Jacksonville Jaguars: The Ultimate AFC South Alignment
How would creating a true AFC South division affect the Jacksonville Jaguars in the future?
The Jacksonville Jaguars should play 11 games in the state of Florida every year.
The team’s current division consisting of the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Tennessee Titans needs to be blown up and restructured. Currently, every year the Jaguars are scheduled to travel 3,974 miles through the air round trip between their three divisional opponents.
What I propose is a complete realignment of the AFC South that will have repercussions through four of the NFL’s eight divisions.
While admittedly, I first took a look at this scenario to find the most advantageous situation to put the Jacksonville Jaguars in, I believe the realignment will have positive waves for those teams it affects. For the sake of optimism, a caveat I have in place is canceling the London home games.
I am an eternal Jaguars optimist at heart. Without further ado here is my Jaguars dream division scenario and the ripple effects it would have on the League.
(For this overall scenario consider this an even swap, the team that joins the AFC South has its slot filled by the departing AFC South team)
Replace Tennessee with Tampa Bay
I understand that Jacksonville Jaguars fans have a seething hatred for the Mayo Men of Nashville but by replacing the Titans with the Buccaneers the Jaguars would be able to add an in-state divisional opponent and cut travel by 606 Miles round trip.
I enjoy having rivalries in the NFL but cutting the Titans is simply too good to pass up. The common theme throughout this article is a simple fact that: It Just Makes Sense.
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Replace Houston with Atlanta
Although I would love nothing more than to be in the same division as the almighty B.O.B the Texans are the longest divisional road trip each year with 1,630 miles round trip and that number would be reduced by over 1,000 miles down to 540.
So, here comes the Atlanta Falcons to the AFC South. At this point, just imagine the plausibility of fans of ALL divisional teams being able to realistically travel between all divisional teams, and it only gets better.
Replace Indianapolis with Miami
Say goodbye to the Ghost of Peyton Manning and hello to South Beach! The savings in miles for this swap would be 706 miles roundtrip and would get the geographic albatross that is Indianapolis out of ANY South Division in the NFL.
This would complete the realignment to ensure that all of the Florida teams would be in the same division and make for one sweet southern division. The Jaguars may have lost a dome away game in this scenario but they also gained one by adding Atlanta to the division.
For the Jaguars specifically, they would go from an annual divisional air mileage count of 3,974 miles all the way down to 1,572 miles, a reduction of 60 percent.
The reduction of travel would be a money saver and a money-maker. The money-making aspect of this scenario would be the possibility to have reliable attendance from opposing fans given the closer geographic nature of the division compared to in the past.
I would envision this as the ultimate divisional set up for the Jacksonville Jaguars that would allow them to prosper while staying as close to home as possible. If the NFL wants to have divisions and their matchups matter I cannot think of a better set up for the South than what I have proposed.