The much anticipated release of the 2015 Super 16 schedule is here at last, and it promises another season packed with great rivalry and intense competition in the lead-up to Super-16 Bowl IV. The S-16 follows a scheduling format that has teams play their division opponents twice each, and opponents from a common division (this season it’s East vs South, and West vs North) once each for a total of 10 regular season games. The 13 Week schedule is rounded out with matches that pit teams equal to their finishing rank from the other two divisions (1’s vs 1’s, 2’s vs 2’s, etc) and then an ‘At-Large’ game used to balance out and fit the puzzle pieces of the schedule together. The full 2015 schedule grid can be viewed here
The action this season in the S16 explodes on the NFL’s opening day – as the Ice Cold Bruschis take the field on opening Thursday night – and doesn’t let up with an opening week full of exciting matches. Besides the S16 East divisional match-up between the Bruschis and the newly relocated Jets franchise (formerly RG3PO), Week 1 gets a Texas-sized battle from the S16 South as BIGDOGINTEX takes on the H-Town Foster Kids, and then, moving to the S16 North, where every single game will matter, The Indy-structibles will face division rival The Dawg Pound. Going back to the East, the up-and-coming Northern Fins will be the first team this year to get a shot at the defending champion BEARMINATORS, while way out west, the whole league will be watching as we get our first look at 2 of the 3 new franchises when 1 Eye Til I Die takes on BowMen’s 49ers in a Battle of the Bay. Rounding out the Week 1 action, The S16 will start the season with Three SimulPlay matches as the Firebirds march in to the Who Dat Nation; the new Los Angeles Superchargers will see if they have the horsepower to win in the Motor City when they take on the relocated Lions; and the Birds of Prey and The Eagle Has Landed swoop in for a ‘this birdcage ain’t big enough for the both of us’ type of brawl.
Once the excitement of opening week is gone, and the front stretch of the season gets underway, the big games continue. Moving through Weeks 2-5 there are a total of 12 more of the S16’s exclusive SimulPlay matches, 5 of them in Week 4 alone. Many of these will be HUGE divisional rivalry games – especially in the S16 South – like the BowMen vs Firebirds and the Birds of Prey vs BIGDOG in Week 3; and the Northern Fins vs the Jets, Birds of Prey vs H-Town, and Who Dat Nation vs BIGDOG in Week 4.
This opening stretch of the season also sees the first ‘At-Large’ games of the year in Weeks 3 and 5 when the BEARMINATORS play the Bruschis; Who Dats take on the Fins; and the Dawg Pound and Jets tangle. It’s also the beginning of the BYE week games as the Jets’ franchise will face the Dawgs in that match at BYE week strength, and the Fins and Bruschis also get their BYE weeks out of the way with matches vs the Eagle and Birds of Prey.
It’s, of course, hard to predict who the powerhouses will be before the season gets started, but the – 2 time champion and 2014 1st runner-up – Birds of Prey vs the -2014 2nd runner-up – H-Town Foster Kids in a Week 4 SimulPlay match has all the makings of an epic battle. That’s followed in Week 5 by another instant classic when the defending champion BEARMINATORS face the defending North Division champion Indy-structibles in the first of their two matches this season.
In Week 6, most of the teams’ records will probably still be pretty close, but by the end of this stretch of season, in Week 10, 2015’s winners and losers should start to separate in the standings. This part of the season sees the bulk of the BYE week games, with BIGDOG, 1 Eye, BEARMINATORS, The Eagle, Lions, H-Town, and Firebirds all playing their shortened-strength game.
There are 8 SimulPlay matches through this span of the season, and some of them promise to really be great games. In Week 6 Birds of Prey battle the Who Dats and the BEARMINATORS face the Lions in a pair of division rivalry SimulPlay games that each team might want to win even more than they want the championship. The third SimulPlay of Week 6 is sure to have as much action on the fantasy field as on the real field when the Indy-structibles take on the Ice Cold Bruschis. The Bruschis also get SimulPlay matches against their division rivals the Jets and the Fins in weeks 7 and 8, and the expansion Superchargers and 1 Eyes get the full S16 experience when they face each other in a Week 7 SimulPlay game. In another big SimulPlay game, this one in week 8, The Dawg Pound and the Firebirds have another rematch of their 2013 Divisional Playoff match. Arizona won that game by only a point and a half to make it into the Super Bowl, but wasn’t able to beat the Dawgs in two regular season meetings in 2014.
Beyond the SimulPlay and BYE week matches of this stretch of the season, there are lots of divisional games, and several other intriguing match-ups. Week 7 sees the Birds of Prey and Who Dats with an immediate rematch of their week 6 SimulPlay, along with a (BYE week version) of an Indy/Chi-town rematch of their week 5 game. The BowMen and BIGDOG play in week 7 as well, and a San Francisco – Dallas game is always exciting. In Week 8, the 3rd place 2014 Foster Kids get to take on the defending champ BEARMINATORS in a rematch of sorts from last season’s 4-way Super Bowl, but it’s their week 7 at-large match-up that H-Town will be waiting all season for. The H-Town-Firebirds game will be the 17th all-time meeting between the two coaches with Coach Crash leading the series 9 games to 8.
As the Super 16’s 2015 season enters the final stretch, the playoff push will begin, and, as it usually is, the race to make it to the post season promises to be tough and competitive. The last of the BYE week games will finish up in weeks 10 and 11, including the BYE vs BYE match-up between the Superchargers and BowMen.
There are 10 SimulPlay games in the final four weeks, including divisional matches between the Who Dats and H-Town; BowMen and Firebirds; Bruschis and The Eagle; and the Fins and Jets – twice! The SimulPlay game that, even this early, looks like it could be one of the most exciting of the season takes place in week 11 when the Indy-structibles take on the two-time champion Birds of Prey.
Like the NFL, the Super 16 has plenty of action lined up for Thanksgiving Day when BIGDOGINTEX faces The Eagle Has Landed for what could be a feast of scoring, and then it’s turkey and Lions and Bears…oh my! Instant holiday classics all around.
If past seasons are any indication, week 13 will come along with playoff spots still to be determined, and many of the finale match-ups will play a roll in who the ultimate winners and losers are this season. Games like the Superchargers vs Firebirds and H-Town vs BIGDOG are certain to help finish out the regular season with just as much excitement as it starts with.
Good luck to all this year, and a special thanks to all of the Super 16 franchises for making it such a fun league.
A Note from the League Offices: While put together by formula, and with an eye toward fairness, there are always some anomalies, usually having to do with BYE weeks. In the 2015 schedule, each team will play their 1 game (their NFL team’s BYE Week) at shortened strength against one full strength team, and, like wise, each team will get one match-up where they get the benifit of playing at full strength against a ‘BYE Week’ team. Exceptions to this were neccessary to get the schedule to fit together, and they are as follows: Los Angeles Superchargers and BowMen’s 49ers will face each other both at BYE Week strength in Week 10; The Indy-structibles and the Jets Franchise will play 2 matches vs BYE Week teams instead of 1; 1 Eye Til I Die, BowMen’s 49ers, Northern Fins, and H-Town Foster Kids do not receive a match-up vs a BYE Week team.