With the regular season behind us I'd like to propose a couple of changes and one significant departure from the paradigm of playoff seeding.
CFL has never been a league afraid to try out new rules and tweak a few others for the betterment of the fan experience and I think these two proposals would be subtle changes that would benefit the game.
- Currently, an 'after touchdown' foul is applied against the defence on the kickoff. With the new convert rules in place, I'd like to see the offence offered a choice. a) apply the penalty on the upcoming convert (move the kick into the 10 yard spot for 1 point or place the ball on the 1 yard line for 2 point try) and/or b) apply it to the kickoff as we do now.
Applying it to the kickoff is almost meaningless and therefore the offending team kind of 'gets away with one'.
- Currently, offensive fouls push the ball back half the distance to the goal when the penalized yardage is greater than the remaining field of play. I'd like to see the yardsticks pushed downfield in this instance. For example, offence is first and 10 on their own 8 yard line. They commit a hold penalty for 10 yards but the half distance rule comes in and it's moved the the 4 yard line. Now it's first and 14. Hardly what I would call a hold penalty. If the yardsticks are pushed downfield, the line of scrimmage remains at the 8 but now it's first and 20. Defence would have the choice of infraction.
3rd and finally, this one needs to draw everyone out of their paradigm that East must meet West in the Grey Cup. I've been watching this game for almost 50 years and we simply don't need this format. It's not designed to put the best two teams in the final as a playoff structure should. All major sports leagues are guilty of this so this isn't unique to the CFL.
I would like to see a 9 team division, top to bottom all teams. The schedule is balanced so each team meets each team home and home throughout the season. Imagine the 2015 playoffs of BC vs Ottawa and Toronto vs Hamilton in the semi's.
Calgary and Edmonton would both get the bye AS DESERVED for ranking 1 and 2. The bye teams wouldn't know who they are playing until both games are complete. Some might argue rivalries would be at risk but that's a lame excuse. Each team sees each other in the season and playoffs always create great new rivalries. I know this would be a huge departure for many old timers to get their heads around it but for the fan experience, there is nothing better.
That's my opinion. Any thoughts?