Sunday, 22 December 2013

2013 Review - Ranked Out: 8th to 5th

Continuing our season review... our rankings listed these teams as 8th to 5th.

Rank: 8th (+1)     1178 pts (-5)
AFL Ladder: 8th       11 W / 11 L

A season of neither great advances nor declines. The one true highlight was the reward of finals football by the AFL with the expulsion of Essendon from the eight.

An early purple patch in rounds 4 to 6 was countered by a late season fade, as Carlton tried to fit to the Malthouse game plan... what ever that was, as it changed during the year.

In the end, Carlton got what they wanted from 2013...  a Malthouse team in the finals (which is what we figured). Whether Carlton was in the top 8 under the famous 'Malthouse ladder' is another story.

Where to from here?
A year under the belt should be considered an investment. And given they were a reasonably decent side under Ratten, only the finals will be acceptable for Mick, and Carlton.
If they don't get there, then Mick will be on the slippery slope.

Rank: 7th (+4)     11259 pts (+102)
AFL Ladder: 5th       15 W / 7 L

One of the 2013 season's bigger improvers were Richmond. They climbed into our best 8  and gained over 100 points on the way.
Only once were the beaten by 10 goals or more (by North) and they also converted more close games into wins than in 2012. And as we said at the start of the year, if you can do that you can get 15 wins (well, we actually thought 16, so not so far off).
And in our pre-season predictions,we had Richmond with 11 to 16 wins and between 3rd and 10th.

Ultimately, though, there  were let down by themselves in the finals, losing to a team that probably shouldn't have been there, and once again becoming the home of Ninthmond jokes.

Where to from here?
"Nietzsche says... Out of chaos, comes order". And out of the decades of chaos has emerged the ordered structured Tigers. And they need to proof this in 2014, with another finals series and a tilt at the top 4.
Anything outside the top 8 should be considered a fail. Anything between 8 and 5 is a year of holding and stabilising... not what they want, but a good fall back position.

Rank: 6th (-1)     1266 pts (-34)
AFL Ladder: 6th       14 W / 8 L

While we have written about Carlton and Brisbane having seasons of no major changes, we want to write the same about Collingwood too. And over the totality of the year, its a fair assessment too (by our numbers at least).
But what we find interesting with Collingwood is the magnitude of the week-to-week variations in the chart at right. The win/loss margins showed some big variations, which contributed to a real up and down season (example R14 lose to Port by 6 goals, R17 defeat Carlton by 7 goals).

And with this variation, the Pies only won 14 games and finished 6th. By our estimations this was a negative season, as we expected a 16 game winning season, and a ladder position of 2nd or 3rd.
And we probably weren't the only ones who thought that Collingwood should have done better.

Where to from here?
Are Collingwood on the post-Malthouse decline? 2014 will show if they can regenerate or will stagnate.
Any result outside a top 8 position is a fail, a big fail. Even missing the top 4 should be listed as such too.

Rank: 5th (+5)     1289 pts (+108)
AFL Ladder: 10th       10 W / 12 L

Yes... you read that right. We rank a team that didn't make the finals as the 5th best team in the AFL.
We estimated at the start of the season they should win between 13 and 8 games (10 - middled it!), and finish anywhere between 6th and 12th.
We also marked them down as having the toughest draw for 2013, and this is where the story is.

While they didn't win many games against the tougher opponents, they did enough in those defeats to avoid significant losses and boost their rating.
For example,
1) North lost 4 of the first 5 games (avg losing margin 15.5), and gained rankings points in 3 of those games.
2) North lost 4 of the last 8 games (avg losing margin 9) and gained big points in 5 of the 8 games.
This is because our system measures teams against expectations. You do better (lose by less) than expected, and you gain points.
North simply didn't get belted, and performed well when winning or losing.

Where to from here?
With such a great year behind them, and a draw that is much more reasonable, North should be a finals contender, and potential top 4 place-getter.
But if they miss the finals again... disaster!

In the next post, the best 4 teams as we rank them.

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