Melbourne in season 2013 is, without doubt, having a terrible year. A team that appears to lack drive and unity, with team selections baffling its supporters, and on field efforts that leave those who follow 'the team of the red and the blue' wondering why they bother.
On the weekend, they again succumbed to another big loss, to Hawthorn by 95 points. This brings their season total of 'blow-out losses' (60 points or more) to 7 matches out of 10. A regular tweeter to us then fired off this question, which we think warranted a bit of a look into.
@aflfootymaths how many games did Suns lose by 60+ pts in their first year?
— John Murray (@SidebySidePies) June 2, 2013
So this post will have a quick look at Melbourne 2013, after 10 rounds, and yardstick them against the first seasons of the Gold Coast and GWS.
So lets start with some basics.
WINS, LOSSES, BLOWOUTS
Lets start by looking at the basic wins and losses table up to round 10 for Melbourne this year, and the two expansion teams in their for year.
The Suns on the other hand, had less blow-outs by round 10, but when they did lose by 60 points or more, those margins were huge.
We believe using the rankings point system (which factors in the quality of the opposition) should provide a better assessment of where Melbourne are in relation to the two expansion teams in their debut seasons. Melbourne, of course, commenced the season at 767 rankings points.
With new teams starting from scratch, we have two ways to include them. First is to add in the teams with a low ranking that caters for the expected performance of a team of mostly young men that have limited experience of the pressures of AFL football.
In running our blog over the journey, we added in the Gold Coast and GWS at 500 rankings points as it created a more realistic tipping expectation. So using the teams at a 500pt initial set-point, we see the below.
This table shows that Melbourne are indeed having a horror run this year relative to the expansion teams by the same Round 10 assessment point.
Of course, as above, that assumed the Suns and Giants were ranked arbitrarily significantly lower than
To redress this, there are two other ways to look at the data. First is to take the alternate initial ranking position for teams, that being the default 1000pts that all teams historically were set at
This allocation of points puts the GWS as having a bigger % and points drop than Melbourne, but the Gold Coast have a better record.
That said, it is hardly fair to allocate those teams the full allotment in their debut season, when they were so far under on experienced player stocks etc.
So the alternate approach is to to rank Melbourne as an expansion team and allocate them 500pts at the seasons start, where do they end up.
Which is an even grimmer picture for Melbourne. If considered an expansion team, Melbourne's 2013 season is about the same as the Suns' first season, and about 1.6 times worse than the GWS.
None of the above data is good news for Melbourne in 2013, and will give the Demons fans no solace.
Is the above comparison fair? Perhaps not, but they are statistics, and people can always make of them what they will.
And under the focus of our microscope, they don't look good at all.
It is never easy to make comparisons of teams and their performances across the seasons. We tried once, comparing Melbourne in 2012 with Fitzroy in 1996.
In doing so, we saw there was no comparison statistically, as well as in the footballing environment surrounding the teams. As Roy FitzLion put it:
"The main difference between the Melbourne side of today and Fitzroy of the mid nineties is just a minor one.......THE AFL ISN'T TRYING TO FUCKING KILL MELBOURNE OFF!!"