With the addition of the Cincinnati Bengals, the AFL's ten teams were split equally into two divisions. Each played a home-and-away game against the other four teams in its division, one game against each of the five teams in the opposite division, and a second game against one of the other division's teams.
As with the previous eight seasons, the best record in the Eastern Division played the best in the Western Division in the AFL championship game, with the site alternating between the divisions; the Eastern division hosted in even-numbered years. If there was tie within the division standings (as happened when Oakland and Kansas City both finished at 12–2), a tiebreaker playoff was held to determine the division winner. The Jets, with the third-best record in the league in 1968, had a week off and hosted the title game.