Friday, November 7, 2008

Realigning the NFL Won't Solve Anything

Mike Florio of PFT and SportingNews wrote about radically re-aligning the NFL back to something like we had prior to 2002. Move back to three divisions in each conference.

I understand why he'd want to do this. We could have a bad Denver/San Diego team in the postseason but the Bills/Jets/Patriots/Colts/Ravens missing the playoffs.

Still, that is just the way it is. In baseball we see it all the time. With the realignment in the NBA, we have had bad teams with a lofty seeding. The NFL can't shake that either.

Even the old "three-team" format can't prevent this. In 1999, the Seahawks were 9-7 and won the AFC West. The three wildcard teams that year (Bills, Dolphins, Titans) were better. In 1990, the Bengals won the AFC Central with a 9-7 record. The Seahawks had the same record and missed the postseason. The 1988 Seahawks won the AFC West at 9-7 while the Colts and Pats sat home with the same mark.

But the best example was in 1985. The Cleveland Browns won the AFC Central with an 8-8 record. The Denver Broncos were 11-5 and missed the postseason.

See, it happened with three-divisions, too. Sure, the liklihood of is greater in a four-division format but that's just the way it is.

IF for some reason we did realign back to three divisions ... here we go:

AFC EAST: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, Ravens
AFC CENTRAL: Browns, Bengals, Steelers, Colts, Titans, Jaguars

AFC WEST: Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Texans

NFC EAST: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, Giants, Panthers

NFC CENTRAL: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings, Buccaneers, Falcons

NFC WEST: Cardinals, Rams, Niners, Seahawks, Saints

Don't worry about why I did any of it. It will never, ever, ever happen.

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