- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2007

News flash: The NFL announced today it will reorganize along the lines of British soccer. Henceforth, the AFC will be the Premier League and the NFC the Championship League.

That, of course, won’t happen. But given the disparity between the conferences already apparent after Week 1, the league might want to consider it.

Just look at the results of this past week.

The AFC’s Super Bowl champion Colts walloped the Saints, who reached the NFC Championship game last season, 41-10. The Chargers, who had the best record in the AFC, beat the NFC champion Bears, 14-3.

The NFC’s top four teams from last season — the Bears, Saints, Seahawks and Eagles — scored a combined 46 points (an 11.5 average). The AFC’s four top teams — the Colts, Patriots, Chargers and Ravens — combined for 113 (a 28.3 average).

The AFC has the league’s two top quarterbacks in the Colts’ Peyton Manning of the Patriots’ Tom Brady.

The AFC has the only active coaches who have won two Super Bowl trophies in the past decade: Bill Belichick of the Patriots and Mike Shanahan of the Broncos.

The AFC also has arguably the two best running backs in football, LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers and Larry Johnson of the Chiefs; the game’s top cornerback in Champ Bailey of the Broncos; and the best pass-rusher in Jason Taylor of the Dolphins.

The top three teams in The Times’ weekly rankings, the Patriots, Colts and Chargers, all belong to the AFC. So do seven of the top 10 (add the Bengals, Ravens, Broncos and Steelers).

No wonder the AFC has won the past four Super Bowls and eight of the past 10. No wonder the AFC has won or tied the season series between the conferences each year since 1995.

The NFC has … closer races: Only the Bears won their division by more than two games in last season. But all that parity amounted only to mediocrity. Consider: The Broncos posted a winning record and missed the playoffs in the AFC, but the Giants qualified in the NFC at .500

Maybe it’s just a phase. The NFC, after all, won 13 straight Super Bowls from the 1984 through the 1996 seasons.

But even so, the bottom line is that the NFC’s best teams are playing for second place, rendering the NFL like the NCAA Tournament during UCLA’s heyday and any Grand Slam event that includes Roger Federer or Tiger Woods.

At least in Britain, the best Championship League teams can hope to move up to the Premier League. We’re stuck with the AFC and NFC as they are.

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