Sunday, April 12, 2015

AFL Power Rankings: Round 2 2015

When going through where the AFL Power Rankings indicated each team was likely to finish in 2015, I said ‘don’t overrate a team’s final performance or two in 2014’. While I indeed meant this comment in a general sense, the case of Sydney and Port Adelaide was prominent in my mind.

Looking through predictions for this AFL season, I saw a lot of people were rating Port Adelaide as one of the top two teams, above Sydney. In part, this may be because Port has a relatively young team that would be considered likely to improve, which is fair enough. But I suspect it was also in part because Port ran Hawthorn close in their Preliminary Final, while Sydney unexpectedly got blown away by the Hawks in the Grand Final.

Port definitely played better in their last game for 2014 than Sydney did, and at a significant time of the season. However, at least according to the Power Rankings, Sydney has still generally been better over recent matches. This point was highlighted when the Swans easily accounted for the Power on the weekend.

Another point here is that just considering final ladder positions can be misleading in gauging the gaps between teams. The Hawks and Swans were separated by one spot after the finals, as were the Swans and the Power. But according to the rankings the gap between the former teams is much smaller than the gap between the latter, and the rankings say there is as much difference between Sydney and Port as there is between, say, Port and Essendon.

Of course, since I have just cautioned on putting too much weight on one performance, I should also say not to put too much weight on Port being done by Sydney by as much as they were, since there are still many weeks in the season left to close the gap. And by the way, because the match was in South Australia, I did tip Port.

Anyway the Swans are on top of the rankings again. The Swans held the number one spot for the final seven rounds of the season in 2014 before they surrendered it with their big Grand Final loss. But their impressive win in Adelaide, coupled with Hawthorn’s narrow loss, puts the Swans just on top.


Anonymous said...

How do you come up with 67 points as your league point spread?

Troy Wheatley said...

It changes from week to week. (Last week it was 77.) The only 'anchor', which I didn't introduce until recently, is that the sum of ranking points is close to zero.

Anonymous said...

excellent stuff, and then do you subtract a home advantage? eg if carlton played north melbourne you would make melbourne -17 points favourite on a neutral venue. Then would you subtract the marginal melbourne home advantage from this? I think you made this 6 points from another thread, so you would expect melbourne therefore to only be 11 points better.

Anonymous said...

sorry that was a bad example using carlton and north melbourne. Same theory, Carlton are at home to GWS. So you would make the difference between both Carlton 7 points better and then adding their home advantage 13 points better?

Troy Wheatley said...

Yes, that's correct!