Sunday, July 13, 2014

AFL Power Rankings: Round 17 2014


The Sydney Swans won their twelfth game in a row on Saturday night, giving them their equal longest winning streak ever, and easily their longest since the ‘Foreign Legion’ was decimating teams out at the Lake Oval in the 1930s. More importantly, I am sure, they are now the number one ranked team! As mentioned last week the Swans do not have the best average net margin in the league over their past 22 games, though it was boosted somewhat by showing Carlton who their daddy was on the weekend. But Sydney’s recent form shines – their net margin over the first 10 of those games was a mediocre -8; over their past 12 games: +42.


Collingwood fans are now starting to worry that their team will miss the finals, and the rankings now show that the Pies are outside the eight best teams. This is not unprecedented in the four-year history of these rankings – Collingwood slipped to ninth in Round 14 last year – but it is a rarity. They have now lost over two goals worth of ranking points in the past five weeks. What may end up saving the Carringbush from an early off-season is that the team mentioned below looks like they could be in trouble as well.


Without their skipper and the Greatest of All Time (yes, greater than Leigh Matthews) Gary Ablett, who is out for the season, Gold Coast dropped their game at the former Bundaberg Rum stadium to the Bulldogs. The loss of an all-time great does not mean as much in Australian Rules football as, say, basketball (more on that in a couple of days); Geelong for example survived the loss of the G.O.A.T. to win another premiership in 2011. But given that Ablett’s replacement was Matt Shaw, a player that is about two-fifths as productive if you take the SuperCoach scores as your metric, the Suns might be expected to slip back a few spots. Which admittedly did not prevent me from tipping them this weekend; perhaps I should have given the effect of Ablett’s absence as much consideration as I have here.

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