I hope you are ready to party like it is 1985. In just over a month the new United States Football League (USFL) season will begin. The new league will feature much of the same branding, including team names, as the old league. However, the new USFL will not be affiliated with the league from the 80s.
The new USFL will feature eight teams from across the country in its inaugural season. However, for the first year, all regular-season games will be played in Alabama. The league will have three post-season games which will all be played in Canton, Ohio.
A new football league is great news for players looking to prove they deserve a shot at the NFL. It is also good news for sports bettors looking for more games to bet on. More than a dozen states have already allowed legalized USFL betting.
Before placing your bets, make sure you familiarize yourself with all the basics of the new football league. Keep reading for our out guide for the 2022 USFL season. Be sure to check back every week for our weekly updates throughout the season.
USFL Season Schedule
Before the USFL could start playing games, the teams needed to fill out their rosters. The league held its first draft on February 22nd and 23rd. Over the two-day event, each team was able to make a total of 47 picks. Each round was assigned a position for teams to draft. For instance, the first and 12th rounds were reserved for the QB position.
The USFL held a 10-round supplemental draft on March 10th. With their rosters set, teams will begin training camp on March 21st. They will have less than a month to get ready for the start of the regular season. The first game, a matchup between the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions, is scheduled for April 16th. In an industry first, the game will be simulcast on Fox, NBC, and Peacock.
After the regular season ends, four teams will head to Canton, OH for the USFL Playoffs. All three games of the post-season will be played at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Both of the Divisional playoff games are scheduled for June 25th. The USFL Championship game is scheduled for July 3rd.
What Teams Are in the USFL
There will be a total of eight teams in the first season of the USFL. The teams will be split into two divisions, the North and the South. Each team will play teams in their own division twice. They will also have one game against each team from the other division.
Unlike the NFL, in the USFL teams will only have 38 players on their active rosters. They can also have up to seven players on their practice squads. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the teams in the USFL this season.
The four teams in the South Division will be the Stallions, Gamblers, Breakers, and the Bandits. With all the regular season games taking place in Alabama, the Southern teams should have plenty of local support.
As the hometown team, the Birmingham Stallions should have the home-field advantage throughout the season. They will be part of the first game of the new league year as they kick things off against the Generals.
They hardly had their pick of QBs, taking Alex McGough with the 6th pick. Head Coach Skip Holtz will have his work cut out for him in his first year coaching in the pros.
The Gamblers will be led by a familiar face in Head Coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin has spent significant time coaching at both the University of Houston and Texas A&M.
Under center for the Gamblers will be Clayton Thorson, a former 5th-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles. On defense, they will have former Mississippi State standout, Beniquez Brown. Brown had 200 tackles in three years in college.
New Orleans Breakers
New Orleans Head Coach Larry Fedora was one of the last coaches to sign with the USFL. At QB, the Breakers will have a dual-threat in Kyle Sloter. Sloter played multiple positions in college and has appeared on 7 different NFL rosters.
On the defensive side of the ball, New Orleans used the first pick in the second round to take DE Davin Bellamy.
Tampa Bay Bandits
The Bandits had the second overall pick in the draft and used it to take QB Jordan Ta’amu. He is faster than his 4.77 40 would suggest and has received plenty of interest from NFL teams.
Head Coach Todd Haley will be making his first appearance as a professional coach since being fired by the Browns in 2018.
In the North Division, the teams will be the Panthers, Generals, Stars, and Maulers. Pennsylvania will be the only state this season to have two USFL teams. With the championship game being played in Ohio, the North Division champion could have a slight home-field advantage.
Michigan has the first pick in the draft and used it to selected former Wolverines QB Shea Patterson. He is athletic and has a strong arm.
If Head Coach Jeff Fisher can maximize his talents, the Panthers should have one of the better offenses in the USFL. On Defense, Michigan was able to land one of the top talents in the draft with Adewale Adeoye.
New Jersey Generals
Head Coach Mike Riley will certainly have his work cut out for him this season. Riley and the Generals drafted Ben Holmes at QB.
Philly Head Coach Bart Andrus could not have asked for a much better start after landing Bryan Scott. Perhaps the most accurate passer in the USFL draft, Scott was nicknamed the “Aaron Rodgers of Division III” in college.
The Stars defense has a strong DB room that should produce plenty of turnovers.
Staying true to the town’s history, the Maulers’ success will need to come through strong defensive play. Pittsburgh landed Carlo Kemp, Tyson Graham, and EJ Ejiya which should give them a strong defensive unit.
On offense, Head Coach Kirby Wilson will look to get the most out of QB Kyle Lauletta.
How to Watch the USFL
USFL officials have stated that they want to be innovators in the world of professional football. One way the league has sought to achieve this goal is through the variety of options for watching games. The USFL will be the first pro football league to broadcast a game live on two different networks.
During the season, fans will be able to watch the majority of the regular season on Fox and FS1. Meanwhile, NBC and USA Network will have nine games each. An additional four games will be streamed on Peacock.
A full breakdown of total games by the network can be found below:
- Fox: 14 games (1 simulcast with NBC)
- NBC 9 games (1 simulcast with Fox)
- FS!: 8 games
- USA Network: 9 games
- Peacock: 4 games
After nearly four decades, the USFL is set to return to action. There are many differences between the new USFL and previous interactions.
Do not miss the kickoff of the regular season on April 16th. Also, make sure to check back here every week during the regular season for our weekly USFL recaps.