The Stallions have been the class of the UFL this season, and have yet to lose a game after five weeks. They have now become the fastest team to clinch a playoff berth in the modern USFL or XFL on their quest to win their third straight title. 

Skip Holtz has proven that he is the best coach in spring football time and again as his Stallions have won close games, and blown teams out. It seems this team only keeps getting better as this coaching staff gets more and more familiar with their guys scoring a season-high 39 points in week six. 

Slow Start Turns into Second Quarter Explosion

The Stallions were outscored in the first quarter and found themselves down 6-0 heading into the second quarter. That’s when the offense flipped a switch and produced 22 points in the second quarter alone on a Ricky Person rushing touchdown, two Adrian Martinez touchdown passes, and a pair of receptions for Jordan Thomas on extra point attempts. 

This explosion put the Stallions up 22-9 heading into the second half and allowed them to settle in and go to work in the second half. During the second half, they outscored Memphis 17-12 ending the game 39-21. This game seemingly sealed the playoff picture for two teams as the Stallions moved to 6-0 while the Showboats fell to 1-5. Michigan, currently 3-2, plays the 0-5 Arlington Renegades Sunday and could put themselves in the driver’s seat for the second USFL division playoff spot with a victory. 

Are the Stallions Historically the Best Spring Football Team Ever?

The Birmingham Stallions are already one of the winningest teams in the history of leagues like the USFL, XFL, UFL, and AAF. In the modern era, they have now won 27 games out of 30 tries in three seasons so far, including a spotless playoff/championship record of 4-0. Their overall win percentage of 90% is higher than some of the most impressive “alternative” football leagues of all time. This includes the USFL, World League of Football, XFL 2001 and 2020, and Alliance of American Football. 

The Jim Mora-led Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars had an unbelievable run over their first two seasons, 16-4 in 1983, and 19-2 in 1984, before their 13-7-1 1985 season in Baltimore drug down their winning percentage. Before that 1985 season Mora had an 85.3% win rate, and after, it fell to 78.2%. 

Ironically the Stallions’ predecessor the Birmingham Americans may have challenged this 90% win rate in their 1974 World League of Football season, if not for a schedule quirk that had the team play four games in two weeks. This included 3 games in only ten days all wins, before the fourth game in this marathon stretch led to their first loss. They finished their first season 17-5 resulting in a 77% win rate. 

The World League of Football also boasted the powerhouse known as the Memphis Southmen that went 24-8 in 32 games good for a 75% win rate over their two seasons in the WLF.

In the 2001 version of the XFL the Orlando Rage, and Los Angeles Xtreme were the top teams finishing 8-2, and 7-3 respectively. Orlando would lose in round one of the playoffs finishing the season 8-3, while Los Angeles would go on to win the Championship led by former NFL first-round pick quarterback Tommy Maddox. Los Angeles finished the season 9-3 or a 75% win rate. 

The first version of the United Football League had one team that stood above the rest, and that was the Las Vegas Locomotives led by Jim Fassel with a collective 18-7 record over four years they had a 72% win rate. The Florida Tuskers also had tremendous success under Jim Haslett, and Jay Gruden. Collectively during their two seasons as the Tuskers, before becoming the Virginia Destroyers, they had an 11-3 record or a 78.5% win rate.

Alliance of American Football and XFL 2020 are the only two leagues on this list that boast teams that can come close to the win rate the Stallions have currently. Of course, both of these teams should be considered with an asterisk next to their records as neither league they were a part of finished their inaugural season. The Orlando Apollos finished their 8-game stretch in the Alliance of American Football 7-1 led by quarterback Garrett Gilbert, and Head Coach/Offensive Mastermind Steve Spurrier, with an 87.5% win rate. 

In the XFL 2020, PJ Walker, and another Head Coach and offensive wunderkind: June Jones led the Houston Roughnecks to a 5-0 record before covid 19 caused the league to shut down. The team would return in 2023, with a new staff and put up a 7-3 regular season record before a playoff loss. Collectively the two teams have an 80% win rate, but it’s hard to count these teams as the same. 

The Stallions have not only collected one of the highest win rates of all time in an NFL-alternative football league, but they have also done so over a longer period than most of their counterparts that come even close to touching their level of success. We could be watching one of the greatest professional football teams ever assembled in their respective league. 

A-Mart Divides Up the Workload, Finds 10 of 11 Active Receivers on the Day

Adrian Martinez is slowly growing into a spring football star right before our eyes. In week six he put on a masterclass of spreading the ball around, and utilizing every target as he found complete passes to ten different pass catchers on the day, of only eleven that were active. This included 4 touchdown passes on the day to three different players. 

Kevin Austin, Marlon Williams, and CJ Marable led the way with 4 receptions a piece. All three found the endzone, with Williams doing it twice. Austin led the receivers with 108 yards on the day. Martinez topped 300 yards passing for the second time this season and did so while adding 25 rushing yards as well. He fell just shy of 400 total yards with 393. 

Stallions Might be Rolling, but Have Yet to Play a Perfect Game

Martinez threw 13 incompletions on the day, with the defense only being credited for 1 pass breakup. Clean up a few of these throws, and it could have been about as close to perfect as it gets for a young quarterback. He has been helped at times by defenders dropping would-be interceptions as well.

The rushing attack has been hot and cold depending on the week after starting the season very strong with 332 yards in their first two games. This week the team as a whole failed to reach 100 yards rushing for the first time this season. They can’t seem to find a rotation in the backfield that works to perfection recently, even after shifting the bell-cow duties to the bigger stronger Ricky Person and using Marable more as a receiver. This is one area that if figured out could make this team even stronger. 

The defense did a great job of slowing down their best weapons but it wasn’t always perfect as they gave up a 34-yard touchdown pass to Dee Anderson. They were able to make up for a handful of big plays with big plays of their own resulting in three turnovers. 

Penalties need to be limited going forward. The Stallions were penalized 6 times for 60 yards, while Memphis was penalized 4 times for 29 yards. Things like this could be the edge Birmingham needs against St. Louis if they hope to stay undefeated into week 8.  

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Sam Just

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