Broncos Head Coach Advocates For Eliminating Divisions, Revising Rivalries

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) — He may be in only his first year as Denver Broncos head coach, but Vic Fangio told reporters Wednesday he has been speaking for years in favor of modifying the NFL schedule and the present alignment of its divisions.

“I’ve been saying it since 2002,” Fangio said.

His proposal?

No more West, East, North or South divisions. No more playing the Raiders, Chiefs and Chargers twice in a season, in the case of the Broncos.

Instead, the regular season would consist of teams of playing entirely within their conference. The Broncos, for instance, would play every other team in the AFC once – the Colts, Patriots, Steelers….all of them.

“You’ve got 16 (teams) in each conference,” he explained. “Everybody should play each other once. That’s 15 games.  Jets and Giants play every year, Eagles-Steelers, Texans-Cowboys, etc.”

Then, one “natural rival,” as Fangio called it, from the other conference would fill out the 16-game schedule.

Who would that be for Denver?

“I guess it would be Arizona, right?” Fangio quipped. “Aren’t they the closest geographically?”

That type of through-conference, round-robin schedule, he argued, would ensure the best six teams in each conference are sitting at the top of it by the end of the regular season.

“You’re going to get the six best teams in each conference,” he said. “You’ll avoid the problem that’s going to happen this year where probably an 8-8 team is hosting a 12-4 team” in the first round of the playoffs.

“I just don’t think divisions are going to get you the best six every year,” as the divisions are presently set up, he said. “You want the best six? Do it like they do in college. You play everybody once.”

What, no more home-and-away excitement, coach?

“It doesn’t hurt the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, Alabama-Auburn. They only play once a year.”

Fangio also prefers a three-game preseason. If another game was added to the regular season, he would want a second bye week to help athletes recover from their injuries.

“I just think 16 is more than enough.”