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34 Days to Kickoff – The UFL Top Five: Rivalries

In just two seasons, the United Football League has developed some very good rivalries – between teams, players and fans.

In a league as highly competitive as the UFL has been to date, there are bound to be some newly-minted rivalries that have been a part of that. Looking ahead, however, here are the rivalries fans will want to keep an eye on during the 2011 UFL season:

1. Marty Schottenheimer vs. Jerry Glanville. Football fans who remember the late-1980s matchups between the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Oilers will look forward to this year’s games between the Virginia Destroyers and the Hartford Colonials. Schottenheimer and Glanville know each other well, so the only secrets for the first game of the 2011 season will be each team’s personnel.

This renewal of the Schottenheimer-Glanville rivalry is 20 years in the making, and it will be well worth the wait.

2. Las Vegas Locomotives vs. Virginia Destroyers. How can you have a rivalry between a two-time defending league champion and a team which hasn’t yet played its first game? Well, it’s an extension of the Locos-Florida Tuskers rivalry which played out six times in the UFL’s first two seasons. As of Thursday night, the Destroyers had 17 ex-Tuskers on their active roster, meaning the passion for the games between Las Vegas and Virginia should be there.

Remember, of the six games the Locos and Tuskers played, five were decided by a touchdown or less – including the 2009 and 2010 UFL Championship Games.

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3. Omaha vs. Sacramento. Not the teams. The fan bases. The Nighthawks sold out all four games at venerable Rosenblatt Stadium last year, setting new UFL single-game attendance records along the way. The Mountain Lions had crowds of at least 19,000 in three of four games at Hornet Stadium last year, and finished second in the league in average home attendance.

The UFL’s second game of 2011 will be in Sacramento between the Mountain Lions and Nighthawks, and Mountain Lions fans no doubt will look to get a head start on the race for attendance supremacy on August 14.

4. The new breed of UFL quarterbacks. Quarterbacks tend to want to out-perform other quarterbacks, and there could be some new rivalries formed among the league’s new pivots, like Hartford’s Colt Brennan and Jarrod Johnson, Omaha’s Eric Crouch and Virginia’s Pat White.

All four of those quarterbacks have proven themselves with high-quality play at the collegiate level. Now, they will look to take that high level of play into their first UFL seasons. The one or two who can do that might just face off in the league’s third Championship Game.

5. Las Vegas Locomotives vs. Sacramento Mountain Lions. Sure, the all-time series between these two organizations is 3-1 in favor of the Locos, but there are plenty of reasons to like this rivalry. For one, for the most part, it has been rather competitive. Their first two meetings in 2009 were tight affairs going into the fourth quarter, and the second meeting in 2010 was a seesaw game in which Sacramento scored the first 21 points, then Las Vegas scored the next 17, and the game was decided on a Fabrizio Scaccia field goal inside of two minutes.

Add to that the mix of Head Coaches Jim Fassel (Las Vegas) and Dennis Green (Sacramento), as well as the possible returns of Mountain Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper and running backs Cory Ross (Sacramento) and DeDe Dorsey (Las Vegas), and you have the ingredients for two more classic games this fall.

Sourcehttp://www.ufl-football.com/news/36-days-kickoff-ufl-top-five-rivalries

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