The Worst Divisions In Sports

I'm bored, I'm watching "Hung" On Demand because I'm taking advantage of free Show Time Comcast gave me and I do have plenty of time to come up with a witty opener and make a great sports / pop culture reference Bill Simmons style. However I will not. Let's just jump right in.

Although a quick disclaimer (it wouldn't be a Sexy Rexy post without at least ONE disclaimer) this list is solely for the big conferences in major sports. I could comment on the worst division in Division 3A in football, but that's too easy. Also, this list is not historic, just within the last year on the sport.

OK, now let's jump right in.

5) Northwest Division, Western Conference (NHL)

Admittedly, I don't watch hockey. I'm glad the NFL is back because if both football and basketball were locked out I would watch hockey (because I am reading The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons and everyone I know watches basketball I figured if there was no NFL but an NBA, I'd start watching basketball. Also, inspired by the Bill Simmons book, I really wish I could add a footnote here).

But anyways, I thought this post would be a really lame list with only four divisions (really though, I only like my top three) and I did not want any repeat sports- although the NL West (MLB) and AFC South (NFL) would be good contenders, so I went with hockey.

This division did have the Vancouver Canucks in it who represented the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup and were a #1 seed- but after them it was brutal. The Northwest Conference was the only division in the NHL last year to only have one representative make it to the playoffs. And with a playoff format like the NHL where eight teams make the playoffs, it is pretty pathetic to only have one rep.

The Calgary Flames, who finished second to the Canucks, would be third place (according to points) in every other division- and in the vast majority of them 4th. Every team in the Pacific division had more points than the Flames.

This is the quintessential sign of a bad division. We're talking about the division as a whole, not just one team in the division here. Keep up folks!

4) Central Division, Eastern Conference (NBA)

This division follows along the same lines as the Northwest Division in the NHL. It had one great team (here my beloved Chicago Bulls) and the rest were pitiful. My other choice was the Pacific Division in the West because only the Lakers from that division went to the playoffs versus two went from the Central. However, the second team from the Central was the Indiana Pacers who ended up being the 8th seed in the East and who only won 37 games (.451 winning percentage) versus the Phoenix Suns who won 40 games and came second to the Lakers. Plus, even *I* know the East is the crappier division.

The Central Division had the worst team in the East and the second worst team in the NBA last year- the Cleveland Cavaliers who only won 19 games. The Central Division was the only other division besides the Pacific to not have at least two teams go over .500 and the only division that only had one team get over 40 wins.

I love ya Bulls, but your division sucked.

3) Big East (NCAA Football)

There are six majors divisions in college sports: Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big-12, Pac-10, and Big East. Last year, the SEC had two teams, the Big Ten had three teams, the Pac-10 had two teams, and the Big-12 had one team in the top 10. While the ACC only had one representative in the top 25 (Big East had two) at least the winner of the ACC (Virginia Tech) was ranked a respectable 12th. The top team from the Big East last year (West Virginia) ranked a whopping 22 and Connecticut barely held in there at 25.

Part of what makes this situation so frustrating and added to my contempt of the Big East is that there are only a select few major bowl games in college football and because the Big East is considered a major conference, they stole a spot from a team that actually deserved to play in a major Bowl game. A few years back when Ohio State played in that Championship Game against LSU, Illinois (ranked #13 at the time) went to the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten representative and college football fans were in an uproar. But that selection was made by Rose Bowl representatives. They could have chosen not to take Illinois and taken a more deserving team. The Fiesta Bowl was forced to take Connecticut who were then handly destroyed by Oklahoma (Big-12). West Virginia went to the Champs Bowl were they were handly destroyed by NC State (ACC).

At least the Big East made up for their mistake and sent 11 representative to dance in March Madness. 10 went out early like they always do but UConn made up for their football blunder by winning the whole she-bang.

2) AL Central (MLB)

As of the writing of this post, about 105 games into the season, the AL Central is the only division to not have any team with a positive run differential. That means that every team in the division has allowed more runs scored than they have scored themselves. It happens because when a team wins they win by a little but when they lose, they lose big. But when you've gone this many games into the season, to be over .500 and/or lead your division and you still have a negative run differential then it's just pitiful. All that means is that whoever wins the AL Central (it looks like it will be the Detroit Tigers who are currently in first place in the AL Central) will get swept in the first round of the playoffs.

The Tigers, who have only won 61 games, would be third place in every other division with the record they currently hold. THIRD! This team is winning their division and they would be THIRD in every other division. Not just second place, but middle of the pack in the other five divisions.

Say it in your best Charles Barkley impersonation: "Turrible, just turrible."

1) NFC West (NFL)

Was there really any doubt in your mind the NFC West is the worst division in sports? The Seattle Seahawks made it to the playoffs and won their division with a losing record! I'm pretty sure this is the first time ever a professional team in the Big Four in sports won their division with a losing record. Seattle didn't go .500 but they actually lost more games than they won. I saw the Seattle/St. Louis game in Week 17 where Sam Bradford could have taken his team to the promise land and a somewhat respectable 8-8. But noooooope! His receivers had to be d-bags and drop great passes and allow Seattle to win. Seattle was 6-8 going into Week 17 and still made it to the playoffs! What's even worse is that they got home field advantage. I understand it's hard to win a playoff game on the road but the Saints were a far superior team than the Seahawks and that talent and skill should have paid off for them.

Un-freaking-believable this division was.



DB said...

Just 2 things quickly to say. First, actually, entirely agree, especially with 1 through 3. I don't know enough to comment on 4 and 5, but the Big East pisses me off, I'm glad the Tigs are in the central. As for the NFC West I got to my second point which is.... I CALLED IT!