Monday, June 21, 2010

NFL Re-Alignment

The NFL divisions need to be re-aligned so that teams that are closer together by location are in the same division.

Why is Dallas in the NFC East and St. Louis in the NFC West when Dallas is more geographically west than St. Louis?

The reason is because the NFL and TV stations want Dallas to play the other three NFC East teams twice a year because that brings in more revenue because of the stature of the teams.

But shouldn't the NFL want Dallas to play more games against weaker markets to help strengthen the ratings in those markets? There is plenty of revenue coming in from Philadelphia, New York, and Washington that any other team could play in the NFC East. Dallas could play in the NFC West with Arizona, Seattle, and San Francisco. This would improve ratings in NFC West games and maintain high ratings in NFC East games. This would also help the new team joining the NFC East, which would be Detroit as St. Louis would move to the NFC North.

The NFL loves to promote its rivalries and this would create new rivalries and maintain the Dallas rivalries against New York, Philly, and Washington when those teams met in non-divisional games and playoff games. Dallas and San Francisco would play twice a year and that would be a highly watched game as those two teams have storied histories.

The league would also benefit as Dallas would probably make the playoffs more times by coming out of the west division. So there would be more high stature teams in the playoffs as Dallas would come out of the west and the NFC East teams would come out of their division and take up one or even two wild card spots as they usually do.

This would be better for the sport because it would reduce travel distance for fans who want to attend road games. This is going to be better for the future a of the sport as it would make west coast games more appealing on the east coast and central part of the country.

I have not extensively looked into the financial implications of this and how much the NFL benefits by having Dallas in the East, but I just think that common sense wise Dallas should be in the west.

Therefore I propose the following re-alignment structure for the NFL divisions. I kept teams in the same conference as I did not want to go crazy. By the common sense geographical location method the Jets and Giants would be in the same division and that makes no sense, so I left the conferences the same.

New Alignment:

AFC East
New England
New York Jets

AFC North

AFC South

AFC West
Kansas City
San Diego

NFC East
New York Giants

NFC North
Green Bay
St. Louis

NFC South
New Orleans
Tampa Bay

NFC West
San Francisco

Key Moves:
Baltimore to AFC East
Indianapolis to AFC North
Miami to AFC South
Detroit to NFC East
St. Louis to NFC North
Dallas to NFC West

The only other proposal is to switch Seattle with San Diego as it is a pretty far flight from Seattle to Dallas. So if that happened the two West divisions would look like this:

AFC West
Kansas City

NFC West
San Diego
San Francisco

Let me know what you think.

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