new rankings and with ½ the amount of teams you started with. Play the games and repeat as necessary.

Here’s why the Evolved Playoff works

1) The regular season is still of major importance. How well you play in the regular season will determine how much of a cushion you have when the post season starts. In this system, it’s the whole season, not just the post-season, that is taken into account.

2) It’s not single elimination. In a regular playoff, if you have one fluky game or if your star gets injured and you lose because of it, you’re going home. You could have had the best season in the history of the sport up until that point, but it doesn’t matter. In this system, each round will feature matchups of the strongest teams over the course of the whole season, not just who won in the previous round..

3) The polls are still part of the process. In a playoff, intangibles aren’t taken into account. There was a bad call by the refs at the end? Too bad. In this system, the polls act as a failsafe because they can right the wrongs that might occur. Imagine if Oklahoma vs Oregon 2006 had been a playoff game – too bad, Sooners. Go home. That could be rectified in this system because the rankings are so flexible throughout.

4) It can be modified to suit a number of different scenarios. You want an 8-team playoff? Fine. 16-teams? No problem. 32? Okay. Bigger numbers and more teams don’t affect this system.

5) It’s particularly well suited for college football. It keeps the tradition of the polls but provides the on-the-field matchups that will enable everyone to agree on a national champion.

To see an example of the Evolved Playoff in action, see the Modified Season section.

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