Sunday, August 31, 2014

AFL Power Rankings: Round 23 2014


Greater Western Sydney easily takes home the title of the most improved AFL team in 2014, gaining almost eight goals worth of ranking points this season, equal to the current distance between Sydney and Carlton, or Geelong and St. Kilda. The Giants are essentially equal fourteenth after their win against the Bulldogs, coming from last place – and a long, long way behind every other team except Melbourne – at the start of the season.

Mention here should also be made of the West Coast Eagles, who have finished off the season well, and currently sit in sixth, which is their highest ranking position for the year. No finals this year for the Eagles, but good signs going into next year. Another team that missed September action – the Adelaide Crows – also had a good finish to the season. Non-Victorian teams now occupy five of the top six spots in the rankings, even though only three of them made the finals in the end.


No team really crashed this week, so hey, let us not focus on the negatives, and get straight into the season summary.


Below is the usual end of home and away season Power Rankings summary for 2014. Squint at (or enlarge) the graph and you can see every team’s progress this year. Meanwhile the table shows each team’s highest, lowest, average, median ranking position and standard deviation in their ranking positions over the year.

Top club – Sydney ended the H&A season as the minor premier and #1-ranked team, a position that it has held since Round 17. Hawthorn though spent almost all of the other rounds in the top spot, only broken by Fremantle in Round 2.

Bottom clubSt. Kilda ended the H&A season with the ‘wooden spoon’ and as the lowest ranked team, a position that it has held since Round 13. Despite its significant improvement GWS was the next worst, spending nine weeks at the bottom of the heap.

Most average club – This goes to Richmond, with an average, median and finishing position of ninth in 2014. I would say insert your go-to Richmond ninth ‘joke’ here, but after the Tigers qualified for the finals last night those ‘jokes’ mean nothing now! Nothing!

Most variable club – Actually it was Sydney, with a standard deviation of almost three positions. The Swans spent the first ten rounds in ranking spots between fifth and eighth, but they caught fire towards the middle of the season, and were second or higher from Round 11 onwards. Collingwood, which had a very good first half of the season, but fell hard towards the end (partly because its ranks were depleted), also had a highly variable season.

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