Tuesday, 10 January 2012

BUAFL Breakdown: The MAC (part 2)

Yesterday we took a look at the top half of the table and today we have the less fortunate teams that have to prop up the rest.

Nottingham Trent Renegades
With one of the best defences in the MAC NTU are considered one of the “BIG 4” in the MAC. NTU traditionally have a rivalry with the Derby Braves due to the short distance between the two cities and there is a ferociousness between the two teams when they meet, usually because they are fighting for a seed in the Challenge cup playoffs.

NTU’s offense is based around a run heavy offense lead by Danny Miller, a Colligate freshman out of Marist College and a high school All-American who has scored all of their points. NTU will hope to compete in the plate but will most likely be replaced by the controversial Northampton Nemesis.

Warwick Wolves
One of the teams that make up the "lower middle" of the MAC, Warwick have the potential to pull of the occasional minor upset, but are still some way off reaching the level where opposition teams start to really fear them. 

An opening day battering by Loughborough was expected, but they fought back well to at least compete with NTU, before a five-touchdown win at a rookie DMU side that still have an awful lot to learn at this level.

Their post-Christmas schedule features some very winnable games against Leicester, Coventry and Staffordshire before they take on the enigma of Northampton and an inevitable thumping at the hands of Birmingham.  

If veteran running back Tino Charamba stays fit then they have the chance of 0.500 record, perhaps more if the wheels fall off at Northampton.

Leicester Longhorns
The MAC's other Double Wing team.  The problem with Leicester's DW is that...well, it's rubbish.  And ineffective.  And ugly, even by DW standards.

You would expect a team with the history and background of Leicester to put up a reasonable fight in the "lower middle" of the MAC, but in truth they have struggled badly in the last two seasons and 2011 has been no different.  Losing to an incredibly average Lincoln Colonials side on the opening day seemed to set the tone for the season, and - although they have managed to get a win on the board - it doesn't look like improving any time soon.

Losing to a Lancaster Bombers side that are serious contenders for the "Flop of the Season" award may be the saddest indictment of how poor the Longhorns are, while the 21-19 bum-twitcher against Northampton may actually say more about the relative merit of the Nemesis.

Realistically, the Longhorns have a decent chance of a win against DMU in their Varsity clash, and could well beat a struggling Staffordshire outfit, but two wins may be the height of their ambitions for the rest of the season.

DeMontfort Falcons
After the Leicester universities split, DMU attached itself to the Leicester Falcons, which is a great move for a team in its first season trying to build solid roots. They have high numbers for a first year team and are ambitious in running a pass heavy offense with no quarterbacks.

They have good options for coaching on offense with Stuart Franklin, ex-GB quarterback and playing in Europe with the Valencia Firebats, assisting where he can. On defence they have little experience and struggle heavily in situations where they have to read an offense, their pass coverage is non-existent due to this lack of experience.

But, one shimmering light within the DMU programme is the unknown #70 defensive lineman. 6’2 tall, over 240 lbs he is proving to be the man to watch on the DMU team. They are a developing team and have had a tough season having to play all of the Big 4 in the MAC.

Staffordshire Stallions
The Stallions were once one of the better teams in the MAC, in recent years and after a rough start to the season they have shown that their glory days are gone. They are another team with depth, but sadly lack coaching.

Staffordshire are a team to keep an eye on in the next few years, they have good foundations and good numbers. If they can pick up some more experienced players and get their current players playing summer football in the off-season they may have the making of a decent team. Although it is doubtful that they would be good enough to break into the big 4 they are definitely looking to be good enough to be finishing higher in future seasons.

Coventry Jets
Sitting at 9th in our recent Powerless Rankings, it hasn't been a great start for the Jets.  Their points total just scrapes into double figures, but in all fairness they have had to face the MACs big two and a decent Leeds Celtics outfit.  Their 15-10 loss to Leicester, however, is less excusable, and was certainly a contender for “Snore Bowl 2011”.

Having only seen film of the 2010/11 Jets, we can't really comment on their progression from last season, but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel and they should move out of the "bottom ten" by the end of the season.

If you include the senior outfit as part of the "franchise", 2011 has been a truly awful year for the Jets, but there is certainly a chance for them to make some big improvements in 2012. 

The Varsity clash with Warwick - in which they picked up their only ever competitive win last season - offers them a good chance to get off the mark, and winnable clashes against Lincoln and DMU to close the season could give them the boost they will need going into 2012/13. 

Worcester Royals
We’ve saved the worst for last.  Yet another team to feature in our Powerless Rankings, the Royals are seriously struggling.  Being beaten by rookie teams DMU and Northampton in the opening two weeks of the season was a sign of things to come, and sure enough Worcester have been royally smashed by Lincoln and Reading on their way to a winless start.

Currently rock bottom of the MAC and (we believe) the third worst team in the league, the Royals are performing well below the level that should be expected of a third year team.  A smallish squad combined with the embarrassing decision to switch quarterbacks on EVERY play has almost certainly doomed them to a last placed finish, particularly with a 2012 schedule that could well see them have another winless season.

If they manage to raise their game for the big occasion, they may just squeak something against Gloucester in their Varsity clash, or against Staffordshire.  In real terms though, the players and coaching staff need to be asking some serious questions of themselves at the end of the season.

If there are any corrections required please email us at dblcoverage@hotmail.co.uk or message Rich or me on the Facebook page. Any comments made about corrections required will be deleted.


  1. I don't really understand your analysis of the plate race. Let's first assume that Brum and Lugbug finish 1 and 2 because even if Nemesis go 7-1 they will probably lose out on points conceded.

    So now we have 4 teams fighting for 2 spots - Nemesis, Braves, Outlaws and Renegades. Give one of those to the Nemesis then you have Derby on course for 5-3, Trent who will go 5-3 at best, and Outlaws who can go 6-2 if they beat Trent.

    If Trent go 5-3 that means the Outlaws are 5-3 too, and so are the Braves. In a three way tie Derby will probably go through. If Outlaws win varsity Trent will go 4-4, losing out on the plate very uncontroversially. I don't see how either of these means they "lose out to the controversial Nemesis".

    I think the reason commenters keep saying "what about the Outlaws" when you talk about the plate is not because they're feeling unloved, but because talking about a "Big 5" in the MAC makes a more accurate analysis than a "Big 4" where two "big" teams could potentially lose to the same "little" team who then go to the plate with a 6-2 record after one of the tougher schedules in the country.

  2. Looks like the Outlaws are the best supported team on here ;)

    Only banter on the last post Robin Hood, I actually rate the Outlaws and can see them getting through to post-season.

  3. cannot disagree with the royals post. literally woeful, no improvement and looks like they've regressed if anything

    considering how cheap it is to join now recruitment should have been a lot better

  4. coventry won 2 last year (leicester and worcester), and lost to warwick...


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