Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Top 5 BUAFL Conferences

After the Northern conference dominated our power rankings this week, I decided to dedicate this week’s top 5 on our beloved BUAFL conferences.

These rankings are based on this the combination of this year’s performance, as well as including
Firstly there’s the one conference that didn’t make it into our rankings, everyone not associated with the conference will agree with the decision but the players/coaches who are involved in the conference will think it’s the wrong decision.

The conference that misses out on our top 5 is...the Borders conference.

Yes the Borders conference has teams that look like they are dominating, but when you play a weaker university three times a year it’s no wonder they continually post big scores.

Until this conference divides or starts to have more competitive schedules, the Borders conference will continue to get shown little respect from the Dbl Coverage crew (sorry guys!).


 Photo Courtesy of Ian Goode

If this top 5 was released at the end of the BUAFL season last year the SWAC would be much higher. Unfortunately the SWAC seem to be under performing compared to what we saw last year.

I’m not sure whether defences in the SWAC have really stepped up or there are a lot of bad offences being used in this conference, but when Bath Spa Bulldogs are you’re highest scoring team with 46, you know the power house uni’s may be starting to lose their status as top dogs in the south west.

With no team yet to establish themselves, the battle for top spot is up for grabs and everyone has a chance of taking the crown.

Dbl Coverage prediction: (Championship playoffs) Cardiff and UWE (Challenge Trophy Playoffs) Barracuda and the winner of the Bath – Bath Spa matchup.

4. SEC 

Photo Courtesy of Gary Neesam
Let’s be honest, if you removed Hertfordshire and Kent from this conference then it would be pretty poor, in fact it would be a very poor decision with the quality of the teams left. Yes I know Greenwich had an amazing unbeaten season in 2009 ending with the plate trophy but what have they done since then?

I think the biggest problem for the SEC is that there seems to be numerous first or second year teams in the conference who’ve yet to establish themselves in BUAFL. Once they develop into good teams with plenty of depth this conference could rise again.

With the battle for the top two places all but over (Essex are hanging in there), all of the other teams now have to try and beat each other to earn the number 3 and 4 seeds in the league.

Dbl Coverage Prediction: (Championship Playoffs) Herts and Kent (Challenge Trophy Playoffs) Essex and Greenwich.

3. Northern 

 Photo Courtesy of

Well I bet this choice surprised quite a few people! These people are also the ones who say “teams up north can’t play football”. Other teams from within the conference are stepping up to try and take the honour of being the best northern team away from the powerhouse Hallam Warriors.

7 of the 13 teams from the conference are sitting with a winning record, which may lead to the northern conference ending up having some of the best teams in the country missing out on a playoff spot (it really would be a shame if Bangor missed out on post season football).

The best part about this conference though? There are teams that no one would expect to do well balling out. I know I didn’t expect Bangor, MMU or Sabres to be challenging for playoff places after week 3! From now on every game will have a major affect on the final standings of this conference.

Dbl Coverage Playoff Prediction: (Championship Playoffs) Hallam and Hull (Challenge Trophy Playoffs) Carnegie and Muddogs.

2. TVC

 Photo Courtesy of Gary Neesam

If this was a ranking for the most hated conference in BUAFL then the TVC would win by a country mile, the majority of teams from this conference might not be liked around the country (especially Portsmouth) but when they keep on winning I don’t think they will care that much.

Having four unbeaten teams in the conference seems to be the norm in every conference, but the four unbeatens in the TVC are dominating very good opposition, most notably the Stags victory over the Brunel Burners (who lost even though their banned Head Coach still turned up).

With a huge matchup this week pitting Imperial vs. Portsmouth we’ll see if the Immortals can upset the apple cart and jump up in our power rankings. (Just so you know, it won’t be to number 1 like you want...that’s right, we saw your Facebook page).

Dbl Coverage Playoff Prediction: (Championship Playoffs) Portsmouth and Southampton (Challenge Trophy Playoffs) Imperial and OBU.

1. MAC

Photo Courtesy of

There wasn’t really much competition for the top spot in this one.

First off, congratulations Worcester you finally won something! Currently containing two teams from our top 5 power rankings, the MAC is without doubt the best conference in BUAFL. They have been represented in the National Championship three years running, with two in the 2009/2010 National Championship (Aces vs. Lions before re alignment).

It’s not just the top two who are always competing for the conference crown, Derby, NTU, Outlaws and Staffs have provided a challenge in years gone by. This year we are also seeing the emergence of Northampton Nemesis although they may just be a flash in the pan due to an amazingly easy schedule.

When we get closer to the end of the season don’t be surprised to see the playoff contenders from the MAC turn it up a gear so they are playing at the top level all throughout the playoffs, also don’t
be surprised when the MAC has a team representing in the National Championship final again this year.

Dbl Coverage Prediction Playoff: (Championship Playoffs) Birmingham and Loughborough (Challenge Trophy Playoffs) Derby and Northampton (remember easy schedule, they should go 6-2).


  1. SWAC is clearly #1

  2. SWAC has the best spread of good teams within it, all the other conferences seem to have just 2 standout teams who will be challenging for honours.

  3. Cant disagree more strongly wth ranking SWAC 5th, Cuda are not a powerhouse, but they are a consistent team, Cobras likewise consistantly good, Plymouth have been around a while and they seem to be at the top end of a cycle, Bees are allways a well put together team even if some years they clearly lack the players to finish off the others, the reason you see such poor score lines is because of how competitive the conference is, yes it has you Bath Spa/Gloucester teams, but swnasea are an imporving organisation, exeter will eventually ground themselves and be more consistent as the years go on, and more and more you see these teams developing. having played in what would have been the old SEC/TVC i know for a fact that those conferences have allways been a one pony show. Herts still remain un challenged in there conference, Stags now have portsmouth to bang heads with but no one else, and Birmingham have loughborough when they can mount a decent opposition but i have known them to be hit and miss at times.
    bottom line SWAC #1 conference, you cant judge a conference on points scored.

  4. Core thing about SWAC is that there is so much more interest this season. Bulldogs are a case in point. Bigger squad, big defensive wall and an offence which is grounding itself. Cuda nearly came a cropper and Gloucester just blown away.

    And with an unconvincing Cuda struggling again last week and Killer Bees seeming to be more like squashed fruit flies this season so far, there is a definite shift in the power base.

    Agree with the first analysis - SWAC is up for grabs which makes it much more fun than having just two dominant teams.

    Bath Bowl looks like a biggy this year. Bring on Sunday...

  5. Last weekend throws it all up in the air again. The power seems to be shifting West and South. This is a really interesting conference and a shame to be only able to see one game per weekend.

    On current form playoffs should be Cardiff, Swansea, UWE and then a complete toss-up for fourth. We wait to see if Cuda and Bulldogs can bounce back from heavy defeats and if Blitz can take form to Bristol next week. Both Demons and Bees will be looking for wins and Gloucester and Aberystwyth need to pull something together if they not to be the Conference whipping boys.

    Is this the black and blue conference of the UK?


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