Dortmund's 6-0 win at Darmstadt suggests that it will also be a worthy contender to reclaim the silverware it last hoisted in 2011 and 2012, but BVB coach Thomas Tuchel says he too would support the introduction of playoffs.
"Why not? It would give the runners-up, third and fourth the chance to be champion," he said Monday before Dortmund's game against Wolfsburg. "I do not think playoffs are far-fetched. I am basically very open to rule changes."
Playoffs have been part of MLS and before that the NASL for every year but NASL's 1969 season when it was in survival mode and played a 16-game schedule (a separate eight-game season featured British clubs fronting for the five NASL clubs). Mexico has eight-team playoffs after the Torneo Apertura and Torneo Clausura. Teams are seeded and the higher-ranked team advances in case of a tie in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Playoffs are common in the rest of Latin America though formats vary.
Until recently, they have generally not been used in Europe. Some leagues have promotion-relegation playoffs or playoffs for spots in Europe. Belgium and Scotland are the two biggest countries that have playoffs at the top.
Belgium takes the top six teams, awards them half the points they've earned the regular season and then organizes a 10-game round robin. In 2014, Anderlecht with Sacha Kljestan finished third, 10 points behind Standard Liege, in the regular season, for a five-point deficit to start the playoffs. Sure enough, Anderlecht won seven of its 10 playoffs to beat out Standard, which went 4-3-3, by two points.
In Scotland, the Premiership also sends six teams into a championship playoff. But teams keep all their points from the regular season and play each other only once in the playoff stage for five more games. In both 2015 and 2016, Celtic look an eight-point lead into the playoffs and by the time they were over won by 15 and 17 points, respectively, to claim its fourth and fifth straight league title.
While the value of playoffs is debatable, the dominance of one team is a reality in many leagues. Celtic has won five straight titles, the same as Juventus in Italy's Serie A. Bayern is on four straight, just like Paris St. Germain in France.
Hope springs eternal for their rivals, but nothing indicates they are ready to hand over their crowns. Their combined league records so far this season: 13 wins, two losses and two ties.