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WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

Posted on: December 28, 2009 5:23 pm
 

I have to say that dealing with the below scenarios last night, particularly DENVER that has 16 possible clinching scenarios if you include ties and 10 without ties to get in, was one of the toughest week 16 follow-up nights in memory.   Having 8 teams within one game of each other at either 8-7 or 7-8 and 7 of those teams still have a chance to clinch a Wild Card spot has certainly created some chaos among teams, media and fans.

It should be noted that although you will see current playoff standings listing DEN and Jets as Wild Card teams ( http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/standi
ngs/playoffrace
 ), only the JETS and Ravens actually control their own destiny to capture playoff spots.  This is because the Playoff Race page is listing results "If the Season Ended Today".  As it stands among the 8-7 teams, the tiebreaker between NYJ, BAL, HOU and DEN, which becomes NYJ, BAL and DEN after HOU drops out on conf record, they do not have enough games (need four) to qualify among their common opponents (NE, CIN, IND, OAK) as BAL has not played OAK yet and NYJ has not played CIN.  Detail below.  If they each win, you'll see below that NYJ would have the common opponents tiebreaker advantage at 4-1 vs. 3-2 for DEN and 1-4 for BAL.   After that...it would revert to BAL, HOU and DEN and HOU would drop out again on conf record and BAL beat DEN H2H to claim the #6 seed.

Common opponents for BAL DEN NYJ
BAL record against NE: 0/1 (0.000) (games left 0)
BAL record against CIN: 0/2 (0.000) (games left 0)
BAL record against IND: 0/1 (0.000) (games left 0)
BAL record against OAK: 0/0 (NaN) (games left 1)
BAL overall record: 0/4 (0.000)

DEN record against NE: 1/0 (1.000) (games left 0)
DEN record against CIN: 1/0 (1.000) (games left 0)
DEN record against IND: 0/1 (0.000) (games left 0)
DEN record against OAK: 1/1 (0.500) (games left 0)
DEN overall record: 3/2 (0.600)

NYJ record against NE: 1/1 (0.500) (games left 0)
NYJ record against CIN: 0/0 (NaN) (games left 1)
NYJ record against IND: 1/0 (1.000) (games left 0)
NYJ record against OAK: 1/0 (1.000) (games left 0)
NYJ overall record: 3/1 (0.750)


AFC

  CLINCHED:   Indianapolis -- South division and homefield advantage.
              San Diego -- West division and first-round bye.
              Cincinnati -- North division.
              New England -- East division.
  ELIMINATED: Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, Buffalo, Tennessee.

Baltimore, the Jets, Denver, Pittsburgh and Houston can also make the playoffs
if they tie this week with various other things happening. Jacksonville and
Miami cannot make the playoffs with a tie.

 BALTIMORE RAVENS
  Baltimore clinches a playoff spot:
   1) BAL win

 NEW YORK JETS
  NY Jets clinch a playoff spot:
   1) NYJ win

 DENVER Broncos
  Denver clinches a playoff spot:
   1) DEN win + NYJ loss or tie + BAL loss or tie
   2) DEN win + NYJ loss or tie + PIT loss or tie
   3) DEN win + NYJ loss or tie + HOU win
   4) DEN win + BAL loss or tie + PIT loss or tie
   5) DEN win + BAL loss or tie + HOU win
   6) PIT loss + BAL loss + HOU loss + JAC loss
   7) PIT loss + BAL loss + HOU loss + NYJ loss
   8) PIT loss + BAL loss + JAC loss + NYJ loss
   9) PIT loss + HOU loss + JAC loss + NYJ loss
  10) MIA loss or tie + NYJ loss + BAL loss + HOU loss + JAC loss or tie

 PITTSBURGH Steelers
  Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot:
   1) PIT win + HOU loss or tie + NYJ loss or tie
   2) PIT win + HOU loss or tie + BAL loss or tie
   3) PIT win + NYJ loss or tie + BAL loss or tie + DEN loss or tie

 HOUSTON Texans
  Houston clinches a playoff spot:
   1) HOU win + NYJ loss or tie + BAL loss or tie
   2) HOU win + NYJ loss or tie + DEN loss or tie
   3) HOU win + BAL loss or tie + DEN loss or tie

 JACKSONVILLE Jaguars
  Jacksonville clinches a playoff spot:
   1) JAC win + PIT loss + BAL loss + DEN loss + HOU loss
   2) JAC win + PIT loss + BAL loss + DEN loss + NYJ loss
   3) JAC win + PIT loss + BAL loss + HOU loss + NYJ loss
   4) JAC win + PIT loss + DEN loss + HOU loss + NYJ loss 
   5) JAC win + NYJ loss + DEN loss + HOU loss + BAL loss

 MIAMI Dolphins
  Miami clinches a playoff spot:
   1) MIA win + NYJ loss + BAL loss + HOU loss + JAC loss or tie

Comments

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2010 10:54 pm
 

18 game schedule....

Matt, Noob,

I agree. So far your idea is as good as any idea I have come up with. As for how the tie-breakers would be affected....

For breaking ties outside of a division ,
Great call on "common games" moving ahead of conference record. When determining Wild Card teams, to account for differences in divisions, tied teams would be 1st evaluated on their record against the 8 opponents in common (if no head-to-head game).

In 2-way ties with no H2H game, there will always be 8 common games, with no repeat opponents.

For 3-way ties, there would always be 3 common opponents, all from one of the team's division: 6 common games for that team, but only 3 common games for the other two teams. Thus there would never be the minimum requirement of 4 common games. "Common games" would therefore be removed from the tiebreaking steps for 3-way ties.

For 4-way ties, there would never be a single common opponent, so "common games" would also be removed from 4-way tiebreakers.

Interestingly, for breaking ties within a division , "common games" would once again be removed. If head-to-head is split, then "common games" must be tied. -All 16 games (minus the two head-to-head) would be common among teams in the same division. The same reasoning applies to 3-way or 4-way ties within a division.

Main point about common games :
The removal of the "common games" step to break ties between 3 or more teams for a Wild Card, and to break divisional ties, should not be considered a drawback to this scheduling format. A balanced schedule of this type should be considered a much more valuable tool for determining the proper Wild Card teams (or division winners), than "common games" has ever been.


Sweeps, on the other hand, ... would become much more common in 3-way ties. A sweep would possible in all 256 3-team combinations (per conference) instead of only 62.5% (160/256) of 3-team combinations currently. Additionally, it would be impossible for each team to play each other head-to-head. This eliminates the possibility of H2H records among 3 tied teams being 1-0-1, 1-1-0, and 0-1-1, and would eliminate the ensuing confusion about whether or not head-to-head records would apply despite the absence of a sweep.

Sweeps could never apply in 4-way ties . This means there are also no 4-team combinations where each team has played each of the others. This eliminates the possibility of 4 tied teams having H2H records of 2-1, 2-1, 1-2, and 1-2 (and other combinations of H2H records without a sweep).

Main point about sweeps :
The increased likelihood of sweeps among 3 teams is a positive affect of this type of scheduling (approx. 60% increase). The decrease in sweeps among 4 teams would go unnoticed. Currently only about 5% of all possible 4-way ties would have a sweep, and so far we've had only one 4-way tie in the 8 years of 4 divisions per conference. (I'll save my explanations of the odds for a separate post).

Head-to-head for 2 way Wild Card ties :
2/3 of all 2-way ties would have a head-to-head game, compared to 1/2 currently. This is a 33.33% increase. The more head-to-head games, the better.


The only problem the NFL might have with this plan is what Matt said...no way to give last place teams an advantage in scheduling over first place teams.



When the 18-game scheduling format came up a few weeks ago, most people supported the idea of each team playing just one entire division in its conference outside of its own. In this idea, 1st and 2nd place teams would play the the other two 1st and 2nd place teams in their conference, while 3rd and 4th place teams would play the other two 3rd and 4th place teams in their conference. This sounds like a good plan, but I'll tell you why I think it is an altogether bad idea.

There would be too much incentive for an eliminated team to finish in 3rd place instead of in 2nd place. Not only would a 3rd place team play two 3rd place teams instead of two 2nd place teams, but now it would also play two 4th place teams instead of two 1st place teams .

This is too much added incentive to finish in 3rd place instead of 2nd place. Think of Carolina and Atlanta this season. It would be the difference between playing Washington and Detroit next season, instead of Dallas and Minnesota. Not to mention the already noticeable difference between playing Chicago and the Giants, instead of Green Bay and Philadelphia.


I wonder if there is a type of compromise between the two ideas.



Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2010 9:40 pm
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

Joe...how come in Divisions say the AFC East in 2010...


Bills
2010   HOMEAWAY   ClevelandBaltimore   PittsburghCincinnati   ChicagoGreen Bay   DetroitMinnesota  .  AFC SouthAFC West
The teams don't all don't play all the same teams in the same stadiums?  Like the Bills play @ Bal and @ Cin and so does Miami, but the Jets and Patriots play opposite.  Why is it like that?  I think all four division teams should play the same teams in the same stadiums.
Also in this example the Bills play Home vs. the AFC South Opponent frrom 2008-2011.  Why 4 years in a row?  I know it could be different or the same team, but I think that the schedule could be fixed somehow so that its not the same division for 4 straight years.  I know there is also trouble seeing there are 6 divisions in 8 years so there will be repeats. 

Also, a suggestion for the CBS Page.  I hate flipping back and forth to see the conference and division standings when looking at the seedings page. 

Also, why do they reseed after one is knocked out.  For example, say NYJ, Hou, and Bal are 9-7.  NYJ in coference 7-5, Hou 6-6, Bal 5-7.  Normal Seeding would be NYJ 1st and then Hou and Bal face off, but I think that it should just be 1,2,3 becasue of the conference record.  I just don't gt it. 


Thanks!



Since: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2010 7:49 pm
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

Has anyone posted the draft order (as it stands before playoffs)?
Agn,

In case you haven't seen the draft order yet, here is the link:








Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2010 4:26 pm
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

Have Brett post on twitter...140 characters would be like a prison sentence for him! ;-) LOL. I tried to give NFL Network a "heads up" on twitter, about New England possibly trying to win against Houston - based on New England's 2006 effort against 8-7 Tennessee - Not easy because I think my original paragraph on here was about 700 characters! Somehow I got the point across in 140 characters -but it was a long and arduous process for me.

Joe and Agn - I got a pretty good laugh today from reading your posts. Agn, I hope I don't cause you to commit a crime - even though you seem ok with it - lol.



Since: Dec 26, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2010 12:31 pm
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

If one day, the NFL will have an 18 game schedule, then I'd say you're right. 6 games within the division, 8 games within the conference, 4 games outside the conference. Seems to be the only "symmetric" way to do it.

But I would disagree that this destroys inter-division rivalries. Under such format, Patriots would still play the Colts twice in 3 years. 

Also I would recommend to have the common games tiebreaker then before conference record to break a tie for wildcard. Under such format, all teams within the same conference have at least 8 common games, instead of todays 5 games minimum. Teams playing a weaker division within the conference would lose their scheduled advantage then.



Since: Dec 21, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2010 11:44 am
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

Brett,

Apparently, I am totally incorrect about the SoV.  Having said that, I would be very interested in talking about the increase to 18-games should it happen.  First of all, I think it is a really bad idea.  I mean we have accusations of tanking games now.  How much worse would it be with two extra games?  But, oddly, Goodell has not asked my opinion.  So, if they don't follow my advice, I've been thinking about how the NFL would re-work the schedule.  The only idea I could come up with was to have each division play two other divisions in conference.  The thing I would dislike is it would take away the teams who create inter-division rivalries by always winning their division (The Patriots-Colts of the past decade), as they would only play two out of every three years.  It also takes away the thing the NFL is famous for (rigging the schedule so that better teams have harder schedules).  What is the better idea?

Matt



Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2010 6:27 am
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

 I'm fearful that a brett-based blog may lead agn to commit some sort of crime that would not be in the best interest of mankind.You got that right. But I'd hire brett in a minute to plead my case. He could twist anything.Innocent

Btw, now that the season is over, I'm not sure of the purpose of "non-playoff tiebreakers" for each conference on the standings page, as these are absolutely meaningless. Division tie-breaks are required, but not conference.

The only "non-playoff" tie-break requirements are for the selection meeting (ie. draft), and those would cross conference boundaries.

Has anyone posted the draft order (as it stands before playoffs)?







Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2010 5:31 am
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

Brett....it truly was a pleasure. 

Thanks to all for your intelligent and thoughtful feedback, information and questions.  I will be talking to the NFL about tightening up some of the language in the procedures...but not sure if they'll act on it.  My biggest issue is not making the point about "Only one team can advance in any step (both division and wild card)" a bigger point in the rules.  It's listed as more of an afterthought now and really needs to be front and center for most fans and media to get the point.

Thanks to Lensova (where the heck did he go last week or so?), thenflrules, brett, matt, agn, scot, noob, steelers, cw85, the cbssports.com team and many, many others for making this an enjoyable ride.

I'll talk to the CBSsports.com guys about keeping a NFL tiebreaker blog going.  I'm fearful that a brett-based blog may lead agn to commit some sort of crime that would not be in the best interest of mankind.

For you twitterers...i have "NFL_Tiebreakers" that i started to update early but really no way to do that and everything else i do...so bagged it.  Will likely re-engage soon.  Maybe that's the answer agn?  Have Brett post on twitter...140 characters would be like a prison sentence for him!  ;-)   We kid because we love...or whatever Matt said.

I'll probably repost most of this as new blog entry so those that miss can chime in.

Again...enjoyed the ride...especially in the AFC.  It really was a rough one...but that's the way we like it.

Joe




Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2010 2:15 am
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues

Ok, the blog is up and running...
http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/

view/18999794

If I don't see many of you until next season - it was fun and have a great year.

Special thanks to Joe.

-Brett



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2010 1:23 am
 

WEEK 17 AFC SCENARIOS - Chaos continues


Joe - during the next 11 months, if you stop moderating the Tiebreaker Procedure blog, it might still be fun for some of us to post there every now and then.


If CBS Sports takes it down, I will start my own tie-break related blog here....

www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/view/18

999794

There are no threads yet, but I will start a few if/when Joe's blogs are taken down...

Possible topics:
1) How to expand the schedule to 18 games.
2) Interpretation of the rules in the tiebreak procedure/Q&A.
3) Figuring out the odds of the rare scenarios seemingly not included in the procedure.
    (head-to-head games possibly counting in 3 or 4 way Wild Card ties without sweeps!)
4) Discussing ideas for new tie-breakers.
5) Discussing the merrits of existing tie-breakers.
6) Historical tie-break info.
7) Suggestions for topics - ha


-Brett


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com