FOOTBALL IS BACK. I DON’T CARE IF THIS ISN’T THE NFL, WE WATCHED ALL THESE GUYS IN COLLEGE AND THIS IS ONE STEP ABOVE (maybe) SO I WILL ENJOY THIS THOROUGHLY.
The first of the two new football leagues kicks off this weekend, the other is the XFL which kicks off next year. Since we love football here you bet your sweet buck cheeks were covering this. So lets go through the teams, coaches, schedules, players, new rules, odds, and anything else. Then at the end Moxie Sports will pick a team to roll with until this league ends, or until we all die.
The Teams, Coaches, & Players
Their head coach will be Rick Neuheisel who used to coach UCLA. Some other notable guys on the staff are Hugh Freeze who was Ole Miss head coach before some questionable tactics on his end fucked him over. Really no other names you may recognize are on this staff.
For the players, Trevor Knight is the biggest name for them. The former Oklahoma and Texas A&M QB had a very short stint in the NFL and will the the starting QB for this team. If you’re a college football fan some other names you might recognize are Josh Huff who played WR at Oregon, they got a guy named Chunky Clements that went to Illinois, for the Packer fans out there Carl Bradford a LB from Arizona St. is on the squad along with Scooby Wright from Arizona. Also at kicker is Nick Folk, he was a pretty decent kicker in the NFL for a short period of time.
What you’ll realize here and on all these teams, is there is a lot of local talent. There are very few guys on this team that come from the Midwest or East Coast. The point is to get local college guys that people will recognize so they attend these games.
Championship Odds (MyBookie): +250
Spoiler alert the Atlanta Legends actually will be playing in Atlanta. Unlike the New York Giants and Jets who play in New Jersey, or the SF 49ers who play in San Jose. The Legends already got a leg up on those NFL teams. They’ll be playing their home games at Georgia St. Stadium.
The Legends are coached by Kevin Coyle whose highest position was the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator from 2012-2015. Michael Vick was the offensive coordinator of this team up until February 7th. Their first game is February 9th. Anyway, apparently Vick will stay on as a consultant, whatever that means. Nobody else worth noting on this staff but Brad Childress was supposed to be the head coach of this team before he stepped away on January 9th. Pressure was just too much for that creepy looking guy.
As far as players go the Legends boast former Georgia QB Aaron Murray, RB Denard Robinson from Michigan, got a guy named Bug Howard from North Carolina that plays WR, also this wild name Totauhelotu Lotulelei from UNLV who plays LB. Younghoe Koo is the kicker for the Legends, he did play in the NFL for the Chargers and had a game tying kick blocked, then a game winning kicked missed, and he was cut after four weeks. Other than that, the common fan won’t recognize many names here.
Championship Odds: +500
The Iron are coached by Tim Lewis. Never heard of him? Neither have I. He played for the Packers from ’83-’86 and the highest position he held was a defensive coordinator position for the Steelers from 2000-2003 and the New York Giants from 2004-2006. No other notable coaches on staff.
Player wise, you better believe there are some Alabama boys. Blake Sims at QB and Trent Richardson (LOL, he’s a hall of famer). Some other notable names are Ladrius Perkins from Mississippi State and Ty Isaac from Michigan who both play RB. On defense we have Iron Bowl hero Chris Davis from Auburn. Other than that no notable names, but this team is littered with guys from Alabama and Auburn. No surprise there.
Championship Odds: +1000
The Express will be playing their home games at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN.
The head coach of this team is Bears legend Mike Singletary. A pretty damn good pick here, the guy coached in the NFL for a lot of years and was the HC of the 49ers for a little bit. They also got Bobby Blizzard as the Wide Receivers coach, no idea who it his but these receivers will be ready to play. Also they have no offensive coordinator listed on the AAF page, so I’m not sure whose calling plays. They also have two linebackers coaches even though their coach was a Hall of Fame linebacker.
Memphis has two notable QBs on their roster, Zach Mettenberger from LSU and the Tennessee Titans, and Christian Hackenberg from Penn State and the New York Jets. Competitive room, I dig it. At RB they have former Ram and Vanderbilt stud Zac Stacy. WR they have a guy named Alton “Pig” Howard whose 5-8 and 186 pounds, fucking love it.
Again this team is really heavy on the Tennessee guys. 18 buys on the roster went to a Tennessee school and there also good influence of guys from the state of Kentucky and LSU.
Championship Odds: +1000
They are coached by the ole ball coach himself Steve Spurrier. If you need a background on him what the hell are you doing here. Spurrier brought his longtime pal Bob Sanders with to be the Defensive Coordinator, and you Eagles fans might recognize the name Lito Sheppard – he’s coaching the safeties here.
Some names you might recognize are Garrett Gilbert from SMU at QB, De’Veon Smith from Michigan at RB, Akeem Hunt from Purdue at RB, for Packer fans fucking LaDarius Gunter is one this squad, and former 5 star recruit from Florida Will Hill III is playing safety for the Apollos.
Championship Odds: +500
Salt Lake Stallions
Dennis Erickson is the head coach whose had quite the career. He’s been the head ball coach at Idaho, Wyoming, Washington St. Miami, Oregon State, Idaho again, Arizona State while also taking some head coaching duties in the NFL for the Seahawks and 49ers. You don’t know anybody else but Dan Cozzetto coaches the offensive line and he has a sweet last name.
You’ve never heard of any of their QBs, maybe Autsin Allen from Arkansas? At RB you might recognize the names of Matt Asiata from his big 2016 year in Minnesota and Branden Oliver who had some solid years for the Chargers. I feel like Kenny Bell at WR from Nebraska might be a name some people remember. They have an OL named Ryan Cummings from Wyoming.
Championship Odds: +400
San Antonio Commanders
They are coached by Mike Riley who used to coach at Oregon State twice, Nebraska for a few years, and also coached the Chargers for three years leading them to a 1-15 record once.
Ahh.. they have Marquise Williams at QB from UNC if anybody remembers him. They have David Cobb at RB from Minnesota, he was an absolute stud for the Gophers but if you don’t watch Big Ten football then you have no idea who he is. That’s all I got.
Championship Odds: +500
San Diego Fleet
These guys are coached by Mike Martz who famously coached the most exciting show on turf in St. Louis for the Rams and also had stops in Detroit, San Francisco, and Chicago as an OC. He hasn’t coached football since 2011.
Players? Well you are not going to recognize any name on offense at all. And you won’t believe this, but you aren’t going to recognize any names on defense either. Now some of you might complain, but that is only because the guy you knew when you your favorite school.
I stand corrected after going the roster again. Gavin Escobar played TE for the Cowboys a couple times.
Championship Odds: +1000
- There are no kickoffs. Why? Its the most dangerous play in pro football and it’s the most boring according to fans. The ball will start on the 25.
- This one is actually cool. Instead of an onside kick, you get to play a 4th and 10 from your own 35. If you get it, you keep the ball. If not, the opposing team gets the ball back on your side of the field
- Note: this is fucking awesome. I can already see Mike Martz doing this after every touchdown.
- Now another source I found says this about onside kicks. They are “onside conversions” and can only be done if a team is trailing by 17 points or more with under five minutes to go. From here, they get a 4th and 12 from their 28.
- Not sure which one is right but if you score so you’re only down 10, then you have to give the ball back and can’t try for another conversion? That doesn’t make sense. We’ll see what happens.
- No extra points, everything is two point conversions.
- Play clock is being brought down to 35 seconds instead of 40 in the NFL.
- There will be 7 refs for these games, 6 on the field and 1 in the press box. The one in the press box will be able to instantly correct obvious and egregious officiating errors. Rejoice Saints fans, its coming.
- There will be no television timeouts and there should be 60% fewer commercials.
- So you can now have a 15 yard illegal defense penalty. What does that mean? Well no more than five players can rush on passing plays and all players rushing must be within 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and less than two yards outside the widest offensive linemen.
So these will be interesting to see how it plays out. The AAF is meant to be a minor league for the NFL, not just for players but for coaching and rules too. If some of these rules are well received by fans, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them implemented into the NFL eventually.
The season kicks off this Saturday night, February 9th on CBS and runs until the championship game on April 27th.
Notably, the AAF is going to have to survive three weeks of the NCAA tournament and the Masters for those sports loving people.
The AAF has a deal with mainly CBS and the NFL Network. So these games will be televised on CBS, CBS Sports, TNT, NFL Network, and Bleacher-Report Live. The full schedule is below.
The AAF is made up in two divisions
- Western Division: Arizona Hotshots, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders, San Diego Fleet
- Eastern Division: Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos
The two top teams from each division advance to the playoffs. I gave the odds up above but here are the odds in a list format to make things easy.
- Arizona Hotshots +250
- Salt Lake Stallions +400
- San Antonio Commanders +500
- Orlando Apollos +500
- Atlanta Legends +500
- San Diego Fleet +1000
- Memphis Express +1000
- Birmingham Iron +1000
Alright here we go. Three of the top 5 favorites are from the West, which means that division must be tough. The way I’ve ordered them, Orlando and Atlanta are actually behind the three West teams. So that means the East is perceived as the weaker division. Lets look at the uniforms. I really like Arizona, Salt Lake, Orlando, and San Diego. However, they don’t drink a lot in Salt Lake so they are out. I can’t lie, the whole time I’ve been writing this blog I couldn’t stop thinking about the Greek god stuff with Apollo. Also names. Hotshots? Awesome. Iron? DUMB. Fleet? Kinda cool because they’re in SD. Stallions? What? San Antonio has straight up ugly uniforms. Yuck. Coaching? Love Singletary, Spurrier, Martz. And that Kevin Coyle guy, he just got the job over Childress so he’s cool. Mascots?? Haven’t seen any yet. Stadiums? I mean Sun Devil stadium in Tempe is pretty sweet and I love Tempe. Nobody likes the Birmingham place. Yuck. Plus Trent Richardson is on that team.
I’ll take Orlando and Memphis to come out of the East and Arizona and San Diego to come out of the West.
Give me Orlando over Arizona in the Championship. Book it. The ole ball coach gets another National Championship.
*** After week one we will get back on the Sportsbook train and give a preview of each weeks games that will most likely be wrong.