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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not yet seen this happen, but based upon the way they seem to account for things each year it makes me think this is possible.

Take any division, 4 teams in the division. I'll take the Panthers' since that's my home market.

Panthers, Bucs, Saints, Falcons.

Now lets say here is how the teams play within the division by the end of the season:

Saints 6-0
Bucs 4-2
Panthers 2-4
Falcons 0-6

Those are realistic and possible records within the division... BUT there are 10 more out-of-division games... so what happens IF the overall records end up being:

Panthers 10-6
Saints 9-7
Bucs 9-7
Falcons 4-12

Who wins the division? Panthers or Saints?

It looks to me like the way they account for things, the Panthers would win because of the overall better 10-6 record, even though they would finish 2-4 and 3rd within the division.

I have yet to see it happen where the division winner had a worse record overall than within its division but it can absolutely happen... and it would seem horribly unfair if it did. So am I making a wrong assumption anywhere or am I correct in how this hypothetical scenario would play out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Michael D'Angelo;1775821 said:
The Panthers would win the division because they have the best record.

If they finished with the same record as the Saints, the Saints would win because they would have a better division record.
That's what I was thinking.. it just doesn't seem right that a team that proved in-division to be 3rd best could be ultimately "division winner" by virtue of beating more teams outside their conference.

In college, for instance, out-of-division wins/losses don't count within the division to determine winner except as a tie-break. Division record counts first.

Admittedly, it is unlikely that the scenario I described would play out because a 6-0 in-division is more likely to carry that on outside the division as well... but in a sport where injuries play a big part, I could see a team doing well in-division and then having a rash of injuries that cause their outside-division games to suffer enough to make things dicey.
 

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College is different because there is no playoffs.

With college depending where you rank in your division determines what bowl game you go to.

The out of conference games help determine if you are good enough to get a BCS game.
 

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Pro football has used overall record over division record since the beginning of time.

Doubt it will change anytime soon EVEN IF people were to bring up the suggestion.

I suspect college football uses division record first since the quality of teams from the top to the bottom vary like night and day ... meaning many teams will have a very weak schedule vs other division rivals having a very strong schedule.
 

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Michael D'Angelo;1775821 said:
The Panthers would win the division because they have the best record.

If they finished with the same record as the Saints, the Saints would win because they would have a better division record.
kinda correct...but actually the saints would win the divison because they would have beaten the panthers twice in that scenario and head to head is 1st tiebreaker....division record is tiebreaker #2.
 

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dcowboy7 said:
kinda correct...but actually the saints would win the divison because they would have beaten the panthers twice in that scenario and head to head is 1st tiebreaker....division record is tiebreaker #2.
That is what I said if they ended up with the same recorded. But if the Panthers had a better overall record like he posted the Panthers would win.
 

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Michael D'Angelo;1775909 said:
That is what I said if they ended up with the same recorded. But if the Panthers had a better overall record like he posted the Panthers would win.
yea i was just clarifying...u said saints would win because of better division record....but technically saints would win because of 2-0 head to head....division doesnt come into play in that scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not even sure I know what to propose as a solution IF this problem ever came up.

I wouldn't, for example, want a 6-10 team to win a division just because they were 6-0 and push a team with a winning record out of the playoffs... so there has to be some intelligence applied.

Probably this is a hypothetical that will never happen since it would be very weird to be that good against your division and that bad against everyone else.

Then again... since the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills have been down for a while... even if the Patriots weren't in the very upper echelon of the league, they'd probably have to fall asleep to lose that division... so that is actually the kind of division that could see something happen.

I had an extreme anyway with a 6-0 and an 0-6... A tighter race with a 5-1 and a couple of 4-2 teams might be more likely to happen.. but again, when teams tend to be that good they tend to do it outside the division as well.

The other nightmare (and worse of one I might add) scenario I dread is the possibility of a division like mine or another having a division champ that goes 8-8 or 9-7 and pushes out a team from a different division with a 10-6 record just because the division winner has to get in.

Think Cleveland last year... 10-6 wasn't good enough in the AFC, but would have won a couple of divisions in the NFC!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
dcowboy7 said:
its already happened in 1985:

cleveland won afc central at 8-8 = made playoffs.
denver 2nd in afc west at 11-5 = out of playoffs.

thats how the wookie grumbles.
Really? That bites. I was hoping that had never happened, but knew it could. That was just before I started watching regularly. I did watch the Bears' Superbowl... but really didn't start watching football regularly until probably 1989 or 1990.
 
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