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My plan for a NFL reset 2020

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Unlucky 13, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    I have long been a fan of NFL realignment. When I was in college in the late 90s, I would dream up plans of switching the teams around, now that Jacksonville and Carolina had teams that made little sense in the divisions that they were put into. Once the Browns became the Ravens, and then the New Browns came into being, the league announced that there would be real realignment starting in 2002 with the expansion Texans, and a world of possibilities opened up. Sadly though, the changes were luke warm, and ended up hurting the Dolphins more than they helped them.

    Fast forward to today, and 2019 will be the 18th consecutive season under the current setup, which is the longest that the league has ever gone without moving teams around in divisions, adding franchises, or changing the playoff structure. 2019 will be the NFL's 100th season, full of pomp and celebration, and memories of everything that has come to this point, which will be great. But with Oakland's move to Las Vegas in 2020, I see the 101st season as the perfect time to push the reset button and massively change how the whole thing is structured.

    #1. I would do away with the AFC and the NFC, and instead put the teams into four divisions of eight teams each, based mostly on geography.

    #2. The idea of the TV networks as sole broadcasters of either the AFC or NFC is already on the way out. CBS and FOX have been trading games for a few years now, and there is real talk that the whole system will be scrapped eventually. Combine this with the league's desire to make all games available to stream as soon as 2020, and possibly cutting ties with DirecTV, and this is the perfect time to just say that any game could be on any network, without worrying about where the teams are organized.

    #3. I would change the playoff structure so that the four new division winners are seeded 1-4, with a first round bye. And then the remaining eight teams would come from whatever teams had the next eight best records, regardless of division. The 5-8 seeds would host the first round games, and then the winners of those matchups would face the division winners, with the lowest remaining seeds facing the highest.

    Playoff tiebreakers would go of course first with best record, and then move onto head to head. But if the teams didn't face one another, I would make the next tiebreaker which team had gone the longest since they had earned that seed. Common opponents would always either be zero, or almost exactly the same, based on the new setup, so that rules it out as a viable choice.

    #4. All games in Weeks 16 & 17 are played against teams within the same division. This both ensures that clubs are facing one another head to head with division titles on the line and that teams in warm weather climates aren't forced to go on the road in winter conditions in the regular season very often.

    #5. All sixteen Thursday night football matchups, including Week 1 with the Super Bowl winner hosting, and Thanksgiving night, are divisional games. Also, every team would face their divisional opponents once home and once away over a fourteen year plan, ensuring that no team is given either favoritism or the short stick in this process.

    #6. All BYEs will be Weeks 7-10, with an entire division getting the week off together. Divisions would rotate through these weeks, giving all teams an equal chance at the early or late bye every four years.


    This is how I would organize the divisions

    Southeast


    Miami -- Tampa Bay
    Jacksonville -- Carolina
    Atlanta -- New Orleans
    Dallas -- Houston

    Northeast

    NY Giants -- NY Jets
    Buffalo -- New England
    Philadelphia -- Washington
    Pittsburgh -- Baltimore

    Midwest

    Green Bay -- Chicago
    Minnesota -- Detroit
    Cleveland -- Cincinnati
    Indianapolis -- Tennessee

    Pacific West

    LA Rams -- LA Chargers
    Arizona -- Las Vegas
    Seattle -- San Francisco
    Denver -- Kansas City

    The teams on the same line would be designated rivals, and would play both home and away every season. Teams would play the other six teams in their division, three home and three away, on an alternating basis, making up half of their schedule. Then, they would play all eight teams from another division, four home and four away, completing the sixteen games for a season, facing every team outside of the division once both home and away every six years. This would allow every team to know every opponent for every season into the future indefinantly.

    What do you guys think?
     
    danmarino and Surfs Up 99 like this.
  2. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'd switch Dallas and Tennessee so that TN was in the Southeast and Dallas in the mid-west. That makes more sense.

    I like it as I could easily make the Atlanta and Charlotte games and am within reach of Jacksonville and Tennessee (Nashville) as well.
     
  3. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Tennessee is definately the hard team to place, and no matter the setup, if I try to cater to the Titans, it usually ends up screwing multiple other teams up, unfortunately. An argument could be made for them either place. However, I felt that a potential twice a year Dallas/Houston rivalry would be a great replacement for the Cowboys traditional foes, while Indy and Tennessee have a long history themselves as rivals that they can maintain.
     
  4. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    To me, that seems like too big of a move at once. You know what would be really cool though? A 24 team playoff similar to what college does. Weeks 15-17 would be a division tournament (provided we go in 8-team divisions...if it remains 4 then it's just week 16-17) where the winner gets a 1st round bye, regardless of record. I think that would be a lot more exciting for fans since a bad start to the year doesn't mean you're out (hence, Cleveland would have been a SB contender last year).
     
    Surfs Up 99 likes this.
  5. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Only issue I have is that there's no attempt to balance out the number of dome teams in a division. No dome teams in the Northeast and 4 in the Southeast for example. That's a built-in statistical bias I'd try to balance out more than geography. In fact, my approach would be to look at any and all types of statistical biases (e.g., weather, time zone, etc...) and try to balance them out.
     
  6. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    That's intentional. VERY intentional.

    I wanted to segregate the cold weather teams away from the warm weather ones during the regular season. In fact, that's always one of my main focuses when I do this. Warm weather and dome teams have an inherrant disadvantage when forced to play in cold, messy weather.

    So, let the warm weather teams sort out things among themselves and present their best teams for two of the playoff BYEs, while the cold weather teams do the same. And then the rest could be any combination with the WC round. Under the current system, the cold weather franchises have been way, way too dominant.
     
  7. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    No I don't mean warm weather vs. cold weather. There's only a tiny statistical effect there (cold weather teams score a tiny amount more per game but the correlation is near zero between temperature and scoring).

    I'm talking about "weather" as in dome teams vs. non-dome teams. There are a lot of differences in the statistics, from fumbling stats to away game performance. Dome teams do much worse outdoors than outdoor teams, and they also perform a lot worse when temperature decreases than outdoor teams. Those are major statistical biases that should be removed if you're doing a realignment.
     
  8. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Is it super-realistic to account for stadiums which can be modified or rebuilt though? Not to get all political, but especially as the effects of climate change are felt, we could see more teams moving to domes anyway. The Texas Rangers in MLB for instance, they basically decided it was too hot to play outside, and are building a dome instead. I think it might be worth consulting owners/cities of non-domed stadiums to work on long term plans and maybe take that into effect.
     
  9. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Just recompute the statistics each year to see which teams should be in which divisions. You can even decide how much you want things to change each year by computing the statistics over the past N years. Point is.. there could be a formula for this so that you don't see certain teams systematically disadvantaged over time.
     
  10. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Cbrad, I have to hand it to you for coming up with an idea that I would have never considered, but its just too out there for me. I think that divisions should be set up with the idea of rivalries between fan bases, not something that should fluctuate all the time. Our current setup is 18 years old, and incorporates many rivalries that are much older. My suggested plan keeps a lot of those. I want to improve it, not just decimate the whole idea.
     
  11. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Well if you want to emphasize rivalries then you absolutely need to put Dallas in the same division with Pittsburgh, Washington and the Giants. Dallas has big rivalries with all three. Either way, I don't think the current setup is that bad. Where the NFL needs serious improvement is in more consistent refereeing and in not changing the rules or their interpretation so often, more than scheduling.
     
  12. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Do away with divisions all together.

    Have each team play 16 games a season all against 16 different teams and rotate it so each team plays every other team about once every 2 years. 8 home games and 8 away games.

    The top 12 teams make the playoffs.

    1 plays 12
    2 plays 11
    3 plays 10
    4 plays 9
    5 plays 8
    6 plays 7

    Leaves 6 teams, 1-6


    Again by best records AFTER first playoff win:

    1 plays 6
    2 plays 5
    3 plays 4

    Best record team (1) gets bye

    2 plays 3


    Super Bowl between 1 and winner of 2 vs 3 game.


    I've also liked the idea of doing an Eastern Football Conference (EFC) and a Western Football Conference (WFC).


    EFC

    Atlantic Division
    Baltimore Ravens
    Buffalo Bills
    Cleveland Browns
    New England Patriots
    New York Jets
    New York Giants
    Philadelphia Eagles
    Pittsburgh Steelers

    South Division
    Atlanta Falcons
    Carolina Panthers
    Jacksonville Jaguars
    Houston Texans
    Miami Dolphins
    New Orleans Saints
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Washington Redskins





    WFC

    Central Division
    Chicago Bears
    Cincinnati Bengals
    Detroit Lions
    Green Bay Packers
    Indianapolis Colts
    Kansas City Chiefs
    Minnesota Vikings
    Tennessee Titans

    Pacific Division
    Arizona Cardinals
    Dallas Cowboys
    Denver Broncos
    Los Angeles Chargers
    Los Angeles Rams
    Oakland Raiders
    San Francisco 49ers
    Seattle Seahawks
     
  13. Wilkimania

    Wilkimania Active Member

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    Surely if that was the case then all the teams that were going to be mid seeds in your original 1-12 would suddenly try to lose out to get the potential 6th seed in the second play-off if they could potentially win a bye through the 2v3 game. I might just be misreading it and misunderstanding.
     
  14. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    No..if you lose once you're out.

    The first 12 teams play each other and have 6 teams left.

    Those 6 teams play each other and you have 3 left.

    The team with the best record has a bye and the other 2 play. The winner plays the team that had a bye.
     
  15. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    A few teams need to get pruned to make the whole thing work. Dallas is the obvious one. I think that if forced into it, their fans would grow to love a rivalry with Houston.
     
  16. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    That seems really complicated, man. I really want to keep the 12 team playoff format, and reward the top four regular season records. I think that my suggestion would almost force every team to play their starters in the final weeks of the regular season too, because you can't just coast to a division championship, you're competing against the whole league for playoff positioning.

    No AFC and NFC title games. Just the top two remaining seeds host the semi final games (the final four).
     
  17. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I was using the top 12 teams. And I think my way would also force them to play their starters. In order to get that bye (and thus one less game to play in the playoffs) you need to have the best record overall...
     
  18. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Oh ok, I was confused after the first time that I read it. Your setup is a lot like mine, just not dependant at all on divisional winners.

    I like the divisional setup, because it gives two teams from outside of cold climates two of the top seeds, and playoff home games. What I really want to do is break up the playoff monopoly that the teams in cold climates have had for decades.
     
    danmarino likes this.
  19. Wilkimania

    Wilkimania Active Member

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    Yeah but my point is that basically being anything but the 1 seed in the first set of play-offs is largely pointless unless you're the lowest seeded loser because the 2 most valuable slots in the 2nd set of playoffs would be 1 and 6 because they'd be playing for a bye. So my point is, if there was a runaway leader for the 1 slot (Lets say a team goes 15-1) then once you're in the bottom half of the play-offs you might as well tank yourself to 12 because then if you can get through your first playoff game then you're playing for a bye to the super bowl.
     
  20. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    No.. danmarino's numbering system is just confusing you. What he's proposing is to rank teams after each playoff round (by record) independent of where they were ranked in the previous round.

    For example, let's say #12 beats #1 in round 1. It's almost certain that #12 will still have a worse overall record after that playoff win than at least one other round 1 playoff winner. So #12 in round 1 doesn't become #1 in round 2. It will be ranked based on overall records after round 1. Same with whichever team gets the bye after round two being the team with the best record after playoff round 2.
     
    danmarino likes this.
  21. Wilkimania

    Wilkimania Active Member

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    Thank god I was completely misunderstanding that then. I thought it meant that #12 beats #1 and would probably the #6 seed in round 2 in which case they'd be playing the new Seed 1 for the bye
     
    Unlucky 13 likes this.
  22. JPPT1974

    JPPT1974 Summertime is Here

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    To the OP when Goodell moves on and retires and waiting for that day one day thankfully, maybe you can run the NFL. You seem to know what you are doing!
     
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  23. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    LOL, thank you man! I love the NFL, and I love organization. My dream would be to work in the league office, making a regular middle class salary, helping with these kinds of things.
     

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