It has been a wild ride to get to the point where we are now. A few months ago, the USFL and XFL announced their intent to merge. Since then, it has been a constant stream of rumors and speculation surrounding what would ultimately happen moving forward.
Across that span, the Stallions have had a 21-3 record. In the modern spring football scene, there hasn’t been a single team more dominant than Birmingham. While the team likely won’t have USFL MVP QB Alex McGough for 2024, General Manager Zach Potter has put together an impressive squad that is more than capable of running it back this season.
While the Roughnecks branding from the XFL has survived, this team will feature the staff and players of the Houston Gamblers. The Roughnecks are primed for success in 2024, just recently re-signing the USFL’s Offensive Player Of The Year – RB Mark Thompson – which is a major retention for the team.
Every single week, Mark Thompson continues to blow away the @USFL rushing record. What a game it was for Mark:
The new version of the Roughnecks will be led by Head Coach Curtis Johnson, and newly acquired GM Lionel Vital. Over the past two seasons in the USFL, the Gamblers have had a 8-12 record, failing to make the postseason both years.
With that in mind, the team features plenty of talent, and now will look to take the UFL by storm in 2024.
The Showboats will have a slightly different look in 2024, as Todd Haley won’t be returning. Instead, John DeFilippo (Breakers) will be the coach. It will be exciting to watch the Showboats return to Memphis, especially with the updates to come at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. The city is an excellent destination for spring football, and we expect to see Memphis showing up big again in 2024.
Mike Nolan and the Michigan Panthers are officially back for the 2024 UFL season. The Panthers played their 2022 USFL season in Birmingham, but became a host city in 2023. Playing at Ford Field proved to be an excellent thing for the USFL, as fans showed up in solid numbers for the Panthers throughout the year.
Michigan, despite a losing record, snuck into the playoffs after an incredible week ten win against Philadelphia. They lost against Pittsburgh, but showed a lot of promise as the season came to a close. With the recent addition of QB Danny Etling, Michigan will be a fun team to watch in 2024.
The Arlington Renegades are coming off a Championship victory, after making a late season push as the underdog. Bob Stoops made a late acquisition of QB Luis Perez (a spring football veteran), who helped lead the Renegades to the XFL Championship, upsetting the 9-1 DC Defenders.
Arlington is a team that everyone expected to remain in the United Football League. Arlington served as the hub location in 2023 for the XFL, and will play a similar role in 2024. The franchise has an excellent connection to the city with Choctaw Stadium, and will continue to build on that next season.
DC fans, do not fret. The Beer Snake is alive and well, and will be a staple of the United Football League for plenty of seasons to come. The DC Defenders have secured their place in the UFL, after a remarkable 9-1 season under Reggie Barlow.
Still not over how electric that @XFL2023 atmosphere was in DC last night.
The San Antonio Brahmas will be a part of the new UFL, as the city is one of the best in the country for spring football. Alt-football fans will remember the San Antonio Commanders in the AAF back in 2019, who had fantastic turnouts that year.
BREAKING: In another turn of events, the San Antonio Brahmas have a new coach.
Per sources, Hines Ward is out. Wade Phillips, formerly with the @XFLRoughnecks, is lined up to take over as Head Coach of the @XFLBrahmas.
The Brahmas struggled in 2023, as their offense wasn’t up to par with some of the XFL’s best. San Antonio finished with a 3-7 record under Hines Ward. Now, the team will be heading in a different direction in 2024, with Wade Phillips taking the Head Coaching gig next year.
Kaw is, indeed, the law. The St. Louis Battlehawks have been one of spring football’s most electric teams – and fan bases – since their debut in 2020. St. Louis showed up in massive numbers during the 2023 season, setting a modern spring football record with over 38,000 folks at a game.
If no current NFL QB's are available for the Jets, it would be intriguing to see them look at AJ McCarron, who tore up the @XFL2023 this season:
While St. Louis didn’t make the playoffs in 2023 (despite their 7-3 record), Anthony Becht has made it clear this offseason about their plans for 2024. The team recently acquired XFL DPOY Pita Taumoepenu, and are in a position to secure some big names in the dispersal draft.
In other news, the early word is that St. Louis might be the host city for the UFL Championship on June 15th.
March 30th will be an exciting day for USFL and XFL fans. The debut game of the new league will feature both Champions: the Birmingham Stallions, and Arlington Renegades.
While this announcement is exciting, it is also unfortunate to see eight teams drop off in the merger, which include:
New Jersey Generals New Orleans Breakers Orlando Guardians Philadelphia Stars Pittsburgh Maulers Seattle Sea Dragons Vegas Vipers Houston…Roughnecks/Gamblers
All of the players from the cut teams will have the opportunity to find new homes during the two dispersal drafts, currently slated for January 5th and 15th.
New Year’s Day has brought us some major news in the spring football world, and we look forward to seeing what more the UFL has in store for us later this week.
What are your thoughts on these eight teams in the United Football League? Which franchise will win the first UFL Championship? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!