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Jim Mcguinness-Right As Usual On Championship

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In todays column, Jim argues that the Tailteann Cup is serving its purpose with the amount of games for teams developments.

However he argues that instead of groups for Sam McGuire, we go straight to knockout of the last 16 from provincial finals.

To achieve that, place the four provincial winners and the next four highest ranked teams from the league in Pot One. In Pot Two would be the next seven highest ranked league teams, plus the Tailteann Cup winners from the previous year.


The Sam Maguire competition doesn't need a format incorporating group stages in the last 16. For me, it needs the safety nets to be removed and the jeopardy of knockout football to be returned.


Is he right?

I think this year has been an improvement and not a million miles away. I enjoy all the match ups but a few things that jump out.

1. Right now the league is serving a great purpose until the last few weeks whereas its so close to championship, teams appear not to want to make final and that undermines its credibility. We need to really incentivize teams winning the competition.

2. Gap for teams exiting provincials and starting rest of championship may make provincials even less a priority if as it appears Mayo benefits from six weeks off to prep for championship compared to Dublin/Kerry.

3. Three teams safe removes jeopardy and this all feels like a phoney war until the blitz of knockout at the end.


If we went with Jim's route, we should properly reward the league champions above all else with home field advantage in the knockouts against the lowest ranked team akin to how tennis would rank its tournament i.e. the second team goes to opposite side of draw. So the top four ranked sides in league plus four provincial champions on one side and then the provincial finalists(unless they are ranked in top four) and rest on the other side based on league finishing in that season.


If we went with this, here is what we would have been served instead of the four groups.

Mayo 1
Galway 2
Roscommon 3
Tyrone 4
Kerry 5
Monaghan 6
Derry 7
Dublin 8
Armagh 9
Donegal 10
Louth 11
Cork 12
Kildare 13
Clare 14
Westmeath 15
Sligo 16

Home team first. Teams from each quarter meet in quarters meet in quarter final and winner of Quarter A Faces Quarter B
Quarter A:
Match 1: Mayo (1) vs. Sligo (16)
Match 2: Dublin (8) vs. Armagh (9)

Quarter B:
Match 3: Tyrone (4) vs. Kildare (13)
Match 4: Monaghan (6) vs. Louth (11)

Quarter C:
Match 5: Kerry (5) vs. Cork (12)
Match 6: Roscommon (3) vs. Clare (14)

Quarter D:
Match 7: Derry (7) vs. Donegal (10)
Match 8: Galway (2) vs. Westmeath (15)


The danger of course with this method is teams like Sligo could get a battering and demoralises them from competing but no system is perfect.

Would the above scenario have got the mouth watering? It would certainly be fair on merit. Note I did this based on league positioning assuming we ditch the league finals. You could swap out Derry and Dublin's numbers if you wanted to rank Dublin higher as they won final. Either would produce great games in last 16 and quarters. To make it even more merit based. Top four ranked sides should get home advantage in quarter finals too but I know that would never probably happen.

shaggykev (Donegal) - Posts: 187 - 13/06/2023 12:18:58    2486154

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Replying To shaggykev:  "In todays column, Jim argues that the Tailteann Cup is serving its purpose with the amount of games for teams developments.

However he argues that instead of groups for Sam McGuire, we go straight to knockout of the last 16 from provincial finals.

To achieve that, place the four provincial winners and the next four highest ranked teams from the league in Pot One. In Pot Two would be the next seven highest ranked league teams, plus the Tailteann Cup winners from the previous year.


The Sam Maguire competition doesn't need a format incorporating group stages in the last 16. For me, it needs the safety nets to be removed and the jeopardy of knockout football to be returned.


Is he right?

I think this year has been an improvement and not a million miles away. I enjoy all the match ups but a few things that jump out.

1. Right now the league is serving a great purpose until the last few weeks whereas its so close to championship, teams appear not to want to make final and that undermines its credibility. We need to really incentivize teams winning the competition.

2. Gap for teams exiting provincials and starting rest of championship may make provincials even less a priority if as it appears Mayo benefits from six weeks off to prep for championship compared to Dublin/Kerry.

3. Three teams safe removes jeopardy and this all feels like a phoney war until the blitz of knockout at the end.


If we went with Jim's route, we should properly reward the league champions above all else with home field advantage in the knockouts against the lowest ranked team akin to how tennis would rank its tournament i.e. the second team goes to opposite side of draw. So the top four ranked sides in league plus four provincial champions on one side and then the provincial finalists(unless they are ranked in top four) and rest on the other side based on league finishing in that season.


If we went with this, here is what we would have been served instead of the four groups.

Mayo 1
Galway 2
Roscommon 3
Tyrone 4
Kerry 5
Monaghan 6
Derry 7
Dublin 8
Armagh 9
Donegal 10
Louth 11
Cork 12
Kildare 13
Clare 14
Westmeath 15
Sligo 16

Home team first. Teams from each quarter meet in quarters meet in quarter final and winner of Quarter A Faces Quarter B
Quarter A:
Match 1: Mayo (1) vs. Sligo (16)
Match 2: Dublin (8) vs. Armagh (9)

Quarter B:
Match 3: Tyrone (4) vs. Kildare (13)
Match 4: Monaghan (6) vs. Louth (11)

Quarter C:
Match 5: Kerry (5) vs. Cork (12)
Match 6: Roscommon (3) vs. Clare (14)

Quarter D:
Match 7: Derry (7) vs. Donegal (10)
Match 8: Galway (2) vs. Westmeath (15)


The danger of course with this method is teams like Sligo could get a battering and demoralises them from competing but no system is perfect.

Would the above scenario have got the mouth watering? It would certainly be fair on merit. Note I did this based on league positioning assuming we ditch the league finals. You could swap out Derry and Dublin's numbers if you wanted to rank Dublin higher as they won final. Either would produce great games in last 16 and quarters. To make it even more merit based. Top four ranked sides should get home advantage in quarter finals too but I know that would never probably happen."
He proposed the present system some years ago!!
What good would 1 batin do Sligo, Westmeath or Louth compared to getting 3 gyaranteed games .
Players want to Play not spend 9 months training for 1 game so casual fans can have I big day out.
Anyway he'll have his knock out games from the weekend after next so what's he waffling about?

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1379 - 13/06/2023 12:37:52    2486162

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Replying To shaggykev:  "In todays column, Jim argues that the Tailteann Cup is serving its purpose with the amount of games for teams developments.

However he argues that instead of groups for Sam McGuire, we go straight to knockout of the last 16 from provincial finals.

To achieve that, place the four provincial winners and the next four highest ranked teams from the league in Pot One. In Pot Two would be the next seven highest ranked league teams, plus the Tailteann Cup winners from the previous year.


The Sam Maguire competition doesn't need a format incorporating group stages in the last 16. For me, it needs the safety nets to be removed and the jeopardy of knockout football to be returned.


Is he right?

I think this year has been an improvement and not a million miles away. I enjoy all the match ups but a few things that jump out.

1. Right now the league is serving a great purpose until the last few weeks whereas its so close to championship, teams appear not to want to make final and that undermines its credibility. We need to really incentivize teams winning the competition.

2. Gap for teams exiting provincials and starting rest of championship may make provincials even less a priority if as it appears Mayo benefits from six weeks off to prep for championship compared to Dublin/Kerry.

3. Three teams safe removes jeopardy and this all feels like a phoney war until the blitz of knockout at the end.


If we went with Jim's route, we should properly reward the league champions above all else with home field advantage in the knockouts against the lowest ranked team akin to how tennis would rank its tournament i.e. the second team goes to opposite side of draw. So the top four ranked sides in league plus four provincial champions on one side and then the provincial finalists(unless they are ranked in top four) and rest on the other side based on league finishing in that season.


If we went with this, here is what we would have been served instead of the four groups.

Mayo 1
Galway 2
Roscommon 3
Tyrone 4
Kerry 5
Monaghan 6
Derry 7
Dublin 8
Armagh 9
Donegal 10
Louth 11
Cork 12
Kildare 13
Clare 14
Westmeath 15
Sligo 16

Home team first. Teams from each quarter meet in quarters meet in quarter final and winner of Quarter A Faces Quarter B
Quarter A:
Match 1: Mayo (1) vs. Sligo (16)
Match 2: Dublin (8) vs. Armagh (9)

Quarter B:
Match 3: Tyrone (4) vs. Kildare (13)
Match 4: Monaghan (6) vs. Louth (11)

Quarter C:
Match 5: Kerry (5) vs. Cork (12)
Match 6: Roscommon (3) vs. Clare (14)

Quarter D:
Match 7: Derry (7) vs. Donegal (10)
Match 8: Galway (2) vs. Westmeath (15)


The danger of course with this method is teams like Sligo could get a battering and demoralises them from competing but no system is perfect.

Would the above scenario have got the mouth watering? It would certainly be fair on merit. Note I did this based on league positioning assuming we ditch the league finals. You could swap out Derry and Dublin's numbers if you wanted to rank Dublin higher as they won final. Either would produce great games in last 16 and quarters. To make it even more merit based. Top four ranked sides should get home advantage in quarter finals too but I know that would never probably happen."
You have mixed that up. Ros/Clare should be playing Mon/Louth

skirge7 (UK) - Posts: 247 - 13/06/2023 12:40:53    2486164

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Groups of 4 are fair for the guarantee of 3 games. Many would agree with the top 2 going through. Provincial runners-up like Louth, Clare and Sligo being seeded above Mayo, Roscommon, Tyrone and Monaghan is a flaw.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7806 - 13/06/2023 14:05:41    2486208

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Anything would be better than what we got. Provincial finalist should not steal a place in it. Winners yes not runners up. Base it on league placings after provincial winners.

Run the TC on a similar basis, knockout comp, nobody is going to them games as it stands its a failure

Barrowsider (Carlow) - Posts: 1591 - 13/06/2023 14:14:14    2486212

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Replying To Barrowsider:  "Anything would be better than what we got. Provincial finalist should not steal a place in it. Winners yes not runners up. Base it on league placings after provincial winners.

Run the TC on a similar basis, knockout comp, nobody is going to them games as it stands its a failure"
With regard to the TC, depends how you define "failure".

If its main aim was to attract large crowds to group games and early knock-out games, then yes, it's a failure all right.

But if its main aim was to provide meaningful matches to second tier counties who are long shots for a provincial title and no-hopers for an All-Ireland, then it's anything but.

Is proving very valuable for our Wexford team, for instance. As a knockout like you suggest, we could have been gone on Day 1 (a draw v Fermanagh) depending on how extra time and possible penalties would have gone, and we definitely would have been gone on Day 2 (defeat v Antrim). Instead, we've had two further good run-outs, the team is improving, we're looking forward to a trip to Meath this weekend, and the players are taking it very seriously. Far from a failure in that regard.

Pikeman96 (Wexford) - Posts: 2216 - 13/06/2023 14:27:56    2486218

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Replying To Barrowsider:  "Anything would be better than what we got. Provincial finalist should not steal a place in it. Winners yes not runners up. Base it on league placings after provincial winners.

Run the TC on a similar basis, knockout comp, nobody is going to them games as it stands its a failure"
There is improvements to be made, and that's one of them.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2907 - 13/06/2023 14:29:01    2486219

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Get Rid of the provinces .Base the rankings on the league,Div 1 and Div 2 Sam Maguire,Div 3 and 4 Tailtean cup. something along those lines.

Provisional Championship waste of time.

heyday (Laois) - Posts: 35 - 13/06/2023 15:00:43    2486228

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Replying To Barrowsider:  "Anything would be better than what we got. Provincial finalist should not steal a place in it. Winners yes not runners up. Base it on league placings after provincial winners.

Run the TC on a similar basis, knockout comp, nobody is going to them games as it stands its a failure"
Knockout basis is too extreme. Players wanted more games and they have got it.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7806 - 13/06/2023 15:13:40    2486231

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Didn't look like a "failure" to the Laois players at full time last Saturdays.
The obsession of reducing the numbers of games for teams never ceases to amaze me.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1379 - 13/06/2023 15:16:09    2486232

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The present system looks good to me.Going into the last round of the group stages there are no dead rubbers.All the games are important.

gunman (Donegal) - Posts: 1054 - 13/06/2023 15:32:11    2486238

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Hurling counties on average have at least 5 league games and 5 championship games. Kerry hurlers have no complaints about being out in mid May after 10 games.
Football counties have at least 7 league games, 1 provincial game and 3 championship games. None of the counties knocked out after the group phases can have any complaints after 11 games.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7806 - 13/06/2023 15:53:39    2486246

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Replying To gunman:  "The present system looks good to me.Going into the last round of the group stages there are no dead rubbers.All the games are important."
Think Derry Clare might be the only one is it?

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 9103 - 13/06/2023 16:46:23    2486263

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The answer for me is to make there be proper promotion and relegation between tiers and have a high bar for progression to the knockout rounds.

You can have more championship games but them be more meaningful because the weaker teams are battling relegation.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4193 - 13/06/2023 17:02:34    2486274

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I think the Tailteann is a great success, it gave me a chance to see players I might never have seen and great for counties to compete for a national title instead of getting walloped by the big guns in the All Ireland series every year.
I think the Provincials will have to become pre season competitions, as it is we have a knockout format going into a mini league then back to a knockout format, it's too convoluted.

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 2733 - 13/06/2023 17:10:55    2486279

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Replying To gunman:  "The present system looks good to me.Going into the last round of the group stages there are no dead rubbers.All the games are important."
Far too drawn out with too many games to get rid of just 4 teams…. Matches so far are very badly attended also which shows people are no fools and are not going to pay into glorified friendly games… Put all that together with the terrible rubbish that's been served up tells me this system won't last too long…. Big teams are just sleep walking their way into the knockout stages and most people looking at the games are fast asleep as well if the atmosphere is anything to go by….!!!

ForeverBlue2 (Cavan) - Posts: 1885 - 13/06/2023 17:13:21    2486281

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Replying To gunman:  "The present system looks good to me.Going into the last round of the group stages there are no dead rubbers.All the games are important."
I think that the new system is working well. Enjoyed the day out in Croke Park with the Rossies and am really looking forward to Tullamore on Sunday for the Kildare game. These are fixtures we would not normally have seen in the old days. Whoever wins the All Ireland this year will have earned it. The various games are also bringing business to rural towns who are delighted to get it. Teams are also playing in new venues which brings a bit of variety for the supporters as well.
Big change from the old days where after training for months some relatively strong teams only got one game. Kerry had it easy in Munster a few times and only had to peak for the All Ireland semi final and final.
If only two teams got out of each group of four they would be some more deal rubber games. In our group 3 this weekend, Dublin, Roscommon, Kildare and Sligo all have something to play for, before the real fun starts. Scoring difference might apply in both games which should make both of them interesting. I think that they should stick with the existing system for one or two more years and then review it. Jim has to find something to write about every week in the Irish Times but in fairness to him, he is normally well worth reading.

letsgetgoing (Roscommon) - Posts: 486 - 13/06/2023 17:31:36    2486286

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Replying To ForeverBlue2:  "Far too drawn out with too many games to get rid of just 4 teams…. Matches so far are very badly attended also which shows people are no fools and are not going to pay into glorified friendly games… Put all that together with the terrible rubbish that's been served up tells me this system won't last too long…. Big teams are just sleep walking their way into the knockout stages and most people looking at the games are fast asleep as well if the atmosphere is anything to go by….!!!"
There were some interesting games in Round 3 of the Tailteann. A lot of teams pushed for the win to win the group or to take second place and get home advantage. There were some great pictures from Carlow after the New York game. Some teams have gotten to the quarter-finals untested before. With the current format teams have 3 or 4 games by the time they get to quarter-finals. Noone can claim that they weren't road tested.
There is a format where the GAA could have drawn 2 groups of 8. Each group conceding 2 seed 1s, 2 seed 2s, 2 seed 3s and 2 seed 4s. Each team could play one team from each seeded bracket. After 4 games, 2 home and 2 away, the top 2 in each group would advance to the quarter-finals. 3rd to 6th would enter a playoff to make the quarter-finals.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7806 - 13/06/2023 17:42:35    2486291

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Replying To ForeverBlue2:  "Far too drawn out with too many games to get rid of just 4 teams…. Matches so far are very badly attended also which shows people are no fools and are not going to pay into glorified friendly games… Put all that together with the terrible rubbish that's been served up tells me this system won't last too long…. Big teams are just sleep walking their way into the knockout stages and most people looking at the games are fast asleep as well if the atmosphere is anything to go by….!!!"
Another of the " let's do away with playing games" brigade.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1379 - 13/06/2023 17:55:26    2486296

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Replying To Seanfanbocht:  "
Replying To shaggykev:  "In todays column, Jim argues that the Tailteann Cup is serving its purpose with the amount of games for teams developments.

However he argues that instead of groups for Sam McGuire, we go straight to knockout of the last 16 from provincial finals.

To achieve that, place the four provincial winners and the next four highest ranked teams from the league in Pot One. In Pot Two would be the next seven highest ranked league teams, plus the Tailteann Cup winners from the previous year.


The Sam Maguire competition doesn't need a format incorporating group stages in the last 16. For me, it needs the safety nets to be removed and the jeopardy of knockout football to be returned.


Is he right?

I think this year has been an improvement and not a million miles away. I enjoy all the match ups but a few things that jump out.

1. Right now the league is serving a great purpose until the last few weeks whereas its so close to championship, teams appear not to want to make final and that undermines its credibility. We need to really incentivize teams winning the competition.

2. Gap for teams exiting provincials and starting rest of championship may make provincials even less a priority if as it appears Mayo benefits from six weeks off to prep for championship compared to Dublin/Kerry.

3. Three teams safe removes jeopardy and this all feels like a phoney war until the blitz of knockout at the end.


If we went with Jim's route, we should properly reward the league champions above all else with home field advantage in the knockouts against the lowest ranked team akin to how tennis would rank its tournament i.e. the second team goes to opposite side of draw. So the top four ranked sides in league plus four provincial champions on one side and then the provincial finalists(unless they are ranked in top four) and rest on the other side based on league finishing in that season.


If we went with this, here is what we would have been served instead of the four groups.

Mayo 1
Galway 2
Roscommon 3
Tyrone 4
Kerry 5
Monaghan 6
Derry 7
Dublin 8
Armagh 9
Donegal 10
Louth 11
Cork 12
Kildare 13
Clare 14
Westmeath 15
Sligo 16

Home team first. Teams from each quarter meet in quarters meet in quarter final and winner of Quarter A Faces Quarter B
Quarter A:
Match 1: Mayo (1) vs. Sligo (16)
Match 2: Dublin (8) vs. Armagh (9)

Quarter B:
Match 3: Tyrone (4) vs. Kildare (13)
Match 4: Monaghan (6) vs. Louth (11)

Quarter C:
Match 5: Kerry (5) vs. Cork (12)
Match 6: Roscommon (3) vs. Clare (14)

Quarter D:
Match 7: Derry (7) vs. Donegal (10)
Match 8: Galway (2) vs. Westmeath (15)


The danger of course with this method is teams like Sligo could get a battering and demoralises them from competing but no system is perfect.

Would the above scenario have got the mouth watering? It would certainly be fair on merit. Note I did this based on league positioning assuming we ditch the league finals. You could swap out Derry and Dublin's numbers if you wanted to rank Dublin higher as they won final. Either would produce great games in last 16 and quarters. To make it even more merit based. Top four ranked sides should get home advantage in quarter finals too but I know that would never probably happen."
He proposed the present system some years ago!!
What good would 1 batin do Sligo, Westmeath or Louth compared to getting 3 gyaranteed games .
Players want to Play not spend 9 months training for 1 game so casual fans can have I big day out.
Anyway he'll have his knock out games from the weekend after next so what's he waffling about?"
I agree. It may be a slow burner but the knock out games he wants start soon and will all be evenly matched games.

brianb (Kildare) - Posts: 278 - 13/06/2023 20:21:44    2486323

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