SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all PFR content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing PFR blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Pro-Football-Reference.com » Sports Reference

For more from Chase and Jason, check out their work at Football Perspective and The Big Lead.

Rule change proposal: all-intradivision weeks

Posted by Doug on November 28, 2006

Normally I save this sort of thing for Fridays, but since I've been travelling and haven't had much time to blog, I'll trot out this rule change proposal post today. This is actually more of a scheduling change proposal. I would like to see all intra-division games played during weeks 12 through 17. No divisional games for the first eleven weeks of the season, followed by two consecutive round-robins within each division.

To some extent, this is a solution in search of a problem --- there's really nothing wrong with the current scheduling system --- but I think this could add some excitement to the season. In particular, if every team's last six games are within the division, then fans of almost every team could convince themselves that they're still in the race for at least the first 10 weeks of the season. If we can just get hot for those division games...

For the first few weeks of the season, I'm happy just to be watching football. For the next few, I'm watching as teams jockey for position going into the divisional games. Then the division games hit, and we'd be sure to have several crucial games every weekend. The season would be constantly building toward something. It'd be like a miniature set of playoffs before the actual playoffs.

For me, I guess this is also partially motivated by the fact that every year there are a few weekends where some garbage game is the featured simply because it's a rivalry game. I just don't give a rip about the pageantry that is Cowboys-Redskins or Jets-Dolphins or Raiders-Chiefs or, worst of all, Packers-Anybody. Nobody does (do they?), except for fans of those teams. Now, if the Cowboys and the Redskins are playing for a division title, that's good stuff. But Cowboys-Redskins for the sake of Cowboys-Redskins? I'm not into it. Under my plan, the networks can feature the rivalry games that have the most meaning.

Not that this is necessarily an argument in favor of my plan, but it's essentially how the college football season is structured: warm-up games at the beginning, with a few key matchups sprinkled in, then the intraconference games, with the biggest rivalries generally being played at the very end of the season.

I'm not sure I've made a compelling case here. What it boils down to is I think it'd be neat. The floor is open for comments on this or anything else pertaining to the structure of the NFL schedule.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 at 6:43 am and is filed under Rule Change Proposals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.