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?