Tuesday, 9 April 2013

BAFANL Premiership South Pre-Season Power Rankings

Finally, the BAFANL season returns! It's time for BBQ's and arguments about who had their respective last name first. Boy, how we've missed it! To be fair though, we've had a number of new leagues pop up to keep us occupied, so we've not totally bored.

To kick start the season, our residential rankers from the senior league return to make choices that not everyone agrees with, so sit back, wrap a blanket around you in this cold weather and enjoy the first lot of Premiership Power Rankings. 

1. London Blitz
You can’t doubt that the current champions deserve to be in the top spot heading into the first week of the season. To be honest, barring any major upset,s I can’t imagine they will move from the top spot until they face off against the Warriors at the end of the season. Although we may have to consider results against common opponents to make things interesting at the top. 

We’ve been hearing news of some big retirements for the Blitz and it’ll be down to their first game against the Copenhagen Towers in the EFAF Cup this weekend to see who takes the field again this year. 

2. London Warriors

The Warriors have got to reeling after the final, but considering how close the games between the Blitz and Warriors usually are it’s pretty tough to beat the same team three times in a season. The Blitz came in with the superior game plan, and took advantage of the Warriors defensive weaknesses early. 

Considering the average age across the board for the Warriors there is no doubt they will be back stronger and not weaker this year. A first week outing to Bristol will set the tone for the rest of the year for these guys.

3. London Olympians
Completing the London trifecta, the O’s are bringing up the rear. With plenty of press releases coming from the squad it seems confidence is high. Given both of their wins over Bristol last year, they deserve the third spot in the south; however nothing can be truly seen until the first week of the season.

4. Bristol Aztecs
It seems that Aztecs have been busy in the off season, picking up 
 ex-England prop Duncan Bell will give their defensive line a boost after the loss of Sean Hopkins to the Blitz the previous year. Perhaps they can also use him on the offensive line to replace Rob Hardy who also moved to London. 

Not wanting to be outdone in the skill positions, it appears the Aztecs have looked across the border for reinforcements, bringing on board ex-South Wales Warriors QB Gareth Thomas and bolstering the ranks in the wide receiver and corner back department from the Warriors.

Bristol are one of those clubs where you look at their set up and wonder how they don’t dominate year in year out. Two local university teams, the leading academy team in the country, a National division team nearby and great facilities, not to mention recruitment in one of the biggest cities in the UK. However, it seems that they are being trumped by the London teams as of late, can they change the tide this year?

5. Sussex Thunder
The first of the new boys to appear on the rankings, and the apparent winners of the BritBowl if their site is to be believe. The Premiership south features the national champs, div 1 champs and the div 2 runners up this year, which makes for a lot of championship quality teams, maybe just not premiership quality.
Sussex are no strangers to the premiership however, being in the division only 2 years previously, however they didn't fare all that well with some big scores against them. Some may be surprised to find them above the Cardinals seeing as the Cardinals are somewhat seasoned vets in the premiership, however I think the Thunder might be surprised as to how much the division has moved on since they were last in it, with the Blitz and Warriors really pushing the level up a notch. 

6. Ipswich Cardinals
The Cardinals were the punching bag of the division last year, of that there is no escaping. One can only hope a somewhat torrid year of continual beatings hasn’t scared away their players, and they are returning ready to compete in the division again this year. With so many ex-Division 1 sides now in the division, and sides that the Cardinals used to beat a few years ago, perhaps impetus will be high with two less games against the Blitz and Warriors a more appealing prospect.

7. East Kent Mavericks
Now we move into the teams with whom we cannot truly compare to any of the above teams in terms of premiership experience.

The Mavs find themselves up first if only because they beat the Thunder in the regular season (although lost in the post season). A lot of the Mavs game is based around running QB Josh Adamson, who is fresh off a season with Canterbury Chargers in BUAFL. Funny thing about running QBs is that they don’t last long in the premiership with the hits they will take, although Adamson has good pocket presence also, however expect to see better secondaries this year. 

8. Berkshire Renegades
Berkshire are next in the pecking order, although they lost big to the Thunder and equally as big after an epic away trip to Troon in the Semi Finals. Then again that was losing to both finalists. We’re going to have to wait until the first few games of the season to differentiate these bottom teams.

9. Cambridgeshire Cats
The Cats were a team we touted for success last year given the scrapping of the American import rule, needless to say they somewhat disappointed us last year. I went to watch their first game against Sussex and their QB (who I am presuming was American) had a real arm on him, it was just a shame that the receivers couldn’t handle the balls coming at such velocity. 

It’ll be interesting to see how they adjust this year being in the premiership. They will be sparking some old rivalries with Ipswich and also there might be some old bad blood between the Cats and the Warriors.

10. South Wales Warriors
Finally everyone is going to see what the internet trolls have been waiting years for. The Warrior bowl. I’d imagine the fixture vs the London Warriors is marked on all the Wales Warriors calendars and for the Warriors I’m sure it’s the second most important fixture of the season after the Blitz fixture. The London boys travel all the way to Wales to claim the throne as the best Warrior, but will the South Wales boys be able to stop them. 

Early reports tell us that running quarterback and Great Britain (albeit a rather short stint at Great Britain) player Gareth Thomas has jumped ship to the Aztecs, along with some other GB Lions talent, reducing the threat on the Warriors roster. Recent reports of a friendly loss against Swansea Titans also do not hold the Warriors in such high esteem going into a premiership season, and part of the reason they find themselves lounging near the bottom of the power rankings.

11. Peterborough Saxons
Two years ago the Saxons forfeited a season and went back into associationesque status. Fast forward to today and they sit in the premier division of the country. I would like to regale you with tales of them pounding their way through the divisions and demolishing teams by 3 figure scores, but I can’t. All I can tell you is someone in BAFANL HQ thought "Hey, the finalists of division 2 must be better than a middle of the line team in division 1, surely." Now I don’t know where that logic came from, but hey, let’s roll with it for now and see how they do. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Fantasy Football News