The United States Football League (USFL) has heated up, and with only three weeks left in the 2023 season, the playoff picture is coming into sharper focus. The league has been on a roller coaster ride since its relaunch in 2022, and this season is shaping up to be just as exciting.
Let’s take a closer look at where things stand after Week 7.
In the North Division, the Philadelphia Stars (4-3) currently hold the lead, but with the Michigan Panthers (3-4), New Jersey Generals (2-5), and Pittsburgh Maulers (2-5) all within reach, the playoff spot is up for grabs.
In the South Division, the defending champions Birmingham Stallions are leading (5-2), with the Memphis Showboats (4-3), New Orleans Breakers (4-3), and Houston Gamblers (4-3) hot on their heels.
However, no team has yet clinched a playoff berth, and no team has been officially eliminated.
Potential Playoff Matchups
If the postseason were to start today, in the North Division, we would see the Philadelphia Stars take on the Michigan Panthers, while in the South, the Birmingham Stallions would face the Memphis Showboats (who edge out the New Orleans Breakers and the Houston Gamblers due to their 2-1 record against them).
Week 8 Scenarios
In Week 8, the Philadelphia Stars can clinch a playoff spot with a win, provided the New Jersey Generals and Pittsburgh Maulers lose. This would give the Stars a 5-3 record while the Generals and Maulers would each have six losses with only two games remaining.
Meanwhile, in the South Division, no team can clinch a playoff spot or be eliminated in Week 8, demonstrating just how closely matched these teams are this season.
In the event of identical won-lost records at the end of the regular season, the USFL has a series of tiebreakers in place to determine playoff berths. These include head-to-head matchups, won-lost percentage within the division, strength of victory, net points in all games, net touchdowns in all games, and finally, a coin toss.
The Road Ahead
With the remaining schedule packed with key matchups, the race for playoff positions is far from over. Teams will be battling it out in the next three weeks for the chance to make it to the semifinals on June 24 and 25, leading to the Championship game on July 1.
The 2023 USFL season has been full of thrilling moments, and the final weeks promise to be even more exciting as teams fight for their playoff lives. With so much at stake, the stage is set for a grand finish to what has been an electrifying season of football. Stay tuned for more updates as the playoff picture continues to develop.
USFL Week 8 Schedule
Saturday, June 3
Houston at Pittsburgh (Canton), 12 p.m. (USA)
Philadelphia at Birmingham (Birmingham), 3 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, June 4
Memphis at New Jersey (Canton), 1 p.m. (FOX)
Michigan at New Orleans (Birmingham), 4 p.m. (FOX)