Spring football is officially back for 2024. There is a unique twist for this year as the XFL and the USFL ran so well last year, that they decided to merge into one league.

It will be called, the United Football League (UFL). Some fanbases will be pleased with the merger, while others will be left disappointed.

Why Now is the Time for UFL to Merge?

Now fans of Spring football are probably wondering why did each league decided that 2024 was the right time to merge? Fans of both leagues were speculating last year that they would have to eventually join together as one.

They weren’t expecting it until 2025 or 2026, but they already decided to merge immediately. To fans and writers like myself, I’m happy that Spring football decided to join together. That way games between the two separate leagues wouldn’t have to overlap, so followers could concentrate on just one league.

Keep in mind, the last professional football merger in 1970 was between the AFL and the NFL and it gave us the NFL we all know and love. The idea here is to hopefully have a successful Spring merger, so that it will be here to stay like the NFL has now for 53 years and counting.

What will a Ten Week Season have in Store

While we don’t know who will win the title in year one of the merger, but we do know that the league will last ten weeks beginning on March 30, 2024.

Renegades QB Luis Perez (12) – Joe Noyes/XFL

The first game of the year should be an exciting one as it features the reigning XFL champion, Arlington Renegades led by head coach Bob Stoops against the two-time defending USFL champion Birmingham Stallions coached by Skip Holtz.

That one should set the tone for the rest of the inaugural UFL season.

Two Conferences/Eight Teams

As for the conferences, it will be split up into the USFL and XFL conferences. Each conference will have four teams meaning the league will have eight teams in all.

Sorry Pittsburgh Mauler fans, you didn’t make the cut year one, but if this league makes it beyond this season, the objective is to add more teams like the Pittsburgh Maulers, Orlando Guardians, and the New Orleans Breakers back into the picture.

Teams and Coaches

All of these ideas and visions are great, but everybody here needs to know what teams will be playing and who will be leading each team on their sidelines.

USFL Conference

Memphis Showboats – Stu Boyd II/USA TODAY Sports

1. Memphis Showboats

Head Coach: John DeFilippo

Stadium: Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium

One of the four teams from the USFL who made the cut for UFL season one, is the Showboats and they will look to build upon their last season 5-5 record.

Out is former head coach, Todd Haley and in is former New Orleans Breakers head coach, John DeFilippo. He led the Breakers to the 2023 USFL South Division Championship game. They would lose to Skip Holtz and the eventual USFL champion Birmingham Stallions.

2. Birmingham Stallions

Head Coach: Skip Holtz

Stadium: Protective Stadium

Considered to be the creme of the crop in the Spring football world, the Birmingham Stallions come into this merged league as back-back USFL champions and will look to become a dynasty.

Led by Skip Holtz (Hall-of-Fame Coach Lou Holtz’s son), the Stallions will look to have their foot in the door on the Spring competition. It all starts Saturday, March 30, 2024 with a match against the reigning XFL champion Arlington Renegades.

Roughnecks QB Brandon Silvers (12) – Thomas Campbell/XFL

3. Houston Roughnecks

Head Coach: Curtis Johnson

Stadium: TDECU Stadium

While the original name of the Houston Roughnecks are technically from the XFL, the Houston Gamblers were actually the team from the USFL.

However, a strange merger happened where the Houston Gamblers coaching staff was retained, but the name would be changed to the Roughnecks as part of a one Houston team merger from both Spring leagues.

This means they will be rebranded as the Roughnecks, but playing in the USFL conference as if they were still the Houston Gamblers.

4. Michigan Panthers

Head Coach: Mike Nolan

Stadium: Ford Field

The Michigan Panthers return this year with high expectations after falling short to the Pittsburgh Maulers in the 2023 USFL North Division Championship. With the Maulers not making the cut for UFL season 1, head coach Mike Nolan will look to coach this team and make a dark horse run to the UFL championship game.

With E.J. Perry resigned as quarterback, the former NFL backup will bring his experience and leadership back to the position.


XFL Conference

Renegades QB Kyle Sloter (10) – Thomas Campbell/XFL

1. Arlington Renegades

Head Coach: Bob Stoops

Stadium: Choctaw Stadium

The defending XFL championships will now be joining forces and will try to battle against the Birmingham Stallions for Spring football supremacy and dynasty status.

After a magical run to the 2023 XFL Championship despite only finishing 4-6 in the regular season, Coach Stoops will want to prove to the Spring football prognosticators that they can beat the mighty Stallions in week one to set the tone for the rest of the year.

If they can pull off the giant upset, than more power to you Renegades.

2. DC Defenders

Head Coach: Reggie Barlow

Stadium: Audi Field

The DC Defenders have everything going for them this year and will look to avenge their 2023 XFL championship defeat to the Arlington Renegades.

They probably have one of the best coaches in Reggie Barlow and they also have one of the coolest home stadiums traditions in the “Beer Snake”. Coach Barlow wants everybody to fear the Beer Snake this year just like last year.

3. San Antonio Brahmas

Head Coach: Wade Phillips

Stadium: Alamo Dome

The Brahmas will kick off their inaugural UFL season with a new head man leading the way. Out is former head coach, Hines Ward and in is former Houston Renegades head coach, Wade Phillips.

Phillips will have to travel down Interstate 10 to coach a Texan team in a different city. It should be interesting if the Renegades and the Brahmas meet at some point during the season.

Oh and was it mentioned that former Pittsburgh Maulers (IDL) and fan favorite, Boogie Basham signed with the Brahmas after the Maulers were terminated?

4. St. Louis BattleHawks

Head Coach: Anthony Becht

Stadium: The Dome at America’s Center

The BattleHawks aren’t just home to the now most popular professional football team in St. Louis, but also they are home to the highest paid attendance crowd in Spring football history.

When St. Louis lost the Rams to LA, many fans in St. Louis were shaking their heads at Stan Kroekne for moving their beloved team out west to California.

But last year, the fans of the BattleHawks wanted to give Kroekne a taste of his own medicine by packing The Dome at America’s Center and supporting this new pro football team in St. Louis.


For another Interesting Spring football story, please check out:

The XFL and USFL Will Unite as One League