The AFL hierarchy thinks weighting the stronger teams to play against each other twice per year, and the weaker teams likewise, will create 'balance'.
It does not.
All it does is continually re-inforce the model that there are and always will be the same strong teams and the same weak teams.
What we expect is that there will be some teams gaining top 8 positions that are not warranted, who will fail in the finals and then in the next year receive a tougher schedule and 'hey presto', find themselves back in the bottom half.
And the counter-point of that is a strong team ('well financed' as definition of strong), who may miss a finals series, but with better off-field spend and resources will be back in the finals hunt in the following year.
A cycle that will continue for seasons.
And inside that cycle, those 'under resourced' clubs will need to spend more to try to break into the 8, potentially bankrupting themselves in process.
Keith Olbermann describes the US's problems with fixtures very well. The same leagues that the AFL goes to often for inspiration.
And he also backs it up with real life US examples where teams with easy draws get advantages that are not warranted, and also other teams get short shrift, all for the sake of TV scheduling.
Its the greatest con job in sports to suggest you can obtain 'balance' and 'fairness' while at the same time railroading some teams straight into a sporting no-mans land, and giving the other privileged proponents the comforts of a fine upholstered lounge chair.
"We all have to contribute" says Joe, in front of photos of horses, a hatstand, and silk chairs, at an exclusive club pic.twitter.com/1Y2W0A0Yf3
— Fakeed™ Butler (@fakeedbutler) April 23, 2014
We suggest for the AFL, the best approach is ours - 3 conferences where you play inside your conference home and away, and outside your conference once. Adjust the extra-conference games such that travel and home ground use is equalised.
And, year-on-year, shuffle the conferences based on a combined ladder.
[more detail on the mechanics here]
It is not 'fixed', 'rigged', or 'gerrymandered'.
Last of the full rounds for a few weeks, and we think it might be an easy one to tip.
Closest game is tipped as just under a 3 goal margin - should be an easy round.
THE MEZZOCULO INDEX:
Port Adelaide's from rating continues to rise, exploding to the very fringe of this weeks re-scaled chart.