After its 138-point win against Carlton, Hawthorn now has almost 50 ranking points, meaning that the rankings consider the Hawks an eight-goal favourite against even an average AFL side. Such a rating is quite high, but it is not even the highest in the five-year history of these rankings. Geelong had over 50 ranking points after it won the 2011 Grand Final. On a more cautionary note for the Hawks in the same year Collingwood had a rating that was around 45-50 for most of the season, peaking at 56, before it was thrashed by Geelong in Round 23, and then beaten by the Cats again in the Grand Final. Also though I did not do these rankings in 2009, St. Kilda would have rated very highly throughout that year, as would have Geelong in 2008, both of whom finished runners-up. A high rating puts you less ahead of the pack if you have another team that is right up there with you – this season West Coast is highly rated as well, and are considered the best chance of pulling off a Grand Final ‘upset’.
It is getting reasonably packed in the middle of
the rankings, with only three goals separating third-placed Fremantle from twelfth-placed
GWS. The Dockers have won enough games that they will almost certainly finish
in the top four, despite dropping off in form in recent weeks. Port Adelaide is
perhaps too far back to make a strong tilt at the finals, but many of the other
teams in that range should
be in for a tight jostle for finals positions as we move toward the season’s