IF!!! We’re Going to Play 18 Games…

I’m not necessarily saying the NFL should go to an 18 game schedule. To me, I think it’s tough to tell these players they have to play 18 games from now on, because some have said that it’s not feasible, and I feel like it’s a tough thing to claim if you’re not in their shoes. The game has gotten more and more brutal for years, so maybe 18 games isn’t a great idea.

But as Chris Tucker once said, follow the rich white man. The owners want more, so eventually, no matter how hard they have to screw labor, they’ll get more.

The question then to me becomes, how do we take an 18 game schedule and make it more interesting? How can this change become more beneficial to fans? I’ve kicked this idea around a lot lately and while I’m revamping the schedules of entire leagues, I thought I’d throw this one out there. (Didn’t want the NCAA to feel special).

First things first; keep the divisions as they are. Rivalries have been built and they are important to the NFL. Secondly, and this is the most important part, no inter conference games. When I was young, the Major League Baseball All-Star game held some real intrigue for me. Granted I was a kid, but there was something to the fact that you never really saw the players in the National League in the Boston market and I wasn’t the only person who enjoyed it.

If you leave the conferences to play each other, it would increase (if possible) the interest surrounding the super bowl. We analyze and over analyze every inch of the game of football and because each team from the AFC plays four games against teams from the NFC, we have some metric by which to measure AFC teams against their potential NFC opponents when the super bowl rolls around.

The schedule I want would have each team play six games against their division rivals. With twelve games remaining, you would see your team play each of the remaining teams in the conference once. This not only increases the interest in the two meetings of the two conferences (the super bowl and yes, even the pro bowl), it also simplifies things.

You could greatly simplify the complex tie breakers. Since everyone would play the same twelve teams, you could lay out tie breakers like this:

1) Record, 2) Division Record, 3) Record against playoff teams. At this point, you know that some playoff teams will be decided when 18 games have been played and the dust has settled. You measure two tied teams by how they played against the teams who are going to the tournament. I think it’s a much better third tie breaker.

After this you could return to the old tie breakers. It doesn’t solve all of your problems. But I think it’s better.

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