I'm not saying 8-8 can't get in now, but it is much less likely in the current format. My argument is that if the playoffs go to 16 teams, at 8-8, you are most likely in the playoffs. So at that point these teams will strive for 8 wins to make the playoffs, which by definition is mediocre. Teams in the current format can't settle for 8 wins, most years you have to have at least 10 wins to make the playoffs, maybe 1 will make it at 9-7. Big difference from striving to win 50% of your games to 62.5% of your games.
I wasn't saying you were implying 8-8 couldn't make it now, I was just saying that 8-8 teams can make it currently so what would be the big difference if we expanded the playoffs and they could make it then?
My point is, teams will strive to win as many games as possible. You still want home-field advantage. Just because they expanded doesn't mean you don't try to win as many as possible. I don't think any coach would set his goal for 8 wins. Every team would still aim to win their division and hopefully home-field advantage.
Where it helps is for teams like us who were good enough to be a top seed but wasted games early on and then win games at the end of the season. We could make a big run in that format if we made it into the playoffs, and who's to say we didn't belong there? There are plenty of variables that hurt teams and cause them to have mediocre seasons, yet they start putting it together at the end of the year.
I really think this would only increase competition and make it more interesting for the last few teams to sneak in. The difference between the NFL/NCAAB and the NBA/NHL is the NFL and college basketball play one deciding game between playoff teams, best team wins and moves on. The problem with the NBA and NHL is they play series. I don't see any negative in expanding the field, I think it only enhances the product. Just my opinion though.