But Peter Ingemi suggests that the schedule strengthens the already strong teams.
If a team finishes fourth, its remaining two games will be against two fourth place teams. If they finish second, the two remaining games will be against two second place teams, and if you finish first you are guaranteed to play every division winner in your conference.He's getting some push-back in the comments, and strong objections to the analogy he draws to school choice. His idea, however, might not be completely wrong. There's one more dimension to consider, specifically the additional practice time the playoff teams get. (That may be why there are enough bowl games for all the six-win college teams in the country).
And it is that little difference which gives these teams the edge they need.
Rather than being a disadvantage, competing with the best of the best raises their game. It forces them to get better, to play harder and smarter. It gives these already elite players that final incentive to raise their game to the level of a champion and allow them to do it year after year.
Thus, the division winners earn two weeks to a month of extra practice time, plus they learn something about how their opponents for next season will play, and then have to play those higher-performing opponents again. And that old bugaboo of vulgar statisticians, disproportionate representation, appears. According to Mr Ingemi, this year's football final four featured teams that accounted for 40% of the Super Bowl appearances in the past ten years. For the vulgar statistician: ten years, 20 appearances, 4/20 "warrants" 20%.
And who do those Green Bay Packer fans think they are, lamenting a blown trip to the Super Bowl? To the vulgar statistician, that's just crying with your mouth full.
Green Bay has advanced to the postseason 17 of the last 23 years (73.9%), including six of seven under Rodgers (85.7%). The Packers have 11 division titles in that time, including four straight.That performance is characteristic of a power rule at work, rather than a Gaussian process at work. That power rule, however, is not good enough for the fans and the pundits.
Green Bay has been to six NFC championship games in that time, going 3-3 in those contests. And the Packers have reached three Super Bowls, going 2-1 in those games.
Many organizations would trade places with the Packers in a heartbeat, and be downright giddy with two world championships since Favre became the starter in 1992. But for a team that's enjoyed legendary play at the game's most critical spot, are two titles enough?That's not the relevant question. It has been a difficult task for Mike Holmgren and Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman and Mike McCarthy to do their work with the footsteps of giants behind them.