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Post 15 Jan 2013, 7:30 pm

Problem with two 8-team divisions: With only 20 match-ups, you cannot play each team in your division twice.

Something else to consider is how playoffs would determined. Two division winners plus next four best records? Does the 2nd division winner automatically get a bye even if they don't have the second best record?
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Post 15 Jan 2013, 9:58 pm

IF we go to divisions (I'm not convinced that I want that yet), I would suggest one of the following two options:

1. Two 8-team divisions.
Details:
-Basically what you said. Two division winners, each get byes. Seeding by record after that.
-Schedule would involve playing everyone once, and playing previous year strength-of-schedule based matchups *only within your division* for the remaining 5 games. The intra-division schedule would actually end up looking a lot like our current one (just with a different size).

2. Four 4-team divisions.
Details:
-Four division winners, two wild cards
-Schedule would involve playing everyone in your division twice (6 games), and all but one team outside your division once (determined by previous year blah blah) OR playing all but one team in your division twice (5 games), based on previous year blah blah, and playing everyone else once OR going back and passing the last amendment, lengthening the schedule, and having exactly the right number of weeks :razz:
-I heard you like football, so we put a football conference in your fantasy baseball league...

As for who goes where, I can think of a couple ways of doing it:
1. Geographically
2. Based on prior-year standings (this probably only makes sense if the divisions are in flux from year to year)
3. Randomly

I think I'd be okay with any of the options I've mentioned (weird, right?), though I'm still not convinced divisions are the way to go.
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 7:08 am

Actually, with 4-team divisions you would be able to play everyone in your division twice (6 games) plus all other teams at least once (12 games) and two of those other teams twice (2 more games). Twenty weeks, right?

You'd probably have unbalanced divisions (in terms of quality) with that many, though the #2 solution would help remedy that.
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 8:20 am

Yeah, sorry, brain cramp on the number of teams Though that still makes 21 weeks better- because you could then do one second game against one other team per-division, based on previous year finish- just like the NFL!

Fwiw, I can also think of two main approaches to the year-to-year rebalancing divisions. One is to do it NCAA tournament style: 1/16/8/9, 2/15/7/10, 3/14/6/11, 4/13/5/12. Each division then has roughly the same overall strength, though it seems somewhat unfair to (for example) the #16 team.

Or, we could go crazy with the whole punish-the-winners thing and do 1/2/3/4, 5/6/7/8, 9/10/11/12, 13/14/15/16.
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 12:32 pm

Divisions might be fun. Not sure, though. Can you talk about why you would want to do divisions? What is better about it than no divisions?
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 12:47 pm

It might create some rivalries over time but not if the divisions are re-formed each year. It might also create some interest in the final weeks where you would have divisional match-ups (especially with 4-team divisions), kind of like what the NFL did this year.

Other than that, I don't think there's anything inherently 'better' about it.
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 4:09 pm

SLOTerp wrote:Discuss division play here. There are two primary issues:

1) Scheduling.
2) Who goes where.


With expansion, I think division play makes some sense. The problem is the playoff issue. If one division is significantly less competitive than the other, you could see some real issues.

If divisions are going to happen, you want to preserve the traditional rivalries.

Okay, that was silly. Are there really "rivalries?"

I think the new teams should be split. Other than that, I'm indifferent.

Here's what I think would be "better." (potentially) I think it could give us a better idea of which teams are actually better. With a full league set-up, it is conceivable that a team might get an easier schedule because the schedules would be, of necessity, unbalanced.

Now, the divisions might also be imbalanced, but that is, I think, mitigated to some extent because at least we'll discover who the best teams within the division really are.
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 4:10 pm

SLOTerp wrote:It might create some rivalries over time but not if the divisions are re-formed each year. It might also create some interest in the final weeks where you would have divisional match-ups (especially with 4-team divisions), kind of like what the NFL did this year.


Btw, if we decide to go divisions, why not keep them the same every year?
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 5:05 pm

One of Todd's solutions was to re-jig the divisions each year based on previous year record. Two possibilities are balanced divisions (approximately equal strength in each) or unbalanced (top teams get moved to same division, second tier together, etc...).

I would argue the former is essentially the same as no divisions. The latter has merit for giving weaker teams a chance (if that's a league goal, which it's never been).

Some thoughts on geography-based divisions (4). We have lots of Atlantic coast teams, probably enough for two divisions, and about four west coast teams with the remainder in Texas or somewhere between. It might work well. They might even be decently balanced.

As for some teams getting a break in weak divisions, Todd will have some influence over that via the scheduling of the non-conference games.
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 5:39 pm

I like the idea of geographical divisions. Perhaps just the knucklebuster and wallaby in the west division. I will be assured of a playoff berth!
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 6:07 pm

List of known geographic locations:

Mike - VA
Ryan - MD
Matt - NC (or MA)
Barry - TX
George - NY
Todd - NY
John - NY
Brad Bu - CT
Alexander - CA
Nick - CA
Freeman - CA
Brad Ba - WA
Michael - IN
Andrew - MA
Brad S - MA
Steve - MA
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 6:14 pm

I'd argue that no division system is the same as not having them, because there's always the possibility that one division is entirely worse than another, even if we re-balance them year to year to try to avoid it. Of course, re-balancing will at least be more similar to the current setup, and will make weirdnesses/"unfairness" less likely.

Of course, it's also worth noting that our system already has plenty of unfairness due to the H2H format. It's debatable whether divisions would add a significant amount on top of that- or whether it's a bad thing if they do. We all seem to like H2H because of the same elements that cause unfairness/imbalance. So maybe static divisions, and sometimes a mediocre-to-bad team makes the playoffs, are fine.

If we do geographical divisions, there's also the question of whether we update those, or whether it's just a one-time thing. If it's a one-time thing, it's almost the same as just doing it randomly, but I guess it would at least feel less random.
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 6:17 pm

I'll also note that if we have static divisions, someone who gets stuck in a division full of powerhouses might find the experience to be particularly frustrating/not fun, because rather than having an unlucky year or just knowing you're in a league that's tough for everyone, you could be structurally screwed (kind of like what people say about teams like the Orioles in MLB).

It might even just get tiresome to play the same schmuck multiple times every year, regardless of whether they're actually tough to beat or not.

Along those lines, one other option I didn't think to mention is to have random divisions, and scramble them every year. Kind of like drawing your draft slot in that kind of league, only different!
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Post 16 Jan 2013, 6:34 pm

My take at this point...

I think two divisions are not a worthy enhancement. It's almost the same as one and I don't see much point.

Four divisions, however, have the potential to create rivalries (or bitter enemies) and can create excitement at the end of the season.

Who you calling a schmuck?!
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Post 17 Jan 2013, 2:48 pm

Copied from Ryan's email:
I vote for 4 divisions of 4 teams, based on geography.

For whatever it's worth, in 2012 our playoff teams were from New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Texas. Given likely geographic divisions, Mike would have lost his 6th seed to 7th place Nick, representing California. A travesty in Virginia, I'm sure, but not a horrible injustice.

In 2011, we would have seen playoff teams from New York x 3, North Carolina, Washington, and wherever the hell Andrew was from. Depending on if Andrew was from the Central Division, George may have lost his #6 seed to #10 Barry in Texas.

So, it looks like our teams are pretty well spread geographically and competitively. The last team to slip into the playoffs losing his spot to get a division winner in isn't the worst thing in the world, in my opinion.

If we go to geographic divisions, my OCD demands an amendment that all teams include a city or state name.

On that last point, forget it about it. If your OCD affects your ability to play the game, take your ADA case up with the Justice Department. Barry or Freeman, you have a conflict of interest and cannot take the case on his behalf.