I thought it would be useful to look at what such a schedule would mean. The current set up is very simple. Each team plays:
Under the reported plan, the eight-game season would start in late November and culminate with the Super Bowl in Indianapolis Feb. 12. The NFL has previously cleared the way for the Super Bowl to be played as late as Feb. 12.
The league is looking to give teams five weeks before the season to sign free agents, hold training camps, and possibly play preseason games.
- Two games against each divisional opponent, both home and away (6 games).
- A game against every team in a different conference division (4 games).
- A game against every team in an opposite conference division (4 games).
- A game against the same place finisher in the other two conference divisions (2 games).
- Two games against each divisional opponent and two against same place finishers for a total of eight games.
- Three against the division, four AFC/NFC games and one against a same place finisher?
- Four against another division in your conference and the other conference, all division teams playing the same schedule?
- Eight games picked by the league with some crazy formula that wouldn't make complete sense?
Ok, but what if the season is more than eight games? The season is set to go on September 11th, so the labor situation would need to be figured out by August 7th or so to keep everything as is. If they want to eliminate the bye week and the week off before the Super Bowl that pushes things back as far as August 21st. My sense is that the pressure will be on the players and not the owners, so I think if it goes to August it will probably go into September as well.
Players won't actually miss any money until they start to miss game checks, which happens after regular season games are played. If they fold after one week (say September 14th) then the league still wants five weeks to get moving. That would put the season start somewhere around October 23rd and probably a twelve week season. What would that look like?
- Six divisional games (home and away), two against same place finishers and four against a common division either same or opposite conference.