With the news last week that the Dallas Marshals of CIF had folded in the middle of the season, it set the wheels spinning in motion for the league to try to secure new teams for next season.
The league has already announced that they are re-adding the West Michigan (Muskegon) Ironmen, who tried to bail to the IFL, were stopped in a court hearing, and played this past season in the semi-pro Midwest Professional Indoor Football.
Well in an interview with QC Online, the owner of the Quad City Steamwheelers, Doug Bland, offered up some juicy expansion nuggets for the league in 2019.
Let’s see what Mr. Bland had to say:
…the independent Texas Power has agreed to play Dallas’ two remaining road contests — May 19 at Amarillo and June 9 at the TaxSlayer Center. The league is paying the costs of those road trips out of the line of credit Badgett surrendered by failing to finish the season, Bland said.
Also based in Dallas, the Power played the Omaha Beef in the preseason, and appear on track to replace the Marshals full-time next year in the CIF.
“A bunch of the Marshals players are joining them,” Bland said. “They have a good group of owners and good corporate sponsorship from a big bank in the Dallas area. They’d be a nice addition if it happens.”
So if the Texas Power are added that would bring the league up to 12 teams in 2019, with the Power in the South, West Michigan in the North, and probably Salina moving to the South Division to make it an even six teams in each league.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
The other team that tried to bolt to the IFL, the Bloomington Edge, are also looking to come back to CIF for next season. BACK TO THE QUOTES!
…might be joined by the other team sidelined this season in the legal wranglings between the CIF and the rival Indoor Football League over departing franchises.
“I talked to the owner of the Bloomington team, and he said there was a lot of interest in them moving to Peoria and reviving the Pirates,” Bland reported. “So that would be great for us to get that rivalry going again.”
Well that throws a wrench into things, that would mean the league would be at 13 teams, provided none of the current teams bail or fold between now and the start of next season, which is never a sure thing.
Thirteen teams is a large league, biggest in the country, but you have to imagine that CIF would be looking to add at least one team, if not more, to get an even number so one team doesn’t sit out with a bye every week.
But what markets are left where CIF could put a team. There has been talk that more teams could be added in Texas, but you wonder if that rumor is the Power, which Bland talked about above. There was also the Wichita Falls Nighthawks, who tried to jump to CIF from IFL, but were shutdown. That doesn’t seem likely, as the owners of that team said it is unlikely the team is coming back.
Or…what if in a weird roll reversal, the teams from the IFL come knocking at the door of the CIF this off-season?
Immediately I would rule out Iowa and Arizona from joining, they are both too big for CIF, and there has been talks of Arizona starting its own west coast league, or maybe even wilder, both could head back to the Arena Football League.
That leaves four teams from the IFL potentially looking for a new league: Sioux Falls, Cedar Rapids, Green Bay, and Nebraska. Things have not gone well for Cedar Rapids, and they are reportedly under league control, so let’s go ahead and assume that they will fold after the season.
That leaves three teams. And we previously had 13 in CIF. 13 + 3 = 16. And 16 is a nice even number, with you could divide up into two divisions of eight, or four divisions of four. Again, this all assumes that CIF doesn’t lose any teams between then and now.
So if you get 16 you’re looking at a North of: Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Bismarck, Quad City, Omaha, West Michigan, Bloomington, and Green Bay. While the South would be Amarillo, Duke City, Texas Revolution, Texas Power, Wichita, Kansas City, Salina, and Nebraska.
Admittedly, that’s not an ideal scenario to have to split the two Nebraska teams into different divisions, but you could have them play each other home-and-home to make up for it.
Again, this is all wild speculation, and this assume a lot about the IFL. Either way, It’s going to be a wild ride up until next season, and this season isn’t even over yet!