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So, it goes a bit like this:
1. Run the league as usual in spring and then start the championship in each province on the first week of May.
2. Run the provincials as usual but add a bit of relevance by making the provincial finalists top seeds in each of 8 groups, losing semi finalists would be second seeds and teams cannot play each other again.
3. Because of the unequal numbers in the provinces, from there on the bottom seedings are decided on league placing, which would add a bit more relevance to the league as well.
So, take the 2019 championship
Pot1 Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Meath, Roscommon, Galway, Cavan, Donegal
Pot2 Limerick, Clare, Kildare, Laois, Sligo, Mayo, Armagh, Tyrone
Pot3 Monaghan, Down, Tipperary, Offaly, Westmeath, Longford, Louth, Fermanagh
Pot4: Wicklow, Wexford, London, Carlow, Waterford, Antrim, Leitrim, Derry
1. Play these off on a home/away/neutral venue basis.
2. Top 2 in each group qualify for quarter finals and all games from QF onwards are played in Croker.
3. Use the likes of Omagh, Breffni Park, Clones, Gaelic Grounds, Pairc ui Caoimh, Semple Stadium, Navan, Portlaoise, Tullamore, McHale Park, Hyde Park - not Croke Park if possible - as neutral venues and give them a chance to pay off some debt. Double headers are just as good in Cork as they are in Dublin.
So if I pick Carlow and Monaghan as the strongest teams in the bottom pots, you could have a group containing
Any of those 4 could potentially make a semi if Carlow got Cork in Cullen Park and pulled it off.
Similarly you could have
Carlow wouldn't have much chance here but they would have 3 seriously high quality matches. Any of the other 3 could make it in and the standard would be every bit as high as the Super 8s.
If the mismatches were too much to bear, then just split it into 2 tiers at this stage - pot 1 and 2 going for Sam Maguire, Pot 3 and 4 going for the tier 2 cup.
I think it works better than basing it off of league position alone. Limerick beat Tipp so deserve a shot at the big time even if they would be in line for heavy losses, there'd be a big crowd out to watch them play the likes of Donegal, Mayo or Dublin - teams they'd never meet in league or championship in a normal year.
kingdom_come (Kerry) - Posts: 62 - 26/10/2019 11:23:26 2245907Link 0 0
To lessen risk of mismatches -
omahant (USA) - Posts: 1668 - 17/11/2019 04:07:40 2249944Link 0 1
20-team KO Rd 2 with 'Prov Finals losers 4' and top 2 from each of Rd 1's 'Non-Prov Finalists, 8 groups of 3'.
omahant (USA) - Posts: 1668 - 17/11/2019 04:14:59 2249945Link 0 1
Whilst maybe not always being given credit for how good they are it takes a great team to compete in the Ulster Championship and then go on and win the All Ireland. If it's an average year the likes of Kerry and Dublin will win the All Ireland; the only way a team from Ulster will win it is if they're at the absolute top of their game and have used every last bit of energy left in them by September.
To Ulster's credit they have produced such teams over the years, really well prepared teams; the problem these great teams have is the journey they need to start again a few months later. The likes of Kerry and Dublin even after winning an All Ireland have 11 months to prepare for another crack.
It would be a pity to see the Ulster Championship changed - it's tough but 5 of the 9 competitiors have won the Sam Maguire in the last 30 years an incredible statistic and shows how special a championship it is.
sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 527 - 17/11/2019 11:08:32 2249961Link 0 0
I think it's over-stated though and I think it's because so many Ulster counties have had success over the years.
You hear of say Donegal's runs to win Ulster and it will include victories over Armagh, Down, Derry and it sounds impressive. These are teams that have won All Irelands.
I don't think in reality Ulster is as hard as the perception.
Armagh, Down, Derry are at around the same standards as Laois, Westmeath, Longford or Tipperary and Clare but I think they're being perceived as better than they are because they had memorable successes in a way that those other Leinster and Munster counties haven't.
Ulster is competitive but I think the standard of the competition is somewhat regarded higher than it should be.
Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2794 - 17/11/2019 12:45:29 2249973Link 4 0
suckvalleypaddy (Galway) - Posts: 1301 - 17/11/2019 14:12:38 2249982Link 1 0
With Dublin so unique we are in strange times but outside of that it doesn't take away the fact Ulster is a minefield. Every era produces three top Ulster teams at any one time - the 90's peak probably produced 5 great teams of which three won All Ireland's. The 00's produced three incredibly strong teams which two won All Ireland's before Donegal could make a breakthrough in the next decade - a decade that had very good Tyrone and Monaghan teams.
Of course not all 9 teams are strong at the one time and the province is probably going through it's weakest era in a generation - it's still a marker to how competitive the province is when 5 different counties have won a Senior All Ireland in the same time 5 counties from the rest of the provinces combined have done the same.
sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 527 - 17/11/2019 15:36:34 2249998Link 0 0
essmac (Tyrone) - Posts: 607 - 17/11/2019 16:26:39 2250010Link 0 0
essmac (Tyrone) - Posts: 607 - 17/11/2019 16:27:46 2250011Link 0 0