Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Mid-season Big Board Rankings Part Four, Rankings 31-40.

Another day, another ranking. Everyone reading this should be really grateful. I had to prioritise and write this article and watch the BCS game on my computer instead of enjoying the game in my living room. The things we do for you loyal followers!

Anyways, time to get back to the football, so...the list!

31. Coventry Jets (2-2)
A 2-2 record for a Coventry team who seem to be finally finding their feet in the MAC after two less than impressive seasons. While their -41 points difference doesn’t look good for a team with a .500 record, we should remind people that the Jets have only conceded points in their two losses and those losses did come against the Birmingham Lions and NTU Renegades. If Coventry are going to take the next step and finally start to challenge the teams above them in their conference, they’ll need to play like they did in their games against DMU.

Mid-season grade – C – Completely average and ended 2012 with the record most people would’ve predicted for the team, and things could’ve been better if their game against Wolverhampton went ahead.

32. OBU Panthers (1-3)
Woah?! A 1-3 team ranked so high? Yes, that’s the case. Especially give the fact that the Panthers have lost to three teams in the playoff race (two are undefeated) and have defeated another team who are in the playoff hunt. With two one point losses to their name, the Panthers chances of making the playoffs are all but done this season. However, with a number of playoff contenders still on their schedule, the Panthers could end up ruining a number of teams season in 2013.

Mid-season grade – D – After going 6-1-1 last season and having the number one defence (statistically), the Panthers find themselves with a 1-3 record and out of the playoff hunt. How different things could be if they were able to hold BNU and Pompey to one less score.

33. Cambridge Pythons (2-1)
For a team made up of players who will most likely be the doctors looking after us when we’re all old and crippled from years of football, the Pythons aren’t doing too badly this season. Victories over LSBU and Essex currently have the team in the playoff hunt in the SEC. The team’s chances of finishing with a winning record will be helped in 2013 by the huge influx of rugby players who are rumoured to be joining the team.

Mid-season grade – B – Good start, but there’s room for improvement. If the team are going to make the post season, they’ll need to work on their -43 points difference.

34. Imperial Immortals (2-2)
Following a move to a new conference and a 2-0 start, the Immortals ended 2012 with a two game losing streak to all but end their playoff hopes in the SEC. Victories over KCL and ARU saw the Immortals rise into our power rankings, but it didn’t last too long as Imperial were comprehensively beaten by the Hertfordshire Hurricanes and UEA Pirates. With a move out of the ultra competitive TVC, Imperial must like their chances of finishing with a winning record this season.

Mid-season grade – C – Had the Immortals not lost their past two games by huge margin of victories, they’d probably have earned a B, but instead, they finish 2012 with a C. If the Imperials Defence can return to the form of their first two games, there’s no reason as to why this team can’t finish with a better than .500 record.

35. Brunel Burners (1-2)
If there’s a headline in tomorrow’s paper saying “Double Coverage owner murdered by co-owner”, it’ll probably be down to this ranking, but the rest of the DC team believe this is a fair ranking. With losses to Solent and Southampton, the Burners find themselves in the bottom half of the TVC at the Winter break. However, with there being no clear cut favourite in the division apart from the Stags, the Burners could steal a playoff spot if they’re able to win 4/5 games in the second half of the season.

Mid-season grade – C – We could give the team an F just for the fact that Jon goes on about the team each and every day (Ed: The hell I do...), but instead we’ll do the decent thing and give the team a C. So far they’ve equalled last season’s win total and have shown improvement on both O and D. All they need to do know is keep their key players fit and they should continue to improve on last year.

36. Tarannau Aberystwyth (2-1)
A team with a winning record ranked at 36?! Are we serious? Yes, very. Remember, Tarannau have defeated the 0-3 Worcester Royals and 1-3 Cardiff Cobras. In their only game against a team with a winning record, Aber were on the receiving end of a 44-6 beatdown. What Tarannau have achieved so far shouldn’t be discredited though. This was a team that has gone from 0-8 last season to now being a team that’s challenging for a playoff spot in the SWAC.

Mid-season grade – A – What else could it be? Winning record and a victory over Cardiff for the first time in 15 years earns a definite A. If the team can continue to shock the league, they will continue to rise up in our rankings.

37. LJM Fury (2-2)
Well damn. A year after going winless in a five game season, LJM Fury have shown people that they are actually a team capable of winning this year as they claimed victories over MMU and Huddersfield (not great teams, but good enough for the number 37 spot). While the playoffs may not be the goal for this season, the team should set their sights on playing the spoiler role for a number of playoff teams that they’ll face in 2013.

Mid-season grade – A – Another A for today’s rankings. Half of their season is completed (80% of last season’s final schedule), and two wins are under the teams belt. Just like Tarannau above them, if the Fury can continue to shock the league, they’ll soon fly up on our rankings boards.

38. Exeter Demons (1-2)
Some may say that this ranking is far too high for the Demons as their points for stat is padded by their 67-0 victory over the Worcester Royals, but the Demons have also lost their two games by a combined total of 12 points (and the team lead the Bullets 14-0 at HT before conceding 21 straight points). If the Demons can find a way to close out games or hold onto a lead, there’s no reason as to why they can’t finish with a 4-4/5-3 record this season. 6-2 seems too far away.

Mid-season grade – C – The team are two TD’s away from being an undefeated team, so to give them a poor grade would be a tad bit harsh. With an experienced coaching staff now settled in with the team, they could be a team to watch in the SWAC in 2013.

39. York Centurions (1-2)
The next two picks may cause controversy due to the team with the worse record being placed above a .500 team, but if you compare the team’s schedule, York have just edged themselves in front. York’s season began with a 34-32 OT victory over the Bradford Bears, but since then, the team has lost two games straight to end 2012 with a losing record. Considering that York had a very good D last season, the team must be less than impressed with their points conceded record so far. 22 points per game (average) is one of the reasons for the teams poor start to their season.

Mid-season grade – D – We were expecting big things from the Centurions following their 5-3 record last season, but so far, we’re not seeing anything that has truly impressed us. If the team can pick it up in the second half of the season, they’ll soon move up in our rankings.

40. Sunderland Spartans (2-2)
We round out today’s big board rankings with a .500 team who have found a way to win following a move to a new conference. The Spartans got off to the best possible start when they defeated the Northumbria Mustangs 12-0, but that was as good as it got for a while as they team were comfortably beaten by Leeds Carnegie and the Bradford Bears. Fortunately for the team, they were able to defeat the winless Cougars to end 2012 with a 2-2 record. It’ll be interesting to see which Sunderland team comes out to play in 2013.

Mid-season grade – D – A good start, a poor middle, a good end. Not many people would’ve had the Spartans pencilled in to win two games before the Winter break, and the 2-2 record sure is a pleasent surprise. It’ll be interesting to see how their 2013 plays out. 

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