Eight weeks.

That’s all the time it took for the UFL to find out which of its teams are the four best. The Birmingham Stallions, Michigan Panthers, St. Louis Battlehawks and San Antonio Brahmas each secured their spot in the inaugural UFL playoffs with home-field advantage for the conference championships yet to be decided.

The Battlehawks must feel good, as they’re not only the top team in the XFL Conference, but also the only XFL team yet to suffer a loss to a conference foe. Still, no team — including St. Louis — has defeated the Stallions in over a year.

With two weeks left in the regular season, getting healthy for the postseason will be top of mind for the playoff participants, with just one team — Birmingham — forced to play at least one game without their preferred starter at QB.

That said, here’s my eighth edition of the 2024 UFL power rankings.

1. Birmingham Stallions (8-0)

The Stallions have won all eight games this season and 15-straight dating back to last year. With a 35-28 win against USFL Conference foe Houston, Birmingham moved one step closer to securing home-field advantage for the USFL Conference title game against Michigan next month.

MVP candidate Adrian Martinez accounted for 217 yards, including 44 on the ground, five touchdowns and one interception. The Stallions rushed for 149 yards and have scored 30 points or more in each of their past four wins.

The Stallions turn their attention to the Brahmas next week — a team that could play against them again in the UFL championship matchup in just a month’s time.

2. Michigan Panthers (6-2)

That’s four consecutive wins for the team that has played four different quarterbacks through eight weeks. Mike Nolan’s club has been built on running the football and playing stifling defense, but both of those units were stressed against Memphis in their 24-18 win at Ford Field.

The Panthers lost tailback Wes Hills to a first-half injury and were down to just one tailback in the second half in Matt Colburn, as offensive coordinator Marcel Bellfuile continued to swap QBs Brian Lewerke and Bryce Perkins on each series.

Colburn rushed for 93 yards on 23 rushes with two touchdowns, while the Panthers defense recorded four sacks and an interception. The Panthers allowed the Showboats to tie the game at 18-all in the fourth quarter, but they ultimately sealed a victory that still has them in the hunt to host the USFL Conference title game with the Stallions.


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