By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
Last week, I had fun with my OCD and wrote about radically changing around all of the NFL divisions to create a more geographically pleasing picture.
I was genuinely surprised at the number of fans who loved my ideas – and equally surprised at the ones who hated my new divisions.
But even the haters agreed that some amount of reorganizing is way overdue. If you simply pause and think about the number of teams that have moved, from Houston to Tennessee or perhaps St. Louis to Los Angeles, and you will agree that a few changes would be a good thing.
Here is my much more realistic view of a few changes to divisions that make a ton of sense. I’m not moving anyone from the AFC to the NFC and I’m keeping most of the divisions intact, so this should be a fairly painless change for most of you!
I’ll start with the NFC. The NFC North is just fine the way it is. It’s a fairly competitive division and I just don’t see any reason to shuffle these teams around. The NFC West, while not ideal from a mapping perspective, doesn’t contain any teams that I feel belong somewhere else. Seattle being situated all by itself fits just as easily here as it would anywhere else. However…
Dallas being in the NFC East is simply ridiculous. I’m moving the Cowboys into the NFC South. Carolina may be a “southern town,” but they would be better suited to the NFC East.
NFC North – Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, and Minnesota
NFC West – Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, San Francisco
NFC East – Carolina Panthers, NY Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins. The Dallas / Washington rivalry has, frankly, gone the way of the dinosaur. Too many years of pitiful football have all but killed the hype for those games. I think Carolina could easily become a thorn in the side of the other three and thus, new rivalries would be born.
NFC South – Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Just think of the Cowboys vs Saints twice every year. Or the Falcons. Either way, Dallas fans travel well and I foresee many road trips in the future for fans of all four of these teams.
The AFC isn’t quite as simple. The AFC West (Denver, Kansas City, Oakland/Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers) are close enough geographically to stay together. They also make sense from a competitive perspective. Even with Oakland moving to LV in the near future, the mapping still works. However…
Miami being the in AFC East is as silly as the issue with Dallas. But in order to move them somewhere else, I have to juggle two other AFC divisions. I could probably do it with just one move but hey, this is my article, so I get to do what I want….
Put Miami into the AFC South, replacing Indianapolis. Move the Colts into the AFC North, replacing Baltimore. Finally, move Baltimore into the vacant AFC East spot. Easy Peasy.
AFC West – Denver, Kansas City, Oakland/Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers
AFC North – Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh. The Colts started in Baltimore years ago, so why not put them back where they belong?
AFC East – Buffalo, Baltimore, NY Jets, NE Patriots. I can see a Ravens-Patriots rivalry breaking out pretty quickly. There’s already been a decided lack of parity or competitiveness in this division, but this move at least makes it more like two-on-two instead of one-on-three.
AFC South – Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Tennessee. Dolphin fans would much rather travel to Tennessee or Texas in December (who wouldn’t?) and this grouping looks to be much more interesting as far as divisional games go.
Well – how did I do? Much better than last week if I do say so myself… but what do YOU think?
Talk football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8