Sunday, March 23, 2014

AFL Power Rankings: Round 1 2014

Welcome to the AFL Power Rankings for 2014. For those new to the rankings, or who need a reminder, each AFL team’s ranking points are based on results over their past 22 games, adjusted for home ground advantage and the strength of the opposition, with more recent games weighted more highly (see here). For those who regularly follow the rankings, here is where we left off:

·         Hawthorn and Fremantle, last year’s grand finalists, had emerged by the end of September as the top two ranked teams;
·         North Melbourne, despite missing the finals, had through its form in the second half of 2013, moved into third spot;
·         Essendon, who won enough games to make the finals, had through its form towards the end of 2013, fallen into twelfth spot; and
·         Melbourne and GWS were rated as really, really terrible.
Not that there is any prize for being top of these rankings, or anything at all really. The rankings’ main purpose is to try and give a more accurate, longer-term picture of where teams are at than the actual ladder might, particularly early in the season … though not everyone will agree with the results. So what has happened after our first round for 2014?


While not gaining the most ranking points of any team this week, the Gold Coast Suns gained the most spots in the rankings this week, after beating the fifth-ranked Richmond. Can Gold Coast move into positive territory for the first time sometime during 2014?


Collingwood’s ranking points take a big hit after their first-up thrashing in Melbourne at the hands of the Fremantle Dockers. But the biggest drop for the week goes to the Sydney Swans, who lose almost ten ranking points due to being defeated comfortably by the really, really terrible GWS Giants. Or is this a sign that the Giants are not so terrible now?


Fremantle has closed the gap between them and the top-ranked Hawthorn to less than three points, and if not for resting a large chunk of their side against the Saints in the final home and away round of 2013, may well have taken the top spot.

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