Sunday, August 18, 2013

AFL Power Rankings: Round 21 2013

It is a familiar feline feeling at the top of the rankings this week, as Geelong complete the long climb back to #1. The Cats were the #1 ranked team after 2011, and kept that spot for the first six rounds of 2012, before plummeting as far down as 9th by Round 16. But Geelong has remained in the top four throughout all of 2013, typically swinging between 2nd and 3rd, and with its beating of the Eagles in Perth, it becomes the third team to take the top spot in the past three weeks. Anyone prepared to pick a premiership favourite?
The Eagles moved into the top eight last week after kicking the boot into the Bombers, but were in turn given a beating in the West this week by the Cat Attack, Geelong. (And even if you believe wins against Essendon aren’t worth as much at the moment, the Eagles wouldn’t have been ranked too much differently.) Take away St. Kilda and Melbourne, and West Coast has taken the largest step back in 2013.

I have a long memory, or at least a memory that lasts a few weeks, and I took a larger-than-usual interest in the Essendon-North Melbourne game this week. This is because of the debate a few weeks back on the Big Footy forums, which suggested that my rankings had rated North too high and Essendon too low because they rely too heavily on margins. Instead, it was postulated, North’s ‘inability’ to win close games in 2013, and Essendon’s ‘ability’ to win them (yes, note those quotation marks) had a psychological effect which should contribute to the Bombers being ranked higher. Of course, by the very fact I’m mentioning this, you can tell that North blew Essendon away to kingdom come on the weekend. For a purely numbers-based system, I can harbour an emotional attachment to it sometimes. At this rate, don’t count me out of buying a North scarf sometime soon.  

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