Wednesday, 8 February 2012

BUAFL: Top 5 Matches left in the season

Continuing on from last week’s top 5, where we looked at the best rivalry games of the weekend, we decided to focus on the top 5 matches left in the BUAFL season. Hopefully these games won’t get postponed like majority of the games on last week’s!

First off, as usual we begin with the games that didn’t make the cut.

Nottingham Outlaws vs. Northampton Nemesis – Now this isn’t a game that people will be rushing to see, we decided to include it on the just made the cut list because we will finally see how the Nemesis perform against a team that could end up playing in the playoffs. Will Northampton buckle under the pressure of facing decent opposition, or will they silence the doubters by continuing their winning ways? All we know is, if the Outlaws win this game the naysayers will be all over the comments section and forums ridiculing Northampton and not giving any kudos to Nottingham.

Kent Falcons vs. Hertfordshire Hurricanes – This game is the first time we get to see the Hurricanes against a playoff standard team, meaning we can see if they are good enough to deserve the praise they have been receiving during the season, but the game misses out on being the top 5 because we still believe that this game could end up being a huge blowout victory for Hertfordshire. Last year the ‘Canes defeated the Falcons 30-0.

5. Nottingham Outlaws vs. NTU Renegades, Possibly 17th February.
The Nottingham Varsity game features on our top 5 for the second straight week after being postponed at the weekend. Rumour suggests that this game will be going ahead on the 17th of February which happens to be a Friday, so this is the only Friday night lights game to feature on our top 5!

Not only is this a Varsity matchup meaning it will draw in a decent sized crowd for the game, the winner of this game will now be in the driving seat to seal the fourth and final playoff spot at the expensive of the Derby Braves. Last year the Renegades ended up going to the playoffs, but fell short in the knock out stages, whilst the Outlaws were sitting at home during the post season after missing out on a spot in the playoffs.

Last year it was the Renegades who won this game after a well battled 8-0 victory. The Outlaws will be hoping they can exact revenge over NTU this season and would love to make it to the playoffs over rivals NTU and Derby.

4. Portsmouth Destroyers vs. Southampton Stags, 26th February.
Originally, this game looked like it would just end up deciding who would win the TVC divisional crown. However the game carries more weight now because if Stags win this game they wuold not only secure the TVC crown, they could possibly knock the Destroyers out of the Championship playoffs and into the Plate trophy playoffs.

After their upset loss at the hands of the Solent Redhawks last weekend the Destroyers are now in a three way battle for the number two seed in the TVC. Fortunately for Portsmouth they hold the tie breaker over OBU and Imperial after defeating both teams earlier in the season. If the Destroyers are hoping to retain their conference crown they’ll be hoping for a repeat of last season’s 36-7 victory for the Stags.

For the Stags, not only can they get vengeance for last season’s loss, but if they do manage to beat Portsmouth they’ll most likely end going unbeaten during the regular season which could (depending on playoff seeding) give them home field advantage throughout of the playoffs.

3. UWE Bullets vs. Cardiff Cobras, 26th February.
This game was originally going to be lower on our list, but after afurious debate between our writers we decided to move it up the list. Like the other games on this list, the winner of the game will ultimately become the champions of their respective division, in this case the SWAC.

The last game of the regular season for both teams see’s the Bullets trying to gain some payback over the Cobras who ended UWE’s unbeaten streak last season and forced the team to travel during the post season instead of giving the team home field advantage. 

The Cobras were on course for an unbeaten season until they lost to the Demons earlier in the season. If Cardiff were still undefeated then this game would have probably ended up being the number two game in this week’s top 5. Fortunately for the Cobras, a loss in this game won’t prevent them from taking part in the Championship playoffs, but a win should give them a better playoff seed and could benefit them during the post season.

With these two teams evenly matched on O and D, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this game was as close as last season’s one point win for Cardiff.

2. Hallam Warriors vs. Sheffield Sabres, Date yet to be confirmed.
The second rivalry matchup to feature on our top 5 that was supposed to be played last weekend, but ended up falling victim to the snow. So far there has been no news on when the game will be replayed (hopefully someone from either team can inform us) there’s no doubt that when this game is finally replayed, it will be one of the biggest games in BUAFL this season.

As we pointed out last week the Warriors aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and the majority of people involved in BUAFL will most likely be hoping they end up losing this game when it is finally rescheduled. However, with their potent offence and a D only conceding an average of 3.25 per game it would be a huge surprise if Hallam didn’t comfortably win this game like they did last year.

We want to see this game go ahead so we can see if the Sabres are as good as the valiant Anons are suggesting in our comments sections and on the forums. A victory for the Sabres over their local rivals will firmly confirm they are back to being one of the big boys in the Northern conference. Whilst the Sabres seem to have a good offence and defence, it will be interesting to see if they can hang with the Warriors for four quarters and end up pulling off, what we would consider to be one of the biggest upsets of the season.

For an added incentive – the winner will most likely go on to win the Northern Conference crown.

Lions vs. Aces is just one of the games to feature on our list.
Photo courtesy of Mike Hinton.
1. Birmingham Lions vs. Loughborough Aces, 18th February.
The unanimous choice for the game of the season is the Birmingham Lions hosting the Loughborough Aces.

Two seasons ago these two teams were playing each other in the National Championship final with the Lions coming away as the victors. Last season it was the Aces who ended up beating the Lions 30-21 which ended Birmingham’s 29 game unbeaten streak, this game would also being the last BUAFL game that featured Lions star QB Tristan Varney. The Lions would end up getting the last laugh as they made up for their loss by defeating Loughborough in the playoffs with their backup QBs even though the majority of people involved in BUAFL thought the Aces would walk away with the victory.

HOWEVER! There is something more significant to both teams involved with this game. Now there is a possibility that the Nemesis could go the regular season unbeaten and the loser of this game would end up taking part in the Plate Trophy playoffs instead of the Championship playoffs. Granted either team would be considered the favourite for this trophy, we imagine that these two teams would prefer to be taking part in the Championship playoffs, especially with the quality of the coaches and players.

Remember this game is a Saturday so we recommend that if you can make it to the game, you should as it should be a cracker! The Double Coverage team will be in attendance to get all the reaction.


  1. sheffield bowl is wed 22 feb i think

  2. I'd doubt that the Nottingham Varsity will be on 17th - don't NTU play Worcester that weekend? Two games in three days is pretty hardcore!

    1. It's more like 1 and a half though, worcester are poor.

    2. I hear that it might be on Wednesday 15th instead.


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