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The NFL decided today to realign the league effective for the 2002 season. What this means is that the NFL will now consist of eight 4-team divisions. Now, in the NFC, we will have the North (Chicago, Green Bay, Detroit and Minnesota), the South (Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans and Tampa Bay), the West (Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle), and the East (Dallas, NY Giants, Philadelphia and Washington). The AFC will be made up of the North (Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh), the South (Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee), the West (Denver, Kansas City, Oakland and San Diego) and the East (Buffalo, Miami, New England and the NY Jets).

The major changes, in case you can't figure it out, are that there is no longer a Central division in each league (replaced by the North and South divisions - rather Civil War-ish, isn't it?), Arizona switches from NFC East to NFC West (this should've been done a long time ago - never did understand why this one happened in the first place), Seattle moves from the AFC to the NFC, and an expansion team has been added in Houston. Kinda different.

I can think of one major change I would make to this plan, though. In the AFC, Indianapolis should be in the North not the South. To balance it out, move Pittsburgh to the East (not North) and Miami to the South (not East). Did you get all that? I know that Pittsburgh is at the westernmost tip of Pennsylvania, but it makes more sense to have Miami in the South and I think this idea could work pretty well. However, I must say that I cannot wait to start watching NFC North action. Yeah, baby.

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