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Thread: How about interlock then?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default How about interlock then?

    It seems expanding the playoffs might be dead on arrival, since it would conflict with the Vanier Cup & Grey Cup pairing initiative. Given the benefits from a partnership with the CFL and TSN, that is understandable. So if we're not changing the playoffs, lets look at the regular season and that old topic of interlock.

    Introducing the Canadian 8 (C8)

    First off, I realise the name is derivative. I just figured a derivative name is better than stealing the name from someone else's concept outright. So here is my concept:

    • C8 would be an 8 team pseudo conference taking the top 2 teams from CW and RSEQ, and top 4 from OUA
    • Each team plays 4 games against C8 opponents (16 C8 games in total)
    • A total of 6 new national interlock games would be created
    • Four year rotation to determine conference match-ups and hosting.

    The schedule would look like this:

    Top 2 from CW

    • CW1 plays CW2 twice, RSEQ1, and one of OUA1 or OUA2
    • CW2 plays CW1 twice, RSEQ2, and one of OUA3 or OUA4

    Top 2 from RSEQ

    • RSEQ1 plays RSEQ2 twice, CW1, and one of OUA1 or OUA2
    • RSEQ2 plays RSEQ1 twice, CW2, and one of OUA3 or OUA4

    Top 4 from OUA

    • OUA1 plays OUA2, OUA3, OUA4, and one of CW1 or RSEQ1
    • OUA2 plays OUA1, OUA3, OUA4, and one of CW1 or RSEQ1
    • OUA3 plays OUA1, OUA2, OUA4, and one of CW2 or RSEQ2
    • OUA4 plays OUA1, OUA2, OUA3, and one of CW2 or RSEQ2

    So why this particular interlock format? It creates more good regular season games for all USports teams via unbalanced scheduling. It keeps the existing conferences intact, rather than cleaving off a super league. It does not create excessive travel requirements for any of the participants. By keeping most games for OUA teams within OUA, it limits the number of additional non-combatant situations created (ie. missed conference match-ups).

    While most of the upsides of this format stem from its intentionally unbalanced schedule, so do its downsides. A schedule that is imbalanced can lead to conference standings that do not reflect the strength of the teams. Depending how teams are selected for C8, that imbalance could also skew who is in and out of C8 itself from year to year. The exclusion of AUS can be justified today based on competitive imbalance, but adopting something this might help cement that imbalance permanently.

    The other question becomes how you decide which teams are in C8. Since this is not a completely new league but rather a mechanism for unbalanced scheduling, the most obvious choice would be to do what is done for most unbalanced schedules, which is to base it on past results. That still gives us a few options:

    1. Use the previous year's standings
    2. Take the first round playoff winners from the previous year (including the 2 OUA byes)
    3. Some blend of the two. For example, take the 1st place teams in the standings (top 3 in OUA). Have the 2 vs 3 (and 4 vs 5) games be play-in games.
    4. Use the results from multiple past seasons in order to determine overall strength over a longer time period

    Each method has some pros and cons. I might expand on all of that later.
    Last edited by gilligan; 2019-11-21 at 15:04.

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