The USFL is back for another exciting season in 2023 after a successful 2022 campaign that ran smoothly and brought eyes back to the league. This USFL season will look slightly different than it did a year ago. There are team changes, location changes, and plenty of new faces who entered the league. Thankfully for you, we have it all covered here in our USFL 2023 preview.
What happened in 2022
There were two extremely dominant teams in 2022 while most others struggled to get off the ground. The New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions both went 9-1. Surprisingly, New Jersey was upset by the Philadelphia Stars while Birmingham took down the New Orleans Breakers in the semis round. In the championship, the Stallions and Stars both showed off their offenses with a thrilling 33-30 win for Birmingham.
Other teams struggled mightily. Outside of the Stallions, Generals, Breakers, and Stars, the other four teams were all below .500. The Pittsburgh Maulers were the league’s worst team by far, going just 1-9 and ended the year on a five-game losing streak.
One major success for the USFL was showing off some of its talented players and landing them jobs in the NFL. The league’s MVP in 2022 was KaVontae Turpin. He had 921 all-purpose yards and led the league in receptions with 44 for 540 yards and four receiving touchdowns. He also had 23 carries for 129 yards and one rushing touchdown. Oh, he also returned a punt for a touchdown. After the USFL season, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a three-year deal and was active in all 17 regular season games for Dallas. He had over 800 total yards in kick and punt returns for the Cowboys. His efforts earned NFL All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.
Last year, all teams played in Birmingham at Protective Stadium. It was an innovative way for the league to keep costs down, but it could be argued that it made it tougher for there to be a national reach if you didn’t live in that city. This season, there are four host cities spread throughout the United States.
The USFL added Memphis’ Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Detroit’s Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, and the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Games will be played weekly each Saturday and Sunday with one location featuring two games a week.
In week 1, the first and third games will be played in Memphis while the second and fourth games will be played in Birmingham. This is a great way to spread out the action and bring in a new fan base to a league that is now having to compete with the XFL for eyeballs.
The USFL decided to add a team in Memphis, which makes sense with it being a host city, but that also meant ditching an organization. The league decided to lose the Tampa Bay Bandits in exchange for the Memphis Showboats. They will be coached by Todd Haley who also coached the Bandits but will not just wear different colors with a new team name.