More Fun With Single Tables

More Fun With Single Tables

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 31, 2010
  • 2 Comments
  • Eastern Conference, Single Table, Western Conference

Yes, I am stirring up the pot yet again.

It seems recently I’ve been getting messages and comments on the single table debate. Then over at the New York Times’ soccer blog, Jack Bell throws out his hopes for the idea and what to do with the playoff format.

The obvious question is: Why even bother with two conference? Why not a single table? Glad you asked.

Next season the league with expand to 18 teams, with the addition of Vancouver and Portland. That probably means that a team from the west will be shifted to the other conference, which could prove to be extra silly since the team farthest east is Houston. So perhaps it is time to consider the single table and another new playoff format, one which will make the regular season a bit more important.

With a single table, the top two teams in the regular season would qualify and have a first-round bye. The next four teams, for a total of six, would also advance to the postseason.

Bell mentions Houston for a possible move to the Eastern conference, I’ve been on board with suggesting Dallas due to the fact that there is a professional team here in Dallas that is in a division that is known as the NFC East.

Some of the discussion I’ve had recently was centered around a three division set up. I can for one tell you I hate that idea with a passion. I honestly believe when the league did a three conference/division set up a decade ago it was an idea that ultimately failed them at the time. Its confusing, uneven and just wrong…just wrong.

I’m fine with conferences and if the league continues to grow with more than 20 teams (which I think it will), I’m also fine with as many as four divisons within two conferences.

But deep down I am ready for a single table format here with this league. With two more additions next year it just make sense and I think the league knows that by now. They’ve entertained the thought of it for a while now and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go that direction soon.

Bell also brings up another interesting though in terms of the playoff format. I’m not sure if it was intentional or a typo on his part but it sounds like he is saying they need to lower the number of clubs that get in to six. So next year with 18 clubs, only six get into the big dance. I like that idea.

I know this debate has gone on time and time again with this league but I do feel we’re getting close to a change in the coming years.

  • Will

    I've always thought that as the league expanded it should divide into two seperate leagues, or at least two conferences that were more independent. It would reduce the geographical size of the conferences to something a little closer to the european leagues. This would save the teams money in travel costs. Save the players travel time. Increase the rivalry with closer teams while increasing the excitement of playing unknown teams from the other league in the US open cup which could recieve increased popularity. The regular season would be more important because you would win your league which could be structured as single tables but still have an american style playoff system that invited the best from both leagues to determine a national champion.

  • Will

    I've always thought that as the league expanded it should divide into two seperate leagues, or at least two conferences that were more independent. It would reduce the geographical size of the conferences to something a little closer to the european leagues. This would save the teams money in travel costs. Save the players travel time. Increase the rivalry with closer teams while increasing the excitement of playing unknown teams from the other league in the US open cup which could recieve increased popularity. The regular season would be more important because you would win your league which could be structured as single tables but still have an american style playoff system that invited the best from both leagues to determine a national champion.