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.
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
really crashed this week, so hey, let us not focus on the negatives, and get
straight into the season summary.
ALSO OF NOTE
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 club – St. 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!
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.