Bill Simmons believes the Dallas Cowboys should be relocated out of the NFC East? Simmons recently gave his recommendations for a NFL conference realignment that he believed should start in 2011. Below were Simmons’s recommendations for conference realignment. These can also be viewed HERE.
AFC East: New England, New York, New York, Buffalo, Philly, Baltimore, Washington, Carolina.
AFC West: Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Denver, Arizona, Kansas City, St. Louis.
NFC Central: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Chicago, Minnesota.
NFC South: Miami, Tampa Bay, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Tennessee, Atlanta, Jacksonville.
Simmons realignment proposition is interesting from a geographical perspective, but there are a few flaws that would prevent it from ever occurring. Here are some of them:
The biggest problem associated with Bill Simmons NFL realignment plan concerns “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys. He has the Dallas Cowboys situated in the NFC South while the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles are set in the AFC East.
This plan does guarantee the expansion of the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys rivalry, but it eliminates their feuds with the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins as they won’t even be in the same conference. The Cowboys have become one of the world’s most recognized sports symbols, so why would they eliminate their most prestigious feuds?
Relocating the Cowboys to the AFC South from the NFC East would be like the Ohio State Buckeyes relocating away from the Michigan Wolverines, Penn State Nittany Lions, and the Wisconsin Badgers into a brand new power conference. It’d be disastrous to the Cowboys image. They’d still be making extensive trips to Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa Bay.
The NFL, Cowboys, and the NFC East’s current components would gain nothing from this.
This branches off from my previous comment about expanding the Texans and Cowboys rivalry. The NFL seems to avoid creating in-state rivalries. The Eagles and Steelers, Giants and Jets, and the Chiefs and Rams are other groups of teams set in contrasting conference from the NFL’s current format. The in-state rivalries that do exist (Oakland and San Diego, New York and Buffalo, and Jacksonville and Miami, to a lesser extent) seem to be more of a proponent that these states have more than two teams.
It seems premature to speculate over NFL realignment when you consider how many markets are potential landing spots for Los Angeles relocation. If a team such as Jacksonville or Buffalo relocated to Los Angeles, they’d have to relocate someone from the AFC West. This forces more teams to relocate divisions and possibly conferences, jeopardizing rivalries.
We’d basically have AFCalifornia (San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles included), AFColonial (3 New York teams plus 5 other former colonies), NorthernFC, and the NFCowboys.
Sub .500 Foolproof?
The whole intention of Simmons realignment stems from his perceived ineptitude of the NFC West and their chances of having a sub .500 playoff team in 2010. By combining the AFC West and NFC West, this would apparently prohibit that from occurring.
But would it? It’s possible that the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, and Arizona Cardinals could all finish below .500 (doubtful). But the AFC West is a Phillip Rivers injury away from that happening too. The Chargers are only 2 years removed from winning the AFC West at 8-8, qualifying over a 11-5 Patriots team who didn’t win their division (although, they lost to San Diego during the regular season). The Chiefs, Broncos, and Raiders are expected to finish .500 at best.
This makes a potentially embarrassing situation even more potentially embarrassing. The 5th team from the AFC East snatches that 6 seed while that 8-8 AFC West champion gets a first round bye for winning their division?
The AFC conferences are East and West. The NFC conferences are Central and South. His plan basically guarantees that each team will have at least 2 cross-country trips each season. I can’t imagine organizations wanting to put themselves through those circumstances as it wouldn’t even be profitable from the extra traveling expenditures.
Other minor inconveniences to consider are the disadvantages for Carolina when they have to make longer divisional trips to New York and Massachusetts. The same applies for the Missouri teams having to travel to California and Seattle.
God forbid someone have a divisional schedule that revolved around road trips to Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Miami in the same season. Double that if they’re all in September…
… Okay, negligible chance of this occurring.
The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts aren’t in the same conference
Seems like Simmons’s AFC East and NFC Central projections would be better conference mates from a geographical sense.
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Bill Simmons, “Ready For a Sub -.500 Playoff Team.” ESPN. September 24, 2010. September 25, 2010.