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Richey Edwards

Re-think the playoffs

Who should get into the playoffs?  

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Just for a bit of info, Scottish Hockey had play-offs involving every team in the top division this season in an attempt to ensure meaningful matches throughout the season.

The top 4 played off for the league title and the European places, while the rest played off with the top 2 from the second division. At the end of the latter, the two teams with the worst records would be relegated to Division 2 for next season, regardless of their position at the split.

Eventually, on the final day, Grove Menzieshill played Dundee Wanderers in one relegation decider, with Watsonians playing Uddingston in the other. Grove had finished 5th in Nat 1, 2 points off the Euro playoffs and 20 points clear of Wanderers, who had finished bottom. Uddingston had finished 7 points clear of Watsonians at the top of Division 2.

Grove and Uddingston both lost, and will play in Division 2 next season. Effectively, the two teams who were relegated had finished 5th in Nat 1 and top of Nat 2.

And you think the football system is complex/unfair!

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That's taking it too far. Much too far.

It's like the British Ice Hockey, a few years ago they'd 10 clubs playing 54-game season... top 8 entered title playoffs!!

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The general football public, perhaps......weren't all the bottom six still embroiled in a relegation battle in the last two games of the season??? I dont see the difference between that and the alternative, except more fixtures for teams used to winning getting their chance against higher up clubs who are not. Or pehaps you'd rather return to the old style which wouldn't have affected you much this year???

I think you are rather over-estimating the appeal of Hamilton or Dundee on a national scale.

As I've said before, I think the split and play-off system worked excellently this year - for those who claimed it was loaded in terms of the top flight, look what happened to Hibs.

Any re-setting of points seems inherently unfair to me. I don't really see why a team second or third in the Championship at Christmas should be regarded as having performed equally to a team eighth or ninth in the Premiership.

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I think you are rather over-estimating the appeal of Hamilton or Dundee on a national scale.

As I've said before, I think the split and play-off system worked excellently this year - for those who claimed it was loaded in terms of the top flight, look what happened to Hibs.

Any re-setting of points seems inherently unfair to me. I don't really see why a team second or third in the Championship at Christmas should be regarded as having performed equally to a team eighth or ninth in the Premiership.

Exactly! Thank goodness I'm finally reading some sense about this. The only two realistic reforms to the play off system are:

Getting rid of the 3rd and 4th placed teams and going straight 11th v 2nd. Would be fairer on the 2nd placed team but would make the second tier less exciting.

Making the final a 1 off game instead of 2 legs: Main obstacle to this would be the finding of a suitable neutral venue. You only need to have a cursory glance at the league cup semi final threads to see the rage at the venues chosen. This would be multiplied if it seemed to give either side an advantage in such a crucial game. Where would we have played Hibs v Hamilton? Hibs had a support of over 15k at the second leg. Therefore the only two options would have been a 2/3rds empty Old Firm ground or Tynecastle. Neither are in the slightest appealing for atmosphere or fairness purposes.

This and the fact that over two legs luck becomes less of a factor than it is in a one off game and it's less likely to go to penalties.

The basic conclusion is the play-offs are more than fair in their current guise and shouldn't be changed at all.

Edited by Lex

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Right... it's time for...

HOT POTATO UPDATE!!!

Scottish Premiership

Celtic have messed this up a bit by having their game against Partick Thistle moved, meaning the two Glasgow clubs have got lucky and avoided the potential shame of the Hot Potato for the first week.

The inaugural holders are ABERDEEN following their three-nil New Firm pumping by Dundee United. Their first "defence" of the title will be as soon as Wednesday when they travel to Kilmarnock.

Scottish Championship

There may be some debate as to who is the Hot Potato holder in this league. Both Alloa and Dumbarton lost by two goals, Alloa going down two-nil at Queen of the South while Dumbarton lost three-one on their visit to Kirkcaldy to play Raith.

Now, Alloa sit bottom of the league on goals scored, but Dumbarton conceded more and so could reasonably be accused of having suffered the "heavier" defeat. Should Dumbarton or Alloa be awarded Hot Potato or should we roll it over to the next week? For details of how a "roll-over" might work see further below.

Scottish League One

Another division, another Hot Potato Dilemma! Here, both Morton and Airdrie lost one-nil, at Ayr and Stenhousemuir respectively.

My suggestion would be that we roll over to next week's fixtures. If only one of Morton or Airdrie loses, they get the Hot Potato. If they both lose, whichever suffers the heavier defeat gets it, and if neither loses then whichever team in the entire division loses by the heaviest amount becomes the HP shame-carrier. Does that sound like a decent idea to everyone?

Scottish League Two

Finally, a nice easy one to decide. Poor EAST STIRLING lost four-one at Montrose. Their next bid to rid themselves of the potato-based curse will be next Saturday when they entertain Elgin.

England

For those who also take an interest in football south of the border, the holders are:

Premier League: yet to commence

Championship: HUDDERSFIELD following their four-nil home stuffing at the hands of Bournemouth. Next defence: Cardiff (a)

League One: YEOVIL who lost three-nil at home to fellow relegated side Doncaster. Next defence: Gillingham (a).

League Two: DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE who lost at home to Morecambe three-nothing. Next defence: Burton (a)

Edited by Bully Wee Villa

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Cheers BWV, for your Hot Potato duties. You and Yoss continue to be valuable members of the SPFL Hot Potato Council.

See the divisional Hot Potato threads for full details.

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Oh, there's divisional ones? Should've looked there before posting!

Those are my responsibility- yours can be updating this thread, Hot Potato HQ.

Hot Potato = serious business.

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HOT POTATO UPDATE!!!

Scottish Premiership

ABERDEEN held the title after the opening weekend of fixtures saw a New Firm humiliation by their Arab not-very-local-rivals.

They hadn't even held on to it for less than a week when they surrendered it to KILMARNOCK, who inherited the title after a two-nil home defeat to the sheep on fire.

However, the dubious crop-based award wasn't out of Northern Scotland for long as the following Saturday it headed for the Highlands after ROSS COUNTY lost 2-1 to Killie.

Ross haven't been able to get rid of the potato yet. They lost to Dundee United and their League Cup triumph against Stranraer doesn't count for Hot Potato purposes. They're on their travels today and will be hoping to inflict Hot Potato shame on Hamilton Accies. Will the dismissal of the Adams family inspire a change of fortunes for Dingwall's finest?

Scottish Championship

DUMBARTON were deemed to have gained the Hot Potato after week one on the basis that their three-one defeat to Raith "sounded worse" than Alloa's two-nil defeat at Queen of the South. Successive defeats to Queen of the South and Rangers, which both saw Dumbarton concede four, mean they still have a potato-shaped award of shame in the trophy cabinet. Next up: the visit of Livingston.

Scottish League One

In week one, Morton and Airdrie went out of their way to annoy Hot Potatoholics by both losing one-nil in week one, meaning there was no outright holder of the award, so it "rolled over" to week two. Morton won four-nil so AIRDRIE UNITED became League One's inaugural Hot Potato holders following a two-nil defeat against Peterhead. A further defeat, this time against Dunfermline, means the savoury unholy grail shows no signs of leaving Airdrie. They'll be hoping to confound the doubters this afternoon when they host Stirling.

Scottish League Two

EAST STIRLING lost four-nil on opening weekend and their performance suggested a probable long stay for the Maris Piper of Misery in Stirlingshire.

However, as the critics are almost never saying, "you write off East Stirling at your peril". The Shire recovered from their opening trouncing to beat ELGIN CITY 2-1.

Sadly for fans of Scotland's most celebrated football team, CLYDE completed a miserable week by "earning" the Spud of Sorrow following defeat in Elgin. History could be made today if Clyde win, as victory would see the Hot Potato cross the border for the first time as the Bully Wee are set to host Berwick.

Talking of crossing the border, we now move on to England.

Premier League

Under the "sounds worse" ruling, BURNLEY's three-one defeat by Chelsea was dubbed worse than Newcastle's two-nil loss to Manchester City and the Clarets became the first Hot Potato holders among England's elite. A subsequent defeat to Swansea leaves them still looking for their first victory since gaining promotion. They face fellow relegation-strugglers Manchester United in just over half an hour.

Championship

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN endured potatoey shame after a four-nil pumping at home to Bournemouth. After defeat in Cardiff not many fancied the Terriers' chances of ridding themselves of the Tuber of Terror.

However, the not-particularly-old saying "Form goes out of the window in Hot Potato encounters" proved apt as the Royals of READING gained the King Edward after a two-one home defeat. After a subsequent defeat at Nottingham Forest, Reading travel to Middlesbrough today hoping to rid themselves of the Hated Tater.

League One

First stop for the League One Hot Potato was YEOVIL TOWN following their loss to Doncaster. Defeat to Gillingham (they also lost to them in the League Cup, for good measure) left Somerset spud-followers despondent but the gloom would be lifted with a trip to the Midlands.

WALSALL earned the undesired Desiree following a two-one loss to Yeovil. A draw at Leyton Orient was reasonable but not enough to remove the Hot Potato from custody in the Black Country. Walsall visit Scunthorpe at 3pm.

League Two

DAGENHAM AND REDBRIDGE earned the first League Two Hot Potato with a three-nil home beating by Morecambe. A further defeat followed, at the hands of Burton.

HARTLEPOOL UNITED took a break from hanging monkeys to take over ownership of the un-Golden Wonder after Dagenham beat them two-nil. However, they didn't have it for long.

WIMBLEDON is usually more associated with strawberries and cream than Hot Potatoes, but not any more. After their two-one home loss by Hartlepool they now take on the burden of the lowest-ranked of all the Hot Potatoes in England. They'll be hoping to jilt the jacket when they host Stevenage.

Edited by Bully Wee Villa

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