There's a new sheriff in town for football......well, maybe. Starting Saturday, February 9th on CBS, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) will officially start their inaugural 10 week, 40-game season. The AAF will consist of 8 teams. Each team has 52 players from either the NFL, NCAA, or the CFL. The AAF has over 200 universities represented in their league. The universities represented include Penn State, Rutgers, University of South Carolina, and University of Hawaii. The comparison of the top universities represented between the AAF and the National Football League (NFL) is not very different, potentially indicating the talent level could be the best a secondary football league has ever seen.
Top 5 Colleges Represented
The colleges with the most players who are on AAF rosters are Florida State (12), Alabama (11), Florida (11), LSU (11), and Georgia Tech (10). Notable players from these schools include Trent Richardson, Zach Mettenberger, Stephen Hill, Tre Jackson, and Louis Murphy Jr. The top 5 schools represented in the NFL are Alabama, LSU, Florida, Miami, and Ohio State. The biggest difference is the volume of players from each college. The NFL has about a 3:1 ratio of players from each school compared to the AAF. However, that should be expected based on the legitimacy of each league to date. If the AAF becomes a popular league like the NFL, then the difference should begin to subside.
Talent in The AAF
The AAF has the potential to be a talent-driven league based on some notable players that are on rosters. The college superstars who ended up being NFL busts have been given a second chance in this league, making the teams more competitive. Players such as Aaron Murray, Christian Hackenberg, and former 3rd overall pick, Trent Richardson, are all on AAF teams. These players were extremely successful in their college careers, but could never figure it out in the NFL. There are also several players who played multiple years in the NFL and have now switched to the AAF. Some of which include Nick Novak, Matt Asiata, Chris Givens, and Scott Tolzien. Whether they played every down or were a backup their entire career, they have experience in the NFL which is irreplaceable for new leagues like the AAF. The AAF may already have their "faces of the league" if the big name college and NFL players can perform as expected.
The AAF hopes to live up to their own expectations. They will attempt to do what every other secondary football league has failed at, competing with the NFL as the most popular league. A combination of the notable colleges represented, the talent pool, and the coverage on CBS and CBS Sports, could possibly make the AAF become the biggest threat to the NFL. Hopefully by the end of week 1, some questions will be answered about the future success of the league.
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