if I expanded the NFL by eight teams, who would those teams be and where would they go. What if eight was just waaaaay too much and the NFL just wished to expand by four teams? That may be more likely.
Using that earlier article, I'm going to use these as my new four franchises: Los Angeles, London, San Antonio and Portland. Frankfort just misses out but would be strongly looked at down the road if the London franchise works out. Toronto just misses out due to Buffalo getting a brand new owner and not trying to steal some of their fan base.
To me, if the NFL did this, they may not like having the eight division format anymore. That would mean half the divisions would have five teams and the other half with four. The NFL would look something like this if they went to that:
NFC EAST: Dallas, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
NFC SOUTH: Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, San Antonio, Tampa Bay
NFC NORTH: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota
NFC WEST: Arizona, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle
AFC EAST: Buffalo, London, Miami, New England, NY Jets
AFC SOUTH: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tennessee
AFC NORTH: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh
AFC WEST: Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, Portland, San Diego
I just am not a fan of that. Could the NFL ... which is watching a very bad NFC South race that could end up with a sub-.500 champion ... decide to go back to a six-division format? Maybe. That NFL could look like this:
NFC EAST: Atlanta, Carolina, Dallas, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
NFC CENTRAL: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, New Orleans, Tampa Bay
NFC WEST: Arizona, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle
AFC EAST: Buffalo, Indianapolis, London, Miami, New England, NY Jets
AFC CENTRAL: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tennessee
AFC WEST: Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Oakland, Portland, San Diego
Not too shabby. The NFC East and West and AFC East and West keep their current four members with the new Central divisions keeping their North counterparts. The South divisions and the four expansion teams (12 teams) split up into the six divisions.
In the NFC, Atlanta and Carolina move over to the NFC East. Geographically it makes sense. New Orleans and Tampa Bay will move to the NFC Central. Makes sense as well, plus the Buccaneers used to be in the old NFC Central with the Bears, Lions, Packers and Vikings. The two expansion teams, San Antonio and Los Angeles, move out west. The NFC was pretty simple.
The AFC is a bit different. Their South teams moved to all three divisions. Indianapolis will actually move to the East. The Colts were part of the AFC East for so many years prior to the new format in 2002. If someone had to move there, I rather the Colts did instead of Jacksonville, Tennessee or breaking Baltimore away from their rivals in the AFC North/Central. Speaking of the Central, Jacksonville and Tennessee will go there. The "new" AFC Central will look like the AFC Central that ended in 2001. The West will get the Houston Texans.
As far as the expansion teams ... well London is in the East and Portland is in the West.
Not too bad at all.
Scheduling would be a bit weird. You'd have 10 games against teams in your division by playing each member twice. You would then play three teams in a division in your league once and then three teams in the other conference division once. The following season, you'd play the other three teams in those same division. The season after that, you'd move on.
Say you are the Redskins ... my favorite team. Each season, you'd play the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Falcons and Panthers twice. This year, you could play three NFC Central teams ... say the Bears, Lions and Saints ... once. Then you'd play three AFC East teams ... say the Patriots, Jets and London ... as well. There's your 16 games. Next year the Redskins would still play their 10 division games, then have the Packers, Vikings and Buccaneers as well as the Bills, Dolphins and Colts on tap.
That would mean the Redskins would face each interdivisional team once every four years and visit each city every 8 years. They'd face each AFC team once every six years and visit each city once every 12 years [note: right now the Redskins face every interdivisional city once every 6 years and AFC city once every 8 years].
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