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Old 05-23-2001, 08:44 AM   #1
lmanchur.
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Well, you guys all talked about it in a previous thread, but the men who run the NFL have agreed to realignment for the 2002 NFL season, when the league becomes one with 32 teams, with the addition of the Houston Texans.

Here is what the NFL will look like in 2002:

NFC
NORTH: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota
SOUTH: Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay
EAST: Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
WEST: Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle

AFC
NORTH: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh
SOUTH: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tennessee
EAST: Buffalo, Miami, New England, New York Jets
WEST: Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego

See full story on NFL.com... (MORE -- click here)

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Old 05-23-2001, 09:44 AM   #2
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I'm just not sure yet. As a Seahawk fan, I do know that it's going to be hard to get pumped up for a Seattle/Arizona game. It will take at least five years to establish any feelings of rivalry between the teams of the NFC West.
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Old 05-23-2001, 10:32 AM   #3
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Several rivalries were broken up, but they did a good job in preserving the majority of them. Overall, this was a good change that pleased everyone. The only thing that is annoying me is that the Colts shouldn't be in the South, the Bengals should.
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Old 05-23-2001, 12:28 PM   #4
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I am just glad the Colts are out of my division.
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Old 05-23-2001, 05:42 PM   #5
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Not only not liking the Colts out of the Dolphins division...but in the SOUTH?!?!?!?!?...thats so dumb...if you're gonna split the Colts and Dolphins up, at least put the Colts in the east and the Dolphins in the south...
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Old 05-23-2001, 07:46 PM   #6
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Geographically, the Colts should be in the North, or East. If they went to the North, they should switch w/ Baltimore. If they went to the East, Miami
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Old 05-23-2001, 10:29 PM   #7
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I think the Colts had to sacrifice some things in order to preserve some long-standing inner-division rivalries. Interestingly, the Battle of the Bays is no longer there, but it makes since to move the Bucs to the South. The Colts were just a result of the sacrificing in the realignment.
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Old 05-24-2001, 12:15 AM   #8
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The only thing that is important to me is that the Jets have a little easier division. No more Colts! Yes!!!!!
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Old 05-24-2001, 08:36 AM   #9
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Well, I'm not sure what you guys mean that "rivlaries are broken up"... because the scheduling could work out that they still play teams in other divisions.... maybe not as much, though, I guess.

Here's a question for a very small NFL fan... is there any difference between the NFC & AFC in terms of rules or anything like MLB?... or just a way to split teams up like in the NHL or NBA?
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Old 05-24-2001, 07:26 PM   #10
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No, it's just way to split things up. Except the fact that the NFC is better.
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Old 05-24-2001, 10:21 PM   #11
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I think the split is weird. It's not like in baseball where there are some differences and don't play interleague often. In the NFL, they play interconfrence game all the time, it just seems pointless to me.
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Old 05-25-2001, 05:23 AM   #12
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Question

The only thing we know for sure is that the number of playoff teams will remain the same come 2002, with the four division winners plus two wild cards in each conference making it. As for the seeding, this would make the most sense:

1. Allow wild cards to be seeded higher than division winners, but only if the wild card finishes with an outright better record; any tie goes to the division champion, even if it lost head-to-head to the wild card during the regular season.

2. The same principle as above should apply to determining the wild cards: Yes, both wild cards in the same conference could come from the same division; however, in order for a team that finished third in its division to make it they must have an outright better record than all three second-place teams in the other divisions - any tie goes to the team that finished higher in their own division. (Since they went to all this trouble to preserve old division rivalries and cultivate new ones, making it more difficult for three teams in the same division to qualify for the playoffs will only serve to make those rivalries more meaningful).

3. The two division champions with the best records get byes in the first round - in no case can a wild card get a bye even if it finishes with the second-best overall record in the conference - then the other two division winners, along with the two wild cards, would be seeded and paired strictly on record (except that as between a division winner and a wild card that finished with the same record, the division winner would always be seeded higher).

4. In the second round, the top seed would be assured of playing the first-round winner with the worst record, regardless of whether that team was a division champion or a wild card (again, subject to using division finish as a tie-breaker, if applicable).

Considering that only six of each team's regular-season games are within the same division, this would appear to be the fairest and most logical approach.
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Old 05-25-2001, 08:39 AM   #13
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Hi Anthony

My opinions:

1. I believe that the division champion should be seeded higher, no matter what. I mean, whats the point of winning your division if someone you didn't will be seeded higher then you?

2. Makes sense.

3. Makes sense. However, I still don't think a wild card, 2nd (or 1st loser) place team should be seeded above a 1st place team.

4. Makes sense.
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Old 05-25-2001, 09:46 PM   #14
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So is this a lot more like the hockey playoff system except there are byes for top ranked teams?
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Old 05-26-2001, 03:20 AM   #15
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Default NFL vs. NHL

Actually not; in each NHL conference there are only three divisions, and eight teams make the playoffs - the three division winners and five wild cards; also, in hockey the three division winners are always seeded highest, even if any of them finish with fewer points than any of the wild cards.

The reason it would be desirable to allow wild cards to be seeded higher is that under the new schedule there will be fewer games within the same division - only 37.5 per cent, versus 52.4 per cent under the current format. Another desirable change would be assuring the top seed of the easiest possible draw in the second round: Last year the Titans got jobbed big time, being forced to play Baltimore rather than weaker Miami in the divisional playoffs.

As for giving a second-place team the edge for a wild card over a third-place team in another division with the same record - as a front-end baby buster, I was just barely old enough to hear older fans talk about the "first division" versus the "second division" when discussing baseball; a team that finishes third out of four is a "second-division" team and shouldn't be rewarded for it.
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