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02-24-2013, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mightygoose View Post
Just don't see how a cross over works with 4 conferences. At least the CFL only has 2 groups (and still can't stand it).

If 5th in an eastern conference crossed over into the 4th in a pacific zone place. Do they advance in that bracket? Don't think that will address the travel concerns especially for the first seed in the pacific having to travel back and forth to the east coast in round 1. Though I acknowledge that was an extreme example I brought up.
What I mean by a "crossover" is not and never has been a copy of the CFL's format.

Under my suggestion, essentially, regardless of whether it's four, five or six groups and regardless of whether those groups are called "conferences" or "divisions", the top 2 teams from each group plus whatever number of "wildcards" adds up to 16 teams is what qualifies for the playoffs. In the case of a four conference alignment that means eight wildcards.

For the first & second rounds, first in each conference always plays the bottom qualifying team to make the playoffs in its own conference, second plays second from bottom, etc. until we run out of teams in each conference.

Thus, when there are odd numbers of teams in conferences, it is the "middle" seeds which play one another, with home ice based on regular season record.

So, for example, if five teams qualify from an eastern conference, three in the Central and four in each of the other two, then in the eastern conference it is paired 1v5 & 2v4, and in the Central it is paired 1v3. The "crossover series" is therefore between second in the Central and third in the eastern conference.

Any series with long distance travel could be played as 2-3-2 format to mitigate the effect of travel.

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