Round Robin playoffs with the teams that had the best run differential getting the top seeds.
Since we’re debating ridiculous scenarios, what if everyone’s run differential was 0, including 0 team vs every other team; for instance, the Cardinals have a 0 run differential against every other team, etc. How, then, do you rank the teams? If no clear “top” seeds can be determined, then they schedule the games randomly, like with coin flips, etc. This may not be in MLB’s emergency contingency plan, but I believe it is the best plan given the ridiculous scenario.
However, most teams play each other an odd number of times, especially if they are division contestants. So then you must necessarily have a clear head-to-head winner and can thus rank teams accordingly.
What are the odds of everyone in the NFL finishing 0-0-16 with all the games scoreless ties?
It would never happen, but if it did and I was the commissioner:
1- Have a single elimination tournament in each division to come up with a division champion. Since there are no more than 6 teams per division, nobody would play more than 3 games to establish division champions.
2- Once the division champions are determined, take the remaining teams and add in their games from the tournaments in step 1. Some teams will be 2-1, some might be 1-1. Any teams that are 2-1 would play for the wild card spot. If nobody went 2-1, then the 1-1 teams would form another single elimination tournament to determine the wild card team. All the 0-1 teams would be eliminated so again nobody would play more than 3 games tops.
But it would suck to have your season decided by a random event when you are every bit as good (and worthy) as the other team. If you can’t decide things with, say, the first four tie-breaking procedures, I say have a play-in game.
No, as noted baseball breaks ties by playing more baseball. But this is a lot more feasible in baseball, where it’s not trivial, but it’s no huge deal to tack on an extra game or two. It only takes a few days, and the cumulative wear and tear on players – again, not trivial – is not much more than a regular-length season. But a game of football takes several days to recover from – you can’t just slot it in.
This. The commissioner has wide powers to act “in the best interests of Baseball”. Remember last year’s World Series game where Philly could have won a rain shortened game had Tampa Bay not scored at the last minute?
Selig said afterwards that, rules be damned, Philly would not have won in that fashion.
“The best interests of baseball” (which, in practice, has always meant “the collective desires of the owners who hire and pay the Commissioner”) would be that the playoff teams would be those from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston. The eighth? Just at “random”, perhaps Milwaukee?