Thursday, October 28, 2010

First place on the line tonight - No, not in the ACC, in the UFL

If you don't care about watching N.C. State host Florida State in college football tonight, you have an opportunity to watch a battle for first place in professional football instead. No, really. Omaha is hosting Las Vegas - on HDNet - in Ultimate Football League action.

The Las Vegas Locomotives lead the UFL with a 4-1 record while the Omaha Nighthawks are in second with a 3-1 mark. Each of the five teams in the league play eight games and the season is over by Thanksgiving.

The league, which is in its second season, also consists of the Florida Tuskers, the Sacramento Mountain Lions and the those scary Hartford Colonials.

Big-name players in the league include Daunte Culpepper, Maurice Clarett, Jeff Garcia, Ahman Green, Nick Novak and Todd Sauerbrun. Coaches include Dennis Green, Jay Gruden and Jim Fassel.

The Florida Tuskers have the most players from the Atlantic Coast Conference with eight, including Novak, the former Maryland kicker who was the ACC's all-time leading scorer and who started his career with the Redskins. Safety Nate Salley, who played three seasons with the Carolina Panthers, plays with the Tuskers as does lineman Steve Justice of Wake Forest who was cut by the Panthers in preseason. Maurice Hicks, a runningback out of North Carolina A&T, also plays for the Tuskers, who stand at 2-3.

The Las Vegas Locomotives have seven players who played in the ACC including Bobby Rome, a fullback out of UNC, and Steve Hauschka, the former N.C. State kicker. The Hartford Colonials also have seven players from the ACC including defensive lineman Jonas Seawright from UNC, defensive lineman Vince Oghobaase from Duke and offensive lineman Orrin Thompson from Duke.

The Omaha Nighthawks have four players on their roster who played in the ACC including linebacker Patrick Thomas from N.C. State. Guard Junius Coston of NC A&T also plays for the Nighthawks, who play at Rosenblatt Stadium, which is sold out for tonight's game.

The Sacramento Mountain Lions have no players who played in the ACC.

Games are played on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays and are broadcast on either HDNet or Versus.

A team based in Virginia joins the league next season. The general manager of that team is Doug Williams, the Super Bowl XXII hero for the Washington Redskins. The team president is UVA grad Ed Reynolds, who was team MVP as a linebacker for the New England Patriots in 1989.

For more, read this article on NBCSports.com titled Can the UFL Succeed?

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