|What's hot, not for the week|
By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist
NFL playoff scenarios are the brain-teaser of the holiday season. The AFC has 14 of 16 teams still playoff-eligible, and if you thought the BCS formula was complex, don't even try to unscramble the NFL tie-breaker calculus. The tidbit to keep your eye on? Try "strength of victory," which has replaced "points-scored" as a critical tie-breaking metric.
What exactly is "strength of victory?" It's the season-ending winning percentages of every team your team has beaten. It's like judging your work performance by the productivity of co-workers you've crushed on the way to the top. It's like judging your dating success by the attractiveness of the exes whom you broke up with. (Hmm ... no points for being dumped by a hottie -- aka a "quality loss?" Wait, that's college hoops.) Regardless, it's a statistic to watch -- and increases the importance of all games in the final two weeks, even between dud teams.
For more on what's hot and what's not hot this week, check out the list below:
Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "What's Hot, What's Not" trend-spotting list appears Thursdays. Got inside scoop on an up-and-coming trend? Want to declare something passé? Send this glimpse of your hipness to email@example.com.