The NFC South has been a division of two teams for the last few years and those two teams have not let loose of the grip. The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints have quickly created one of the best divisional rivalries in the NFL and it has been the focus of the NFC South for the better part of four years. In the four years from 2009-2012 no other team won except for Atlanta and New Orleans while the runner up in three of those four years was either the Saints or the Falcons.
The AFC South has characterized by one dominant team at a time while the rest of the teams try to figure things out. The top team generally runs away with the division without much of a battle and the rest of the teams fall off far from the playoffs. For years that team was the Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning. The Colts were the only team in the division every year and despite a few challenges from the Tennessee Titans every now and then, they were the only team in the division. The thing about that was that although they were the only team in the division they were also favourites to win a Super Bowl.
The UFC had planned one of the biggest rematches of the year to highlight UFC 177 in a night that was supposed to provide redemption or reassurance. TJ Dillashaw was the champion after beating a man nobody thought he could beat in Renan Barao. This was the chance for Barao to get back in the octagon and take the belt back after being handled easily by a fighter that nobody thought even belonged in a title shot.
Much like the AFC East the NFC east is one of the stranger divisions in the NFL but unlike in the AFC the East in the NFC is a much more formidable division. The NFC East is a division that produces a little bit more of a punch than their counterparts in the AFC and there is a different level of competition to win the division. In the AFC East the Patriots are the rulers but in the NFC it is almost a toss-up every year to find out who will win. The last few years have created a real divide in the division with the development of two very distinct types of teams.
The MLB postseason race is heating up with only one month left for teams to solidify their spot in the postseason. As the season closes every game gets that much more important for the teams in the hunt. That puts everything under an even bigger microscope than it has ever been before. This happens every year as mistakes become much bigger and one misstep can put a player into the hot seat really fast. More than the players though, the umpires are put in a situation where one missed call can change everything.
The AFC east is a division that has regularly had dominant teams in the mix but lately they seem to be a division that just pumps out mediocre teams. The king of those mediocre teams is the New England Patriots who are not necessarily mediocre. They are one of the best teams in the league year after year but have done so well and been so consistent that it really doesn’t shock anyone. Now they just continue to win and create less drama than any other division. There are rarely tight battles in the division anymore and which makes the drama that much less in this division.
The NFC North has been one of the tougher division to compete in and although it always seems to come down to the wire. For the last three years the Green Bay Packers have been at the top of the division although they have not been able to run away with it for the last two years. The Chicago Bears have been right behind them every step of the way in the last few years as they continue their rivalry with the Packers.
The UFC has had an interesting year in 2014 as upsets have been the highlight of fights so far this year. No upset was bigger than when Renan Barao lost grip of his Bantamweight Title that everyone believed he would hold until he faced a returning Dominick Cruz. Cruz was the former champion that had yet to be beat in a title fight. A torn ACL and a number of setbacks have kept Cruz out of the octagon for almost three years.
It wasn’t so long ago that the AFC North was one of the most dominant divisions in the NFL and one of the most difficult to break through. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens ruled the North winning 9 of 11 division titles since the creation of the AFC North division in 2002. There was rarely a year where Pittsburgh or Baltimore were not favourites to make the playoffs and many times they were favourites to win the Super Bowl, and made good on that prediction.
Another season is almost hear in the NFL and once again all teams begin with an even scale looking to make their way to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX. The league will look to go through another season as the most popular league in North America but it is a tougher battle every year. The NFL is far above most other leagues in the region but with a number of issues over the last few years giving them a black eye. The league continues to fight back from the image issues they are beginning to have that have made them less of a family friendly league than they used to be.