Sunday, August 10, 2014

AFL Power Rankings: Round 20 2014


Apart from Sydney and Hawthorn, there has been no hotter team than the Adelaide Crows over the past eight weeks. After this blog highlighted the Lions in the ‘RISING UP’ section and the Crows in the ‘FALLING DOWN’ section last week, the latter responded by flagellating the former by over 100 points this weekend. Only a couple of serious injuries marred the match for Adelaide. I am hoping the Crows lose their mojo by the time they take on my Tigers next week.


Nick Maxwell’s recent retirement was a reminder that it is not 2010-2011 anymore, but Collingwood’s 10-goal loss in Perth was an even bigger reminder. That loss dropped the Magpies to twelfth, easily their worst position since these rankings started being compiled in 2011. Amazingly, given where the two teams were five weeks ago, Collingwood is now even ranked below arch-rivals Carlton, but the Blues’ recent improvement, combined with the Pies’ deterioration, has led to a four goal turnaround in their relative positions.

Geelong has won 15 of their 19 games in 2014 – as many as Hawthorn and Sydney – and it sits third on the ladder, but only seventh in the rankings. One point to note here is Geelong is not that far off being fifth in the rankings. But another point is that Geelong has had less ‘very good’ or ‘good’ results – defined here as a net margin, adjusted for home ground advantage and strength and opposition, of better than +15 – in 2014 than other top teams. Hawthorn, Sydney, and Fremantle each have 13 of these results, Port Adelaide 11, North Melbourne 9, while Geelong and Adelaide only have 7 (but the Crows have great recent form). That is Geelong is getting over the line as much or more than the other top teams – and it is even on a six game winning streak – but nevertheless more of its performances have just been ‘fair’. Still apart from possibly Sydney, who beat them by over 100 points earlier this year, the Cats would probably not fear any team in the finals, and their end-of-season ladder position looks like it will be very strong indeed.

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