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NFL Realignment

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
If you were going to Realign the NFL Conferences & Divisions, how would you do it?

My divisions are basically geographical


NFC EAST
NYG
NYJ
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

NFC NORTH
Detroit
Chicago
Minnesota
Green Bay

NFC SOUTH
Atlanta
Carolina
Jacksonville
Tampa Bay


NFC WEST
Seattle
San Francisco
Oakland
Miami



AFC EAST
New England
Baltimore
Buffalo
Washington





AFC NORTH
Indianapolis
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Kansas City



AFC SOUTH
Houston
New Orleans
Tennessee
Dallas



AFC WEST
Denver
Arizona
LA Chargers
LA Rams
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
This reminded me of when I divided up the NFL according to geographical distance some time ago, and came up with this. Similar to your list but a few differences.

New England
New York Jets
New York Giants
Buffalo

Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Washington
Baltimore

Cleveland
Cincinnati
Indianapolis
Detroit

Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
St. Louis

Carolina
Tennessee
Kansas City
New Orleans

Tampa Bay
Jacksonville
Miami
Atlanta

Houston
Dallas
Denver
Arizona

San Diego
Oakland (now Las Vegas)
Seattle
San Francisco
 

IDEXAN

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
It would be great if we could have Dallas or NOLA in our division so that we could have a true regional rivalry, but both would be a dream,
but neither of those franchises is going anywhere.
St. Louis has an NFL franchise ?
 

santo

All Pro
Contributor's Club
Just for our division, I would take Atlanta, NO, Dallas and Houston. I don't care about the rest.
 
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badboy

Hall of Fame
If you were going to Realign the NFL Conferences & Divisions, how would you do it?

My divisions are basically geographical


NFC EAST
NYG
NYJ
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

NFC NORTH
Detroit
Chicago
Minnesota
Green Bay

NFC SOUTH
Atlanta
Carolina
Jacksonville
Tampa Bay


NFC WEST
Seattle
San Francisco
Oakland
Miami



AFC EAST
New England
Baltimore
Buffalo
Washington





AFC NORTH
Indianapolis
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Kansas City



AFC SOUTH
Houston
New Orleans
Tennessee
Dallas



AFC WEST
Denver
Arizona
LA Chargers
LA Rams
Absolutely no way! Makes too much sense.
 

Speedy

Yeller Dweller
NFC WEST
Seattle
San Francisco
Oakland
Miami
Miami in the west?

Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
St. Louis
Yours would be about as perfect as it could get if the Rams hadn't gone back to LA.

I don't think it can be done geographically because there's only 7 teams in the mountain/pacific time zones. Of course, they'd just throw in Houston as that 8th team and we'd get stuck in the west like the Astros did.

An eastern zone team (coughJacksonvillecough) needs to move west. Where? I don't know. San Antonio or OKC wouldn't be far enough west. Besides, you'd want all the Texas teams in the same division. So, what, the San Diego Jags? That and Portland would be the only viable western metro areas with a larger population than Jacksonville.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Miami in the west?
An eastern zone team (coughJacksonvillecough) needs to move west. Where? I don't know. San Antonio or OKC wouldn't be far enough west. Besides, you'd want all the Texas teams in the same division. So, what, the San Diego Jags? That and Portland would be the only viable western metro areas with a larger population than Jacksonville.
Yeah, I don't like Miami in the West either, but... That division was heavy & I needed a team in the West. I wanted to keep Jacksonville in the Division with Carolina & Atlanta, because they're literally "right there." Figured it wouldn't be too different for Miami since they have to travel up North for all their division games as is.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Cleveland
Cincinnati
Indianapolis
Detroit

Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
St. Louis
I thought about this too... uh, KC not St Louis.. but the NFC North is perfect as is. So I moved KC & Indy into the AFC North.


But I like yours too, I understand the thinking.

I'm thinking if the NFL would do something like this, more folks would travel to see their team. Not like they're having a problem filling seats, but I think it would help generate more interest.
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
Miami in the west?
Miami went in with the other two Florida teams and Atlanta. I have no idea of what you'd call the divisions in my realignment, because the majority of them are in the north and eastern parts of the country (like most of the teams).
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
Here's my divisions after a few corrections. Remember, I'm trying to keep the teams as geographically close to each other as possible. In some cases, it's kind of a judgement call. Like I said, I have no idea of what the names of these divisions might be.

New England
New York Jets
New York Giants
Buffalo

Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Washington
Baltimore

Cleveland
Cincinnati
Indianapolis
Detroit

Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
Kansas City

Tampa Bay
Jacksonville
Miami
Carolina

Atlanta
Tennessee
Houston
New Orleans

Dallas
Denver
Arizona
Las Vegas

LA Chargers
LA Rams
Seattle
San Francisco
 

Speedy

Yeller Dweller
Here's my divisions after a few corrections. Remember, I'm trying to keep the teams as geographically close to each other as possible. In some cases, it's kind of a judgement call. Like I said, I have no idea of what the names of these divisions might be.

New England
New York Jets
New York Giants
Buffalo

Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Washington
Baltimore

Cleveland
Cincinnati
Indianapolis
Detroit

Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
Kansas City

Tampa Bay
Jacksonville
Miami
Carolina

Atlanta
Tennessee
Houston
New Orleans

Dallas
Denver
Arizona
Las Vegas

LA Chargers
LA Rams
Seattle
San Francisco
That's probably about as close as you can get with the current cities involved. But for the west, it always seems to come down to Houston or Arlington going west. Since KC is already in the west, has been for forever, I'd say keep them there. Replace Dallas with KC in your scenario. Put Indy where KC was and move Tennessee to the Browns, Bengals, Lions division. Man that would be a bad division.

Here's how it would then look.

New England
NY Jets
NY Giants
Buffalo

Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Washington
Baltimore

Cleveland
Cincinnati
Tennessee
Detroit

Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
Indianapolis

Tampa Bay
Jacksonville
Miami
Carolina

Atlanta
Dallas
Houston
New Orleans

Kansas City
Denver
Arizona
Las Vegas

LA Chargers
LA Rams
Seattle
San Francisco
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
Here's the new NFL after the complete realignment, trying to pay some attention to making the division names make sense. This still tries to take into account geographical locations both within the division and the conferences. (barely)

NFC North
New England
NY Jets
NY Giants
Buffalo

NFC East
Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
Indianapolis

NFC West
LA Chargers
LA Rams
Seattle
San Francisco

NFC South
Tampa Bay
Jacksonville
Miami
Carolina

AFC North
Cleveland
Cincinnati
Tennessee
Detroit

AFC East
Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Washington
Baltimore

AFC West
Kansas City
Denver
Arizona
Las Vegas

AFC South
Atlanta
Dallas
Houston
New Orleans
 

StarStruck

Hall of Fame
Contributor's Club
Here's my divisions after a few corrections. Remember, I'm trying to keep the teams as geographically close to each other as possible. In some cases, it's kind of a judgement call. Like I said, I have no idea of what the names of these divisions might be.

New England
New York Jets
New York Giants
Buffalo

Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Washington
Baltimore

Cleveland
Cincinnati
Indianapolis
Detroit

Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
Kansas City

Tampa Bay
Jacksonville
Miami
Carolina

Atlanta
Tennessee
Houston
New Orleans

Dallas
Denver
Arizona
Las Vegas

LA Chargers
LA Rams
Seattle
San Francisco
I like this one.
 

OptimisticTexan

Go Texans!!!
Here's the new NFL after the complete realignment, trying to pay some attention to making the division names make sense. This still tries to take into account geographical locations both within the division and the conferences. (barely)

NFC North
New England
NY Jets
NY Giants
Buffalo

NFC East
Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
Indianapolis

NFC West
LA Chargers
LA Rams
Seattle
San Francisco

NFC South
Tampa Bay
Jacksonville
Miami
Carolina

AFC North
Cleveland
Cincinnati
Tennessee
Detroit

AFC East
Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Washington
Baltimore

AFC West
Kansas City
Denver
Arizona
Las Vegas

AFC South
Atlanta
Dallas
Houston
New Orleans
This is my choice.
 

Lucky

Moderator
Staff member
I think everyone here forgot about the most important aspect. TV contracts. You have to give each network a NY and LA team. Same with Texas. Same with PA. Same with Wash/Balt. I don't even see what the need is to tighten the distances between teams, anyway. Dallas doesn't want to lose their rivalries. I don't get this at all.
 

santo

All Pro
Contributor's Club
I think everyone here forgot about the most important aspect. TV contracts. You have to give each network a NY and LA team. Same with Texas. Same with PA. Same with Wash/Balt. I don't even see what the need is to tighten the distances between teams, anyway. Dallas doesn't want to lose their rivalries. I don't get this at all.
I wish Houston would have kept theirs. I miss being in the division of the Steelers, Bengals and the Browns.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
I think everyone here forgot about the most important aspect. TV contracts. You have to give each network a NY and LA team. Same with Texas. Same with PA. Same with Wash/Balt. I don't even see what the need is to tighten the distances between teams, anyway. Dallas doesn't want to lose their rivalries. I don't get this at all.
They would have to change how they do TV contracts & not base it on conference/division, if the realignment doesn't address that caveat.

& it's ok if you don't get it.
 

Thorn

Dirty Old Man
I think everyone here forgot about the most important aspect. TV contracts. You have to give each network a NY and LA team. Same with Texas. Same with PA. Same with Wash/Balt. I don't even see what the need is to tighten the distances between teams, anyway. Dallas doesn't want to lose their rivalries. I don't get this at all.
As if there's a whole lot of stuff to do during Pandemic World. After realigning the NFL, I will then go on to conquering the world and perhaps Mars as well.
 

Double Barrel

Moderator / Admin
Staff member
Contributor's Club
The first thing I'd do is eliminate conferences.

There would still be eight divisions. Playoffs would be the division winners - which only guarantees a playoff spot, but not necessarily a home playoff game - and then seed every team (division winners & wildcard) based solely on records.

Some wildcard teams might get a home game, because they earned it through their win/loss record. It would make end of season games relevant instead of wrapping up a division in week 14 to be guaranteed both a playoff spot and home game. An 11-5 wildcard team should not have to go to a 7-9 division winner because of goofy marketing spin calling it a "division champion". That's just ridiculous. The word "Champion" should be reserved for ONE team: the team that wins the NFL championship.

It would also mean that the best teams would get in the postseason, at least as a wildcard, because seeding would be based on ALL teams in the NFL, not just each conference.

As far as those divisions, I'd take into account some historical rivalries where applicable (I do respect NFL history and legacy), and then I'd consider potential regional rivalries.

And no more playing teams in your division twice. It's stale and boring (especially when they play each other twice in three weeks). You play your division teams once a year, and then rotate the other teams on a schedule, year to year.
 

Lucky

Moderator
Staff member
I wish Houston would have kept theirs. I miss being in the division of the Steelers, Bengals and the Browns.
How many Texans fans can relate to a Pittsburgh/Houston rivalry?
As if there's a whole lot of stuff to do during Pandemic World. After realigning the NFL, I will then go on to conquering the world and perhaps Mars as well.
Don't forget world peace and free beer & chili dogs. Not necessarily in that order.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Some wildcard teams might get a home game, because they earned it through their win/loss record.
And no more playing teams in your division twice. It's stale and boring (especially when they play each other twice in three weeks). You play your division teams once a year, and then rotate the other teams on a schedule, year to year.
I think these go hand in hand. If scheduling is based on something other than division I could get behind this. But as long as scheduling is based primarily on Division, then that division winner should be rewarded with something more than just a playoff spot.

11 games against common opponents, that’s the best way to judge 4 teams subjectively.

9-7 & 11-5 are practically the same when you factor in injury, schedule, & referees.

Still, I’m not against seeding based on record, but you have find a way to schedule with complete disregard to division. Maybe a random generator everyone can trust.

You play your division teams once a year, and then rotate the other teams on a schedule, year to year.
I can get behind one division game a year, but rotating through the other divisions... if we’re talking about a 17 game season with three division games & two random games from the other 7 division games. I think that would work. & division “leaders” don’t necessarily “earn” a home game.
 

ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
Some fun ideas here but overall I guess I'm just not a big fan of doing away with conferences and not a fan of moving teams from conference to conference, like it still kind of irks me to see Seattle in the NFC for some reason, like growing up with them in the AFC West it was aesthetically awkward seeing Denver vs Seattle in that one Super Bowl. I'm weird I guess.

I like the 2 conferences and how they have their own identities going back to AFL vs NFL. I do think some teams work switching conferences though, like the Steelers, Browns, Colts, maybe Ravens or possibly even the Texans i'd be fine with them going to NFC because Steelers/Browns/Colts all played in NFL not AFL and have history with NFC teams, Ravens & Texans are new enough where it wouldn't matter. Both teams have NFC style colors/unis to me also(I like Texans battle red unis because they are more AFC looking).

And also I have grown to really dislike divisions with 4 teams with 4 divisions per conference. Every year you have a really bad division where a mediocre team wins a playoff spot. I like 3 divisions per conference with 5-6 teams per division, I think it makes for a better playoffs, you earn that division/playoff spot, bad/average teams don't make the playoffs as often.
 
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ShinobiMusashi

Waterboy
Some fun ideas here but overall I guess I'm just not a big fan of doing away with conferences and not a fan of moving teams from conference to conference, like it still kind of irks me to see Seattle in the NFC for some reason, like growing up with them in the AFC West it was aesthetically awkward seeing Denver vs Seattle in that one Super Bowl. I'm weird I guess.

I like the 2 conferences and how they have their own identities going back to AFL vs NFL. I do think some teams work switching conferences though, like the Steelers, Browns, Colts, maybe Ravens or possibly even the Texans i'd be fine with them going to NFC because Steelers/Browns/Colts all played in NFL not AFL and have history with NFC teams, Ravens & Texans are new enough where it wouldn't matter. Both teams have NFC style colors/unis to me also(I like Texans battle red unis because they are more AFC looking).

And also I have grown to really dislike divisions with 4 teams with 4 divisions per conference. Every year you have a really bad division where a mediocre team wins a playoff spot. I like 3 divisions per conference with 5-6 teams per division, I think it makes for a better playoffs, you earn that division/playoff spot, bad/average teams don't make the playoffs as often.
So I'm thinking something like this:

NFC

Dallas Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins
Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings
Chicago Bears
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

San Francisco 49ers
Carolina Panthers
Atlanta Falcons
Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints

AFC

Buffalo Bills
Indianapolis Colts
Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots
New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars

Denver Broncos
Seattle Seahawks
Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs

So geographically you have 2 big issues here, Arizona in that NFC East geographically does not make a lick of sense(probably made more sense when they were St. Louis Cardinals), and also the whole NFC West makes no sense geographically with LA/San Fran mixed with New Orleans/Carolina/Atlanta in the eastern US. But I'm ok with that. I like the bigger divisions better here, you are VERY rarely going to get an 8-8 team and probably never going to get a losing record in the playoffs under this format. Also with this division alignment you don't get 8-8 or 9-7 teams playing at home against teams with superior records. Homefield would go to the team that deserved it.

Here we are 18 years later and I find myself just not a fan of the 2002 re-alignment that gave us the modern day NFL format. Here is why:

1). I don't like the way the 2002 realignment split up Tampa from Green Bay/Chicago/Detroit/Minnesota

2). Don't like how they broke up the AFC West with Seattle to the NFC(which is still just weird to me seeing them in NFC playoffs or repping the NFC in the Super Bowl those years).

3). The AFC South in general(it was like it was tailor made for Peyton Manning, setting him up for nice weather games in Houston and Jacksonville with an annual return home to his alma matter in Tennessee every year). Looking at the AFC South now it kinda makes no sense, it was like they just took the teams that were left after putting everybody else in place and made the AFC South as an afterthought.

I think Baltimore works better in the NFC than Seattle especially in the east with Tri-States regional rivalries set up against Washington, New York, and Philly. Keep Seattle in the AFC West and put Houston in the same division as the old rivals in the Browns/Steelers/Bengals from the Oilers days. Would have been way better.
 
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steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Here's my divisions after a few corrections. Remember, I'm trying to keep the teams as geographically close to each other as possible. In some cases, it's kind of a judgement call. Like I said, I have no idea of what the names of these divisions might be.

New England
New York Jets
New York Giants
Buffalo

Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Washington
Baltimore

Cleveland
Cincinnati
Indianapolis
Detroit

Chicago
Green Bay
Minnesota
Kansas City

Tampa Bay
Jacksonville
Miami
Carolina

Atlanta
Tennessee
Houston
New Orleans

Dallas
Denver
Arizona
Las Vegas

LA Chargers
LA Rams
Seattle
San Francisco
I want Dallas to stay in the NFC,

Keep hopes of an all Texas SB alive.
 

Ranger Tom

All Pro
I have a simple plan for NFL realignment. Keep the conferences as they are, but switch teams around the divisions.

AFC: What Byrds Man said. Miami moves to the South, Indy moves to the North, Baltimore moves to the East. This makes the AFC North into a division so compact that fans of each team can easily road-trip to each of the other's stadium. It also creates an in-state rivalry between the Dolphins and Jaguars, and who doesn't love an in-state rivalry?

NFC: Dallas goes to the South, Carolina goes to the East. It makes no geographic sense for Dallas to be in a division with New York, Philly and DC; Cowboys fans may bemoan the loss of their historic rivalries but I doubt their bereavement will last for very long after Saints Nation starts stirring **** up with them.

Were I to come up with a more drastic, "blow it up and start all over" plan I'd probably do something similar to Speedy's alignment, just switching Indy and Detroit around. Name the divisions after geographic features (like Pacific Division, Great Lakes Division), or maybe just a compass direction if nothing else makes sense (Southeast Division for the Florida teams + Carolina).
 


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