The A11 Football League will open full-season play in March of 2015, and it will do so following a series of drafts which, in part, will allow all eight teams to acquire top local talent.
The A11FL’s initial draft process will go as follows:
- A territorial allocation of players who were eligible for the National Football League Draft from 2009-14.
- A common draft of non-territorial players who were eligible for the NFL Draft from 2009-14.
- A territorial allocation of players eligible for the NFL Draft in 2015.
- A common draft of non-territorial players eligible for the NFL Draft in 2015.
Therefore, there will be some choices for A11FL higher-ups to make prior to this process, chief among them this – how to select each team’s five territorial schools, to provide for the ability to have a good portion of each team’s roster be “hyper-local.”
“Territorial schools will not be definitively decided without input from various football and personnel people once we are underway,” said Michael Keller, A11FL President/Chief Operating Officer, who has vast experience with spring football territorial drafts in both the United States Football League and the XFL. “The territorial schools we used in the old USFL are a good framework. That study and decision was made 30 years ago, so there may be some updating once we are under way.”
Here is one set of possibilities for territorial schools for each of the 12 A11FL finalist markets. These, of course, are not in any way official, and schools would be moved around based on the selection of the final eight charter markets, using the criteria Keller mentioned.
Chicago – Illinois, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame. The very definition of “hyper-local,” and plenty of Big Ten flavor for a possible Midwestern squad.
Dallas – Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. Not only do you see highly-successful Texas-based programs on this list, but you would have cats and dogs (Texas and Oklahoma) having to get along here.
Denver – BYU, Colorado, Colorado State, Utah and Utah State. A strong regional showing here, and there are some intriguing quarterback possibilities based on these schools.
Detroit – Central Michigan, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State and West Virginia. Another strong Midwestern flavor here, and the influence within the state of Michigan would be strong.
Los Angeles – Hawaii, Fresno State, San Diego State, USC and UCLA. Obviously, a strong California influence here, led by the two big-time Los Angeles-based programs.
New York – Boston College, Miami, Ohio State, Rutgers and Syracuse. The biggest of the possible A11FL markets, New York could be a combination of local/regional programs, as well as a few other well-known programs to add some star power.
Philadelphia – Clemson, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Penn State and Pittsburgh are no-brainers, and by reaching south for Clemson, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, that would provide more top talent not too unfamiliar to local fans.
Phoenix – Arizona, Arizona State, New Mexico, New Mexico State and UTEP. Another potential market with strong local potential, Phoenix definitely would have a strong Southwestern influence.
San Antonio – Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Imagine an A11FL team which would draw from Texas A&M, Texas Tech and three of the top Southeastern Conference programs. It would have a great shot to be an instant winner, for sure.
San Francisco – California, San Jose State, Stanford, Nevada and UNLV. This is an intriguing group of schools which combines a strong California influence with a perfect college offense to draw A11FL talent from in Nevada.
Seattle – Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. Seattle’s possible territorial schools are no-brainers. Oregon’s offense is great to pluck A11FL-type talent from, and the local interest from this group of schools would be strong.
Tampa – Central Florida, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Georgia Tech. A team with a lot of Gators, Seminoles, Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets would make for strange bedfellows, but it would have some high-caliber talent. Add those players to those from an up-and-coming UCF program, and a Tampa team wouldn’t want for good players.