Super Bowl 50 is a week and a half away, and for many, that's the end of football until the first week of September, when the first NCAA games begin anew.
Of course, there are many that will be disappointed by the lack of gridiron action, and they usually cope with NBA or NCAA basketball, or MLB, but even that has to end sometime. What do you replace it with, NASCAR? (I would, for one, but alas, I am not you.)
Enter Major League Football.
The eight-team league, which is publicly-owned and traded, looks to begin play in the spring of this year, and will have all 83 games (10 regular season games each, three playoff games) aired on the American Sports Network. The franchises, which are yet to be named, will be located in "emerging markets" that do not have major NFL or MLB sports franchises. Rumors have swirled that Orlando, Akron, Norfolk (VA), Oklahoma City, Little Rock, and Eugene (OR) are amongst the cities expected to field teams, with the Orlando Sentinal confirming the Orlando rumors. According to the official MLFB website, there are also potential plans to expand to 10 teams in 2017, with franchises in Mexico and Canada if 2016 turns out to be success.
The MLFB, which aims to be playing football games by this April, conducted three separate drafts. The first round, also known as the "Franchise Draft", was conducted on January 27th. In that round, draftees from anywhere in North America could be selected by any team. On January 28th and 29th, the Territorial Draft, which focused on "players from a certain area who may have previous experience or connections with other members of a team" begun, with each team getting 40 selections. Finally, on January 30th, there was a 29 round "Open Draft" where coaches could take any remaining prospect. The MLFB expected 800-900 draftees, but received over 2,000 applications.
The biggest name of the MAC selections was Dan LeFevour, the former 6th round draft pick of the Chicago Bears. LeFevour spent 2015 as the backup to Rakeem Cato with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes. In 2014, LeFevour strung together a great series of starts for the Hamilton TigerCats before tearing his ACL, compiling 1,590 total yards and eight total touchdowns with a 92.0 QBR in six starts. LeFevour has also spent time with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals (preseason/practice squad), New York Giants (practice squad), and the Jacksonville Jaguars (practice squad/promoted to active roster.) At Central Michigan University, LeFevour was an all-timer, being the only player in NCAA history to surpass both 12,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards in their career, and is second all-time in the NCAA in total touchdowns responsible for, with 50 scores.
Some other big names to be picked up in the Territorial Draft include Deon Butler, Jawon Chisholm, Antwan Crutcher, and Zac D'Arazio.
Here's a primer of every MAC product that was selected in both drafts:
1st round, 7th pick: Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan (Team Kirksey)
5th, 7th: Kendall Montgomery, DL, Bowling Green (Team Kirksey)
6th, 7th: Deon Butler, TE, Central Michigan (Team Kirksey)
10th, 7th: Philip Lewis, DL, Toledo (Team Kirksey)
13th, 7th: Henry Orleus, OC, Akron (Team Kirksey)
14th, 7th: Garry White, DB, Eastern Michigan (Team Kirksey)
15th, 7th: JD Griggs, DE, Akron (Team Kirksey)
17th, 7th: Bryan Thomas, LB, Bowling Green (Team Kirksey)
20th, 7th: Danny Farr, DL, Toledo (Team Kirksey)
24th, 7th: Cedric Brittnum, OG, Akron (Team Kirksey)
25th, 7th: Jawon Chisholm, RB, Akron (Team Kirksey)
28th, 7th: Dennis Nalor, DB, Central Michigan (Team Kirksey)
29th, 7th: Dallas Walker, TE, Western Michigan (Team Kirksey)
30th, 7th: Antwan Crutcher, DT, Ohio (Team Kirksey)
33rd, 1st: Martel Moore, WR, Northern Illinois (Team Campo)
33rd, 7th: Zac D'Arazio, WR, Akron (Team Kirksey)
56th, 7th: Derek Brim, DB, Buffalo (Team Kirksey)
62nd, 6th: Ed Young, WR, Buffalo (Team Hall)
65th, 6th: Ronald Johnson, OL, Eastern Michigan (Team Hall)
65th, 7th: Johnnie Simon, LB, Western Michigan (Team Kirksey)
69th, 4th: Neal Howley, LB, Eastern Michigan (Team Ford)
The full list of draftees for every team can be found by following this link.