The league season lasted from September 4, 2009, to January 29, 2010, with one game on each Friday. Teams in their conference played one game against each other; two games were played at home and two on the road. The top four teams in the league advanced to the playoffs; the fifth-place team had a rematch with the fourth-place team for the right to advance to the league championship.
There was only one change to the regular season schedule after the first week. The Chicago Bliss had been scheduled to play at home on Monday night against the Dallas Vigilantes, but that game was postponed due to concerns about the weather in Chicago during mid-September. It was decided before the season started that if it became necessary to postpone any more games, then all of them would be rescheduled within the same weekend to give teams as much time off as possible before starting again the next week.
The season ended with two games on Saturday, January 29. The first game was between the Texas Fury and Philadelphia Phoenix. The Phoenix defeated the Fury 26-24 in overtime to claim their second straight title. The third and final game of the season was between the Kansas City Charm and Illinois Inferno. The Charm won that game 30-14 to win their second straight title as well. This is the first season of the LFL where both finalists have been repeat champions.
1978 The schedule was altered in 1978 to include sixteen regular season games and four exhibition games. The sixteen games were spread out across sixteen weeks from 1978 to 1989. The league's original six teams each played their opponents twice during this period, with no byes. Beginning in 1990, a second set of eight teams began play; they replaced the original six teams in the rotation. This new set of eight played each other once during the regular season, with one of them receiving a free pass. The remaining seven teams made up the playoffs as before.
The current twelve-team system was adopted in 1994 when the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee. The sixteen game schedule was retained for the 1999 season when the St. Louis Rams relocated to Los Angeles. The twelve-team, two-division setup was adopted in 2002 when the Carolina Panthers joined the NFL. A third division was added in 2003 when the Kansas City Chiefs joined the NFL.
An annual event known as "NFL Week Zero" has been introduced since 2010. The week zero kickoff times are adjusted each year based on the league's divisions. In 2011, for example, all three division champions will be decided in early October, with most games scheduled for Thursday Night Football.
The 2016 season was the first without a traditional opening week of games.
1985 The League Championship Series began in 1969 as a five-game series, then in 1985 it was enlarged to a seven-game format. This round has seen some of the most spectacular moments in playoff history. In 2007, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games to win their first World Series title in 86 years.
The 1967 Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team to come back from three games down to force a seventh game. The 2008 Philadelphia Phillies are the latest team to do this when they defeated the Colorado Rockies 4-3 in 12 innings. Both teams will meet again for the championship on October 16th at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
In any case, the LCS has always been (and still is) designed to determine which team is better over the course of a season rather than simply who wins the most games. This is why even though the Dodgers lost the last three games of the Series they won it in '67 since they had already beaten the Reds in five games earlier in the year.
There were no games from 1991 through 1995 because the Southern League and the other two Double-A leagues, the Eastern League and the Texas League, competed in the Double-A All-Star Game instead. The game is traditionally played during the three-day All-Star break between the first and second halves of the season.
In 1996, the All-Star Game returned to its traditional location at Coca-Cola Field in Atlanta. The Southern League team won that year's game 3-0.
The Southern League has had the most success with its All-Stars over the years; eight players have been selected as all-stars while playing for a Southern League club. Three of those players have gone on to play in Major League Baseball. Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, and Brooks Robinson have all received this honor.
The last All-Star Game was played in 1995. Since then, the Southern League has not sent any players to the All-Star Game.