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SloMotion 11-23-2014 05:53 AM

B&G calls it once again ... realignment!
... and the "Winner/Winner Chicken Dinner" award goes to ... <envelope> ... ChrisXVI for post #25 in the "Our Two Options" thread for accurately predicting the calls for realignment should the NFC South not produce an above .500 division champion this season, :).

Originally Posted by ChrisXVI (Post 625933)
One thing is for sure, if we won the division at .500 or worse and then won a playoff game... The NFL would definitely change the playoff rules in the offseason because it was us.

Now obviously, a Failclown slappy wrote this piece, not realizing who's gonna' actually win the NFC South, but there might be some merit to some of it ... while it doesn't specifically focus on the Saints winning the Division & being the specific cause for the realignment, it does address similar past poor play in other divisions, ie AFC West/NFC West and uses those results, in addition to this year's NFC South, to call for realignment.

IDK. I wouldn't mind going back to the six-division alignment or giving home-field advantage to the team with the best record, as the NBA does ... and not because it was the Saints, but because the league has maybe become too big/saturated.

Column: NFL should realign after NFC South debacle

Yahoo News/AP, Paul Newberry November 21, 2014 5:24 PM

ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Falcons won't apologize for somehow being in first place with a losing record.

They shouldn't have to.

This one is on the NFL.

The league should seriously consider realignment or, at the very least, a revamping of the playoff system to prevent a repeat of this looming postseason embarrassment: the Falcons or New Orleans Saints or whoever emerges as champion of the woeful NFC South actually getting to host a first-round game when they have no business playing after December.

"It's set up the way it is," Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan said with a shrug. "We're not worried about what people say."

The NFL should be.

The playoffs are supposed to reward the best teams, and no one would put Atlanta (4-6), New Orleans (4-6), Carolina (3-7-1) or Tampa Bay (2-8) in that group.

Yep, even the Buccaneers are still in the postseason mix, a team that trailed the Falcons 56-0 early in the season and just doubled its win output with a victory over Washington.

"Normally this time of year, when you're talking about that second win, you're not throwing a lot of parties," coach Lovie Smith quipped. "But for us, to be two wins out of first place in the win column, that is big."

It's not like this is all that unusual, either.

In the last six years, three mediocre teams San Diego in 2008 and Denver in 2011 with 8-8 records, Seattle in 2010 at 7-9 not only made the playoffs at the expense of more-deserving teams, but won their opening playoff games against superior opponents largely because they were playing at home.

The NFL, you see, gives the top four seeds in each conference to the division champions, regardless of whether a wild-card team or, as was the case in the aforementioned years both wild-card teams have better records.

That's certainly going to be the case again this season in the NFC.

The Falcons, in fact, could actually win the division with a 6-10 record, having beaten no one outside the South.

If that happens, they would still open the playoffs at the Georgia Dome.

Other than the World Series, where home-field advantage is ridiculously based on which league wins the All-Star Game, every other postseason series in every other sport gives that edge to the team with the best record.

The NBA saw the light a few years ago. Its six division champions are still guaranteed playoff berths and slotted into the top three seeds in each conference, but they don't get home court if the team they're paired against has a better mark.

It's past time for the NFL to adopt something similar.

But that doesn't go far enough.

The current eight-division alignment and scheduling format should be scrapped immediately, since it clearly breeds these sort of travesties. With only four teams in each division, and just six of 16 games against division opponents, it's really not all that farfetched to have wind up with a wretched group such as the NFC South.

The NFL should go back to the six-division alignment that worked just fine for so many years before the league expanded to 32 teams. It might look something like this:

AFC East: Buffalo, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, New England and New York Jets.

AFC Central: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Tennessee.

AFC West: Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Oakland and San Diego.

NFC East: Carolina, Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Washington.

NFC Central: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota and St. Louis.

NFC West: Arizona, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle.

This alignment would preserve most of the most important rivalries, with only one geographical anomaly Atlanta and New Orleans in the NFC West that actually has historical precedence. The Falcons and the Saints were members of that division from 1970 until the current alignment was adopted for the 2002 season.

With larger divisions, the odds are much better that at least one worthy team would emerge from each, allowing the NFL to still guarantee automatic berths to each division champion while freeing up two extra wild-card berths for the worthiest teams. Also, this setup would lead to half of the 16-game schedule being made up of division contests; in the five-team divisions, everyone would still play home and home, while six-team divisions would have three home-and-homes on a rotating basis and single games against the other two rivals.

The rest of the schedule would be made up of four intra-conference games, and retain the current setup of four games against the opposing conference. It wouldn't be quite as neat as the current arrangement, but it shouldn't be much of a problem coming up with a formula based largely on playing teams with similar records the previous season that would result in even more parity.

Parity is fine.

A losing team in the playoffs is not.

WillSaints81 11-24-2014 02:56 AM

Re: B&G calls it once again ... realignment!
It would be hard to know who is playing who before the schedule is released though and the last time it was like this they had a rotating list of games assigned for each team. Like A, B, C, D, etc. Being someone who likes to guess the schedule it would be hard for me to figure that out.

Crusader 11-24-2014 03:06 AM

Re: B&G calls it once again ... realignment!
This is not the dumbest thing I have ever read but it is pretty close to the top. You have one season where a team with a losing recod might win the NFC South and you start talking about realignment? C'mon man!

WillSaints81 11-24-2014 03:16 AM

Re: B&G calls it once again ... realignment!
My idea would be to take two teams out of the AFC and have two divisions and three in the other NFC.

Lets say each of the AFC divisions plays six games each, play six of the seven from other division with left out on a rotating basis and each of the top six finishers play the same position finishers from each division in the NFC and the 7th places play the 6th placers as well in the three divisions. There will be one game left. 1st and 2nd place plays the alternate. 3rd and 4th plays alternate and 5th and 6th play alternate. 7th placers will play 5th.

The 1st and 2nds, 3rd and 4ths have four IC games each. 5th and 6th have six. Each have 10 division games. 5th, 6th placer forfeit playing teams from the other conference. The top four play the same position from the other two divisions.

Playoffs. AFC will have five teams. Wild card round will be between fourth and fifth, the top 3 seeds(3rd seed being highest wild card) will have first round byes. NFC will have seven teams(due to two extra added). Wild Card Round will be the 2/7, 3/6, 4/5 with the top seed having a first round bye.

However, that would be the best way possible to re-align but I don't really like it.

SloMotion 11-24-2014 07:26 AM

Re: B&G calls it once again ... realignment!

Originally Posted by Crusader (Post 626612)
This is not the dumbest thing I have ever read but it is pretty close to the top. You have one season where a team with a losing recod might win the NFC South and you start talking about realignment? C'mon man!

Nah, they brought up the AFC West & the NFC West divisions sending teams with losing records to the playoffs. It's kinda' like a "third strike and you're out" thing when they add the NFC South to the equation, IMO.

Problem is, realignment's don't cure injuries, account for suspensions, trades or the human elements of the game.

You'd almost have to just take the top conference seeds based on record regardless of division or maybe just the top seeds in the league regardless of conference to remedy the situation.

IDK, you win your division, you deserve to get to the playoffs, pretty cut & dry. :neutral:

QBREES9 11-24-2014 08:40 AM

Re: B&G calls it once again ... realignment!
It ain't broke.

stickman 11-24-2014 07:50 PM

Re: B&G calls it once again ... realignment!
I don't understand how realigning will guarantee better divisions. Don't all teams have ups and downs?

Mardigras9 11-25-2014 10:53 AM

Re: B&G calls it once again ... realignment!

Originally Posted by SloMotion (Post 626624)

IDK, you win your division, you deserve to get to the playoffs, pretty cut & dry. :neutral:

I agree.
Was all this such an issue when Seattle hosted their play-off game at 7-9? Why is it such a travesty that their could be the same scenario in the NFC south?
Or is it because it could be the bountygate Saints? If we win the division, we are the best in that division. The AFC North has just beat the hell out of the NFC south this year, probably the main reason all the records are so low. Arguable the best division this year has just destroyed one particular division all season.

SloMotion 11-26-2014 05:01 AM

Re: B&G calls it once again ... realignment!

Originally Posted by Mardigras9 (Post 627297)
... The AFC North has just beat the hell out of the NFC south this year, probably the main reason all the records are so low ...

You make a great point that deserves further investigation, :). Ironically, and much similar to what's happening with this year's NFC South, the 2010 Seahawks (7-9) who dropped three games to a strong NFC South and three games to a relatively strong AFC West. It's not so apparent in the case of the 2011 Broncos (8-8) who faced an average NFC North division schedule.

This has been picking up steam as I thought I heard it mentioned on one of the pregame shows this past Sunday. You never saw a team with a losing record make the playoffs prior to the 2010 Seahawks. Maybe what's going on is there's just too many teams, <shrug>.

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