Should The NFL Do Away With Teams In Divisions? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The current logo of the NFL has eight stars, one for each of the divisions divided evenly between the AFC and NFC. With one of those divisions, the NFC East, currently unable to provide a leader with more wins than losses, some are calling for the NFL to do away with divisions. Their alternative is interesting, with some already saying it is not ever going to happen … but should it? First, let’s hear the idea and take a closer look at it.
With a 16-game regular season and half of the NFL’s 32 teams divided evenly between the two conference, one current head coach devised a new format. Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos believes that the NFL should do away with the divisional set up, and just have two conferences of 16 teams each play each other once each and every season. The 16th game could be used to play regional rivals, or create a special made-for-TV game … and this format is easy enough to apply to a 17-game schedule if the owners and players agree to expand the regular season.
Stephen Jones of the Dallas Cowboys is a member of the NFL Competition Committee and was asked about Fangio’s plan, in part, because his weak division is part of why the idea is being floated around. The son of Jerry Jones was asked if realignment was coming to the NFL, and replied by saying: “I don’t see that. I think too many people are traditionalists here and believe in the way we’ve done things with divisions. You’re going to have the odd year where eight divisions all are not playing well. Historically, the [NFC] East has been strong in our league. But obviously this year certainly being pointed out that the East is struggling more than normal, but I certainly don’t see a big appetite for realignment.”
If the National Football League does add a 17th game to the schedule, it is also expected to add a seventh team from each conference to the playoff field. This would mean that 14 of the league’s 32 teams would make the playoffs, with only the top seed in each conference earning a bye week. Under this format, winning even a bad division would still count for something, and leaving the current system in place would make sense.
If the playoff field is watered down even more by having four division winners and four Wild-Card teams make the postseason, then doing away with divisions would make more sense. I say this because if more than half your league is in the postseason tournament, then making sure you have the best teams would provide a better product from start to finish for the fans to enjoy.
What would make more sense to me would be having four eight-team divisions, two in each conference, take the winning NFL teams of those divisions, give them a bye week, and then take the four teams with the best records regardless if which division they come from in each conference. I think winning a four-team division race is not much of an achievement, and winning a regular season title, as being shown this year, should be done with a lot more wins than anyone in the NFC East will find this year.
I don’t think Vic Fangio is going to see his idea come to pass; however, if the NFL does expand the playoffs, then that would be the time to set up the regular season better as well. That would be the time to allow teams who win a division to be able to say it with pride, unlike how the NFC Champs will enter the postseason, with then mask they wore to steal a playoff berth from a team who did more than they achieved this season.
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Should The NFL Do Away With Teams In Divisions? | TooAthletic.com