No Post-Season – Championship by standings. [3] Akron and Buffalo both awarded their team members with gold medallions.[4]. Each tie was then counted as half of a win and half of a loss, rather than being omitted from the computation. Wayne Rooney is at the centre of a coronavirus confusion after being visited by a friend who had been instructed to be tested for Covid-19. Home field for the 1933 title game was determined by the won-lost percentage in use at the time; the Western Division champion Chicago Bears (10–2–1, .833), having a better record that the Eastern Division champion New York Giants (11–3–0, .786), won the right to host the first title playoff. Thus the third AFL-NFL matchup was dubbed "Super Bowl III" and the first two matches were retronamed as Super Bowls I and II. This lack of "home-field advantage" was most evident in the 1972 playoffs, when the undefeated Miami Dolphins played the AFC Championship Game at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh against the Steelers, who were undefeated at home during the regular season, but had three losses on the road. In 1990, the NFL expanded the playoffs to twelve teams by adding a third wild-card team (a sixth seed) from each conference. Thereafter, from 1934 onward, the divisions alternated the site of the playoff, with the East/American hosting in even years and the West/National in odd years. (The creation of Super Bowl was the first sign of AFL–NFL merger. A nearly identical situation recurred in 1924, when Chicago tried the same tactic of a final game against the Cleveland Bulldogs, but the league ruled the opposite and declared the last game "post-season", giving the Bulldogs their third consecutive league title. Does not include folded NFL teams with zero "Appearances/Top 2 Finishes." Had win-loss differential (the standard method in baseball) been used, the Decatur Staleys would have won the 1920 title by virtue of being one game ahead of Buffalo, and the 1924 title would have been won by the Frankford Yellow Jackets, who were four games ahead of actual champion Cleveland in the standings by that measure. Following the NFL and AFL Championship Games for the 1966 through 1969 seasons, the NFL champion played the AFL champion in Super Bowls I through IV, the only true inter-league championship games in the history of professional football. In 1975, the league modified its 1970 playoff format by instituting a seeding system. Conference USA is hosting its 16th annual football championship game in 2020. The All-America Football Conference was created in June 1944 to compete against the NFL. The fourth and final disputed title was the 1925 NFL Championship controversy between the Pottsville Maroons and the Chicago Cardinals. The league recognized the Bidwills' claim to the title and has taken no other action on the issue, although a self-made championship trophy from the Maroons sits in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Your way. Following the merger in 1970, the Super Bowl name continued as the game to determine the NFL champion. In 2002, the NFL realigned into eight divisions, four per conference, to accommodate a 32nd team, the Houston Texans. A tiebreaker playoff game was played in 1948 to break a tie between the Baltimore Colts and Buffalo Bills (AAFC) for the Eastern Division championship. Pivotal to this was approval by Congress of a law (PL 89-800) that would waive jeopardy to anti-trust statutes for the merged leagues. [1][2] The AFL began play in 1960 and, like its rival league, used a playoff system to determine its champion. The number in the parentheses is the total number of Super Bowl championships and the bolded number in parentheses is the total number of NFL championships.). For the 51 seasons from 1921–1971, the NFL did not officially include tie games in the winning percentage, they were omitted from the calculation. The league awarded the Cardinals the title, one of only two in the team's history, but the Cardinals declined the offer and the championship was vacated. Commissioner Elmer Layden approved a similar arrangement for the 1941 season, with the same limitation. Thus, Super Bowl V in January 1971 was the first Super Bowl played for the NFL title. (*) Because the NFL did not count tied games in league standings until 1972 (when ties were added to past standings retroactively), these seasons were considered to be "perfect" at the time they finished. If there was a tie for first place within the conference, an extra playoff game decided who would go to the NFL Championship Game, with a coin toss deciding where the game would be played. Again, the home team for each playoff game was determined by a yearly divisional or conference rotation. This rule would remain in effect through the 1989 season. The playoffs remained a 12-team tournament, with four division winners (the 1, 2, 3, and 4 seeds) and two wild cards (the 5 and 6 seeds) from each conference advancing to the playoffs. From 1966–1969 prior to the merger in 1970, the NFL and the AFL agreed to hold an ultimate championship game, first called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game and later renamed the Super Bowl after 1968. The first four Super Bowls served as inter-league championship games because of these inter-league championship games this created some confusion amongst football fans that there was a special World Championship series in the pre-merger era. Since the game counted in the standings, Portsmouth finished third behind Green Bay. The Cleveland Browns, the Eastern champion at 11–3–0, did not play that week. A players' strike shortened the 1982 season to nine games. Under the 1978 format, teams from the same division could meet only in the wild-card round or the conference championship. Played indoors on a reduced-size field, it was the precursor to the championship game (though the losing team finished in third place in the final standings). With the introduction of the wild card, a rule was instituted to prohibit two teams from the same division (champion and wild card) from meeting in the first-round (Divisional Playoffs). In its final season, 1969, the AFL adopted a four-team playoff to determine its champion. The restrictions on intra-division playoff games during the Divisional Playoffs were removed. More significantly, the home teams in the playoffs were still decided by a yearly divisional rotation, not on regular-season records (excluding the wild-card teams, who would always play on the road). At the end of the 1932 season, the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans were tied with the best winning percentage at .857, with the Spartans record of 6–1–4 and the Bears record of 6–1–6 taken to be six wins, one loss, while the Green Bay Packers finished 10–3–1. All ten of these consolation games were played in the Orange Bowl in Miami in January, the week after the NFL championship game. These games matched the second-place teams from the two conferences; the CBS television network advertised them as "playoff games for third place in the NFL." The Browns, led by Quarterback Otto Graham, won all four of the league championship games. The shift of the Championship Game from its originally scheduled December 5th date will create two additional weeks to schedule games that were postponed due to COVID-19-related issues. Starting in 1933, the NFL decided its champion through a single postseason playoff game, called the NFL Championship Game. The Sky Sports EFL Podcast takes a look at the teen superstar who could light up the Championship, the bailout latest and all the biggest deals from Deadline Day 2. At the time it was the longest professional football championship game ever played. Only in 1933, when the Bidwill family (which still owns the Cardinals) bought the team, did the Cardinals reverse their decision and claim the title as their own, a decision that continues to be disputed, with the Bidwills opposing any change in the record and the two current Pennsylvania teams in favor. In 1966, the success of the rival AFL, the spectre of the NFL's losing more stars to the AFL, and concern over a costly "bidding war" for players precipitated by the NFL's Giants' signing of Pete Gogolak, who was under contract to the AFL's Buffalo Bills, led the two leagues to discuss a merger. Teams that earned the top seed became known as clinching "home-field advantage" throughout the playoffs, since they played all of their playoff games at their home stadium (except for the Super Bowl, played at a neutral site). After expanding to enfranchise the New Orleans Saints in 1967, the NFL split its 16 teams into two conferences with two divisions each: the Capitol and Century Divisions in the Eastern Conference, and the Coastal and Central Divisions in the Western Conference. The playoff format was expanded from a single championship game to a four-team tournament, with the four divisional champions participating. Beginning in 1972, tie games were included in the computing of each team's winning percentage. Late in the 1940 season, NFL President Carl Storck announced that sudden death periods would be authorized for any playoff game needed to decide either division title. The 1955 and 1960 NFL championship games were played on Monday afternoons, Christmas having fallen on a Sunday in those years. After the merger, the Super Bowl became the NFL's championship game. Had it been, it would have changed the outcome of four 1920-1931 championships: the Buffalo All-Americans would have tied the Akron Pros for the 1920 title, the Duluth Kelleys would have tied the Cleveland Bulldogs for the 1924 title, the Pottsville Maroons would have won in 1925, and the New York Giants would have won in 1930. Includes the latest news stories, results, fixtures, video and audio. Get the latest Championship news, fixtures, results, video highlights, transfers and more from Sky Sports. The playoff game proved so popular that the league reorganized into two divisions for the 1933 season, with the winners advancing to a scheduled championship game. The CFP national championship will be played on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 in Miami, … During this period, the league divided its teams into two groups, through 1949 as divisions and from 1950 onward as conferences. Complete table of Championship standings for the 2020/2021 Season, plus access to tables … The title game will feature champions from the East and West divisions of the league and the team with the highest league winning percentage will serve as host site for the game. No official standings were maintained for the 1920 season, and the championship was awarded to the Akron Pros in a league meeting on April 30, 1921. Find out here... Tom Cleverley has agreed a new three-year contract with Watford. According to modern tie-breaking rules, Akron and Buffalo would be co-champions. 1 – Dates in the list denote the season, not necessarily the calendar year in which the championship game was played. The league began considering ties in its standings in 1972, counting them as half a win and half a loss, but this was not applied retroactively. The trophy was last awarded to the Green Bay Packers in 1967. Because the rules existing at the times of those championships did not give the teams involved any incentive to avoid tie games in order to maintain a "perfect" season, the accuracy of calling these seasons "imperfect" is still disputed. The home of Championship Football on BBC Sport online. The major point of the testimony given by the leagues to obtain the law was that if the merger were permitted, "Professional football operations will be preserved in the 23 cities and 25 stadiums where such operations are presently being conducted." The two division winners in each conference met in the "Conference Championships", with the winners advancing to the NFL Championship Game. The trophy was named after Ed Thorp, a noted referee, rules expert, and sporting goods dealer. Starting with the 1934 game the winning team received the Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy. Does not include AFL titles won from 1960–1965 or AAFC titles won from 1946–1949.