This has NOTHING to do with "special favors." All the way back in 2002, the NFL determined that the AFC East would face the AFC West and NFC West in 2008, and that the AFC North would face the AFC South and NFC East. The NFL can't predict the future. It just so happens that the AFC East, AFC West and NFC West are the three worst divisions in the NFL heading into 2008, and the AFC South and NFC East are the two best. It's called "luck of the draw," not "special favors." Get over it!
The non-division schedule rotation is determined YEARS in advance!