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What if the USFL didn't fold?
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BePcr07 Online
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What if the USFL didn't fold?
The USFL had promise. It was drafting the same players as the NFL and getting them to join. In this hypothetical, I ask what would professional football look like today if the USFL did not fold when it did. I ultimately came to the conclusion that some franchises would have been swallowed by the NFL like the ABA to the NBA. These additions would have altered the timeline of NFL expansion and realignment. Here's how I would have seen it play:

The USFL was supposed to play in 1986 with 8 franchises but never did. Those franchises were: New Jersey Generals, Baltimore Stars, Jacksonville Bulls, Orlando Renegades, Tampa Bay Bandits, Birmingham Stallions, Memphis Showboats, and Arizona Outlaws. The NFL, wanting to eliminate its competition, dismantles the USFL by swallowing 7 of the 8 franchises, leaving out the Tampa Bay Bandits because the Buccaneers covered that market.

This means: the St. Louis Cardinals never leave for Arizona; the Los Angeles Rams never leave for St. Louis; the Houston Oilers never leave for Tennessee; the Cleveland Browns never fold and re-emerge as the Baltimore Ravens; and the Jacksonville Jaguars never emerge. The Carolina Panthers do come into existence. Also, the Seattle Seahawks have no need to switch conferences.

We now have a 36-team league. Split into two conferences:

AFC
West: Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers
Central: Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Jersey Generals, Jacksonville Bulls
East: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Stars, Birmingham Stallions, Miami Dolphins

NFC
West: San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Outlaws, Memphis Showboats, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons
Central: St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
East: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Orlando Renegades
01-04-2019 11:39 AM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
(01-04-2019 11:39 AM)BePcr07 Wrote:  The USFL had promise.

I wouldn't say that. The typical USFL owner was a chump who never really wanted to build that league, but only hoped it would give them a backdoor way to get into the NFL (like a few ABA teams got into the NBA and a few WHA teams got into the NHL) at a price far cheaper than the price of buying an existing NFL franchise, if any were even for sale.
(This post was last modified: 01-04-2019 11:25 PM by Wedge.)
01-04-2019 11:25 PM
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BePcr07 Online
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
I understand your point but every sports owner, to a certain extent, only has an interest in the financial success of their team - similar to any business owner. Robert Kraft would move the Patriots to the CFL if it meant his wallet would double.
01-05-2019 12:34 AM
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lew240z Offline
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
I don’t know about that. Kraft bought the Patriots to keep the team from being moved to Saint Louis.
01-05-2019 05:30 AM
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BePcr07 Online
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
I meant just switching leagues, not moving to Canada. The CFL used to have several US-based franchises
01-05-2019 08:42 AM
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TardisCaptain Offline
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
(01-04-2019 11:39 AM)BePcr07 Wrote:  We now have a 36-team league. Split into two conferences:

AFC
West: Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers
Central: Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Jersey Generals, Jacksonville Bulls
East: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Stars, Birmingham Stallions, Miami Dolphins

NFC
West: San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Outlaws, Memphis Showboats, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons
Central: St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
East: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Orlando Renegades

Would San Diego still have the Chargers?

IMHO move Atlanta from the NFC West to NFC Central with St Louis being in the NFC West.
01-08-2019 05:11 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
(01-08-2019 05:11 PM)TardisCaptain Wrote:  Would San Diego still have the Chargers?

If the Rams don't leave LA, then the Raiders don't either and the two teams end up sharing a new stadium there, IMO.
01-08-2019 06:30 PM
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PirateTreasureNC Offline
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
Aside from ownership groups to get teams up and running, you can't leave out media rights. Also, scheduling in terms of being during the NFL's season or during its off season. All of this would have factored into the eventual success or failure of the league.

I also think that somehow we somehow can't really have two competing pro leagues in the same sport at the same time as one will get absorbed by the other in the end game.

As far as that CFL in the US thing. I don't recall exactly why the did that rapid US expansion and almost as rapid contraction of all those franchises. Personally, I thought it was a good move by them in terms of getting some popularity outside of Canada and since they played opposite the NFL schedule they wouldn't have any eyeball or attendance issues in terms of folks saying to themselves do I do to the NFL or the CFL game today. And from my memory, they went into NFL cities or cities that had NFL, USFL, or WLAF cities so its not like they didn't go to cities who didn't support pro football.
01-09-2019 02:24 PM
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chargeradio Offline
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
The CFL just wasn’t supported well enough in the US to be viable - part of that may have been the non-major markets (Sacramento, Birmingham, Shreveport, etc.), part of it may have just been the fact it wasn’t truly major professional football, and had the same fate as the XFL, etc.
01-13-2019 11:01 PM
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chargeradio Offline
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
9x4 alignment for the 1986 season:

American West: Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, LA Raiders, San Diego Chargers
National West: LA Rams, San Fancisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints
United West: Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Outlaws, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Oilers

American Central: Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts
National Central: Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions
United Central: Memphis Showboats, Birmingham Stallions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers

American East: Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins
National East: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, New York Giants
United East: Orlando Renegades, Baltimore Stars, New Jersey Generals, Jacksonville Bulls

All 9 divison champions get in, plus 3 wildcards.
01-13-2019 11:50 PM
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BePcr07 Online
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RE: What if the USFL didn't fold?
(01-13-2019 11:50 PM)chargeradio Wrote:  9x4 alignment for the 1986 season:

American West: Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, LA Raiders, San Diego Chargers
National West: LA Rams, San Fancisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints
United West: Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Outlaws, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Oilers

American Central: Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts
National Central: Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions
United Central: Memphis Showboats, Birmingham Stallions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers

American East: Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins
National East: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington, New York Giants
United East: Orlando Renegades, Baltimore Stars, New Jersey Generals, Jacksonville Bulls

All 9 divison champions get in, plus 3 wildcards.

I like the set up, alignment and relocation aside. 2 preseason games with an 18 game schedule. Each divisions opponent twice plus 1 other division from each region.

Sample: Dallas Cowboys
Home: Eagles, Redskins, Giants, Bills, Patriots, Showboats, Stallions, Rams, 49ers
Away: Eagles, Redskins, Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Buccaneers, Panthers, Falcons, Saints
01-14-2019 05:59 PM
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