Tuesday, 23 December 2014

2014 REVIEW: The Best Things

Our Final post reviewing 2014 comes on the eve of Christmas Eve, or Christmas Eve, ... or whenever you are reading this, really.
And unlike a dodgy Chinese made toy from your Dad, this present is one you can happily and willingly discard quickly in full knowledge that it cost you zero and is only good for one use only.

In this post, its our best 4 teams of 2014. Those that sit clear of the remainder.

FMI Rank Pts:FMI Rank Pos:AFL Ladder:No of Wins:
Our Pre-season Prediction:2nd17 to 19

Fremantle were still a solid performer for 2014, but were down very marginally on most indicators for the year. Less wins than 2013 (by only half a game), and a 1 position drop on the ladder.
They were down against our predictions and rankings value as well. Again, only a small amount.

And while generally Fremantle were down on expectation and against 2013, our data suggests it was a reasonably solid and stable year.
Apart from the two major drops (that formed a forming a quick, steep trough) it was a consistent season.
Those tow big drops...? First was the now-traditional 'big loss to St Kilda at the Docklands', and the second was a sneak-past win over ramshackle Carlton.

Port Adelaide
FMI Rank Pts:FMI Rank Pos:AFL Ladder:No of Wins:
Our Pre-season Prediction:13th6 to 10
20131071201311th20137th *201312

No doubt that Port Adelaide were everyone's surprise packet of the last 2 years. They improved well enough in 2013 to claim a top 8 spot, and in 2014 they went beyond that into one of the Premiership contenders.

The inherent lag in our calculations saw that we were not expecting Port to do so well. This led to our less than glowing predictions of 6 to 10 wins and a 13th place finish. The lag is important to smooth out peaks and troughs in week-to-week performance, but once a club gets on a roll (or free-fall) it hinders the ability to adequately assess longer term trends.

Looking at the below chart, it is clear that Port had a bit of a rough stretch through the mid season (5 losses from 6 games, and even then the win was only by 3 against lowly Melbourne), but started and finished off well.

FMI Rank Pts:FMI Rank Pos:AFL Ladder:No of Wins:
Our Pre-season Prediction:5th16 to 17

Sydney went close again to winning another flag and to usurping Hawthorn as our best team at years end. They did pip the Hawks earlier in the year, but just for one week in round 22, and only by 4 points.
Otherwise, we tipped a 17 game winning season but a 5th place finish, not 1st (after home and a way) or 2nd (after finals).

A poor start to 2014 (losses to GWS, Collingwood and North) is reflected in our chart below, but other than those early weeks, it was mostly a positive year for Sydney, with the last game, of course, a big negative.

FMI Rank Pts:FMI Rank Pos:AFL Ladder:No of Wins:
Our Pre-season Prediction:1st18 to 20

The Hawks went back to back, winning the 2014 flag as you all know.
They also retained thier pre-eminence in our ranks with a 3rd year in a row as the best team in the AFL, and also maintained (bar 2 points) their ranking points total of 2013.

But 2014 was also the first time the Hawks have been challenged for top in more than three years. Is it the beginning of the end of their outright dominance?

At the beginning of the year it looked like a return to true domination. but the majority of their post-bye season was all about them doing 'just enough to win', but not up to their usual efforts. This is shown by the string of negative bars from rounds 10 to 21. In this timeframe they accrued 3 losses (the deepest of those bars) and 9 wins.

There you have it, all our 18 teams, their rankings, and how they changed.

Early next year we begin looking at predicting the next season ladder and number of wins. The blog, now sporting a slightly new look, will be different again next year as a few new layouts and graphics are deployed.
 Hope you all drop by again next year.

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