Current Schedule Format

This isn't an expansion thread just an idea for the approach the CFL should take in its schedule making with today's league format and today's 8 teams. Let's face it, Hamilton should not be facing Winnipeg 4 times in the first 7 weeks!

I think the schedule should address fair competition, entertainment value and league parity. So:

  1. Play the first 7 games such that each team plays everyone else once. This way you get 7 weeks of unique match ups and you don't feel as if the same teams are playing over and over. You could open with 3 weeks of division match ups followed by 4 weeks of east west games but that really doesn't matter.

  2. Play the next 7 games in the same way, such that we don't get the impression that the same teams are playing too often. You can keep the Labour Day games but the return game in Edmonton might be messed with.

  3. The last 4 games will then be division match ups settling playoff positions more likely in dramatic fashion as we saw last year with big games between Edmonton and BC, Calgary and Saskatchewan, Hamilton and Winnipeg.

  4. With the current format, a 4th division game (which would be held in the last 3 weeks as per #3) is held with one division opponent for each team. The league should mandate this game be held based on last year's standings such that 1st plays 2nd and 3rd plays 4th. It gives a greater challenge to last year's stronger teams and allows up and coming teams an opportunity to better their standing. This is much the same way the NFL mandates that 2 additional regular season opponents are played against conference teams who finished in the same position the preceding season.

I'm sure there are valid reasons why Hamilton and Winnipeg go scheduled 4 times in the first 7 weeks in addition to a preseason game but it would be nice to have a complete run around the league in the opening third of the season.

In a perfect world, that would be great. But then throwing in the stadium availability at 8 venues, TV/broadcast requirements, certain rivalry games (Labour Day and the return game, Grey Cup rematch on opening day, etc.) it just won't ever work that cleanly.

Last year -- it just worked out perfectly, and all of the playoff spots came down to the last week matchups.

The rivalry builders are good too -- and the attendance and TV numbers are showing it.

Stop complaining aboot the schedule, eh?

Hamilton & Winnipeg meet 4 times in the first 7 ? That is brutal, and no matter what Stadium, T.V. etc. Constraints, that should just not happen. Very Mickey Mouse scheduling from that perspective. Being that the sched was out a little earlier this year, I'm thinking those in charge were in a rush to catch their planes for Jamaica and just filled in the gaps without really looking at what was happening.

It's pretty unfair to label it "mickey mouse" without knowing all the facts.

I don't know who the right person is or what the right chanels are to voice your opinion to the league and it's schedulers, but I wish I did, and I wish it would make a difference.

including preseason, Hamilton and Winipeg play 5 times before halfway through the season. To put the icing on the cake, Hamilton also plays it's final 2 games of the year against west division opponents (3 of 4 final games are against west teams)

Not that complaining is gonna change anything, but these are supposed to be professional schedule writers, for a professional football league.

Yes I understand that some venues are multi-purpose or have other events scheduled, and the complexities and requirements of TV broadcasts are beyond me, I also understand with the current size of the league teams need to play each other 3-4 times a year.

Please keep in mind, more than anything i'm just happy to watch pro football when i say;

regardless the 2010 CFL schedule is quite simply put, disgracefull.

Keeping parity in mind:

How about shifting the 4th game played against a division opponent to a 3rd game against an opponent from the opposing division?

This way you play division opponents 3 times, non-division opponents 2 times and the team in the opposite division that finished in the same position as you a 3rd time.

This should theoretically help out with parity more than playing a division opponent who finished in the same half of the standings as you.

It would also completely balance division competition which has the most weight in determining playoff positions.

It would further reduce the repetitious nature of the present schedule making sure that no team plays any other team more than 3 times where today one division opponent is played 4 times (In Hamilton and Winnipeg's case, in the first 7 weeks of the season).

I like the concept, but it's not as simple as it sounds. For instance, in your example, this season Sask would play Montreal a third time. Fine, but what if both of those teams need that game as their home game?

All I've suggested is how to go about setting up opponents, balancing home and away is something that needs to be done with any schedule. I've just presented how opponents should be set up.

Presumably, if the 3rd game against an inter-division opponent were scheduled for the 18th game of the year, one team would have played 9 home games and 8 road games and vice versa for the other team. It would be no different than what is done today with the two division teams that are played each 3 times. 2 games against any of those opponents will be played at one team's stadium and the remaining game at the other team's stadium and at the end of 18 games, everyone will have played 9 games at home and 9 away.

Sigh.

Sorry dude.. did I miss something?

It's just not as simple as you want it to be. Even trying to turn that 4th divisional game into a cross-division game against your positional counterpart (which is a neat idea) is an incredibly complex bit of scheduling.

Now, I'm not saying this to defend the CFL for the Wpg-Ham scheduling this year...that's really unfortunate, and I would have to think avoidable.... but in a general sense, there are so many constraints that have to be accounted for in a schedule, that, before computer programs, at least, meant schedule-making was almost a kind of art.

What additional complexities would there be in scheduling a 3rd cross-divisional game that aren't there in scheduling a 4th divisional game? To me, it seems like six of one, half dozen of the other, but I might be missing something.

There might be travel concerns as the teams might have to make one more trip to the other side of the country than they do now, but this isn't really a scheduling problem in the sense of trying to figure out when each team should play each other.

Scheduling issues aside, I like the idea too. In fact, a few days before this thread was started, I was tinkering around with various alternative scheduling schemes (it's actually related to my profession, although somewhat tangentially). This type of schedule was one of them, except that I wasn't sure how to do the cross-divisional pairing.

Uuuuhhhmm, Hamilton,..........Winnipeg........., What else goes on in those stadiums during the year that they have to play each other every other week for the first seven, and then not see each other again, when they will be fighting it out for the second and last playoff spot in the east? Mickey Mouse and add Donald, Daffy and the rest of the gang to it also.

Granted schedule making is complex, however as PiCat and I have already said, there is nothing more complex about scheduling an additional cross-divisional game in lieu of an additional divisional game. The same constraints apply, you're just changing the distribution of opponents.

It would be incredibly complex if you took an existing schedule and attempted to change opponents. That would have a cascading effect which would prove difficult. But the added inter-division game in lieu of an additional divisional game is no more complex when starting from scratch than the process which produced the actual 2010 schedule.

That’s what I was referring to. Sorry for being vague.

I have no idea, and from the sounds of it neither do you so my point stands.

Yeh, your rite. I have no idea what goes on there.Obviously way to much that the sched had to be done that way. To bad. Would have liked to see a Winnipeg team, with pretty much everything new this year, have more than 7 weeks to gel to see what they really have before not having a chance for a 4 pointer against their arch rival in that division. Hopefully one team doesn't sweep the 4 games or the East playoff picture will be determined by mid August. Damn constraints. Obvously no way they can be worked around.