Barons, 4 division of 3 works pretty good. well of course depending who that 12th team is. But that is a long long ways away.
Playoff sloting should be based on Division play.
Thus in a 4 divisions of 3 format the reg season can be:
6 games vs division rivals(3 games vs. each)
6 games vs. conference rivals(2 games vs. each)
6 games vs. non-Converence teams(1 game vs. each or 2 games vs. 3 rotating yearly)
it works nicely.
Playoff format is:
top team in each division gets a home playoff game
the 3rd and 4th ranked teams in each confernce win "wild card" slots to play the division winners.(likely the second place team in each division but cross overs are possible)
4 winners play in 2 conference final matchups
2 conference final winners play in the grey cup.
"too many teams make the playoffs" don't care, it's more MONEY. that's all that matters. More TV time due to 2 extra playoff games, 2 more teams get that 11 game Revenue + there is a chance for those division winners to get an extra home game in the Conference final.
mo money mo money mo money.
However the big problem is the only way this really works is if the 12 team is either Saskatoon, Thunder Bay or possibly Sudbury.
Or else it's really wierd to have a division of Regina, Winnipeg and like Windsor or London as part of the Western Conference.
3 Divisions of 4 really messes up the playoff format... also makes the schedualing rather hard.
9 games vs. Division rivals and 9 vs. the 8 non-division rivals ?
That schedual doesn't work at all.
Winnipeg and Saskatoon are again seperated unless some team out west gets a team(like Victoria, Red deer or Lethbridge) Which is really not cool.
Again league is far off rom 12 teams so doesn't matter.
What matters right now is the fact that the 6 team playoff format works very well for this league and any change to say a 4 team playoff system completely removes over 1M$ a year in Ticket Revenue + I'm not even sure how much of Sponsorship Revenue.
TSN isn't going to pay as much if you eliminate a whole round of the playoffs. That is specificly what they payed so much for is the playoffs.
Moving to 1 division eliminates more teams alot faster. if your 8th in a 1 division league by game 14, your pretty much garanteed to be out, even with say a 3-11 record(best possible 7-11)
in the current setup especially if the end of the season was made more Divisional Rival heavy teams can make the end of the season push to sneak into the playoffs.
It's great for the fans and that is what the leagues about.
It's all about the better you do in the season, the better your advantage is in the playoffs.
If you finish first your advantage over the team who visits you is very high, and that's how it should be.
Your team has less injuries, more prep time, cannot be tired at all due to travel. aslong as the coach keeps his players in game shape a Win should be pretty easy.
The Big issue with the CFL right now is the pre-season, it should be a 3 game pre-season to allow teams 1 pre-season game vs. each divisional opponent. Get the complete rotation in during the pre-season.