I like it because it makes every division a four team set. We also got rid of Peyton Manning and the Colts. I know we usually kick their butts, but with Dungy there now in control of a new defense, those guys could get scary.
It needed to be done, and I am glad it worked out.
I personally thought that it was needed some time ago. While I wish we could still have 5 teams per conf., I am happy that we don't face Tony Dungy and crew.
Like Wanny said, this makes the 6 games much more important.
Being a Floridian, I would have liked to see a division including TB, J'ville, and some of the southern based teams, just so I could go to these away games. However, I fully understand about keeping the traditional rivalries alive, and agree with it.
It just seems like so much of a natural for the Fins, Bucs, and the Jags to play each other more than once every few years. Tell me those wouldn't be some great rivalries after a few years. Imagine how many fans of each team would travel to the away games, adding to all the excitement
It makes conference games all that much more important and makes strength of schedule less important. The Ravens and Steelers had an EMTREMELY unfair advantage playing in Central conference with weak Bengals, Browns, and Jags teams. 10 of their 16 games were division games... so if they had a weak division... they were almost guaranteed a first-round bye. Plus, they didn't really get tested during the year, because they didn't have to play any of the contendors from other divisions.
Now... everyone has the exact same formula... only 6 division games. 6 inter-conference games (One division top to bottom, and 2 strength-of-schedule derived games) and 4 intra-conference games from one division in the opposite conference playing all teams top to bottom. This eliminates the "last-place" schedule advantage many teams have had in coming out of nowhere the last couple years... and helps out teams like the dolphins who were stuck in extremely competitive divisions. Because now... we only have 6 division battles each year instead of 8... and we will be facing mostly the same competition as the other top AFC contendors.
The only thing I don't like is... I think the Dolphins ended up getting screwed the most out of the deal. Sure, I liked keeping our rivalries with the jets, bills, and pats... but we are a warm-weather team stuck in a cold-weather division. I don't like the chance that the scheduling geniuses in the NFL might have the Dolphins playing three division games in the snow.
I'm not to upset about the "cold weather division" as long as they schedule the away games early on in the season. But of course the football God's wont see to that. Nope. We'll be up in Buffalo in December....ain't we so lucky.
I like the new format. But I also agree with some posters on a few topics.
I would LOVE to be in a division with Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. In-state rivalries are always the best (UM, UF, FSU....'Bama, Auburn, etc..). Shoot, the Bucs and Phins already have a fierce rivalry, as do the fans. Too bad we only get to play it out in preseason scrimmages. And there would certainly be a lot of travelling done by the fans between stadiums. It would be great to go to RayJay and see my Phins.
Also, I agree that it sucks that we're in the AFC East. While I love the division and the rivalries, it's still not fair geographically. I mean look at it. We're in a division with three cold-weather teams that are all 200-400 miles of each other. For our divisional road games, we have to travel 1300-1500 miles. Just seems crummy sometimes.
Most may not like this, but I am totaly against the whole "bye" week thing in the first round of the playoffs. I think there shouldn't be a "bye" week and there should be 8 playoff teams in each conference instead of just 6. It would make the end of the season a little more challanging for the mediocre teams. But I really don't have any complaints about the way it is run now. I guess I am just used to it!
I am glad to see most of us agreeing with the new formula. I for one think it is about time and it's nice to see Baltimore and Pitt lose the big advantage they had.
Some of you guy seem to think we are getting screwed by having to travel north for division games in the later part of the schedule. I for one see nothing wrong with that and I'll tell you why.
First off...That means we get the northern teams here during the warmer part of the year...Advantage - us.
Next...We are NOT Tampa...we can win in weather colder than 40 degrees. We have been killing Buffalo lately. Our losing to the Jets are more a mental issue than the weather. And the Pats have been beaten by us in Foxboro...Advantage - at least a push but I still say it is ours.
Also...This will give us a great deal of experience in cold weather games come playoff time. Say NE does edge us out for the division and gets home field. We already know we can win there...Advantage - us
Lastly...Just because we are playing up north...It does NOT mean it will be freezing and snow in Nov/Dec...Granted it will more than likely be...but no one can predict the weather...Advantage...push or home team...
So as Nick Bakay would say...Its so much easier when you look at things scientificly...
I agree with 54, especially getting accustomed to cold weather; but I don't necessarily think that we're more likely to gain two victories a year by not facing the Colts. They've split games with us most of the past few years
I will also agree with 54, and take it one step further. Those cold weather games can only help if Miami (God forbid) has to go on the road to some cold weather city in the playoffs. The 'Fins usually do just fine in the cold and they do even better in the intense heat. I guess one could say that they are definitely not a "fair weather" team (OK, I know that was bad but I had to say it.) :goof: