Wednesday, 17 July 2013

09-16: Mid Season Malaise

It is time again to review how your teams are travelling after another 7 rounds. We previously posted about rounds 1-8 on this post right here, and the data below will focus on rounds 9 to 16.
With the season fixture having byes in rounds 11, 12, and 13, the span we are covering is really 8 rounds in total, but the bye sets this back to 7 games played per team.

First a look at where the teams were ranked after the first 8 rounds, finally where we rank them now after round 16.

Focusing on the changes from before round 9 to round 16, we can see the following most important changes...
- the rise of Richmond from 10th up three places to 7th,
- the decline of Adelaide, down 4 places to 11th,
- Essendon flying up the table, now at 10th after beginning the year in 12th.
- Gold Coast taking another leap over an established club, this time passing the Western Bulldogs, and
- the further decline of the Saints, another 2 place drop down to 13th.

Comparing the Pre-Round 9 data to the Pre-Round 17 data, and the ranking numbers the teams hold, we generate the table at right that shows the biggest improvers, those that effectively haven't changed, and the big losers.

Again the Gold Coast have topped the table as the biggest improvers in the mid third of the season. Pulling in just under 100 points, a mighty 12% increase sees them as the the clear leader.

The more modest improvers are headed by Brisbane, who sneak above Port Adelaide. Port were the second most improved after the first 8 rounds have kept up their momentum with another 46 point rise.
They were pipped for second by Brisbane, as the Lions all but collected enough points in the last 7 rounds to erase the losses from the first eight.

At the foot of the table is St Kilda who lost another 159 points to be the worst of the teams through the mid third of the season. This goes with their second-worst ranking from the first third of the season.

The previous worst, Melbourne, have arrested the decline and came out neutral in this sector... a small win for them this year.

As we have mentioned in the blog before, Hawthorn are slowly headed back to the pack, dropping 58 points in the mid third of the year.
Adelaide also lose 48 points to go with the 29 point drop of the first 8 rounds. This highlights what a great season 2012 was... perhaps even an aberration.

Context: Changes Relative to Opposition
While the above shows some improvements and declines, with only a third of the season past these can by put into context, as per the table at right.

This table ranks teams sorted by ease of draw, using the average of the opposition teams rankings points.
So, in this section of the season we see that Geelong, the Bulldogs and Sydney have had the easiest draws, with all teams not dropping large amounts of ranking points.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne have met the highest ranked opponents, and still performed well.

Note also: the original post on rounds 1-8 had the same teams having opposite toughness of draws, so there is a degree of balance to the fixture.

Highlights of this table are:
- Gold Coast who have had one of the toughest draws but still gained the most points. Yes, they have gone 1 win / 6 losses, but those losses have been better than we expected, so we award credit for that. 
- Melbourne have had the toughest of opponents this last 7 rounds, but managed to hold firm in their rank (again another case of, on average, not losing by the expected margins, and jagging one win).
- Geelong have been through a nice stretch of lesser ranked teams, and lost 3 points. Not a huge disadvantage, but they have done just enough. You might have expected better.

We will again look at this data for the last third of the year (rounds 17-23).

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