In 1999, the Arena Football League (AFL) began a minor-level league called the AF2. The Pensacola Barracudas were one of the 15 original teams to join the inaugural 2000 AF2 season and played its home games at the Pensacola Civic Center, but is now a defunct team.
|Arena||Pensacola Civic Center|
|Team Colors||Navy, Teal & White|
The AF2 was developed for extra players to compete and keep their pro football dreams alive, to develop football players, and also to help players adapt to the style and pace of arena football. AF2 plays its season from April to July. The AF2 is similar to other minor leagues because teams are located in smaller cities whereas the AFL competes in cities such as Dallas, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Memphis and Los Angeles, to name a few.
The AF2 currently is divided into two conferences: National and American. The conferences are further subdivided into three divisions each. Each division represents a region of the country in which teams play to keep travel expenses to a minimum and to develop regional rivals. Originally, the Barracudas were placed in the Pacific Conference.
The ArenaCup is the AF2's championship game, held annually in August at the home arena of the higher-seeded remaining team.
For the first-ever AF2 season, the league is separated into two conferences: Pacific (7 teams) and American (8 teams) with Pensacola placed in the Pacific. There are no divisions within the conferences. The Barracudas would win their first 5 games, but then lose 7 of 9 games. The final record was 8-8-0 for the season. The team would make the playoffs seeded eighth out of eight teams. In the first round, they lost to the number one seed and eventual undefeated champion Quad City Steamwheelers 55-19. For the season, Barracudas quarterback Bobby Clayton would go 254 completions on 517 attempts for 3,223 yards with 21 interceptions and 50 TDs and a 76.25 rating. Rodney Woodham caught 85 passes for 1,074 yards and 45 TDs. Kicker Brian Reaves would score 161 points. Pensacola would finish 8th in scoring offense and 12th in total defense. Attendance for the year was 7,294 fans per game via eight home games.
The AF2 expanded to 28 teams and changed the Pacific Conference to the National Conference. Two divisions were formed in each conference. The Barracudas were placed in the American Conference Southeast Division along with Tallahassee, Macon, Jacksonville, Augusta, Columbus and Florida, whose home city was Estero near Ft. Myers, FL. While the team went 5-11-0 and missed the playoffs, attendance nosedived to 3,742 fans for eight home games. The Quad City Steamwheelers would repeat as league champion defeating the Richmond Speed 55-51. The quarterbacking duties would be split between John Knust and Johnny Johnson. Knust would go 127 completions on 234 attempts with 5 interceptions and 19 TDs with an 82.73 rating. Johnson played in six games to go 78 completions in 169 attempts with two interceptions and 21 TDs for a 91.8 rating. Wide receiver and defensive back Robert Stromas had 23 TDs for 148 points. The Barracudas would finish 21st in the league in scoring offense and 20th in total defense.
The league expanded again to 34 teams with four divisions in the two conferences. Pensacola was moved to the National Conference and placed in the Southern Division along with Mobile, Birmingham and Tennessee Valley, whose home city is Huntsville, AL. Another 8-8-0 season ensued and although 16 teams would qualify for the playoffs, the Barracudas were not one of them. The Peoria Pirates would take the league title. Attendance for the season plummetted to 2,737 fans per game, third worst in the league. The Barracudas would use three QBs for the year: Charlie Peterson, Bobby Clayton and Josh Rogers. Peterson got 12 starts and completed 240 passes on 438 attempts with 17 interceptions and 64 TDs for a 98.28 rating. Clayton and Rogers would combine for 16 TDs. Jack Walker would lead all team WRs with 66 catches for 1,039 yards and 25 TDs. Kicker Dave Adams would go 12-32 FGs with 82 points. Pensacola would finish an impressive 11th in team scoring while going 19th in total defense allowing 245 yards a game with 93 TDs.
Although improved in the win column in 2002 and sporting an explosive offense, the annual drop in fan attendance virtually killed the team. The Barracudas folded after the 2002 season. Three-year team totals are: 21 wins, 28 losses, one playoff appearance (lost), zero division titles, with a .429 win percentage.