Wednesday, 11 January 2012

BUAFL Top five: Stories to watch in the second half of the season

With the second half of the season kicking off in just over two week’s time, we focus this week’s top five on the storylines to keep an eye on as we head towards the playoffs.

As per usual we mention the storylines that didn’t make the cut.

 A lot of teams would like to be associated with that song, but it’s about time someone released a song for the teams doing their best to get the two tier system in BUAFL. So far there are thirteen! Yes thirteen teams who have yet to win a game this season. Will these teams continue to embarrass themselves in the second half of the season or will they finally manage to save face and earn some respect by winning their first game of the season? At least if they keep losing BUAFL may finally move to a two tier system...

BUAFL representing?
 This Saturday see’s the Northern GB trials with the Southern trials on the fourth of February. With so many BUAFL players now playing junior and senior ball will BUAFL be well represented in team GB? If BUAFL is well represented will the players be mainly from the big Universities due to the teams’ reputation and players on poor University teams miss out? Either way we would like to wish good luck to all individuals attending the trials!

5. Do they deserve the hype?
So far this season Hertfordshire have comfortably handled all opposition they have faced (287 points scored – 27 conceded) which has earned the team the number one spot in our power rankings every week since our first release, but will they finally get over the hump and return to the grand finale?

Despite having premiership calibre players on their team as well as one of the top coaching setups in the country, the Canes have become the modern day New England Patriots by winning in the regular season, only to throw it all away in the post season.

With us crowning Herts as BUAFL championship despite them not being in the final for a number of years now,  it will be interesting to see if they finally reach their potential and win a championship or follow in the footsteps of the LSU Tigers and bottle it when it counts.

The pressure is well and truly on the Hertfordshire Hurricanes in the second half of the season to win it all.

4. Rookie teams keep on winning
Who would have guessed that there would be so many rookie teams who have managed to win a game this season? Only one rookie team (not including returning teams who missed a season) failed to register a win in the first half of the season and two rookie teams have winning records and look set to challenge for a spot in the post season. Not bad considering twelve “experienced” clubs have yet to register a win this season.

Will the rookie teams continue winning or will they eventually run out of steam and settle for one or two wins? Will we see Bradford and Northampton continue to win and end up playing in the playoffs? Imagine a Bradford – Northampton Plate final! No doubt that would bring out the keyboard warriors in full force!

Wouldn’t it be embarrassing for the previously mentioned twelve “experienced” teams if all of the rookie teams finished with more wins than they do? Therefore keep an eye out on the rookie teams as the season continues in 2012, who knows, they may end up making the playoffs in the 2012-2013 season.

3. The team who shouldn’t win can’t stop winning

The most talked about team in BUAFL have earned their own section in this week’s top 5 by continually doing what no one expects them to do – WINNING!

If you haven’t guessed it yet we are talking about Northampton Nemesis of course. So far the team everyone wants to lose is sitting pretty in the competitive MAC conference with an unblemished 4 and 0 record. With what many would consider an easy schedule remaining the Nemesis could easily make the playoffs and would compete in the Championship playoffs if they win out. Also will they be able to compete with the bigger teams in the post season after playing only one "decent" team during the regular season?

Even if Northampton end up collapsing and losing their next four games the coaching staff and players should still be proud of going .500 in their rookie season, but if they manage to end up in the playoffs and do well we wouldn’t fault them for rubbing their achievements into face of all the naysayers around the country.

The Nemesis hunts for a playoff spot leads us onto point number two...

2. The biggest story from the MAC
With the emergence of Northampton this season two of the so called “big 5” from the MAC are going to miss out on going to playoffs (heaven forbid it’s the two Nottingham teams) which will no doubt cause controversy for a fair few weeks.

In what many consider being the best conference in BUAFL there are currently six – eight teams who could end up finishing in the playoffs spot when the season reaches its climax. Who will be these final teams? Will the Nemesis ruin the script and knock the Aces or Lions from one of the top two spots? Will the Outlaws or Trent cause an upset and surge into the top four?

Yes the Northern Conference has just as much competition as the MAC, but there’s no doubt that the MACs playoff race will provide more talking points as the season comes to a close.

All we know is that the loser of the Birmingham – Loughborough matchup will definitely be hoping the Outlaws or Warwick can knock off Northampton to return to the Championship playoffs for the second straight season since the BUAFL re-alignment.

Like there was any other story to focus on for the second half of the season!

Despite only being half way through the season some conferences are all but settled on who will be football after the final regular season games are completed at the end of February, but for the conferences where teams are still locked in a battle to attend the dance, the final 4-5 weeks of the left on the schedule will make or break all of the potential playoff teams seasons.

Who will be the final 24 teams remaining when the BUAFL regular season is said and done? Will there be a major upset in the playoffs? Who will become the new Hull and continue to win in the playoffs even though everyone expects you to lose?

Finally who will be the final four playing at Leeds for the respective trophies?

Good luck to all those involved and all the best for the remainder of the season!

1 comment:

  1. IIRC quite a few of the Winless teams will be playing each other. For example I think LJMU have games against 4 current "0 fors" and MMU play 3. I would therefore be surprised if the winless teams are in the double digits at the end of the year.


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