Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The RP Poll

Woo! They’re finally back! The rankings are finally back!

Now, you may recall that just before Christmas we released our official top 25 voted for by a group of twelve individuals. Well, after long discussions in the DC towers, we decided to continually run two rankings similar to the college game in America.

The official top 25 will be similar to the BCS standings and that’s the rankings we will use in predictions, etc, while the RP Poll will be similar to the AP Poll. It’s not the official ranking, but it is a ranking and it offers a different opinion to the official one.

So remember, your team may be ranked highly on this ranking board, but they may be ranked lower on the official board which will be released on Thursday.

Now all the mumbo jumbo is out of the way, let the list begin!

1. Birmingham Lions (7-0)
A 53-0 victory over Northampton Nemesis followed by a 60-6 victory over the Wolverhampton Wildcats, in a game that predominantly featured their backup/rookie players, has moved the Lions to a 7-0 record and has guaranteed a spot in the Championship playoffs for the leaders of the MAC (even with a loss to Lugbug, Brum would have the head to head over Warwick and NTU, and all the top teams in the other conferences still have to play each other meaning less than 12 teams will finish with one loss records. Plus the Lions have one of the best points conceded records). Therefore, we congratulate the Lions on being the first team to seal a championship playoff berth!

 Next game – @ Loughborough Aces – 17th February

2. Hertfordshire Hurricanes (6-0)
When teams play Herts they’re not opponents, they’re victims. Victims to a brutal beat down of a huge score line. To make things worse, when the ‘Canes offence can’t score; their D will show them how it’s done by grabbing a score of their own (which they have done in every game so far). If the ‘Canes can keep this form up in the playoffs, there’s no reason why they can’t successfully defend their National Championship.

Next game – vs. UEA Pirates – 10th February

3. Loughborough (6-0)
No game for the Aces in 2013 as their game against Lincoln was a forfeited win for Loughborough (their second one this season) meaning that their next two games will come against teams battling it out for a spot in the post season. No doubt that everyone involved with Loughborough will be hoping there are no signs of rust as they play their first game in quite some time.

Next game – @ NTU Renegades – 10th February

4. Derby Braves (6-0)
Derby! Derby at number four?! After the way last season played out, I’d have never thought this would be happening a year after their less than impressive season. Then again, I never thought I’d see Derby moved into a North Western team with the likes of Bangor (2hrs 50mins away) instead of staying the MAC with the likes of Lincoln (1hr 10mins away)...Anyway, enough of the geography/Google Maps lesson. Derby play their biggest game of the season this weekend when they take on the Sheffield Sabres, with the winner being crowned champions of the BNWC!

Next game – vs. Sheffield Sabres -10th November

5. Sheffield Sabres (6-0)
The Sabres reclaimed the ‘SteelBowl’ trophy and moved into the top five following a 40-20 victory over their local rivals Hallam and QB David "Sheffield only" Saul rushed for 5 TDs against his former team. Currently on a ten game winning streak that dates back to end of last season and the playoffs, the Sabres now head to Derby to decide who will win the inaugural Big North Western Conference.

Next game – @ Derby Braves -10th November

6. Stirling Clansmen (4-0)
It’s a slide for the Clansmen due to the fact they’ve been out of action since week four! Scheduled to take on the Pyros this weekend, the Clansmen will be hoping that the loooooooonnnnnnggggggg break hasn’t affected the rhythm of their high scoring offence as they continue to improve on their current average of 74(!) points per game...if only they faced tougher competition each season to get them ready for the post season.

Next game – @ UWS Pyros – 10th February

7. Hull Sharks (5-0)
In terms of comparing Hull to a professional team, they’re probably the Everton of BUAFL (no one seems to hear that much about them as they fly under the radar, but they always end up having a great season). With a 5-0 record and the tie-breaker over Leeds Carnegie, the Sharks look destined to become the first ever winners of the North Eastern Conference. With Durham, Northumbria and Sunderland left on the schedule, the Sharks should finish this season with an 8-0 record.

Next game – @ Northumbria Mustangs – 10th February

8. Bath Killer Bees (5-0)
Talk about cutting it fine! The Bees just about edged out their local rivals Bath Spa to keep their undefeated streak alive whilst maintaining a firm grip on the top spot in the SWAC. Looking at their remaining schedule, the Killer Bees have three winnable games (Cardiff, ‘Cuda and Exeter), but if they are going to win these games, they’ll need to play a lot better than they did at the weekend just gone!

Next game – vs. Cardiff Cobras – 10th February

9. Brighton Tsunami (5-0)
When your first three games are against the winless Oxford, RHUL and Surrey it’s no surprise you don’t get any love from the masses. Then there was the bonehead play by the Destroyers return that allowed Tsunami to score the winning TD and we still didn’t show them love. Now though, the Tsunami are well and truly on our radar following their soccer score victory over Southampton (3-2). Now you’ve made it into the top ten of my rankings and most likely will be highly ranked in the official poll, so it’s time to keep performing at this high level Tsunami! Especially considering you’ve got the Bucs and Cougars left on your schedule...

By the can a team go from beating the winless Surrey 14-8 to defeating the undefeated Southampton Stags?!

Next game – vs. BNU Buccaneers – 10th February

10. Southampton Stags (5-1)
Talking about the Stags...

It’s a slide of six for last year’s semi finalists following their one point loss to the undefeated Tsunami. What does this loss mean for their playoff hopes? Who knows?! The TVC is ridiculously competitive this season and seven teams (including lowly Brunel) can finish in the top two spots in the conference...Things aren't going to get easier for the Stags either! Solent and Portsmouth are left on the schedule, and those games are not guarantees anymore.

Next game – vs. Solent Redhawks – 10th February

11. UWE Bullets (4-1)
The Bullets kick start a run of teams who are yet to play a game in 2013, but remain in our top 15 for another week. It’s been a while since the UWE have been on the field and we’re hoping that the team isn’t suffering from any signs of rust since their last fixture. A loss to Bristol Barracuda would all but end the team’s hopes of returning to the championship playoffs for another year. It would also mean the Bullets are on a two game losing streak...

Next game – vs. Bristol Barracuda – 10th February

12. UEA Pirates (4-0)
Just like the teams sitting above and below them, the UEA Pirates are yet to take the field in 2013 after their game against Essex was postponed. With their game against the Blades being postponed, the Pirates were provided another week to practice for their huge game against the Hertfordshire Hurricanes. If the Pirates D can somehow find a way of stopping the ‘Canes O (and D) from scoring at will, they could provide the biggest upset in recent BUAFL history.

Next game – @ Hertfordshire Hurricanes – 10th February

13. Kent Falcons (4-0)
Another team who are yet to play a game this year, but remain in the top 15 is the Kent Falcons. This time last season, the Falcons suffered a second half collapse, forfeited their final two fixtures and still made the post season. Will they do that this season? We doubt it, especially given their impressive showing at the start of the season. With KCL, Hertfordshire, Cambridge and UEA still to play, the Falcons are in for a tough 2013!

Next game – @ Hertfordshire Hurricanes – 17th February

14. Plymouth Blitz (4-1)
The Blitz aren’t making it easy on themselves this season as they were involved in their third game of the season that was decided by a seven points or less. It’s a surprise poor old Willy Tee hasn’t had a heart attack yet! With their latest victory, the Blitz now move into a tie for the second spot in the SWAC with the UWE Bullets and remain on course for a playoff berth. A victory over Swansea at the weekend will mean the Blitz will take on the Bullets riding a four game winning streak and a lot of momentum!

Next game – vs. Swansea Titans – 10th February

15. Kingston Cougars (4-1)
No game for the Cougars so far in 2013 as their game against the Stingers ended up with a big ol’ P in the score column. Looking at their previous results in the season, there’s no doubting that the Cougars have a real shot of winning out their remaining fixtures to finish 7-1 and winning the TVC crown. Not bad for a rookie team in the most competitive conference in all of BUAFL.

Next game – @ OBU Panthers – 17th February

16. NTU Renegades (4-1)
Once again, it’s the Renegades who come out on top of the HoodBowl and earn the honour of being the number one team in Nottingham for another season. The Renegades now face their biggest game of the season when they take on the Loughborough Aces. A win would be a huge upset victory for the Renegades and would throw the MAC into turmoil, whereas a lost could end their playoff dreams given the way the Warwick Wolves are playing. Big game, big game indeed! Can’t wait for InkspotSocialMedia’s highlights! Talking about InkspotSocialMedia...

Next game – vs. Loughborough Aces – 10th February

17. Leeds Carnegie (4-1)
It was close, but the Carnegie were able to pull the victory out of the bag as they defeated local rivals Leeds Celtics 12-8 to earn bragging rights until next season. With the loss to Hull the only blip on their schedule, Carnegie look in good stead to make the post season following a brief period spent watching from the sideline. A victory over the Raiders at the weekend will all but guarantee that Leeds finish in the top three seedings in the NEC.

Next game – vs. Newcastle Raiders – 10th February

18. Glasgow Tigers (4-1)
The Tigers extended their winning streak to four games following a close contested tie against the UWS Pyros which ended 6-0 to the Tigers. With both Edinburgh teams on the schedule before their game against the Stirling Clansmen on Feb 24th, the Tigers should extend their winning streak to six straight and possibly turn that negative point’s difference into a positive one!

Next game – @ Edinburgh Predators – 10th February

19. Warwick Wolves (4-1)
Two games played in 2013. Two wins, 60 points scored, 30 points scored and a 4-1 record. Not bad for a team who went 2-6 last season. With the 0-3 Wolverhampton Wildcats coming to town this weekend, the Wolves should be confident of claiming their fifth win of the season to keep their pursuit of a playoff place up and running. A win for the Wolves would also guarantee the team finishes with a winning record. Something they haven’t achieved since the 2003/4 season. It would also be the sixth winning season in the team’s history.

Next game – vs. Wolverhampton Wildcats – 10th February

20. Solent Redhawks (3-2)
With their game against Portsmouth falling to the dreaded curse of the postponement, Solent are still yet to play a game in 2013. Hopefully that will change this weekend when they take on the Southampton Stags who could still be reeling after their shock loss to the Tsunami. By the looks of the TVC, this weekend’s game is a must win for the Redhawks if they hope to make the playoffs this season.

Next game – @ Southampton Stags – 10th February

21. Portsmouth Destroyers (3-1)
It’s a slide of seven places for the Destroyers who saw their unbeaten campaign come to an end when they fell to the Brighton Tsunami. With six teams in the TVC currently sitting with a winning record, the Destroyers will need to find some form in the second half of the season and not give away sloppy TD’s if they’re hoping to advance to the postseason once again.

Next game – @ Southampton Stags – 17th February

22. Gloucester Gladiators (3-1)

In just their third season, the Gladiators have gone from a team of bottom feeders in the SWAC to one of the up and coming teams in the conference. Also, by the sounds of things, the Gladiators are on their way to being a potential powerhouse team in the south west. A 52-0 victory over archrivals Worcester sees the team move into a top four spot in their conference. With Exeter, Tarannau, Worcester and the ‘Cuda left on their schedule, the Gladiators have a real shot at going 7-1 this season!

Next game – @ Exeter Demons – 10th February

23. Cambridge Pythons (3-1)
#TeamPHD continued their hunt for a playoff spot with a 40-0 victory over Cambridge rivals ARU Rhinos. With a winning record already, Hertfordshire already played and an influx of rugby/American players, #TeamPHD could be one of the surprise teams this season. A victory over Canterbury could see the Pythons jump into the top 3 spots in the SEC depending on the Herts – UEA result.

Next game – vs. Canterbury Chargers – 10th February

24. Manchester Tyrants (4-2)
Remember this article from just over a year ago? The Tyrants were struggling for players and were on the brink of pulling out for the season. How times have changed! Technically, having played five fixtures this season, the Tyrants are in fact 4-1, but their opening game forfeit against UCLan sees the team sitting with a 4-2 record. With Lancaster and Bagnor left on their schedule, the Tyrants could extend their winning streak to five straight to finish the season 6-2.

Next game – vs. Lancaster Bombers – 10th February

25. BNU Buccaneers (3-2)
For weeks, I’ve been arguing with the BNU Head Coach over the teams ranking this season. Well, after the run of results over the past few weeks, the Buccs have finally crept into the top 25 and Coach Plastow can gloat for a week or two. The main reason I say that his team can gloat for only a short period is because BNU’s next game is against the high flying Brighton Tsunami. Win and the Bucs jump up a number of positions, whereas a loss will see the Bucs walking the plank 

Next game – @ Brighton Tsunami – 10th February

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