WideRight

USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

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2006 Update:  Territorial Draft

 

Just a quick thought on the USFL's Territorial Draft.  In the 1980's with 12-18 franchises, each franchise was given special territorial draft rights to about 5 schools.  With expansion and a desire for a larger national following, the USFL adjusted this practice so that by 2006 each USFL franchise was allowed to "protect" 6 draft picks total from their territorial schools and each was given either 3 schools, or in those cases where the third school was not from what was either Division I-A or a non-power conference in I-A, a franchise would be given a 4th or even a 5th school.  This was largely due to the overcrowding of USFL franchises and the lack of top-level  programs in the Northeast.  Here for your review are the 2006 Territorial Schools for the USFL Franchises:

 

Boston: Boston College, UConn, UMass, Harvard, Yale

New Jersey: Rutgers, Syracuse, Princeton, Lafayette, Cornell

Philadelphia: Penn State, Temple, Villanova, Lehigh, Penn

Washington: Virginia, Virginia Tech, Kentucky

 

Atlanta: Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina

Baltimore: Maryland, Wake Forest, Delaware, Del. State

Charlotte: UNC, NC State, Duke

Jacksonville: Florida, FIU, FAU, Georgia State

 

Chicago: Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue

Cleveland: Ohio State, Miami (OH), Akron, Ohio U.

Michigan:  Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan

Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Youngstown State, Marshall

St. Louis: Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas State

 

Birmingham: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State

Memphis: Memphis, Vanderbilt, Tennessee

New Orleans: LSU, Tulane, Ole Miss, La Tech

Orlando: Miami, UCF, Middle Tennessee, Florida A&T

Tampa Bay: Florida State, Clemson, USF, Southern

 

Dallas: TCU, SMU, Oklahoma

Denver: Colorado, Colorado St., Wyoming, Montana

Houston: Texas A&M,Houston, Rice, Texas Southern

San Antonio: Texas, Baylor, North Texas, UTEP

Utah: BYU, Utah, Utah State, Idaho

 

Arizona: Arizona, Arizona State, New Mexico, New Mexico State

Las Vegas: UNLV, Nevada, Boise State, Nebraska

Los Angeles: UCLA, USC, SDSU, San Diego

Portland:  Washington, Oregon, Oregon State

San Jose:  Cal, Stanford, Fresno State, UC-Davis

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Nice!  Are the schools not picked somewhat of a hint for expansion?

 

Also, kinda surprised to see the Samurai pick UC-Davis over San Jose State...

 

EDIT: In the interests of reducing overall headache, I hereby change my second vote from Sacramento to Indianapolis, and reaffirm my first vote for Twin Cities.  That way, the territorial claims can be rather simple:

 

Twin Cities: Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin (or Iowa State)

Indianapolis: Notre Dame, Indiana, Ball State, Butler

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Change my vote: still all for non-NFL cities 

 

Lousiville and OKC

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Hey, I’ve been creeping on this thread for a long time, and I absolutely love it. Could you do a current teams and uniforms and logos post so we can see the whole league? Thanks if you can 

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Hello all.   I have identities ready to go for 2 of the 4 expansion finalist cities.  I need help on some of the others.  So, look at the cities you would like to see from our pool of 9 and give me you best "realistic" and regionally appropriate name ideas.  Once again the 9 cities being considered are:

 

Long Island/Queens, NY

Miami, FL

Louisville, KY

Indianapolis, IN

Twin Cities, MN

Omaha, NE

Oklahoma City, OK
Sacramento, CA

Seattle, WA

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On 12/10/2017 at 3:13 PM, CheeseBurger22 said:

Hey, I’ve been creeping on this thread for a long time, and I absolutely love it. Could you do a current teams and uniforms and logos post so we can see the whole league? Thanks if you can 

I plan to do that when we get to 2010 and have the full 30 team league.  I did one back around my 1993-1995 range, with all the helmets at the time. Check the earlier pages for it. 

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4 minutes ago, WideRight said:

Hello all.   I have identities ready to go for 2 of the 4 expansion finalist cities.  I need help on some of the others.  So, look at the cities you would like to see from our pool of 9 and give me you best "realistic" and regionally appropriate name ideas.  Once again the 9 cities being considered are:

 

Long Island/Queens, NY

Miami, FL

Louisville, KY

Indianapolis, IN

Twin Cities, MN

Omaha, NE

Oklahoma City, OK
Sacramento, CA

Seattle, WA

 

You really don't need to refer to the CitiField entry as "Long Island/Queens, NY".  CitiField is located in New York City.  I know that the idea is that this team would be on the other end of the New York metropolitan area from the New Jersey Generals; but it won't be out on Long Island.  It would be a New York City team.

 

(Preemptive response to expected nit-pick: yes, Queens lies on the geographical entity known as Long Island.  So does Brooklyn. However, the term "Long Island" refers mainly to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, not to New York City's boroughs.  The New York Islanders' crest shows only those counties -- even despite the fact that they currently play in Brooklyn.)

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3 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

You really don't need to refer to the CitiField entry as "Long Island/Queens, NY".  CitiField is located in New York City.  I know that the idea is that this team would be on the other end of the New York metropolitan area from the New Jersey Generals; but it won't be out on Long Island.  It would be a New York City team.

 

(Preemptive response to expected nit-pick: yes, Queens lies on the geographical entity known as Long Island.  So does Brooklyn. However, the term "Long Island" refers mainly to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, not to New York City's boroughs.  The New York Islanders' crest shows only those counties -- even despite the fact that they currently play in Brooklyn.)

 

I am aware.  I was considering putting them at Hofstra until I saw how small the stadium there is.  I grew up on Long Island and yes, any team playing there would be dubbed "New York" because no one considers the Island to be the Island until you hit Nassau County. 

 

And are you sure about the Islander's Logo?  i always thought it had the full island, including Queens and Brooklyn, depicted. 

(Edited:  Nope, I looked, you are right.  I never noticed that before. )

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2 hours ago, WideRight said:

I plan to do that when we get to 2010 and have the full 30 team league.  I did one back around my 1993-1995 range, with all the helmets at the time. Check the earlier pages for it. 

Thanks for the help! Looking forward to 2010. Keep up the good work!

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sacramento sting, could do a bee themed identity in green/gold/silver or something. the colors of the sac city flag are green/gold/blue/white if that helps. if you dont wanna go with the sac state shout out, maybe capitals or something railroad related

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New York Heroes (honoring the 9/11 first responders as well as the troops)

Miami Lights (a city known for its neon lights)

Kentucky Kings (city named after Louis XVI)

Indiana Fury (epitomizes the rush of the Speedway)

Minnesota Voyageurs (homage to the various explorers in the area)

Omaha Bombers (the Enola Gay was built near Omaha)

Oklahoma Rampage (logo could be of bison or dinosaurs-several fossils were found there)

Sacramento Swarm (it was voted down for Utah, but why waste an AWESOME concept?)

Seattle Orcas (it's about time we had an aquatic creature-themed team)

 

 

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25 minutes ago, MBurmy said:

New York Heroes (honoring the 9/11 first responders as well as the troops)

Miami Lights (a city known for its neon lights)

Kentucky Kings (city named after Louis XVI)

Indiana Fury (epitomizes the rush of the Speedway)

Minnesota Voyageurs (homage to the various explorers in the area)

Omaha Bombers (the Enola Gay was built near Omaha)

Oklahoma Rampage (logo could be of bison or dinosaurs-several fossils were found there)

Sacramento Swarm (it was voted down for Utah, but why waste an AWESOME concept?)

Seattle Orcas (it's about time we had an aquatic creature-themed team)

 

 

You could go with Miami Neons instead of Lights

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Just now, CheeseBurger22 said:

You could go with Miami Neons instead of Lights

You're right...but it would just be the singular (Miami Neon).

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2007 USFL Season

The 2006 Owners meetings provided quite a lot of controversy as the topic of expansion again was brought to the fore.   Only one year after adding the Las Vegas and Salt Lake City franchises, plans were underway to expand to 30 teams in 2010.  League owners agreed that a 30 team league, with 6 divisions of 5 teams each, would be the best long-term structure for the league. Within weeks 12 initial ownership bid were entered for 2 2010 expansion franchises.  Discussion and debate over the priorities of the league raged, with the primary concern the question of whether or not expanding into new non-NFL cities was preferable or if building partnerships with NFL franchises offered the league greater opportunities for ongoing sustainability, stadium enhancement and marketing.  After all, in most cases moving into NFL markets meant moving into larger cities, with greater media presence, more corporate funding and a stadium already in place, while operating in new cities, as the league had done with its most recent expansion, often meant moving to smaller markets with fewer corporate dollars and with the full burden for stadium renovation or development fully on USFL shoulders.   By the beginning of the 2007 season, the owners had accepted 9 of the 12 initial bids and set a date in mid-June to hear full pitches from each ownership group and to settle on 4 finalists. 

 

With this plan in place, the league’s franchises began working on the business of player acquisition.   The USFL suffered several player defections to the NFL over their off-season, most notably with RB Ladell Betts leaving St. Louis for the NFL’s Falcons and DE Dwight Freeney leaving New Jersey for the New England Patriots.  The only noteworthy QB defection was Tampa Bay starter Mark Brunell opting to sign on with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

 

Notable NFL defections to the USFL included WR Javon Walker leaving the Broncos for the Portland Grizzlies, NY Giant TE Jeremy Shockey signing with the Stallions, Bills LB London Fletcher signing with LA and former Jaguar QB David Garrard signing with the Las Vegas Vipers.

 

Tampa Bay replaced the departed Brunell by signing longtime CFL star Henry Burris and by drafting BYU’s John Beck in a swap of several picks with the Utah Stags.  With few top-name QB’s in the draft, the emphasis was on depth and defense.  Several top talent defensive players signed with the USFL, including Safety LaRon Landry (New Orleans), DE Adam Carriker (Utah), CB Aaron Ross (San Antonio) and LB Paul Posluszny, signed by Philadelphia as a territorial pick after trading Teddy Bruschi to Denver.  The only real offensive star to sign with the USFL was top prospect RB Marshawn Lynch, who signed with San Jose only after being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in April.   He would play half a season for the Samurai, showing glimpses but having a difficult time picking up the team’s complex blocking and blitz pickup scheme.

 

When the season started many expected Dallas to once again run away with the I-West division, but no one could have predicted that only one month into the season the Aztecs’ star QB would find himself out of football and in a whole heck of hot water, accused of running a complex dog-fighting operation from his Virginia home.   Vick immediately became persona non grata nationwide as stories of the ugly business spread.  Within days he was suspended by the Aztecs and then the league, who slapped him with a full year suspension as his court cases mounted.   Without Vick, the Aztecs had to rely on inexperienced and far-less-mobile backup QB Jesse Palmer.  The offense, designed with Vick’s mobility in mind, did not adapt well and the Aztecs, who had started with a promising 3-1 record, finished the year with only 2 more wins all season.   

 

The big winners in the Vick case were the Houston Gamblers, who seized on the vacancy atop the division and won only their second division title since 1995.  In other news, the slow rise of the Pittsburgh Maulers continued as they snagged their first playoff berth in 2007.  Also sneaking into the playoffs for what seemed like the first time in decades were the Baltimore Blitz, who managed a wildcard spot despite the sometimes erratic decision-making of young QB Kyle Orton.  The playoffs saw a couple of minor upsets as Drew Brees led the Federals over the inexperienced Maulers and both Michigan and Birmingham managed to win divisional games at Houston and Jacksonville respectively.  But, at the end of the day the two #1 seeds advanced to the USFL Championship with convincing victories in the semifinal round.

 

Most pundits expected the 2007 Championship to be yet another ring for the Philadelphia Stars and coach Jim Mora, but what had been slowly building over the second half of the season came to a head in the playoffs and the combination of a healthy and fresh Marshawn Lynch and a surprisingly mature Aaron Rodgers led the Samurai past the Stars with a comfortable 29-21 victory that was not as close as it looks.   Star receivers just could not get open for Roethlisberger all game and the Stars defense found itself chasing both Lynch and elusive wideout Eddie Berlin all over the field. 

 

The other big winners in 2007 were expansion bids from the Twin Cities, Indianapolis, Louisville and Sacramento, which emerged from the logjam of bidders during the midseason league meetings in June to be selected as the 4 finalists for the two 2010 expansion franchises.  They would return to the USFL in October to make their case one more time, this time with team identities in hand, and the USFL owners would select their newest franchises.

 

2007 USFL Final Standings

INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE

LIBERTY CONFERENCE

EAST

 

*PHI     11-3

*WSH    8-6

BOS      6-8

NJ         4-10

 

CENTRAL

 

*MICH   9-5

*PIT      9-5

STL       7-7

CLE       7-7

CHI       4-10

       

WEST

 

*HOU   10-4

*SAN    7-6-1

DEN      6-7-1

DAL      5-9

UTAH    4-10

 

EAST

 

*JAX   10-4

*BLT    9-5       CHA    6-8

ATL     3-10-1

 

CENTRAL

 

*BIRM    9-5

*MEM     8-5-1

ORL        7-7

TBY        4-10

NOR       3-11

 

WEST

 

*SJO   13-1

*LA     11-3

POR    7-7

ARZ     5-9

LV        2-12

 

           

 2007 USFL Playoffs

Wildcard Round                       Michigan(3) d. San Antonio(6)          Washington(5) d. Pittsburgh(4)

                                                Birmingham(3) d. Memphis(6)         Los Angeles(4) d. Baltimore(5)

 

Divisional Round               Philadelphia(1) d. Washington(5)      Michigan(3) d. Houston(2)

                                          San Jose(1) d. Los Angeles(4)          Birmingham(3) d. Jacksonville(2)

 

Semifinal Round               Philadelphia(1) d. Michigan(3)          San Jose(1) d. Birmingham(3)

 

2007 USFL Championship         San Jose  29   Philadelphia 21

 

2007 USFL Award Winners

2007 Most Valuable Player: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Philadelphia

2007 Coach of the Year:  Herm Edwards, San Jose

2007 Rookie of the Year: Adam Carriker, DE, Utah

 

2007 USFL Relocation, Expansion & Uniform/Logo Updates

1.       USFL begins process to expand to 30 teams in 2010, accepting 9 opening bids from New York (Queens), Miami, Louisville, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Omaha, Oklahoma City, Sacramento and Seattle.  In June they select four finalists, the Twin Cities, Indianapolis, Louisville and Sacramento. 

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My choices for USFL expansion markets would be Minneapolis-St. Paul and Seattle, with the franchises branded as the Minnesota Mammoths and Seattle Steelheads.

As for team identities in the other potential expansion markets, I'd suggest...   

New York Centaurs or New York Knights

Miami Mantas or Miami Morays

Louisville Thunder or Kentucky Thunder

Indianapolis Racers

Omaha OmaHawks or Omaha OmaHogs

Oklahoma Roughnecks
California Condors 

 

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Twin Cities and Sacramento.

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My votes go to Louisville and Sacramento

 

Louisville Colonels and Sacramento Surge, anyone?

 

Also, Willets Point (near present-day Citi Field) would've been where the stadium for the 2nd New York metropolitan area USFL team would've been located. FUN FACT: Willets Point was the site of a proposed football stadium that would've brought the New Jersey Generals to New York City.

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I'm sticking with my votes of Louisville and Twin Cities

Minnesota
Serpents/Dragons (Lots of Norse Legends about Dragons and the like)
Loons (State Bird)
Geminis (Twin Cities)

Louisville
Kings/Royals (Named after a King)
Colonels
Distillers (Lots of Bourbon place there)

 

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