Jump to content
pf9

A more geographically correct NFL realignment proposal

Recommended Posts

When the NFL realigned in 2002, it did make some corrections based on geography, but they still emphasized history too much.

Here are the changes I am proposing:

AFC: Miami to South, Houston to West, Kansas City to North, Pittsburgh to East. In addition, Baltimore and Indianapolis swap divisions, meaning both North Divisions consist entirely of Midwestern teams.

NFC: Carolina and Dallas swap divisions. Charlotte is far closer to the East Coast than Dallas, which in turn gains a division rival in a neighboring state, the Saints.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as their is an NFL you will never get Dallas out of the NFCE. Never ever.

Your other proposals deserve merit but I don't see this happening. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a KC fan I'd miss the old rivalries. But six games a year versus the Bengals, Browns, and Colts...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Split the Sticks said:

As long as their is an NFL you will never get Dallas out of the NFCE. Never ever.

Your other proposals deserve merit but I don't see this happening. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". 

Right now the Cowboys are the only Dallas team not to have a regional rival in their division. The Stars have the Predators. The Rangers have the Astros. The Mavericks have four regional rivals in their division.

Plus if the NFL really feels the need to schedule a division rival for Dallas on Thanksgiving, then the Cowboys shouldn't share a division with teams from the Northeast. It just doesn't make sense. Their division rivals should all be in the Deep South - the Falcons, Saints, and Buccaneers. If this alignment had been in place, surely the Bucs would be going to Dallas on Thanksgiving this year, given they signed the popular Tom Brady.

The NFL has always been weird with geography at least since the 1950s. In the first two years of that decade, a defunct team located in NYC shared a division with teams from the Midwest and California rather than other teams in the Northeast. Then the Baltimore Colts were placed in the Western Conference despite being on the East Coast, and the Cardinals (then in Chicago, later in St. Louis) were in the Eastern Conference despite being in the Central Time Zone.

By 1961, there was an even split of Eastern time teams and non-Eastern time teams in the NFL, but despite this Baltimore and Detroit were still in the West and Dallas and St. Louis in the East. By the end of the 1960s, the West added a third Eastern time team, Atlanta, and New Orleans became the third non-Eastern time team in the East.

After the merger, Dallas and the Cardinals shared a division with teams from the Northeast, while the West had two teams in the Deep South. Things kept getting crazy. The Bucs were first in the AFC West then in the NFC Central, the Colts remained in the AFC East despite moving to Indianapolis, and the Cardinals remained in the NFC East despite moving to Arizona.

Jacksonville and the Baltimore Ravens both began in the AFC Central despite being on the East Coast, while the Panthers were in the NFC West.

Some of these problems were corrected in 2002. However, there were still some anomalies. Miami, the southernmost NFL team, remained in the AFC East far removed from the division's Northeastern teams. Indianapolis, a Midwestern team, was placed in the AFC South. St. Louis, further east than Dallas at the time, remained in the NFC West, which only began to make sense again once they returned to LA.

And Kansas City remained in the AFL/AFC West despite Houston being slightly further west. MLB has it right, the Royals are part of the AL Central, and the Astros are part of the AL West.

I mean it's OK to be divided into "American" and "National" Conferences like MLB is (with their components called "Leagues"), but the divisions need to be completely geographically accurate like MLB's are.

I mean, losing old rivalries would be tough. But in time, you'll create new ones.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Danger said:

NFC East fans: "But mah history"

It would feel weird though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going by geography the AFC North should be the Browns, Bengals, Steelers and Lions or Colts. Detroit/Indy makes so much more sense than Baltimore as DET, CLE, PIT, CIN are all either 2-4 hour bus drives away from one another. Baltimore could easilly swap places with the Dolphins in the AFC East

Edited by AkronsWitness
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it weren't for a legal requirement that CIN, CLE and PIT share a division, PIT could be in the AFC East, with other Northeast teams.

Right now, the Penguins are the only Pittsburgh team that has the majority of their division rivals in the Northeast.

I'd love to see this legal requirement shot down in court as unconstitutional. Think about it, if Pittsburgh had been in the AFC East with New England while Tom Brady was on the latter team, there would have been a huge rivalry as the teams fought for control of the AFC East.

Thus, Baltimore would go in the AFC South, which is technically correct on the basis that Maryland is still classified as a Southern state by the US Census Bureau. And they would be the furthest division rival from Miami under my alignment, while at the same time being closer to Miami than the Jets, who are the Dolphins' current closest rivals.

Probably, if the Art Modell situation had been handled differently, my alignment could be in place.

The NFL should have forced Modell to sell the Browns to an owner who was willing to keep the team in Cleveland, but would get an expansion team in Baltimore for 1998 when the new stadium there opened. Meanwhile, the Browns would have played 1996-98 at Ohio State and be treated to the Buckeyes' gameday traditions.

Thus, when the Ravens would have began play in 1998, they would be placed in the AFC East, which would have made the Colts their biggest rivals during their first four seasons.

Thus, Jaguars fans should blame Art Modell for the lack of an in-state division rival. Because if this was how the Modell situation was handled the NFL would be more inclined to move the Dolphins out of the AFC East into the South.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember the good ole days of Arizona being in the NFC East and Atlanta in the NFC East.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, pf9 said:

When the NFL realigned in 2002, it did make some corrections based on geography, but they still emphasized history too much.

Here are the changes I am proposing:

AFC: Miami to South, Houston to West, Kansas City to North, Pittsburgh to East. In addition, Baltimore and Indianapolis swap divisions, meaning both North Divisions consist entirely of Midwestern teams.

NFC: Carolina and Dallas swap divisions. Charlotte is far closer to the East Coast than Dallas, which in turn gains a division rival in a neighboring state, the Saints.

I mean, if you want to get real freaky with it, I'd do this:

NFC East: Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, Washington FT, Philadelphia Eagles (Mid-Atlantic teams)

NFC South: Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints (Deep South teams)

NFC North: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings (Perfect as is)

NFC West: Arizona Cardinals, L.A. Rams, S.F. 49ers, Seattle Seahawks (Perfect as is)

AFC East: Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills (moves Ravens back to where they should be)

AFC South: Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (The FLORIDA Division)

AFC North: Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers (The North with the Colts in the right spot)

AFC West: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, L.A. Chargers (Perfect as is)

Edited by scar988
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, DirtyDez said:

I remember the good ole days of Arizona being in the NFC East and Atlanta in the NFC East.  

Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans all used to be in the NFC West with San Francisco and St. Louis. While Arizona was in the NFC East.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, scar988 said:

NFC South: Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints (Deep South teams)

This would be such a fun division to watch...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, ET80 said:

This would be such a fun division to watch...

All of the divisions would be fun to watch because there's more natural rivalries geographically. The only one that got left in no-man's land was the Titans, but they and JAX are the most natural rivals, so I went with them. Can't split up ATL and NO. And everyone hates Dallas and Dallas hates everyone so it's no different for them in the new NFC South.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...