Ken Gossett, Hunter Jones, Harish Prasad, Christian Pundt, Matthew Slinn

We are back and better than ever (and that’s saying something)! We’ve added Carolina Skyhawk Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receiver Harish Prasad to our team this season, who promises to balance out the incumbent writers’ incompetence with his “impartiality” and “facts” (we’ll see about that a month into Season 13).

Without further ado and wasting any more time… the first edition of Season 13’s Power Rankings

1Alaska Storm
0 - 0The Alaska Storm have just completed another impressive season where they had the best record in the league and they won their third consecutive title. They had a strong offseason which included retaining most of their players, signing free agent linebacker, and bringing kicker A-Aron D’hude out of retirement. Max Paul will stay in his coaching role and try to lead his dominant Storm team to a fourth successive title, and they are in a great position to do so going into Season 13
2Denver Nightwings
0 - 0The Denver Nightwings had a rough season in Season 11, finishing 3-9. However, they had one of the biggest turnarounds in SFL history as they started 7-0 and finished 9-3 to secure a number 2 seed in the playoffs. They were able to secure a spot in the championship against the Alaska Storm where they competed hard with them in an impressive effort, but they came up just short, losing the game 35-37. They upgraded in their secondary signing one of the best free agents in Justin Jones as their new CB along with FS Josh Vasquez from Atlanta.
3Mexico City Aztecs
0 - 0Mexico City stole the headlines this offseason when former Dallas Lobos owner Steven Mullenax gave up his ownership to move down South to Mexico City to become their new offensive coordinator, hoping to lead Matt Willson, Ray Bentley and that strong Aztec offense back to championship glory for the first time since Season 9. They ended last season 8-4 as the #6 seed but were knocked out in the wildcard round by Dallas. They were able to retain all of their players outside of Linebacker Jack Brown, which could slightly hurt their defense, but they will look to make another run at the playoffs with Mullenax joining their coaching staff.
4Tallahassee Pride
0 - 0Tallahassee had a weaker Season 12 campaign, compared to Season 11. They finished this past season 7-5 securing a spot in the playoffs, they were able to beat the Corsairs but once again were defeated by the Storm for the third straight season. They had a strong offseason stealing back their Defensive End Kevin Bane from Alaska, where he won a title. They also were able to sign WR Hunter Jones from Indianapolis, in a scheme change where they move to 3 Wide Receivers alongside Greyson Willis and Ken Gossett lead by former MVP Christian Christensen (Jones looks like a journeyman WR at this point though, so we will see how this turns out). The Pride also made a coaching change by promoting Sir Chappell to Defensive Coordinator, a position he held in Carolina, where he coached a playoff campaign, so this surely will be a positive move for the Pride.
5New Orleans Pharaohs
0 - 0New Orleans has a very talented team, lead by Offensive Player of the Year (falling only a few votes short of MVP), Xander Gold, who returns to the Pharaohs hoping to bring them back to the playoffs after a strong 8-4 campaign. They were able to sign free agent, Levant Irvine, to strengthen their defense. They were also able to sign another target for Gold in Tight End Yasin Clifton to pair with the strong receiving core, along with Wide Receiver Deezer Powell, who most will agree was one of the best receivers in the league last season.
6Seattle Tyrants
0 - 0Moving from Dallas to Seattle, Crash Combs will be ready to lead his team for the first time as the sole owner of the franchise. The team had a lot of changes including co-owner and coach Steven Mullenax, who coached the offense, and played a big role in leading the Lobos team to a 9-3 record, with Zack Sandlin having a historic MVP season. However, they fell just short of making the championship game (losing to Denver). They were able to sign Free Safety Mahmoud Ajlouni, who played really well in Atlanta. While this team is still really strong with Quarterback Jacques Luyindula and Wide Receiver Junior Senior III returning, there will be a few questions for this team due to losing Mullenax as they look to rookie coach Zack Sandlin to take over as Defensive Coordinator, and Combs moving to Offensive Coordinator.
7Baltimore Vultures
0 - 0Baltimore was able to re-sign every one of their players, which is impressive, along with bringing back Garren Malone to become their GM once again (but his player won’t be playing as of now). However, the big headline here is Head Coach Thomas Paterniti is taking a step back from coaching duties and the team will look back to Tim Johnston to take back the coaching role, who no doubt must have picked up some ideas from Paterniti. This is what brought Baltimore down a little bit in the rankings, but they are still looking like they could make another run to the playoffs once again with that strong roster led by Quarterback Mike Dazzo, Running Back T-Roy Gaines, and Linebacker Aman Takess.
8Chicago Wildcats
0 - 0The Chicago Wildcats fell just short of the playoffs last season, being eliminated in an unheard of three-way tiebreaker along with the London Knights after the Las Vegas Fury claimed the last wildcard spot. The Wildcats biggest move this off-season was their essential switch with QCC, replacing RB Jared Willis with RB Ash Odom. They also added LB Blake Craize from London and CB Greg Gaines from OKC. This Wildcats team will likely be back in the thick of the playoff hunt again this season, hopefully they can control their own destiny this time around.
9Queen City Corsairs
0 - 0The Queen City Corsairs were narrowly able to make the playoffs last season, clinching their wildcard spot in the last week of the season and extending their playoff streak to nine straight seasons. QCC had a quiet offseason as they normally do outside of the essential RB swap with the Chicago Wildcats, acquiring RB Jared Willis and losing RB Ash Odom. Along with acquiring Willis, QCC added free agent FS Tanner Hendrix, TE James Matthew Jr. and DE Kyrie Hason. Losing Odom will surely hurt the QCC offense, but how much remains to be seen. They still have QB AJ Caswell and WRs Stephen Hacker and Chris Curtis, a WR tandem that should soften that blow but nonetheless history shows you don’t doubt Erik Barkley.
10Sioux Falls Sparrows
0 - 0The Sioux Falls Sparrows finished a playoff team despite a very slow start last season, going 1-4 through the first five weeks before winning six straight and clinching a wildcard spot at 7-5. In the off-season, the Sparrows added TE George Calderon, LB Josh Fuentes and drafted CB Terrell Davis. The Sparrows are a normal fixture in the playoffs and it’s unlikely it changes. While they did have to replace some players after a couple seasons of retaining their roster, they still have most of their core players.
11London Knights
0 - 0The London Knights were the victim of a tiebreaker to be eliminated from playoff contention, notably shocking the SFL when they beat the then-undefeated Denver Nightwings en route to their 6-6 finish. While the sting of being so close hurts, the Knights rebounded very quickly with a strong off-season. They lost WR Ken McCarroo but replaced with him Trevor Ferrill, who moved from WR to TE, along with drafting LB DeAndre Washington to replace Blake Craize. This season the Knights look to put it all together and make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
12Houston Hyenas
0 - 0The Houston Hyenas had… Well, a rough time last season to put it lightly. After almost taking out the undefeated Alaska Storm in the S11 playoffs, the Hyenas limped to a 3-9 finish in S12 and look to right the ship in S13. The Hyenas added a couple of Las Vegas players in DT Mike “Fats” Johnon and FS Anthony Wyo along with drafting CB Ayden Davis. While it can be understood why the Hyenas are expected to rebound and return to playoff form, last season can’t exactly be thrown out of the equation, which is why they may look a little low coming in at 12.
13Tulsa Desperadoes
0 - 0The Tulsa Desperados finished last season at a relatively quiet 5-7. They were a hard team to get a beat on, as one week they’d beat a playoff contender then the next week drop a game to a team who, on paper, they probably should’ve beat. Regardless, they retained most of their roster and replaced the few they did lose with quality players, adding WR Mike Osayi, CB Dante West and drafting TE Anthony Mosley. If the Desperados can beat the teams they’re supposed to beat, they’ll likely hover around that .500 range they normally do. This team does have potential to go to the playoffs if they can play with a little more consistency this season.
14Las Vegas Fury
0 - 0It may seem weird to see a playoff team for the past couple of seasons to be this low but hear us out. Yes, the Las Vegas Fury have made the postseason in both of the seasons they’ve been around, however they had to replace a good chunk of their roster. In the off-season, they added formerly retired WR Memphis Blue, DT Rhett Sawyer and FS Jack Burton while adding fellow FS Jonathan Taylor-Skonseng in the draft. While they did draft Taylor-Skonseng, hard to replace a Pro Bowl guy like Anthony Wyo and a DT like Fats Johnson. However, owner Max Jackson has shown that he can will his teams to wins, so it wouldn’t be shocking if they’re back in the postseason again this season.
15Carolina Skyhawks
0 - 0Carolina finished last season at #17 but gets a slight bump here. They stand to improve on the offensive end after using the #4 pick on quarterback Sully Richardson and bringing in a fullback ahead of Randy Mercury in what new Offensive Coordinator Harish Prasad hopes will emulate the Season 12 Alaska Storm’s offensive attack. While they decided to save cap space in the secondary, the Skyhawks invested heavily in the front seven, bringing back all of Chris Colon, Phil Hall, DJ Majesty, and Shravan Prasad. They also stand to improve a bit on the defensive end after making a coaching change with James Cline taking back the reins from the infamous Jonny Savage.
16Atlanta Swarm
0 - 0We’ll acknowledge the elephant in the room right off the bat: the Atlanta Swarm came in well underneath the cap again and that probably isn’t a good thing. In addition with their draft night fiasco and the resignation of their General Manager, we can’t exactly completely praise them for an amazing off-season. However, they did manage to bring back Marcus Dunhill (who although he was among the league leaders in turnovers last season is a very complete player as far as builds go), Siege Falco (among the league’s statistical leaders at his position), Jamaal Wooding (one of the league’s premier players at his position as just a sophomore), and stealing such notable players as Blake Chance and Blake Hamrac.
17Vancouver Legion
0 - 0This one brought much debate among the new Power Rankings team and, at the end of the day, we had to acknowledge the massive roster here. The Legion only brought back four players, albeit players who had exceptional seasons (Tom Pepper, Brett Killian, Marc Lopez, Gus Schultz) and, after finishing last season at #15 in the Power Rankings, the heir of mystery seems to justify a slight move downwards here. They brought in several new and talented players that seem like they could become a real factor (specifically Rich Pratchard, Craig Hearn, and Mana Kanaka) in moving the Legion upwards in short order if the new team construction works.
18Charleston Predators
0 - 0Indianapolis -- Charleston -- finished last season last in the Power Rankings and, although we have our reasons, we may be doing them a favor moving them up several spots here. Charleston can now reasonably claim to carry the top linebacking corps in the league after the signing of Mexico City-mainstay Jack Brown to pair with their current star Brandon Haight. While their receiving corps can end up going either way this season after signing three new players to play on the outside (including a WR-turned-TE), they brought back TD Drew and Keith Swearingen to form their backfield battery.
19Oklahoma City Renegades
0 - 0Jon Gregory was promoted to General Manager over this off-season and made some shrewd moves in the wake of the franchise face JW Doyle ditching town for Alaska and last season’s #3 pick leaving for Vancouver. He essentially traded Doyle for Alaska’s own backfield hammer Jason Williams and paired him with FB Dylan Moses after picking him third overall. While this may end up in hindsight being a bit of a redundant strategy given that they are both power runners, it is certainly an interesting idea nonetheless.
20San Francisco Sharks
0 - 0This one we’re sure to receive some flack from and was certainly a controversial decision on our own Power Rankings team. At the end of the day, we don’t trust the vision it appears this team has. Aside from a few teams in SFL history (most notably the Alaska Storm), the no-RB build has not turned into much success. The team appears very one dimensional without a running threat out of the backfield; a problem that’s only compounded by the fact that they have a quarterback likely to stick around the silver range for much of the season and receiving threats that could handle some more fine-tuning for their build. Defensively, this team looks very similar to the Season 11 Carolina Skyhawks with stronger corners, given that they have several lower value defensive linemen, a high-end linebacker and two lower value safeties. It will be interesting to see how Chad Guy works with more disruptors in front of him and if the Sharks roll back out the man-heavy coverages again. There are many ways this season can go but we don’t know if we believe in the direction this season.
21St. Louis Gladiators
0 - 0Let’s just say it how it is: St. Louis finished 2-10 last season and landed the #1 pick for the second straight season. We don’t see a move that really seems to justify putting them in front of another team. They added Noah Johns, and lost Moody Mitchell (a superior player on paper; now retired). They spent the #1 pick on DE Maur Rivers, but would an extra pass rusher have made a substantial difference last season? They unretired Freeman Peltier, but the St. Louis secondary still struggled with him on it several seasons ago. They made a coaching change this off-season and are changing their defensive playbook with a five defensive back look… we’re still left with so many questions and not enough answers to justify placing them higher.