USFL Power Rankings

Only a few days remain until the kickoff of the USFL on April 15th. With it only being the second year of the league’s full operation, the teams have mostly remained the same barring few departures for the XFL or NFL from other players.

That being said, giving a projection of a league that is still so new can be a difficult task. Did the lower tier teams improve their rosters enough to compete? Or will the top tier teams still dominate the 2023 season?

#1 Philadelphia Stars (2022 Record: 6-4)

After starting off the 2022 USFL season with a mediocre 2-3 record the Stars turned into one of the league’s hottest teams. After the rocky start, Philadelphia would win four straight games and would end up finding themselves in the USFL championship game. The Stars had a great chance to win it all before the injury of QB Case Cookus during the game.

Looking to come back for revenge, Philadelphia has kept the core nucleus of their team around as well. With QB Case Cookus back in 2023, head coach Bart Andrus will have high expectations. Breakout corner Channing Stribling is also returning in 2023. Coach Andrus’ biggest concern will be to turn around a defense that gave up the most points in the league last season.

#2 Birmingham Stallions (2022 Record: 9-1/2022 USFL Champions)

After winning the 2022 USFL championship the Stallions are coming back into 2023 with virtually the same team. While most other teams lost players to the NFL or XFL, most of the Stallions are sticking together in order to compete for another title this season.

Having most of your guys around for year two makes things a lot easier for head coach Skip Holtz. Versatile QB J’Mar Smith and powerhouse running back Bo Scarborough look to catapult the offense to success again for the 2023 season. One glaring weakness could be their defense as they gave up the 3rd most yards in the league last season.

#3 New Jersey Generals (2022 Record: 9-1)

The New Jersey Generals had a nearly perfect regular season that saw them just barely lose in the inaugural USFL divisional playoffs. So even with a super successful 2022 campaign why would they be slotted as the 3rd best team?

One glaring difference the Generals will face come on the offensive side of the ball with the absence of 2022 USFL MVP KaVonte Turpin. Turpin joined the Dallas Cowboys shortly after the USFL season. However, they retained the 2022 USFL Coach of the Year, Mike Riley and the 2022 USFL Offensive Player of the Year, Darius Victor. Even without Turpin the Generals should be able to compete.

#4 New Orleans Breakers (2022 Record: 6-4)

When looking at this team there is a lot to get excited about heading into the 2023 season. While the team was in the upper middle pack of the league last season, they will look to compete for a USFL championship.

With a new head coach in former NFL offensive coordinator John DeFlippio the success of the Breakers will ride on the coattails of new QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Coming from the CFL after a very successful career with the Toronto Argonauts including winning the Grey Cup Championship in 2022, Bethel-Thompson looks to bring some success back to the States in the USFL.

#5 Memphis Showboats (2022 Record: 4-6 as Tampa Bay Bandits)

With a whole new identity, the Showboats definitely have some expectations heading into the 2023 season. Todd Haley retains his position as head coach but with almost a completely different offense.

Last season, Haley coached current XFL QB for the DC Defenders, Jordan Ta’amu. Being one of the more talented players in the league it was a surprise to see them only go 4-6. Their play this season will be solely based on the play of their new QB Brady White. White was on the team last season, so he knows what Haley expects from his offense.

#6 Michigan Panthers (2022 Record: 2-8)

Former NFL head coach and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan took over for the Panthers in February of 2023 after previous coach Jeff Fisher resigned. One glaring issue Michigan may be their QB situation. While it may not be the worst QB room in the league they have two young, somewhat inexperienced options with Eric Barriere and Carson Strong.

Thankfully with bringing in Nolan, a defensive specialist, it may seem as if their issues on defense may be fixed as they were 2nd last season in yards given up across the USFL. Look for Nolan to instill new principles in this Panthers defense to try and make them competitors.

#7 Pittsburg Maulers (2022 Record: 1-9)

When looking at this team’s roster there is hardly much to get excited about. Pittsburgh was one of the teams who have a new face running the show with Ray Horton taking over for the 2023 season. Pittsburgh will also have new faces captaining the offense and defense.

At quarterback, the Maulers selected former NFL backup James Morgan in the 2023 USFL Draft. On defense they will be captained by former NFL first round draft pick and NCAA national champion Reuben Foster at linebacker. If their star players are able to elevate the others around them the Maulers can compete. If not, they will see the bottom of the standings again.

#8 Houston Gamblers (2022 Record: 3-7)

One of the four teams who are heading into the 2023 USFL season with a new head coach is the Houston Gamblers. After the very lackluster 3-6 season in 2022 Kevin Sumlin was sacked for former NFL assistant coach Curtis Johnson.

One big downside to the Gamblers roster is even with their poor overall performance last season, to make matters even worse they lost their best player and 2022 USFL Defensive player of the year Chris Odom. One brightside is they will be led by electric playmaking quarterback Kenji Bahar. He appeared in seven games last season and went 2-1 in the three games he was the starting QB.

Noah Costantino is a student and football player at Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, Ohio. Fueled by his love for the game he looks to continue his knowledge of football at an international level. He is majoring in Communications with a