Ladies and gentlemen, our readers have spoken, and we have decided which of the teams in the new Alliance of American Football (AAF) we’ll be paying a bit more attention to than the rest this season.
There were 1,357 votes cast over the course of the past couple of days, and the overwhelming winner of our poll was the Salt Lake Stallions. Salt Lake came away with 555 of those votes, giving them just shy of 41% of all the votes cast. The only other team that managed to crack double digits was the Arizona Hotshots, who wound up at 18%.
As we detailed in our initial post, there are four players with connections to the Minnesota Vikings on the Salt Lake roster, most notably running back Matt Asiata. However, there could potentially be more connections going forward. How so?
Well, as was pointed out a few times in the comments section of our poll post, apparently each AAF team has an affiliation with four NFL teams. If a player is released from an NFL team, is not claimed by another NFL team, and signs with the AAF, he will be assigned to the team that club is affiliated with. So, if the Vikings were to cut a player and he were to wind up with the AAF, he would be assigned to the Stallions.
The Smoking Musket, SB Nation’s site for West Virginia sports, explains it this way:
This is the interesting part of the Alliance of American Football. Each AAF team is loosely affiliated with four NFL teams, in the sense that players that get cut from the NFL can be picked up by the AAF team affiliated with their previous team. For example, the Birmingham Iron are affiliated with the Pittsburgh Steelers - a favorite of many West Virginia fans. If a player gets cut by the Steelers and isn’t picked up by another NFL team, he can sign with the AAF and will be placed on the Iron.
Each team is also affiliated with the major universities in their region - including all of the SEC, ACC and Pac-12 schools. If a player from Florida State didn’t turn enough heads to make it to the NFL, his career isn’t over. He can sign with the AAF and will be placed on the Orlando squad. West Virginia is not included in the team affiliations, which means Mountaineer football alumni are free to go to any of the eight AAF teams.
According to the AAF page on Reddit, the Stallions’ other NFL affiliates are the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, and Seattle Seahawks. As far as the other NFC North teams, the Chicago Bears are affiliated with the Arizona Hotshots, while the Detroit Lions are affiliated with the San Diego Fleet.
Each AAF team is also affiliated with colleges around their local area, and some of the more productive pro-producing programs in college football. The affiliates for the Stallions are, in alphabetical order:
- Air Force
- Boise State
- Brigham Young
- Colorado State
- Dixie State (?)
- Idaho State
- Northern Colorado
- Oklahoma State
- Southern Utah
- Utah State
- Weber State
That means that a player from any of those schools that did not make it to the NFL and signed with the AAF would be allocated to the Stallions.
Each AAF team also has one CFL affiliation. The Stallions’ CFL connection is with the Calgary Stampeders.
So, we’re hitching our wagon to the team from Salt Lake, it would appear. Their first game doesn’t happen until Sunday, when they’ll be taking on the Arizona Hotshots.