Listening to the broadcast on PVR after the game last night i heard them say that Toronto at 8-10 would be the best team to get beat out on a crossover ever. (Makes sense because tie always goes to the east) and i got me thinking about why?
Simple answer from our western friends is that the East Sucks. Which isnt exactlly true either but for another thread. Lets think about some of the reasons the records ended the way they did.
- You had a 15 win team in the West (Not something that happens very often)
- You had a 2 win team in the East (Not something that happens very often)
- You had Hamilon (The best regular season team in the East) losing a bunch of VERY CLOSE games @ Western opponents, keeping wins in the West when normally the best team in the East would win at least one or two games out west.
Not only were they not very good but one of their wins came in the East, hurting the records in the east. Think about this though, if Ottawa wasnt in the league Hamilton/Montreal/Toronto would have at least 1 (maybe 2) games against each other. Giving one of them likely 2 more wins, and there you have it. Hamilton or Montreal with potentially 11 wins. ONE close win out West for Hamilton - 12 wins.
I know im making alot of assumptions, but its interesting to think about all that happened this year and how it contributed to an unprecidented crossover. While some will cry for a new playoff system im not sure its really that big of a deal. If you look at the current "power rankings" (not TSN or CFLs awful ones but actual power rankings) - outside of the clear cut top team in the league (Calgary) the next "tier" of playoff teams is quite a good mix. I would argue that in ANY game between the 2 teams below the home team would be favoured.
Edmonton - 12-6
Saskatchewan - 10-8 ** very arguably not the 3rd best team in the league
Hamilton - 9-9
BC - 9-9
Montreal - 9-9
Any one of these teams could be the second best team in the CFL and lets be honest. If durant didnt get hurt there would likely not have been a crossover. (i didnt look at the numbers but i would think they would have handed BC another loss or at least have had 2-3 more wins and changing the importance of some of the later games in the season.
Lastly, When you look at last year and potentially this year having the Grey Cup in the West (especially last year outdoors with Sask being at home) the western dominance gets much more steam. Nobody would have beat Sask last year but Hamilton gets the title of (inferior East team to be handed a birth in a Grey Cup) - if that game is played neutral or indoors i bet the result is much closer. This year being indoors will help even it out but the crowd will again be more Western dominant.
I dont think a new playoff format is needed at all, once Ottawa gets better it will pull a couple wins from the West and you wont see so many 9-9 / 8-10 teams but having said all that, i cant remember a year with so much parity and so many teams that have a chance to win the Grey Cup. Adding Toronto and you realistically had 7 out of 9 teams in it with realistic Grey Cup chances in the final week of the season.