What is the USFL? Teams, starting rosters, schedule, rules, and more

The time has finally arrived, the inaugural USFL season is here. Check out the teams, rules, and schedule for the 2022 USFL season.

On June 3, 2021, Doug Flutie announced the United States Football League revival for 2022. Since then, the USFL has gone through various steps to prepare for the start of the regular season on April 16. The original USFL kicked off in the spring of 1983, but moving the season to the fall of 1984 put the league in direct competition with the NFL, later leading to its demise after the 1985 season. With eight teams and some rule tweaks ready to debut in the USFL, let’s take a deeper look at the league.

What is the USFL? Which teams are included?

The revival of the USFL moves the schedule back to the spring to take advantage of the NFL and NCAA’s offseasons. It is important to note that the league is under new ownership. Nevertheless, the USFL is still tapping into the history from the 1980s.

The league has eight teams in 2022, six of which come from the 12 original USFL teams in 1983. These include the Birmingham Stallions, Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, New Orleans Breakers (Boston in 1983), Philadelphia Stars, and the Tampa Bay Bandits. The final two teams come from the six expansion teams added in 1984, the Houston Gamblers and Pittsburgh Maulers.

USFL vs. NFL rule differences

Professional sports leagues around the United States have adopted different rules from other leagues, and the USFL is no exception. After adopting the USFL’s instant replay system and coach’s challenge rules from the 1980s version of the league, the NFL could find new inspiration from the USFL’s rules.

One new rule the USFL will implement on offense is the ability to throw two forward passes behind the line of scrimmage. The NFL allows just one pass from behind the line of scrimmage. However, in the USFL, the QB can throw the ball forward to a wide receiver, and if the receiver is still behind the line of scrimmage, they can throw one more additional forward pass. Another change to the offensive rules made by the USFL is the introduction of the 3-point conversion after a touchdown.

Teams can choose to kick an extra point from the 15-yard line, run a play for 2 points from the 2-yard line, or run a play for 3 points from the 10-yard line after scoring a touchdown. This allows teams to close scoring gaps quickly and pushes a two-possession lead to 18 points. You can find more unique USFL rules here, including an onside kick alternative and its answer to the overtime conundrum.

USFL coaches, players, and rosters for 2022

The USFL Draft, or Player Selection Meeting, took place on February 22 and 23. The draft was 31 rounds, as all eight teams fleshed out the majority of their roster. 15 days later, the league held a 10-round supplemental draft on March 10 as the franchises finished filling out their teams. You can find the rosters for each team here.

Birmingham Stallions

Head Coach: Skip Holtz

Houston Gamblers

Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin

Michigan Panthers

Head Coach: Jeff Fisher

New Jersey Generals

Head Coach: Mike Riley

New Orleans Breakers

Head Coach: Larry Fedora

Philadelphia Stars

Head Coach: Bart Andrus

Pittsburgh Maulers

Head Coach: Kirby Wilson

Tampa Bay Bandits

Head Coach: Todd Haley

USFL Schedule

So now that we’ve gone through what the USFL is, what teams make up the franchise, who they’ve selected to coach and play, and where and when will games occur?

The USFL has already announced all teams will play the regular season in Birmingham, Alabama, while the postseason will be in Canton, Ohio. The league plans to play mainly on Saturdays and Sundays, with a couple of Fridays sprinkled in.

How many games will the USFL play in 2022?

The USFL regular season will span 10 weeks, starting on April 16. The postseason will feature two semifinal matchups and a championship game starting on June 25. They currently only have defined start times for the first three weeks. Most games in Weeks 4-10 have yet to be penciled into the USFL schedule, but we know which teams play each other. Let’s look at the 2022 USFL schedule.

USFL Week 1

  • New Jersey Generals vs. Birmingham Stallions
    • Date: April 16
    • Start time: 7:30 PM ET
    • Channel: FOX, NBC
  • Houston Gamblers vs. Michigan Panthers
    • Date: April 17
    • Start time: 12 PM ET
    • Channel: NBC, Peacock
  • Philadelphia Stars vs. New Orleans Breakers
    • Date: April 17
    • Start time: 4 PM ET
    • Channel: USA Network
  • Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Pittsburgh Maulers
    • Date: April 17
    • Start time: 8 PM ET
    • Channel: FS1

USFL Week 2

  • Michigan Panthers vs. New Jersey Generals
    • Date: April 22
    • Start time: 8 PM ET
    • Channel: USA Network
  • Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Philadelphia Stars
    • Date: April 23
    • Start time: 12 PM ET
    • Channel: FOX
  • Birmingham Stallions vs.  Houston Gamblers
    • Date: April 23
    • Start time: 7 PM ET
    • Channel: FS1
  • New Orleans Breakers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits
    • Date: April 24
    • Start time: 3 PM ET
    • Channel: NBC, Peacock

USFL Week 3

  • Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Houston Gamblers
    • Date: April 30
    • Start time: 4 PM ET
    • Channel: FOX
  • Birmingham Stallions vs. New Orleans Breakers
    • Date: April 30
    • Start time: 8 PM ET
    • Channel: FOX
  • Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Michigan Panthers
    • Date: May 1
    • Start time: 2:30 PM ET
    • Channel: USA Network
  • New Jersey Generals vs. Philadelphia Stars
    • Date: May 1
    • Start time: 8 PM ET
    • Channel: Peacock

USFL Week 4

  • Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Birmingham Stallions
    • Date: May 7
    • Start time: 7 PM ET
    • Channel: FOX
  • Philadelphia Stars vs. Michigan Panthers
    • Date: TBA
  • New Jersey General vs. Pittsburgh Maulers
    • Date: TBA
  • Houston Gamblers vs. New Orleans Breakers
    • Date: TBA

USFL Week 5

*All dates to be announced*

  • Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Houston Gamblers
  • New Orleans Breakers vs. New Jersey Generals
  • Birmingham Stallions vs. Philadelphia Stars
  • Michigan Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits

USFL Week 6

  • Michigan Panthers vs. Birmingham Stallions
    • Date: May 21
    • Start time: 1 PM ET
    • Channel: NBC
  • Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Philadelphia Stars
  • Houston Gamblers vs. New Jersey Generals
  • Pittsburgh Maulers vs. New Orleans Breakers

USFL Week 7

  • Philadelphia Stars vs. Houston Gamblers
  • New Orleans Breakers vs. Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals vs. Tampa Bay Bandits
  • Birmingham Stallions vs. Pittsburgh Maulers
    • Date: May 29
    • Start time: 2 PM ET
    • Channel: FOX

USFL Week 8

*All dates from Weeks 8-10 to be announced*

  • Michigan Panthers vs. Philadelphia Stars
  • Houston Gamblers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits
  • Pittsburgh Maulers vs. New Jersey Generals
  • New Orleans Breakers vs. Birmingham Stallions

USFL Week 9

  • Houston Gamblers vs. Birmingham Stallions
  • Philadelphia Stars vs. Pittsburgh Maulers
  • New Jersey Generals vs. Michigan Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits vs. New Orleans Breakers

USFL Week 10

  • Michigan Panthers vs. Pittsburgh Maulers
  • Philadelphia Stars vs. New Jersey Generals
  • Birmingham Stallions vs. Tampa Bay Bandits
  • New Orleans Breakers vs. Houston Gamblers

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