The results are in. After 17 seasons, the OIL is officially moving from Yahoo Fantasy Football to MyFantasyLeague.com. For the first time, all 42 teams across three conferences will finally compete in one league, using the same URL.
Note: You should have received an e-mail and text message asking you to claim your team on MFL. Please do that as soon as you are able.
Where do I find everything on MFL? Click here for a graphic comparing the homepage of Yahoo to the homepage of our MFL league, displaying MFL-equivalents of Yahoo link locations.
As stated above, all 42 teams will now truly compete in the same league, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. A quick rundown of all the changes:
The conference logos are based on the shape of the traditional unit patch of the 45th Infantry Division (from whence the 45th Field Artillery began), the arrowhead-shaped challenge coin received at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and the unit patch for the 45th Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Regiment, respectively. The Blue Sky Conference is named for the vast blue skies of Central and West Texas, under which its members trained at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss leading up to post-2006 missions. Its sun ray 'B' logo carries that theme forward. The Evergreen Conference is named for the Pacific Northwest locales of Fort Lewis and Yakima Training Center. Its stylized 'E' logo represents the pine trees of Western Washington on the left and the high desert winds of Central Washington on the right. The negative space forms an 'E.' The Red Dirt Conference is named after the state that the 158 calls home: Oklahoma. The stylized 'R' represents a weather-worn tree anchored by our roots in Oklahoma's iron-rich soil.
Although the conferences have changed, the conference trophies will remain the same. The Blue Sky Conference will compete for the Landrum Memorial Trophy, the Evergreen Conference will compete for the Lawson Memorial Trophy, and the Red Dirt Conference will compete for the Killman Memorial Trophy. There was considerable thought put into retiring the old AFC, NFC, and PFC trophies to signify the start of a new era, but there is simply too much history to do that. The Blue Sky competes for the Landrum because the majority of its membership competed in the PFC prior to 2023. The same is true for the Evergreen with the Lawson (NFC) and the Red Dirt with the Killman (AFC). But make no mistake: these are new conferences. Whatever you thought of the AFC, NFC, or PFC is to be left in the past.
Note: The conference trophies, jerseys, and league champion mini-helmet will remain the same. The Tenequer Memorial Trophy (the Ten Man), however, is being upgraded to a legitimate, full-size Lombardi replica. It should be arriving in the next three weeks.
Finally, Interconference Scheduling
Each team will play all six teams in its own division, three teams from the opposite division in their conference, and one team each from the four remaining divisions. The schedules will rotate each year so that each team will play every other team at least once every seven years. Click here for the 2023 schedule. View below for only the out-of-conference schedule:
Reshuffled Conference Membership
With the change in conference branding also comes a reshuffling of conference membership. We went through over 50 rough drafts of potential membership configurations, like this:
The final composition of division and conference members is the result of hours of consideration of managers' common deployments, OIL matchup history, organic rivalries, personal relationships, career OPR, and the results of extensive surveys of managers' preferences:
Former champion Green and Reid leave the dissolved AFC for the Hood Division, which naturally developed into the one division wherein each member served on post-2006 deployments. Of the seven members, only Bellar and Green served on the 2006 SECFOR mission. This was the easiest division to fill, as all seven members included each other in the survey asking for preferred opponents.
The Bliss Division, meanwhile, is exclusively comprised of 2006 SECFOR mission veterans. I decided Johnson and Spicer would be a package deal based on their being in Second Platoon together during the SECFOR mission, while the remaining five were Third Platoon guys. The Bliss Division retains an all-former PFC membership, but each of those teams will face four out-of-conference teams each season, greatly reducing the appearance of a PFC 2.0.
The Lewis Division symbolizes an unavoidable consequence of moving to divisions and interconference play: the loss of longtime rivals. Bruesch and Pyle and Cliburn and Pyle developed rivalries over almost two decades of playing each other. Between them are 11 OIL championships, but there was simply no way to keep Pyle in the same division with Bruesch and Cliburn. Pyle and Schmidt are a package deal as the very first OIL rivalry, far predating Rivalry Week. Ditto for Leal/Morgan/Peacock. The medics, Aaron-type—Cobb and Gray—make three "package deals" in the division.
Like the Lewis Division, the Yakima Division came together easily based on survey results. The package deals were Bruesch/Cliburn, Cliburn/Trovillo, Cliburn/Duffy, Duffy/Henderson, and Duffy/Musselman/Nye. Further, Henderson and Trovillo were Rivalry Week opponents for a decade. Duffy, Henderson, Musselman, and Nye were a natural grouping due to either being in Second Platoon together or sharing the same Humvee during the SECFOR mission. Bruesch and Cliburn were Humvee-mates and consistently competed against one another for championships. Cliburn and Duffy worked at UPS together for six years, and Duffy married Cliburn's wife's best friend. Trovillo and Cliburn became close friends while the former was active-duty at Fort Sill, and they competed against each other in the old NFC for 16 seasons.
If the Red Dirt is the successor to the AFC, it lost five of its 14 members, absorbing four NFC managers with an average of 14.5 OIL seasons under their belt, as well as a charter member of the PFC. The Sill Division had package deals of Fitzgerald/Neely/Venable, Baldwin/Reed, and Lynn/Straily. Consider it the "Brass + Stephens County Division."
The Gruber Division was easy: put the biggest mouths in the same division and see what happens. These guys bark at each other every Labor Day Weekend and many of them take trips together throughout the year. Of the seven members, four of them account for six championships.
The playoff schedule will also be changing. Rather than each conference sending six teams to the playoffs (with two first-round byes), each conference will have seven playoff teams. The first six playoff seeds will be determined traditionally based on W-L record and then points scored. Of the remaining eight teams, the team with the highest point total, regardless of record, will earn the wild card spot. Just as in the NFL, only the top seed will receive a bye, with the first round consisting of three matchups. Click here to view the new playoff bracket format.
While the starting lineup settings will remain the same, we are adding one I.R. position. Players that are on the NFL's injured reserve, are listed as out, or are suspended are eligible for the I.R. slot without counting towards your 18-player roster. Click here to learn how to manager injured reserve on MFL.
Free Agent Acquisition Budget
We are moving from continual, rolling list waivers to FAAB blind bidding. Like now, players will be locked from the time their game begins until Wednesday. Then, every night from Wednesday through Saturday, waivers will run and players awarded to the highest bidder. Bids will submitted "blind," so that no one can intentionally drive up the price of free agents. FAAB waiver systems give each team an equal chance at landing free agents.
For example, in 2010, Michael Vick was named the Eagles starter while on the OIL waiver wire. Cliburn had the highest waiver priority and was awarded the 2010 fantasy MVP. With FAAB, every other manager could have outbid Cliburn for Vick. Click here and scroll down to see how FAAB will work on MFL.
Note: Although all three conferences will finally play on the same league website, the draft and waiver systems will remain separate. Each conference will have its own player pool.
The OIL will allow $0 bids, meaning that you may bid $0 on a player or defense and, if no one else bids, you could be awarded the player or defense without expending any FAAB dollars. This will ensure teams are not penalized for streaming kickers and defenses or taking flyers on players that they do not necessarily value enough to break the FAAB bank for. It also allows managers a chance at adding players off waivers even after expending their FAAB budget. Concerned that you will not know how much to bid on players? There are dozens of sites, some even linked to from the MFL "Player Research" tab, that publish suggested FAAB bids for all players each week during the season. That will give you an idea of how the player is valued and help you decide how much to bid to ensure you win the player. Click here and scroll down to see how FAAB works on MFL.
OIL Service Ribbons
MFL tracks and displays league awards for each manager. Click here or the ribbon legend to view league service ribbons for all 17 seasons. While much of the site is complete, some of it remains a work in progress. Winning Season and Playoff Appearance ribbons are still being added.
League, Team, Manager, & Player History
I am proud of the OIL league history spreadsheet, but it has become more and more difficult to maintain as life and work get busier and busier. With the move to MFL, however, all of that information and more will be automatically tracked and accessible on the league site.
There is a lot of information that we otherwise would not know. For example, I did not realize until today that Pyle has won the last eight meetings against my Arrogant Americans.
For the last five years or more, the OIL has reviewed trades via a 13-person Trade Review Council conducted through the GroupMe app. Beginning during the 2023 season, trades will be reviewed by the entire, 42-team league on MFL. All teams will be required to vote on each week's trades before submitting a lineup for that week. If a trade receives 21 veto votes, it is automatically overturned.
Automatic Lineup Submittal
If an owner has not submitted a lineup by 0500 on Thursday, a lineup will be submitted based on the team's current roster. It will not add/drop players to create a lineup for you. It will only remove injured and bye week players from starting lineups. The purpose is to ensure that no one gets a cheap victory because someone forgot to set their lineup.
Custom Team and Roster Pages
Team pages are not quite complete, as championship banners and service ribbons have yet to be added, but they're already better than what we've had on Yahoo for 17 seasons.
Moving from Yahoo will of course mean moving away from the Yahoo mobile app. Fear not, however, as there is an MFL app on Apple and Android.
Year-round Recognition of Reigning Champions
The MFL site footer will display the defending champion 24/7, 365.