It seems like every few years college football conferences decide it is time to change things up and the realignment wheel spins again. Last week’s news of USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten is sure to cause a domino effect across the country, with Texas and Oklahoma’s move to the SEC already providing plenty of instability.
This frequency of change has not reached the NFL, which has stayed pretty stable since the introduction of the Texans in 2002. A few teams have relocated since then, but the divisions have remained the same throughout. However, the competitive landscape is always evolving, so maybe it makes sense to at least reevaluate the current layout.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
How would you realign the NFL?
My answer: The first thing any prospective realigner must consider is if the overall structure should change or not. Personally, eight divisions of four makes a lot of sense, though I can see an argument for four groups of eight. Should the four-team pods continue, however, it seems hard to touch the NFC North, NFC East, or AFC North without upsetting a lot of fans.
While conferences like the Big Ten and Big XII have seemingly abandoned geography, I think the NFL could lean in a little more here. The most obvious change would be moving the Colts (back) to the AFC East and swapping them with the Dolphins who are just a tad more south. While the New England-Indianapolis rivalry died out with their quarterbacks moving on, this would still be a fun realignment.
For a slightly spicier idea: swapping the Chiefs and the Texans. Kansas City feels like a staple of the AFC West, but logistically it feels like putting them in the AFC South makes more sense. A Chiefs-Titans-Dolphins-Jaguars division might not be perfect, but it would help what has been arguably the league’s most forgettable division in a big way. Meanwhile, Houston just seems to fit with the Broncos, Raiders, and Chargers.