10 team schedule. How would/should it work?

I've been debating with myself about posting this for some time, since it fits under the category of expansion, which has been beaten to death. But since Schultz brought up the topic, I figure, what the hell.

I'm wonder what people's thoughts are about making a schedule for a 10 team league.

The easiest way would be to have each team play against every other team exactly twice. But that more or less throws the East-West divisional scheme out the window. You could still adopt it, of course, but it's kind of meaningless, because each team would play the other teams in its division the same number of times that they play teams outside of its division. In that case, would we organizes playoffs the way it's always been done, including crossover? Or would we just take the top 6 teams, give a bye to the best 2, etc.?

Another option is to keep the East-West thing, have each team play 3 times against the other team in its division, play once against 4 teams in the opposite division, and twice against the 5th team. Such a schedule is possible where
(1) The numbers of home and away games is 9 each. (balance between home and away games)
(2) Each team in a division plays two series with two home games and one away game and two series with one home game and two away games. (home advantage is evenly spread out within divisions)
(3) Half of the cross-division games are at home, and half are away. Further, if a team plays an opposite division opponent twice, one is a home game one is an away game. (cross division games are balanced between home and away)
(4) Every team plays every week (i.e. no byes necessary, but they can easily be incorporated). (efficiency)
Playoffs would be played as they are now. The only thing I'm not sure about is if it's possible to avoid long stretches of home games or long stretches of away games.

So I guess there are 3 options
a.) Each team plays every other team twice, with East and West divisions as usual and more or less the same play-off format.
b.) Each team plays every other team twice with the format adapted to accommodate a "single division" structure.
c.) 3x against a divisional opponent, 1x against 4 opposite divisional opponents, 2x against one opposite division opponent, etc.

What would you rather have, and why? Any other suggestions?

I've thought of this as well. Option C is the best in my opinion. There's a reason why there's "division". If not, as stated there's really no point.

Although with 9 teams the East Division actually plays more games against the other division because of the odd schedule.
With 10, it's not as complicated.

well, if they are looking for ease of the schedule,

then I think that 2 vs each team works best.

if they wanna keep rivalries strong then you will have to make the schedule a certain way that allows for 1 extra rivalry game.

as far as playoffs..

they wanna make home team revenue for playoff games , so that likely means a 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 set up,

likely to give two possible home games for 1 team, it increases revenues.

I was thinking a very insular version of the schedule with 13 games played within the division and 5 outside. So 1 game against each opponent from outside the division and 3 games against 3 of the 4 within the division and 4 against the other. Saves on travel time/costs and makes the east west matchup in the grey cup a bit more novel

That won't work. In your scenario each team would play in a 4 game series against exactly one other team from its division, meaning that each team would be paired up against a unique 4-game opponent. That requires an even number of teams in each division. But a 10 team league would have 5 in each division, and 5 is an odd number, so you can't pair them up.

This would work. :thup:

You could also have a compromise between option A and C. On a rotational basis:

Play three games against two divisional opponents and two games against the other two opponents (switching back and forth every year). You would also play the two pre-season games against the two teams that you play twice (meaning that, including pre-season, you would still play all four divisional opponents three times).
Then, play two games against three opposite divison opponents and one game apiece against the other two (rotating).

This way, you don't get bored playing the same four teams over and over, but you maintain that rivalry by a slightly increased frequency of matchups. Essentially, this is what the scheduling would look like in a nine-team league except that, with this format, the one game apiece against two teams becomes two games against one team.

PiCat just explained how this can't possibly work...

mada7's version would work, however it would be an unbalanced schedule is what I think he was pointing out?

He meant that you can't play one four-game series against a divisional opponent if there are uneven teams in a division. For example, Edmonton and Calgary could play one four-game series, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan could play another, but that would leave BC to play an eastern opponent because all teams would play only one of these series.

O.K. I understand correctly now. Thanks.

any one remember how it went with the usa expansion??

I think it should be a true division thing.

Each team plays the other 4 teams in their own division only. Back to a 16 game schedule.

With every team being televised, there is no need to worry about fans not seeing teams from the other division in their own ballpark.

unless of course one wants to go to a 20 game season, but I dont think the cfl could handle that.

I am not a fan of odd number of games between two teams as one team always gets a home field advantage for the series.

Then perhaps a tweak to my original idea. Either move the odd game to be one against an opponent in the opposite division or perhaps a 17 game schedule with 3 games against each divisional opponent and one game against each non-divisional opponent. Ive never been good at balancing numbers too well (which is why I never post records when I make my preseason predictions) but Id like to see a greater emphasis on divisional play while still playing every team at least one kinda like what the NHL has


The balanced schedule is by far the best from a competitive point of view. Playing everyone once home and away gives you the most objective means to determine which team played the best football over the course of a season. A team like Montreal would no longer have a decade of beating a perrenial loser like Hamilton more often than their western counterparts.

Case in point: If Calgary finishes this year 2 games ahead of Montreal, can we conclude Calgary played the best this year when they faced the struggling BC Lions 2 more times and the Eskimos once more than Montreal did?

The 'rivalry' games such as the Labour Day Classics will be the only time all year a given team will see their arch nemesis at home thus heightening the importance of said games.

The playoff structure can remain the same almost guaranteeing an East vs. West Grey Cup. Yes a every team would play inter-division contests more than intra-division games. However those 8 divisional games would be of the utmost importance because playoff implications are tied heavily to them (notwithstanding the less likely cross-over) and a given team would only have 2 opportunities to make a case against any given divisional opponent..

Why have an unbalanced schedule for the sake of playing the same team 3 or 4 times in a season when you don't have to? What makes every football game important and dramatic is the scarcity of opportunity to right the course of a season. This isn't hockey folks and there are only 18 games to go around. That number is unlikely to change due to union and revenue issues.

im sorry to end this debate, but the league will definitely go with the 'play every team 2ice' option.

going with the 'play opposite division opponents only once' option, would mean season ticket holders would not see some of the leagues teams, and that just wont fly.

playing every team 2ice allows for one home and one away game against every opponent, thus season ticket holders see each team once, and not missing out on a couple teams all together.

if every team plays every opponent an equal amount of times, there won't be any favorable schedules, where a team benifits from playing the 'weak team' more than other teams, thus giving them an edge.

For two divisions: I think all leagues play their opponents in their own division more so as opposed to the other division. That being said it would be an unbalanced schedule. But then what drummer_god said could be the likely voted in option perhaps?

An unbalanced schedule would not be a good idea revenue-wise in a few cases. Some teams draw well on the road and some don't. If you are the Toronto Argonauts, you want Saskatchewan coming to town every single season because the game is pretty well guaranteed to draw 4,000 or 5,000 more visiting team supporters than a game against, say, B.C. Having Sask come to town only once every two years would hurt revenue.

Also, season-ticket holders deserve to see every team at least once.

The downside of a balanced schedule is fewer games against arch-rivals, but on balance I'd still support it over the other options. All of this goes out the window if and when the league expands beyond 10 teams. Then it would be impossible to see every team at least once in each city.

My preference actually is to go to 20 games: home and away against all nine, plus two extra games so we can maintain certain rivalries. If players could adjust to playing 18, they can adjust to playing 20. They would need to be paid accordingly (i.e. salaries would have to rise by 11%), which would probably kill the idea.


Same as it currently is working, maybe eliminate the crossover.

How would you incorporate the 9th and 10th teams into how it's currently working?


the top 4 in each division make it. simple as that. then you can have a cross over.