I'd like to see the CFL adopt a variation on the "Page Playoff" that curling uses here:
- Top finisher in each conference makes the playoffs. - Two other playoff teams are purely record-based (you could have 3 from one conference and one from the other, fr'instance)
Playoff Weekend #1 Game #1: Conference winners play each other; winner goes directly to the finals Game #2: 3 plays 4, loser is out
Playoff Weekend #2 Game #3: loser of Game #1 vs winner of Game #2
Playoff Weekend #3 Game #4: winner of Game #1 play winner of Game #3
This puts a huge premium on finishing atop the conference: you're guaranteed either a bye week before the finals or a second chance game. In all respects, it prevents "coasting" at the end of the season.
We'll never see it in a non-tournament sport, but I have come to like it a lot.
West Calgary over Edmonton Calgary over Saskatchewan
East Hamilton over BC Montreal over Hamilton (*sob*)
In most cases, the coach doesn't have a guaranteed contract; in all cases, his contract doesn't count against the salary cap. Plus, as the putative head of the team, "the buck stops" with the coach - right?