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New League Structure

Bob Davis

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Hi all,

Season 13 of my solitaire league is winding down with only the Conference Championship games and Super Bowl left to play. Next season I will be adding 2 new teams, the Denver Broncos and the Buffalo Bills. This will increase the league to 18 teams. I'm going to change the league structure from the 2 conference/4 division (2 in each conference)/16 team (4 in each division) to 2 conference/6 division (3 in each conference)/18 team (3 in each division). The breakdown is below. Also, I want to punch the regular season down from 5 games per team to 3 games per team. I'm doing this because I don't want the regular season to be so long that I lose interest half way through the season. Scheduling is as follows: Each team would play the other two teams in their division, teams from two divisions (same conference) would play one game against each other, and the 2 remaining divisions (one from each conference) would play each other giving each team a 3 game schedule.  The interdivision/interconference game per year would rotate each season. Playoff framework will be each of the 6 division winners make the playoffs (obviously) with all getting a first round bye, and 4 wildcards (2 from each division) also getting in. 10 out of 18 teams would make the playoffs which coupled with the shorter regular season ensures that most of the games will be meaningful in terms of making the playoffs. What do you think? Any suggestions are welcome. 


Central Division - Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns

North Division - New York Giants, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills

Metro Division - Washington Redskins, Baltimore Colts, Philadelphia Eagles


Northwest Division - San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos

Southwest Division - Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys

Deep South Division - New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Oilers



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Very Good Idea!! The number of games to play is probably the one reason a lot of solitaire leagues with a large number of teams never get finsihed. Another suggestion is to just play double eliminaion tournaments. I have done that in the past. I also allow tie games in the early rounds and then change to a single elimination with OT when it gets down to the Final 4. There are many ways to play and enjoy the game. The main thing is to "Just have Fun!!"    

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I did have a couple special rivalries Jim. Colts vs Giants has always been a game I looked forward to playing. It seemed like they were always competing for the AFC East in the last week of the season. They have additionally met in the AFC Championship 4 times including last season's thrilling triple OT classic. Rams vs Redskins was always a fun one too. The Redskins were one of few NFC teams that were consistently strong enough to compete with the Rams in the early seasons. Both teams were almost always competitive in the NFC, and met 3 times in the NFC Championship game. A couple seasons ago I switched the Redskins to the AFC (for geographic reasons).  Once the playoffs were set this season, I thought that it would be cool if the Rams and the Redskins made it to the Super Bowl this season, but both teams lost in the first round of the playoffs this year. Not sure why I'm so tied to a geographic structure. The Vikings are kind of a nightmare in terms of geography. Case and point is the NFC Northwest Division (Minnesota/San Francisco/Denver. I'll see how I enjoy this format and I can always rearrange things. 

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