It seems like just yesterday we were mulling over the many division races leading up to the MLB postseason.
But SI.com's Don Banks shifts our focus to the numerous division races shaping up around the NFL just halfway through the season. In fact, as Banks points out, there is a razor-thin margin in each of the eight divisions through Week 9.
The biggest cushion for any division leader is, remarkably, just one game. Four divisions feature two teams tied for first place, and the leaders in three other divisions are up by a mere half game.
After doing some research, Banks writes 2010 is the first time all races have been this close after Week 9 since the NFL went to eight divisions in 2002. In other words, parity is at an all-time high in the NFL, with 21 clubs sitting at .500 or better.
Banks writes that only five of 32 teams are genuinely out of the playoff race (yes, Dallas is one of them) and that 24 teams are at least within two games of first place in their division.
With the races so tight, the playoff picture remains too muddled to project. But the good news is, NFL fans should enjoy exciting division races until the end of the season, much like MLB fans did this year.
Here’s the action going on around the sporting world today (all times Eastern):
Utah Jazz at Orlando Magic (7 p.m., ESPN): One night after a thrilling overtime victory over the Heat (see below), the Jazz travel to Orlando to take on Dwight Howard and the Magic.
Miami (Ohio) at Bowling Green (8 p.m., ESPN2): The RedHawks (5-4) seek payback tonight when they go against the Falcons (2-7), who clobbered them 35-14 last season.
BY THE NUMBERS
54 – Points the Indiana Pacers scored in the third quarter of their 144-113 blowout over the Nuggets on Tuesday. The total marked the highest-scoring quarter in team history and the fourth-highest in NBA history.
3 – Three-pointers Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap hit in the final 28 seconds of regulation to help Utah notch a 116-114 overtime win over the Miami Heat. Entering the game, Millsap had hit 2-of-20 3-point shots over his four-year career. SI.com’s Lee Jenkins discusses Millsap’s breakout night.