As of this morning, it is very realistic to imagine that, if not for divisional priority seating (where the winners of the Northeast, Southeast, and Atlantic divisions are seeded 1-2-3), not one team in the Southeast Division would make the playoffs.
Assuming that, since Buffalo has two games (and potentially four points) in hand over Carolina, the Southeast Division is very close to having no teams statistically qualifying for the playoffs. So why is there divisional priority seeding?
The traditional argument, as I understand it, is to give the divisions some raison d'être, some reason for even existing. But we're now questioning the existence of a measure that is in place to solidify the existence of something that is already questionable. Circular reasoning at its finest.
So why is divisional seeding there? Is it to guarantee that teams in southern U.S. markets are always in the playoffs, in the hopes of promoting the game? Or is there some other reason? I don't know. Maybe anyone who's reading this can enlighten me.