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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Interesting discussion. A few overarching thoughts:

(1) Contraction in any league isn't realistic - It's talked about all of the time, but there's a reason why it hasn't happened in over 3 decades (and that was with a hockey team) - that would require the other owners paying out a few hundred million dollars each even for the worst NBA and NHL teams, and when you get into contracting multiple teams, that price tag can get out of hand very quickly and it's pretty much a sunk cost. That's why you've seen the owners prefer to take over failing teams (MLB with the Expos/Nationals and NBA with the Hornets) and then look to re-sell to more stable owners in better markets and turn a profit.

(2) Personal preferences of owners matter (even if they're irrational) - It makes perfect reasonable sense for the Clippers to play in Anaheim instead of sharing the Staples Center with the Lakers if you're a normal person. However, Clippers owner Donald Sterling wanted a short commute to games from his Beverly Hills mansion, and that's why they play in downtown LA. Seriously. (That being said, the Clippers are actually very profitable playing in the Staples Center. They're not going anywhere.)

Likewise, Kansas City on paper is a much better destination for the Kings as an open market with an NBA-ready arena. However, the Maloof brothers are absolutely steadfast in their stance in staying on the West Coast so that they have quick access to their Las Vegas casino operation. This is why they're pushing for Anaheim even though it would be the equivalent of adding a 3rd MLB team to the NYC market. (The Lakers just aren't popular in LA - they are the #1 team there by far out of any sport.) As long as they own the Kings, they're going to stay on West Coast.

(3) Stadiums (AKA corporate suites) matter more than markets - It's not necessarily right, but it is what it is. Seattle is a market that should have both NBA and NHL franchises, but Key Arena has been deemed unacceptable by those leagues (whether we agree as fans or not). The main driver is whether the arenas have the requisite number of corporate suites much more than sheer capacity, which is why no one wants to move to Key Arena.

From my view, the following top 35 TV markets have NBA/NHL-acceptable arenas but don't have a representative in one of those leagues: Anaheim (NBA), Kansas City (NBA/NHL), San Jose (NBA), St. Louis (NBA), Nashville (NBA), Houston (NHL), Orlando (NHL), Columbus (NBA), Pittsburgh (NBA), Raleigh-Durham (NBA), Indianapolis (NHL), Milwaukee (NHL), Salt Lake City (NHL).

As you can see, there are a lot of ready-made relocation options for the NBA and NHL, so that's where we'll likely see the most action. Any moves in the MLB and NFL will require brand new stadiums being built, which is entirely speculative until you actually see construction starting (i.e. an NFL stadium in LA).

(4) Predictions (within next 5 years):

NBA: Kings move to Anaheim and Hornets move to Kansas City. Takes into account preferences of the Maloofs (need for West Coast location) and the fact that moving the Hornets seems to make the most financial sense for everyone involved.

NHL: Nothing. Gary Bettman has his head so far in the sand regarding the failed Sun Belt experiment along with continuing to ignore the Canadian markets that actually watch hockey that this league will be stuck. I wish that I could say differently.

NFL: Jaguars move to new NFL stadium in downtown LA (assuming that this gets built, which is certainly not a guarantee). That's the one NFL team that really has a true need for a relocation (as opposed to, say, the Vikings, who have a bad stadium but a great fan base).

MLB: Nothing. I'd love to see MLB switch an NL team to the AL for a 15/15 balance (and I really don't care if that requires at least one interleague series going on at any point in time during the season), but you're not going to get any takers from the NL. Remember that the Brewers *wanted* to move to the NL and it was for good reason - they get a double digit number of annual automatic sellouts from Cubs and Cardinals games that they never would've received as a member of the AL Central (none of whom really travel that well by comparison, and I say that as a die-hard White Sox fan). The Astros are in a similar situation as the Brewers (the Cubs and Cards games are much more valuable than any options in the AL Central or AL West), while moving either the Reds or Pirates are pretty much non-starters due to history. Outside of being in the AL East (where you get the games against the Yankees and Red Sox), it's much more attractive from a ticket-selling standpoint to be in the NL Central and NL West (with the Cubs, Cards, Dodgers and Giants as better draws). Without a volunteer from the NL, there isn't going to be any realignment in baseball (which I personally believe is needed).


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Frank, if Jacksonville moves to LA would they join the AFC west and KC move to the South? It would be dumb to have a LA team in a different div. than Oak, SD, Den.

So you're saying the Min will get a new stadium? The lease is done in 2011.

SD is an easy move to LA and would still have the fan base close by. Isn't their stadium lease up in 2011 too?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:07 pm 
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Fresno St. Alum wrote:
Frank, if Jacksonville moves to LA would they join the AFC west and KC move to the South? It would be dumb to have a LA team in a different div. than Oak, SD, Den.

So you're saying the Min will get a new stadium? The lease is done in 2011.

SD is an easy move to LA and would still have the fan base close by. Isn't their stadium lease up in 2011 too?



There are a number of realignment options in the NFL that make too much sense...which is why they won't happen. Easiest is better...so the idea of Houston, KC, Indy and Tennessee makes plenty of sense, is easy, and wouldn't ruffle too many feathers. KC won't want to give up Denver or the Raiders, but they'd get over it as Indy, Houston and Tennessee are all nearby meaning more potential sellouts from road warriors.




As for logic...I'm all for throwing away "history" in favor or logic. No reason why New England, Buffalo, NYJ and nearby Baltimore shouldn't be together. Who gives a f&#% that the Baltimore franchise was once in Cleveland. And in the south, you'd have Jacksonville, Miami, Tennessee and Houston...as opposed to a northern rust belt team in the "south" like Indianapolis. If the Jaguars moved to LA, then you have even more need for your "South" division to actually have the most southern team, Miami. Indy is a stones throw from Cincy, Cleveland and Pitt...makes a good foursome.

N) NE, Buf, NYJ, Balt
C) Pitt, Cle, Cin, Ind
S) Mia, Ten, Hou, KC
W) Den, Oak, LA, SD

For the NFC...
N) NYG, Phi, Was, Car
C) Det, Min, Chi, GB
S) StL, Dal, NO, Atl
W) Sea, SF, Arz

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:01 pm 
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Quinn wrote:
N) NE, Buf, NYJ, Balt
C) Pitt, Cle, Cin, Ind
S) Mia, Ten, Hou, KC
W) Den, Oak, LA, SD

For the NFC...
N) NYG, Phi, Was, Car
C) Det, Min, Chi, GB
S) StL, Dal, NO, Atl
W) Sea, SF, Arz


Don't know why you lost Tampa, but put them in the South and send Dallas west and you're set.

I like regional divisions as much as anyone, but the NFL is trying to split 9 BILLION dollars between owners and players. I don't think it's that much of a concern for them if Indianapolis is in the south division or Dallas in the east. It might look dumb on a map, but it's what they want and maintaining rivalries is important. St. Louis might fit better in a North or South division than the west but they have rivalries out west, just like the Cowboys have rivalries out east. Rivalries fill stadiums whether they are 100 miles or 2,000 miles apart. And it's the NFL, they're not having trouble filling stands for the most part.

BTW, I can't imagine how pissed KC would be. Miami?! They'd lose it. Oakland/KC is a classic game.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:55 pm 
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SJSUFan2010 wrote:
Quinn wrote:
N) NE, Buf, NYJ, Balt
C) Pitt, Cle, Cin, Ind
S) Mia, Ten, Hou, KC
W) Den, Oak, LA, SD

For the NFC...
N) NYG, Phi, Was, Car
C) Det, Min, Chi, GB
S) StL, Dal, NO, Atl
W) Sea, SF, Arz


Don't know why you lost Tampa, but put them in the South and send Dallas west and you're set.

I like regional divisions as much as anyone, but the NFL is trying to split 9 BILLION dollars between owners and players. I don't think it's that much of a concern for them if Indianapolis is in the south division or Dallas in the east. It might look dumb on a map, but it's what they want and maintaining rivalries is important. St. Louis might fit better in a North or South division than the west but they have rivalries out west, just like the Cowboys have rivalries out east. Rivalries fill stadiums whether they are 100 miles or 2,000 miles apart. And it's the NFL, they're not having trouble filling stands for the most part.

BTW, I can't imagine how pissed KC would be. Miami?! They'd lose it. Oakland/KC is a classic game.


Yeah, you're more likely to see Ohio State move to the Big East than the NFL move the Cowboys from the NFC East. Fox pays a big-time premium for the NFC rights compared to the AFC, and a lot of that is because every single NFC East matchup entails some combo of a massive East Coast market or the Cowboys. Moving KC out of the AFC West would be met with almost as much resistance - they would go *insane* over there. KC would not get over it at all.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Fresno St. Alum wrote:
Frank, if Jacksonville moves to LA would they join the AFC west and KC move to the South? It would be dumb to have a LA team in a different div. than Oak, SD, Den.

So you're saying the Min will get a new stadium? The lease is done in 2011.

SD is an easy move to LA and would still have the fan base close by. Isn't their stadium lease up in 2011 too?


SD would be the easy move to LA - it certainly would be the cleanest way to do it. I just see the Jaguars as the team that clearly needs to move no matter what.

My impression is that a stadium deal will get done for the Vikings. That's a great NFL market and with the amount of support that was provided to the Twins, T-Wolves and Wild for their stadiums, I believe there's no way they're letting the Vikings go when push comes to shove.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:05 pm 
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frankthetank wrote:
SJSUFan2010 wrote:
Quinn wrote:
N) NE, Buf, NYJ, Balt
C) Pitt, Cle, Cin, Ind
S) Mia, Ten, Hou, KC
W) Den, Oak, LA, SD

For the NFC...
N) NYG, Phi, Was, Car
C) Det, Min, Chi, GB
S) StL, Dal, NO, Atl
W) Sea, SF, Arz


Don't know why you lost Tampa, but put them in the South and send Dallas west and you're set.

I like regional divisions as much as anyone, but the NFL is trying to split 9 BILLION dollars between owners and players. I don't think it's that much of a concern for them if Indianapolis is in the south division or Dallas in the east. It might look dumb on a map, but it's what they want and maintaining rivalries is important. St. Louis might fit better in a North or South division than the west but they have rivalries out west, just like the Cowboys have rivalries out east. Rivalries fill stadiums whether they are 100 miles or 2,000 miles apart. And it's the NFL, they're not having trouble filling stands for the most part.

BTW, I can't imagine how pissed KC would be. Miami?! They'd lose it. Oakland/KC is a classic game.


Yeah, you're more likely to see Ohio State move to the Big East than the NFL move the Cowboys from the NFC East. Fox pays a big-time premium for the NFC rights compared to the AFC, and a lot of that is because every single NFC East matchup entails some combo of a massive East Coast market or the Cowboys. Moving KC out of the AFC West would be met with almost as much resistance - they would go *insane* over there. KC would not get over it at all.


Agreed. The scenario was just put out there to show the odd nature of NFL divisional alignment and how it strays so far from regional composition, when in fact, it's the only of the major sports that can have a consistent benefit by having a tighter regional fit. For example, take the "biggest rivalry" of Yankees and Red Sox. Sure, both fan sets travel for weekend series, but you aren't going to see many Bostonians drive down to NY on a Tuesday and stay through Thursday night's game. Meanwhile, in college football, we see how even a schools own fans plan months ahead of time to attend a Saturday game (as evident by FCS attendance being cut in half for playoff games even by schools with large followings). And the same planning allows at times thousands of fans of a road team also attend an away game nearby. In the NFL, if Jacksonville were in the same division as Miami, perhaps at least that one game every year, you'd have more tickets sold.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Quinn,

When Baltimore rejoined the NFL, we wanted to be in the AFC East (switching with Indy), but after 15 years of bitter rivalry with the Pitts, there is no sentiment to switch. Same with Miami; they won't leave NE, NYJ & Buff.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:17 pm 
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frankthetank wrote:
SJSUFan2010 wrote:
Quinn wrote:
E) NE, Buf, NYJ, Mia
N) Pitt, Cle, Cin, Balt
S) Ind, Ten, Hou, KC
W) Den, Oak, LA, SD

For the NFC...
E) NYG, Phi, Was, Dal
N) Det, Min, Chi, GB
S) Car, TB, NO, Atl
W) Sea, SF, Ari, STL

Fixed
Don't know why you lost Tampa, but put them in the South and send Dallas west and you're set.

I like regional divisions as much as anyone, but the NFL is trying to split 9 BILLION dollars between owners and players. I don't think it's that much of a concern for them if Indianapolis is in the south division or Dallas in the east. It might look dumb on a map, but it's what they want and maintaining rivalries is important. St. Louis might fit better in a North or South division than the west but they have rivalries out west, just like the Cowboys have rivalries out east. Rivalries fill stadiums whether they are 100 miles or 2,000 miles apart. And it's the NFL, they're not having trouble filling stands for the most part.

BTW, I can't imagine how pissed KC would be. Miami?! They'd lose it. Oakland/KC is a classic game.


Yeah, you're more likely to see Ohio State move to the Big East than the NFL move the Cowboys from the NFC East. Fox pays a big-time premium for the NFC rights compared to the AFC, and a lot of that is because every single NFC East matchup entails some combo of a massive East Coast market or the Cowboys. Moving KC out of the AFC West would be met with almost as much resistance - they would go *insane* over there. KC would not get over it at all.


So you're Saying the LA Jaguars would stay in the south, w/ Ten, Ind, Hou? If you want to keep a team in LA it would be wise to have Oak & SD as div. rivals. I can't see the fans being as excited to see an AFC south battle between LA & Ten.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:46 am 
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westwolf wrote:
Quinn,

When Baltimore rejoined the NFL, we wanted to be in the AFC East (switching with Indy), but after 15 years of bitter rivalry with the Pitts, there is no sentiment to switch. Same with Miami; they won't leave NE, NYJ & Buff.


TV rivalries you're referring to. Big difference than local rivalries.

Baltimore/Pitt is an exception though, as they are quite close and a large number of people do make the road trips for those games. Miami has the snow birds, but really, Miami has retirees from every city in the east both north and south.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:45 am 
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Fresno St. Alum wrote:
frankthetank wrote:
SJSUFan2010 wrote:
Quinn wrote:
E) NE, Buf, NYJ, Mia
N) Pitt, Cle, Cin, Balt
S) Ind, Ten, Hou, KC
W) Den, Oak, LA, SD

For the NFC...
E) NYG, Phi, Was, Dal
N) Det, Min, Chi, GB
S) Car, TB, NO, Atl
W) Sea, SF, Ari, STL

Fixed
Don't know why you lost Tampa, but put them in the South and send Dallas west and you're set.

I like regional divisions as much as anyone, but the NFL is trying to split 9 BILLION dollars between owners and players. I don't think it's that much of a concern for them if Indianapolis is in the south division or Dallas in the east. It might look dumb on a map, but it's what they want and maintaining rivalries is important. St. Louis might fit better in a North or South division than the west but they have rivalries out west, just like the Cowboys have rivalries out east. Rivalries fill stadiums whether they are 100 miles or 2,000 miles apart. And it's the NFL, they're not having trouble filling stands for the most part.

BTW, I can't imagine how pissed KC would be. Miami?! They'd lose it. Oakland/KC is a classic game.


Yeah, you're more likely to see Ohio State move to the Big East than the NFL move the Cowboys from the NFC East. Fox pays a big-time premium for the NFC rights compared to the AFC, and a lot of that is because every single NFC East matchup entails some combo of a massive East Coast market or the Cowboys. Moving KC out of the AFC West would be met with almost as much resistance - they would go *insane* over there. KC would not get over it at all.


So you're Saying the LA Jaguars would stay in the south, w/ Ten, Ind, Hou? If you want to keep a team in LA it would be wise to have Oak & SD as div. rivals. I can't see the fans being as excited to see an AFC south battle between LA & Ten.


That's actually a very interesting point. Unless it's a team from a current West Division, what will they do? An LA team has to be in the west, no doubt about that. So the easiest thing to do is have Oak or SD move to LA and the headache is resolved. But if it's someone like Jacksonville or Minnesota, then we could have problems. Then either St. Louis or Kansas City is moving and that's going to be a problem.

Knowing the NFL though, they probably would just leave them in the South. Look no further than the NFL lineup pre 1967 where the 49ers, Baltimore Colts, Atlanta Falcons, and LA Rams were in the Coastal Division. Geography doesn't concern the NFL.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:22 am 
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SJSUFan2010 wrote:
Fresno St. Alum wrote:
frankthetank wrote:
SJSUFan2010 wrote:
Quinn wrote:
E) NE, Buf, NYJ, Mia
N) Pitt, Cle, Cin, Balt
S) Ind, Ten, Hou, KC
W) Den, Oak, LA, SD

For the NFC...
E) NYG, Phi, Was, Dal
N) Det, Min, Chi, GB
S) Car, TB, NO, Atl
W) Sea, SF, Ari, STL

Fixed
Don't know why you lost Tampa, but put them in the South and send Dallas west and you're set.

I like regional divisions as much as anyone, but the NFL is trying to split 9 BILLION dollars between owners and players. I don't think it's that much of a concern for them if Indianapolis is in the south division or Dallas in the east. It might look dumb on a map, but it's what they want and maintaining rivalries is important. St. Louis might fit better in a North or South division than the west but they have rivalries out west, just like the Cowboys have rivalries out east. Rivalries fill stadiums whether they are 100 miles or 2,000 miles apart. And it's the NFL, they're not having trouble filling stands for the most part.

BTW, I can't imagine how pissed KC would be. Miami?! They'd lose it. Oakland/KC is a classic game.


Yeah, you're more likely to see Ohio State move to the Big East than the NFL move the Cowboys from the NFC East. Fox pays a big-time premium for the NFC rights compared to the AFC, and a lot of that is because every single NFC East matchup entails some combo of a massive East Coast market or the Cowboys. Moving KC out of the AFC West would be met with almost as much resistance - they would go *insane* over there. KC would not get over it at all.


So you're Saying the LA Jaguars would stay in the south, w/ Ten, Ind, Hou? If you want to keep a team in LA it would be wise to have Oak & SD as div. rivals. I can't see the fans being as excited to see an AFC south battle between LA & Ten.


That's actually a very interesting point. Unless it's a team from a current West Division, what will they do? An LA team has to be in the west, no doubt about that. So the easiest thing to do is have Oak or SD move to LA and the headache is resolved. But if it's someone like Jacksonville or Minnesota, then we could have problems. Then either St. Louis or Kansas City is moving and that's going to be a problem.

Knowing the NFL though, they probably would just leave them in the South. Look no further than the NFL lineup pre 1967 where the 49ers, Baltimore Colts, Atlanta Falcons, and LA Rams were in the Coastal Division. Geography doesn't concern the NFL.


The NFL's doesn't have to worry about travel because of two reasons:

(1) They have a season that is only 1/5 that of the NBA and NHL and 1/10 of MLB. Also there is never a situation where a team has less than 3 or 4 days to get to their next game. All 3 other leagues have back-to-back travel situations so you have to keep divisions compact so a majority of their games are close by.

(2) Do to having a much shorter season and fewer chances to see a game teams aren't as depended on fans off the opposition traveling to games to fill up the stadiums. Also if fans do travel the longer road trip is easier in the NFL because 90% of games are played on the weekend.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Quinn,

If you attended a game in either city and saw the number of visiting fans you would realize that Balt-Pitts is not just a TV rivalry. It's only 4 hours' drive between cities. Miami is so accessible by flight from NY, Boston & Buffalo that the same situation occurs.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:48 pm 
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westwolf wrote:
Quinn,

If you attended a game in either city and saw the number of visiting fans you would realize that Balt-Pitts is not just a TV rivalry. It's only 4 hours' drive between cities. Miami is so accessible by flight from NY, Boston & Buffalo that the same situation occurs.



I think you missed my last post, might want to check it out.

As for Miami, your same argument can be made for any cities in the US...every city is convenient when you factor in flight...especially when you have more than half the AFC closer to NY than Miami is. Regardless, we're talking about convenience, not long flights.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:01 pm 
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hickory_cornhusker wrote:
SJSUFan2010 wrote:
Fresno St. Alum wrote:
frankthetank wrote:
SJSUFan2010 wrote:
Quinn wrote:
E) NE, Buf, NYJ, Mia
N) Pitt, Cle, Cin, Balt
S) Ind, Ten, Hou, KC
W) Den, Oak, LA, SD

For the NFC...
E) NYG, Phi, Was, Dal
N) Det, Min, Chi, GB
S) Car, TB, NO, Atl
W) Sea, SF, Ari, STL

Fixed
Don't know why you lost Tampa, but put them in the South and send Dallas west and you're set.

I like regional divisions as much as anyone, but the NFL is trying to split 9 BILLION dollars between owners and players. I don't think it's that much of a concern for them if Indianapolis is in the south division or Dallas in the east. It might look dumb on a map, but it's what they want and maintaining rivalries is important. St. Louis might fit better in a North or South division than the west but they have rivalries out west, just like the Cowboys have rivalries out east. Rivalries fill stadiums whether they are 100 miles or 2,000 miles apart. And it's the NFL, they're not having trouble filling stands for the most part.

BTW, I can't imagine how pissed KC would be. Miami?! They'd lose it. Oakland/KC is a classic game.


Yeah, you're more likely to see Ohio State move to the Big East than the NFL move the Cowboys from the NFC East. Fox pays a big-time premium for the NFC rights compared to the AFC, and a lot of that is because every single NFC East matchup entails some combo of a massive East Coast market or the Cowboys. Moving KC out of the AFC West would be met with almost as much resistance - they would go *insane* over there. KC would not get over it at all.


So you're Saying the LA Jaguars would stay in the south, w/ Ten, Ind, Hou? If you want to keep a team in LA it would be wise to have Oak & SD as div. rivals. I can't see the fans being as excited to see an AFC south battle between LA & Ten.


That's actually a very interesting point. Unless it's a team from a current West Division, what will they do? An LA team has to be in the west, no doubt about that. So the easiest thing to do is have Oak or SD move to LA and the headache is resolved. But if it's someone like Jacksonville or Minnesota, then we could have problems. Then either St. Louis or Kansas City is moving and that's going to be a problem.

Knowing the NFL though, they probably would just leave them in the South. Look no further than the NFL lineup pre 1967 where the 49ers, Baltimore Colts, Atlanta Falcons, and LA Rams were in the Coastal Division. Geography doesn't concern the NFL.


The NFL's doesn't have to worry about travel because of two reasons:

(1) They have a season that is only 1/5 that of the NBA and NHL and 1/10 of MLB. Also there is never a situation where a team has less than 3 or 4 days to get to their next game. All 3 other leagues have back-to-back travel situations so you have to keep divisions compact so a majority of their games are close by.

(2) Do to having a much shorter season and fewer chances to see a game teams aren't as depended on fans off the opposition traveling to games to fill up the stadiums. Also if fans do travel the longer road trip is easier in the NFL because 90% of games are played on the weekend.

I know travel isn't a problem in the NFL but sell outs are in towns that don't care. That's why Jacksonville wants to leave. LA lost 2 teams already, so does the new LA Jaguars want to shoot themselves in the foot by moving to LA and not have SD & Oak come play in their stadium every year? LA people will be excited about football at first but after a few years, how many times are they gonna come watch Ind,Hou,Ten over Oak, SD, Den? They'd probably rather go to the beach or watch at home if it's not blacked out.

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