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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

No momentum toward reseeding NFL playoffs

17

March

For those Bucs fans who were irked by the sight of the 7-9 Seahawks hosting a playoff game by virtue of their NFC West title while the 10-6 Bucs sat at home, we never promised you there would be a dramatic change that involved division winners not advancing to the postseason.

However, there was some thought that there could discussion about reseeding the playoffs, giving teams with the best records a chance to play at home, even if they earn wildcard berths.

Well, as it turns, that's not going to happen, either.

Falcons president Rich McKay, chair of the league's Competition Committee, said that there won't be any discussion about changes to playoff seeding at next week's NFL meetings in New Orleans. A number of proposed rule changes are debated and voted on each year at the meetings, but the playoff reseeding issue never even made it onto the agenda based on feedback from individual clubs, McKay said.

"It was something we talked about, it was something we put in the survey," he said. But he added, "It is something that we feel like (teams) did not have an appetite for right now. It is a topic that I am sure we will continue to discuss downstream, but not something there will be any proposal about this year."

The committee uses the results of surveys of teams to make rules proposals that either amend or establish rules. Teams can also make formal proposals of their own, which are then discussed at the meetings. Neither method resulted in any momentum toward a change on playoff seeding.

In fact, despite the recent events -- the 10-6 Saints traveling to Seattle for the playoffs -- the surveys revealed something surprising, McKay said.

"I felt like when you looked at our survey results, you almost saw less support," he said. "So, it was not something that we felt like was a change, No. 1, that we could propose and, No. 2, get passed."

This isn't a surprise. In 2008, there was a similar conversation in NFL circles. When the Bucs went 9-7 in 2007 but hosted the 11-5 Giants in the playoffs because New York was a wildcard, I asked Giants coach Tom Coughlin at those NFL meetings for his thoughts on that year's rule proposal on this issue.

His answer was a bit unpredictable. Coughlin said he was undecided at the time, but the Giants were leaning strongly toward voting against the measure. And they weren't alone. The proposal never gained any real support and went down in flames.

This time, it won't even get that far.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:42am]

    

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