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An Early Look at the Top UFL Teams

Football is without a doubt the most popular sport in the United States. That said, there is something of a void when the NFL season comes to an end in February. Two leagues have combined to help fill that void.

The XFL and USFL have merged to create the UFL. Kicking off in the spring, the league has a chance to fill that gap the NFL leaves until kickoff in September. Heading into the season, these are a few teams you should be paying attention to.

Arlington Renegades

Before you go running to a reputable sportsbook like Betway to get in on the action, let’s start with the former XFL champions. The Renegades were 4-6 in the regular season but former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops took the playoffs by storm to win the league in its final standalone season.

Luis Perez, who had the fourth-most passing yards in the XFL last year, is back and Stoops will no doubt build on that relationship. The defense will get Ajene Harris and Donald Payne back, both of whom were key components to a stout defense.

Birmingham Stallions

The two-time USFL champions, led by Skip Holtz, have a lot of key members back from their back-to-back title teams. There has been no more dominant team than the Stallions in the last two years of play in the USFL, which sets the table nicely.

They will also get a boost by adding former Kansas State QB Adrian Martinez to the mix. The former Big 12 champion is dynamic both through the air and on the ground. Losing Alex McGough, the USFL MVP in 2023, hurts but this team is deep and talented across the board.

St. Louis Battlehawks

Though they missed the playoffs last year, the Battlehawks had a solid 7-3 record. They lose QB A.J. McCarron to the NFL, so that is a big hole to fill. Having XFL Defensive Player of the Year Pita Taumoepenu definitely helps when it comes to stopping the opposition.

With five All-XFL players on the roster, the talent is there. On offense, Jachour Pearson, who led both leagues with 60 catches and 670 receiving yards, will be a crucial factor in helping the new quarterback come along. There is adversity to be had, but the Battlehawks have the skill on both sides of the ball to make a return to the playoffs and put together a deep run.

Houston Roughnecks

Formerly the Houston Gamblers, the team missed the playoffs a year ago. That said, they finished on a strong note and added quite a few players through the dispersal draft. They wound up with a whopping nine All-USFL players on their team and they return star quarterback Kenji Bahar.

With a talented receiving corps, 2023 USFL Offensive Player of the Year Mark Thompson, 2022 USFL Defensive Player of the Year Chris Odom, and two-time All-USFL defensive tackle Toby Johnson, the Roughnecks are going to be a challenge to face on both sides of the ball.

D.C. Defenders

With a 9-0 record at home since 2020 – and a 9-1 regular season record a year ago – the Defenders are a force to be reckoned with. That said, they will be missing the XFL Offensive Player of the Year, Jordan Ta’amu, choosing to sign in the CFL instead.

The reigning XFL Coach of the Year Reggie Barlow will have his work cut out for him, but has five All-XFL players coming back. The Defenders have a history of success and could jump out as a major contender early in the season.

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