Today's post was originally going to be about beers from a couple of local breweries. I will get around to that post eventually. However, I was reading the most recent article from ESPN.com's Bill Simmons who has a familiar idea. In his article, he complains about the recent futility of the NFL's NFC West division. He blames the problem on the small divisions in the NFL and proposes to correct the issue via realignment. While he attempts to maintain the two conferences, his proposed alignment is very similar to one of my proposals. My first proposal eliminated the AFC and NFC and simply combined the directional divisions. My followup realignment proposal had the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins rotating divisions. The only difference between that proposal and his suggestion is that he has the Dallas Cowboys in the geographically-correct "NFC South" (my "South Division") which moves the Carolina Panthers to the "AFC East" (my "East Division"). Despite any excitement over this weekend's Lone Star showdown with the Houston Texans, I seriously doubt Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones would ever agree to give up the Cowboy's traditional rivalries with the other NFC East teams.
While our divisional alignments are similar, our schedule proposals are vastly different. He proposes a complicated 18-game schedule which includes only playing home and away games against some divisional opponents while only playing one game versus others. He also fits in eight games against teams from the other divisions. My proposal comes in 16- and 17-game flavors. Teams would play home and away games against each of the other seven teams in their divisions for a total of 14 games plus games against one team from either two or three of the other divisions. I just do not feel that the NFL will go to an 18-game schedule. I think the idea of expanding the regular season to 18 games is a negotiating ploy by the NFL team owners with the players union. If the idea does not get dropped completed in favor of some concessions by the players, I think the two sides will compromise by expanding to only 17 games.