Life on the prairie is a bigger circle than anywhere else, I guess. Consequently, realigning eight divisions for 32 teams turned into an easy one-hour affair Tuesday afternoon. The changes are subtle. Detroit moves from the North to the East. The Bills don’t have any roots in Texas, but they do have an AFL lineage. With five straight wins, including both of this year’s regular season matchups, the Saints clearly hold the upper hand at the moment. NFL teams are divided up, mostly, by geography. About this division: The Chargers aren’t a perfect fit, but since they were named for the aggressive bugle call, we’ll go ahead and stick them with the various pirates and pillagers that ride around on boats. The NFL sensed it had enough votes to pass their favored realignment plan. The Century Division is renamed the American Football Conference Central division (or AFC Central for short), due to the AFL-NFL Merger. America, Realigned: A Radical Reimagining of the NCAA Landscape As COVID-19 threatens the 2020 college football season, what if we blew up the system entirely? Legend, monster or mammal? This would be a nice big backyard brawl. © 2005-2021 CBS INTERACTIVE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The Flyers will play in the East with the Bruins, Sabres, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Penguins and Capitals. The Lions would fit in well here, actually, at least in terms of rivalries. About this division: These are some tough fuckin’ birds, man. There may not be two neighboring states in this country that dislike each other as much as those two. The Flyers will play those seven teams eight times each. NFC West Seattle San Francisco Oakland San Diego. AFC North Cincinnati Cleveland Detroit Pittsburgh. – For once, NFL owners respected their elders. But in the NFL world, the league’s corporate structure makes it pretty rare that conferences and divisions get changed around at all. The NFL divisions … I have the sneaky feeling Kirk Cousins will have overplayed his hand and be exposed without DeSean Jackson in the lineup. But it can also serve as a reminder that maybe things don't need to be changed. Competitive Landscape: This is a division set up to let the Bengals do what they always do, have a decent enough regular season record and get bounced in the playoffs. And Big Blue’s got the kind of defense that could give them trouble, or at least make them have to work to win a division in way they’ve never really had to in the AFC East. Here's a look at what it could look like. First, let’s check out what the proposed divisions look like at this point in time. About this division: They’re big, they’re hairy, and they’re mostly not all that great at football. Remember when the Buccaneers were part of the NFC Central with the Packers? New York Giants and St. Louis stay in the NFC and move (return in New York's case) to the Capitol Division (renamed the National Football Conference East division, or NFC East for short). The over/under on those games might be set at 50 points, as long the offensive players are healthy. This isn't college football, where we could tinker all day with different combinations of teams and come up with all sorts of fun conferences. It’s honestly a toss-up between the Cardinals and Dolphins and their ancient quarterbacks, one of whom seemed perfectly content not to be playing this season. That was the deal. About this division: All sort of mythical things. View All. To move a team to LA *and* move them to the AFC/NFC West would require at least one other team moving OUT of that division to make room. The top four teams from each division will advance to the playoffs. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. (Photo: Photo Illustration by Ted Hyman, 247Sports). AFC South Atlanta Jacksonville Miami Tampa Bay. Today, the National Football League (NFL) is divided into two conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). What's left makes for kind of an unappealing division. How to Fix the NFL’s Imbalanced Divisions Too often, a subpar team heads to the postseason while a better squad stays home. • There will be four realigned divisions called the North (all Canadian clubs), West, Central and East. However, if they were put into a more geographically friendly division, this is what it might look like. Up-to-date NFL Division Standings on MSN Sports. Competitive landscape: This might be the most competitive division, top to bottom, on the list. If you make these I promise you’ll think twice before ever ordering wings again. Baltimore and Washington certainly make geographic sense, but Buffalo gets caught between our picks for how we shaped the AFC North and NFC East, while Carolina is left hanging out there after shaping the AFC and NFC South. With the St. Louis Rams moving to Los Angeles there has been lots of buzz on twitter and in the media about how the NFL divisions will need to be realigned in the near future. WILD TIMES, MAN! NFC East. It’s real hard to take that shit seriously. So the Chiefs and Rams stay out west. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Not every current division alignment in the NFL makes geographic sense, but is that a bad thing or a good thing? Boston-Buffalo-New Jersey-NY Islanders-NY Rangers-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh-Washington. There might be a low number of interesting games too, at least until the Bucs and Jags started to get better. * The division alignment in the NFL is fine, for the most part. AFC East Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Washington Redskins. Dallas moves from the NFC East to … Table 4: Optimal realignment for the NFL's choice of NFC, with Dallas and Washington in the same division. ... • As for the location … New York Giants. This year, however, it’d be the Panthers’ division to lose. New York Jets. However, the Seahawks did themselves a huge disservice with that front-facing bird face logo. Increase over the NFC distance in Table 3: 4208km. Indianapolis is not in the south, as anyone who has been to city in January or February can attest to. Still, the Dolphins feel like they’re perpetually trapped in second place. Why not try and make a little money while watching the Bucs and Chiefs battle in Super Bowl 55? There would be twice the Boston/New York rivalry going on, and you'd have the two New York teams playing for higher stakes on a yearly basis than just the Snoopy Trophy. There's a couple divisions that don't mesh as well geographically as others due to an uneven amount of teams in certain regions of the country, and this is one of them. Seniors Are Getting These Unsold 2020 SUVs For Dirt Cheap I’m sure the 49ers and Browns will be relevant someday too; hang in there! And, yeah, the 49ers are named for a grizzled old prospector with a pick axe, but we have to make some compromises to get these divisions to work. The college football folks get to deal with conference realignments all the damn time. Super Bowl squares template, how to play online, and more. There's too much history and too many rivalries there. For now, I’d say the Steelers would win out. After canceling All-Star festivities earlier this year because of the pandemic, the NBA is now hosting an All-Star Game no one wants in Atlanta. This differs from the NFL's choice in the alignment of Minnesota and St. Louis, and is 791km smaller than their choice for the NFC. Well, this would certainly at least be interesting. But props to the NFL for making this easy with exactly four non-cat animals. ... • There will be four realigned divisions called the North (all Canadian clubs), West, Central and East. About this division: Cardinals and Dolphins are neat animals, but they don’t really belong with the rest of the creatures. This turned out to be almost the same as the current AFC North with the exception of the switch of Baltimore and Detroit. But it does occasionally happen. However, don’t sleep on Houston’s defense to ruin things for either Dallas or the team that used to be in Dallas. They're actually not as far west as Dallas and Houston, but those two teams are needed in the south. The division came down to the final 10 games, and the Braves pulled ahead by virtue of going 7-3 in those contests. It can always be fun to speculate about things like this, but after going through this exercise, it made us appreciate the way things are. The latest 2021 NBA mock draft has 3 prospects separating from the pack. Recently overheard at a San Francisco Bay Area airport: fans of the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders arguing over which franchise had won more division titles. Football has its roots in the blue collar trades around the Great Lakes, and no teams embody that lineage more than the Packers and Steelers. What would happen if NFL divisions were realigned to more closely match team geography? Other than that, the Black and Blue Division remains the same, and that's a good thing. Follow your favorite team through the 2020 season. Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans might make for fun backyard rivals, while Tennessee would slide in as the fourth team. We tried to take a look at what might happen if NFL divisions were moved around to put the teams closer to each other on the map. There’s quite a few things I could think of to change about the NFL, and one of those items is divisional alignment. Dan Rooney, owner of the Steelers, and Wellington Mara, owner of the Giants, spoke about the 1970 realignment. Of course, the Ravens will need their defense to do all the heavy lifting, so they’re more of a spoiler here than anything else. Seattle. NFC South Dallas Houston New Orleans Tennessee. Things would change slightly down the line based on whatever happens with the NFL and Los Angeles. LA Rams. I know preserving rivalries was important when the league realigned into eight divisions in 2002, but I would have done it quite differently. About this division: Weirdly enough, the Chiefs actually started life in Dallas as an AFL team called the Texans. I don’t remember which game between animal-named teams I was watching (it was the preseason, so it wasn’t exactly a memorable affair), but it got me thinking about the various categories of team names the NFL uses. Imagining an NFL organized by team names, LeBron James called NBA All-Star Game ‘a slap in the face.’ He’s right. Tom Brady's latest Super Bowl motivating Steph Curry for another Golden State Warriors title run Nevermind that the Cowboys are still an "East" team in the NFC. Charles Robinson & Terez Paylor. If anything, this exercise teaches us that the NFL divisions are pretty good the way they are. NFL Podcast. I was probably procrastinating some management type shit or not reading emails, but one thing led to another and I decided to re-configure the divisions based on team nicknames. Yes, there was a time when it was just, well, accepted that Tampa Bay played in a division with Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and Green Bay. Four divisions per conference, four teams per division. But after rearranging the teams and playing around with different realignment possibilities, there was nothing nearly as compelling for the Cowboys as the current NFC East. The league went back to an even number of teams, expanding to 32 teams with the addition of the Houston Texans; the league has remained static with 32 teams since.The clubs were then realigned into eight divisions… And I’m sure Buffalo Bill Cody took his Wild West show to Texas a few times, thus perpetuating the Western mythology. An uneven amount of teams between regions, a few teams in odd places geographically compared to the rest of the league and a whole host of rich rivalries make it hard to shift things around in a way that would make it better than it is now. The Central divisions were rebranded as North divisions, with the southernmost members of the Central (Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee) all moving to the South pods. Philadelphia Eagles. Competitive landscape: The Packers and Steelers in the same division should make for two of the better regular-season games every year. Atlantic Division. It tracks the history of each of the league's 32 current franchises from the early days of the league, through its merger with the American Football League (AFL). New England Patriots. Get the latest NFL Football standings from across the league. A In 1970 the division moves to the newly created American Football Conference. Our latest projection of the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft. Ranking the NHL’s Proposed Realigned Divisions. The official source for NFL news, video highlights, fantasy football, game-day coverage, schedules, stats, scores and more. Three years later and with the merger on the field, the NFL was divided into two conferences (AFC and NFC) with six divisions, a format that held until the current eight-division … Detroit already shares divisions with Cleveland in other sports, plus there would be that Michigan-Ohio thing going on. Breakdown: This division brings together the Northeast sports axis of Boston-New York-Philadelphia. Even though they’re named after Paul Brown, they really are the story of the Rust Belt in football form. AFC West Arizona Denver Kansas City St. Louis. San Francisco. These division titles don’t necessarily correspond to geographic parts of […] The first place team in each division plays the other seven divisional winners the following season along with a rotation of playing the other three teams in a certain division and the normal home-and-home against the other three teams in their own division. Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown would just confuse the hell out of Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers when the game actually counted. I think Kansas City is the most talented team here, but it’s probably close enough with the Cowboys that it might come down to the finer points of coaching, in which case Andy Reid would be forced to think about the clock, and, welp. The league can fix that, but it’ll take a bold approach. 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