Where would the Washington Football Team be if NFL divisions realigned?

Washington Football Team helmet. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Washington Football Team helmet. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Could the Washington Football Team find themselves in a new division next year or sometime in the future?  Will the NFL consider division realignment at some point in the coming years?

During this young millennium, collegiate athletics transformed itself through a process known as “conference realignment”.  The “Power 5” conferences went through major changes by adding institutions or losing schools to a rival conference.  Most analysts at the time watched the changes and were mixed as to how it would affect the future.  Thus far, the changes appear to be working and it has been fully accepted by fans and alums of the various institutions.

Could division and conference realignment come to the NFL?  The forces that dictated change for the Power 5 conferences in the NCAA are not the same dynamics that would be seen in the NFL.  Multiple factors dictated changes for the NCAA (too many to list here), but such changes for the NFL would be mostly centered on regional location and travel concerns.

Today, we will take a look at NFL realignment, why it should happen, and how it could affect the Washington Football Team.  We will break it down into the two conferences and list each reapportioned division.

The New AFC

We will have some comments after presenting this list to you and the rationale behind it.

AFC East

  • Baltimore
  • Miami
  • New England
  • NY Jets

AFC North

  • Buffalo
  • Cincinnati
  • Pittsburgh
  • Cleveland

AFC South

  • Tennessee
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Jacksonville

AFC West

  • Kansas City
  • Las Vegas
  • Denver
  • LA Chargers

Baltimore moves from the North to the East.  Buffalo moves from the East to the North.  Dallas moves from the NFC East to the AFC South.

The Buffalo and Baltimore change makes sense based on geography.  It’s a minor change, but it makes sense when you look at a map.

Dallas coming to the South division would be the right choice.  Again, it is based on geography and the new rivalries, especially Dallas-Houston, would quickly become spirited battles each year.  The old rivalry with the Washington Football Team is fun, but it no longer has the same dynamic due to the Washington Football Team changing their name.  This move benefits Dallas, the NFC East, and the AFC South.

The New NFC

NFC East

  • Detroit
  • NY Giants
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington

NFC North

  • Chicago
  • Green Bay
  • Indianapolis
  • Minnesota

NFC South

  • Tampa Bay
  • New Orleans
  • Carolina
  • Atlanta

NFC West

  • Seattle
  • Arizona
  • LA Rams
  • San Francisco

Detroit moves from the North to the East.  Indianapolis moves from the AFC South to the NFC North.  Dallas moves from the NFC East to the AFC South.

Moving Detroit from the North to the East was difficult, but placing a team that resides in the eastern time zone is logical.  Dallas residing in the NFC East no longer makes sense, especially when you look at the distance between the three East teams and Irving, Texas.  Placing Detroit in the East with the Washington Football Team was a reasonable solution.

Moving Indianapolis from the AFC South to the North mitigates the loss of Detroit.  Placing Indianapolis in the AFC South has always been an awkward placement and this move to the NFC corrects that unusual arrangement.  An Indianapolis-Chicago rivalry figures to be a good battle each year.

Realignment Thoughts

When the NCAA went through numerous changes in recent years, it was strange at first.  However, new rivalries were established and the various conferences were strengthened.  Change is never easy, but the NCAA has proven that it can be very successful.  Fans lamented the changes, but most of it was short-lived.

The NFL would get some backlash at first, but it will fade quickly when new division races and rivalries become a spirted affair each year.  It’s not easy to accept at first, but the quick passage of time tends to bring new and exciting moments that were not anticipated.

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Also, keep in mind that the NFL has experienced many realignments over the years and look at where the league is today.  It thrives.  It will continue to thrive and making these few tweaks will bring a new infusion of excitement to the fan base.  These changes could benefit the league, and when you look at it logically, it makes sense.  A Lions-Washington Football Team rivalry sounds like a lot of fun!  Who is up for a drive from the DMV to Detroit once a year?