The Miami Dolphins have not even reached the 2012 training camp yet, and the 2013 scheduling matchups have been released.
Yes, you read that correctly. The NFL has released their 2012 NFL Record and Fact Book, which includes a review of last searson, as well as a look forward at this season. The book also contrains individual and team records, summaries of every Super Bowl, and a look at every Pro Bowl. But, maybe the most interesting piece of the book comes on page 17 - the break down of team schedules for this year and next year.
The league uses a rotational process to develop evey team's schedule from year to year. There are four categories of games each team plays:
- Home-and-home against divisional opponents (6 games)
- Intraconference divisional matchup (4 games) - three year cycle
- Interconference divisional mathcup (4 games) - four year cycle
- Intraconference games based on prior season's standings (2 games)
For the AFC East in 2012, the intraconference games are against the AFC South, while the Interconference games feature the NFCW. For 2013, those will rotate to the AFC North and the NFC South.
So, for the 2013 schedule, the Miami Dolphins know they will play three home games and three away games against the AFC East; they will play one game each against the AFC North and the AFC South; finally, they will play the teams from the AFC West and AFC South that finishes in the same place within their division as Miami does in 2012.
But, that's not all the NFL Record and Fact Book breaks down for 2013. They also list the home and away matchups for each team. Again, turning our attention to the Dolphins, the 2013 schedule will feature:
- Home: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and the AFC West opponent
- Away: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the AFC South opponent
Even as we prepare for the 2012 season, we can already start looking forward to the 2013 season. What are you thoughts on 2013's match-ups?