In other words, your theory is wrong half the time

>> Tuesday

Don Banks writes a totally worthless piece for In it, he cautions everybody to not look forward to a Colts-Bears Super Bowl just yet because of the "poor" ratio of #1 seeds making it to the Super Bowl.

Indy wins at Denver and New England in consecutive weeks, and we quickly pontificate that the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC now leads through the RCA Dome. Ditto for Chicago in the NFC, in the wake of the Bears' resounding conquest of the Giants Sunday night at the Meadowlands. But not necessarily.

Yes necessarily. That's what "Home Field Advantage" means. Other teams who want to advance have to come into your house and win.

Historically speaking, locking up the No. 1 seed has made reaching the Super Bowl nothing more than a 50-50 proposition. Check out the following:

• In the 16 seasons in which the NFL has had a seeding system in the playoffs and a 12-team field (1990-2005), 16 of the 32 top seeds (50 percent) have failed to reach the Super Bowl.

So 16 of the 32 top seeds have reached the Super Bowl.

• For 12 consecutive seasons ('94-05), at least one of the No. 1 seeds has been eliminated before the Super Bowl. The only time neither No. 1 made it to the Super Bowl during that 12-year period was '97, when both San Francisco and Kansas City fell short.

So in the last 11 seasons, at least one #1 seed has played in the Super Bowl, with the exception of 1997.

• Only twice in those 16 seasons have both top seeds turned their homefield advantages into Super Bowl berths, the most recent being Buffalo and Dallas in '93. Washington and Buffalo were the other exceptions to the rule in '91.

But who's to say whether the top seed is really the best team in the conference, especially in a league like the NFL where not every team plays each other?

• All told, the AFC's top seed has been a shakier playoff bet, failing to reach the Super Bowl 10 times in 16 years, as opposed to the NFC's track record of six misses in 16 seasons.

What does this have to do with anything? Can you possibly come up with something less relevant to any semblance of a point?

• And how's this for consistency and quirkiness? For four years in a row ('01-04), a No. 1 seed from Pennsylvania couldn't close the deal and punch their Super Bowl ticket -- Pittsburgh in '01 and '04, Philadelphia in '02-03.

Ah. I see you can.


Vinnie 8:02 PM  

Actually, I find it quite remarkable, as you say, in a league with so few regular-season games and such vastly different schedules, that the #1 has made it at that rate. Considering they only make up a sixth of playoff teams, a one-half success rate is pretty damn good. Obviously, the team that wins the most is supposed to be the best, but as we all know, sixteen games can hardly be considered definitive.

I also like that he has to tell us that 16 of 32 is, in fact, 50 percent. I wonder how long it took him to correctly punch that in his calculator and then figure out that 0.50 is actually 50% and not 0.50%.

Ah, I love looking down my nose at people who are bad at math.

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