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How often does the #1 seed make the SB?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Brady_to_Moss, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Anyone have any stats on #1 seeds and going to the SB? just wondering
  2. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    According to my not so scientific calculations, a #1 seed has 45% chance of making it to the Super Bowl.
    In the last 10 years ( 20 #1 seeds in both conferences) 9 have made it to the Super Bowl. In the last 20 years, 18 out a possible 40 (45%) have made it to the Super Bowl.
    2010---none
    2009 --Indy--N.O.
    2008--none
    2007--N.E.
    2006--Chi
    2005--Seattle
    2004--Phil
    2003--NE
    2002--Oak
    2001--StL
    2000--NYG
    1999--STl
    1998--Den
    1997-none
    1996--GB
    1995--Dallas
    1994--SF
    1993--Dallas--Buf
    1992--none
    1991--Buf
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  3. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    More importantly, how often does the #1 seed have to play three games or a road game to get to the SB?
  4. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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  5. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    I think the headline on NFL.com is slightly misleading. While it is true that the top seed in the AFC has won only two Super Bowls since 1990, look at the breakdown of the number of Super Bowl winners by seed during that timeframe:

    1. #1 - nine
    2. #2 - six
    3. #3 - one
    4. #4 - two
    5. #5 - one
    6. #6 - two

    Being the top seed still historically gives your best chance to win it all and the next best thing is to get a first round bye. The top seed wins half again as many times as the second seed, and the total wins by the three, four, five and six seeds combined is only equal to that of the #2 seed, and still less than the number one seed.

    Obviously there is no sure thing but all that data shows me is that it's a whole lot better to get a first round bye than not, and better to get the top seed than any other slot.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  7. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    That was my takeaway message. That's HUGE.
  8. PatriotFan77

    PatriotFan77 Rookie

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    Too small? That's nearly half of all SBs???
  9. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    Thanks for the link. There was a thread on this a little while ago and I think the takeaway seemed to be that getting the Bye was most important.
  10. ThatllMoveTheChains!!!

    ThatllMoveTheChains!!! Rookie

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    This is the type of thing the NFL should do more of. Very interesting how the numbers work out. I do find it odd that the wildcard teams, while having a lower chance of making the SB, do extremely well in the SB.
  11. PatsFanInVa

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    You're boiling it down to a 1 in 4 chance, all else being equal of course - that is, if we view it from a Pats perspective, what does our seeding mean for our chances?

    As others have pointed out, first seed's the best odds that you can get, which of course was never argued in the OP.

    However, look at what you're saying -- as an AFC 1st seed you have "only" a 1-in-4 chance of winning it all.

    There are 4 teams with byes in general, and it makes sense that 1sts are in better shape than 2nds, because the only possibilities are equal or better records than the 2nds.

    So your 1 in 4 chance basically works out, very roughly, to the elimination of the other 8 teams from consideration (4 are literally eliminated before the 1st seed plays.)

    So although all the permutations remain possible, getting the first seed, if we are to trust the small sample, puts you into a "final four" scenario, in terms of the odds -- a week before you even get there.

    This also illustrates the uselessness of the exercise, because it comes down to playing a game, winning it, playing a game, winning it, and of course, playing a game, and winning it.
  12. TBradyOwnsYou

    TBradyOwnsYou Rookie

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    Of the 42 teams that have MADE the Super Bowl in the last 21 years, 32 of them had a first round bye. That is 76.2%.
    Of the 42 teams that have MADE the Super Bowl in the last 21 yeas, 20 of them have been a #1 seed. That is 47.6%.
    Of the 21 teams that have WON the Super Bowl in the last 21 years, 15 of them have had a first round bye. That is 71.4%.
    Of the 21 teams that have WON the Super Bowl in the last 21 years, 9 of them have been a #1 seed. That is 42.9%.

    Those are more significant stats than simple AFC vs NFC.
  13. PatriotFan77

    PatriotFan77 Rookie

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    Meh, it's all 50/50 in my book.

    Pats will either win the SB, or they won't.

    :)
  14. JJDChE

    JJDChE Rookie

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    We've only won 1 out of 3 that we've been the #1 seed.

    2003 - W
    2007 - L
    2010 - L
    2011 - ?
  15. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    We have won 3 of 5 superbowls we have played in when we have a bye.

    '96 - 2 seed L
    '01 -2 seed W
    '03 -1 see W
    '04 - 2 seed W
    '07 - 1 seed L

    Getting there is the key.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  16. Patradomous

    Patradomous Rookie

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    Re: Cool chart on playoff seeding

    SB Champs are 15-6 as either #1 or 2 seed since 90.
    Pats have doubled their chances and after a first round loss last year nothing but rings this year for our boys.
  17. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    It has happened. Not three games. But the #1 seed has had to play on the road to reach the superbowl. (e.g SBI, SBVII there may be others)
  18. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ Rookie

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    If you're looking to answer the question "what is the effect of seeding," I think looking at super bowl champions by seed number is of very little relevance. The super bowl is a fixed location, fixed date game where seeding is irrelevant with respect to your opponent. Your opponent will be whichever team survived the playoffs on the other side, and whether you are a 1 seed or a 6 seed, you will get the same opponent and play in the same building.

    The only advantage of a higher seed is that you might have played one less game, and thus be fresher and/or had one fewer games to sustain injuries. So, it might be mildly interesting to look at how teams that had a bye on their half of the bracket fare against teams that did not in the super bowl. But otherwise, I think asking the question whether seeding increases your chances of winning or not winning the super bowl is not a hugely productive question. (This is not to say there isn't a correlation -- seeding is often a proxy for how good you are. Probably not as good a proxy as whether you made it through your side of the bracket, but a proxy nonetheless. Thus, when a one seed plays a six seed in the super bowl, there are reasons to expect the one seed will be favored, notwithstanding the fact that the six seed has won 3 hard games in a row; but again, that's a much different question.)

    So, long winded way of agreeing with other posters that the relevant question is not to look at champions by seed number, but to look at seeding's effect of a team's chances to make the super bowl, or, to put it another and more accurete way, win the half of the bracket in which there is seeding.

    To ask that question, I agree with others that say you should start with a baseline. If you take away seeding and the three main advantages/disadvantages that come with it -- home field advantage, bye, and the wear and tear (or possibly, on the other side, momentum) effect of playing or not playing the extra game -- what would among evenly matched teams be of making the super bowl?

    From a 1 and 2 seed's perspective, you play as though there are 4 teams in the bracket, so it should be 25 percent. From a 3-6 seed's perspective, you play as though there are 8 teams in the bracket, so it should be 12.5 percent.

    Looking at the 21 years of stats, though a small sample size, you see a huge correlation between seeding and advancement to the super bowl. The 1 seed makes it 47.6 percent of the time. The two seed makes it 28.5 percent of the time. The other 4 seeds combined make it 23.8 percent of the time.

    But, of course, to answer the question that I think is being asked by this thread -- what effect does seeding have on advancement, you have to account for the fact that there are two things happening here -- the higher seed has an advantage because of the seed, but also is likely a better team by virtue of its ability to earn that higher seed. How much of the deviation from the baseline is caused by the former and how much the latter?

    Tough to know. One way to maybe judge would be to figure out how often the 1 seed plays the 2 seed in the conference championship and figure out stats by seed in those games. When the 1 plays the 2, most of the advantages to seed are stripped away -- both teams had a bye, both teams got to play the first game at home, and thus until that point they were equal in terms of advantage. The only remaining advantage that seeding provides is home field advantage for the one seed. There are pretty comprehensive and well-settled stats for home field advantage in the NFL, so it should be possible to normalize for that, and figure out whether these games are basically played at even (when discounting HFA) or whether there is actually typically a talent gap between 1 and 2.

    My take away from the whole thing is that looking to question of how seeding affects chances to make the super bowl, it's pretty much what people alreayd expect -- Getting the bye is hugely important and it is much more likely than not that one of the bye teams will make the super bowl. There appears to be a pronounced difference between how often the 1 and 2 seeds make the super bowl, but it's a pretty small sample size and it's tough to judge very much without stats on how 1 plays 2 when they meet.
  19. Dessalines

    Dessalines Rookie

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