Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Super Bowl XLVII Preview

After a fantastic regular season and even better post season we’re down to the final two! I went against the grain and successfully picked Baltimore to upset New England, but even I didn't expect the game to be that one-sided. Brady and the Pats seemed to crumble under the pressure, coming up short in key moments.

SF meanwhile fought back from a 17 point deficit to see off the Falcons, who almost let a huge comeback ruin them versus Seattle. Despite struggling to corral Jones, White and Gonzalez for most of the night, in the end the Niners had just enough poise to make it all the way to the big dance.

Read on for my extended preview (and prediction) of Super Bowl XLVII (47).

PlayerLayer Comeptition

Double Coverage is please to announce yet another competition for our readers. This time in collaboration with PlayerLayer.


Founded by London Blitz Wide Receiver Rod Bradley, the roots of PlayerLayer are in the BaseLayer product initially used in Rugby and American football. PlayerLayer supply a range of sports from Rowing to basketball but are looking supply more American football teams in the future.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

NFL QB's: Flashback "Mark my Words!"

Goodell Rick Rolled!


credit NFL-Ireland

Roger Goodell did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit yesterday (find it here). One of the most well known members of the site is Minnesota Vikings’ punter Chris Kluwe, who posts under the username Loate (use search to find his question).

Gay rights activist and Internet Champion
During the AMA Kluwe posed a question about how head injuries are changing the game. He finished his question by including the lyrics to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” unbeknownst to the Commissioner who actually answered the question!

Cheering on Old friends

LONDON Olympians head coach Riq Ayub will be backing old pal Jim Tomsula to get one over American football legend Ray Lewis in Sunday's Super Bowl.

The big game that takes place between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans this weekend, will be the last ever game for Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, considered the finest defensive player of his generation, after 17 seasons of hard hits and trash talk. 

However, Ayub, who leads South London's very own gridiron legends – having won two European titles and a record 13 British championships – will be backing the Niners to win their sixth Super Bowl.

UCLan Edge Out The Stallions In Close Battle


UCLan managed to hold off a late Stallions charge to overcome their Staffordshire opponents 10-8 in horrendous wind.

The snow may have cleared but the weather still heavily effected the game with gusts of wind having a say from the off. Dale Spence muffed the opening kick off but he recovered, broke three tackles and returned the ball to midfield.

A Winter Feast, Part Three.


By John Winter


The game was definitely a game of two halves. Facing a 17 point deficit going into the second half the San Francisco 49ers certainly faced an uphill task.
However, on the 49ers first scoring drive that ended on the 2 minute warning cracks had already begun to show in the Falcons defence with a telling sign being the three plays out of seven being Vernon Davis receptions.

Monday, 28 January 2013

A Winter Feast, Part Two - NFC Championship game


By John Winter


One of the major things that struck me whilst watching the NFC championship game was how different it was to the international series games I have previously attended at Wembley.

The Lancashire Academy


The Lancashire Academy has been a beacon for a number of years now, boasting senior and junior kitted teams as well as four kitted youth teams and flag teams at both youth and cadet level. And the seniors, the Lancashire Wolverines, have been reaping the rewards of the Academy system for the last couple of years.

It all starts at the grassroots. The Chorley Buccaneers, Standish Raiders, Preston Pythons and Burnley Tornados begin the process, recruiting prospective players for their respective assaults on the youth championship. They’re coached in the 5v5 format but the base rules and techniques required to play the sport are laid down early.


It could be seen that the coaches and drills at this level are the most important. They pass on to the youth, who, hopefully, will go on to form senior teams in years to come, the techniques that will set them in good stead for the future. But more than that, the coaches at youth level have to pass on the motivation for kids to carry on the sport, something that the Lancashire Academy has had no problem with.

“The coaches at the Buccaneers, and other youth teams around the Academy, do a fantastic job of coaching their players for both immediate success and future development,” said Chorley Buccaneers’ Media Officer, Nathan Sharrocks. “The passion these guys have for the game is infectious and you can see that in every single training session.”

So what happens for the youth who get to old to play for the Buccaneers, Pythons, Raiders and Tornados? That’s where the Wolverine Colts step in.

UK Coach of the Year 2011, Geoff Leigh and his coaching staff have brought massive success on the junior stage.

The 17-19 year olds made it to the National Finals last year, only losing on the big stage to the London Blitz.

Leigh is an accomplished coach, taking the graduates of the youth teams and recruiting himself and training them to the 11-a-side game. The game gets faster, harder-hitting and more complex at this level and it’s up to Coach Leigh and the Colts’ coaching staff to make sure the players are ready for this.



Friday, 25 January 2013

A Winter Feast, Part One

By John Winter

John is one of our conference writers and normally covers the SWAC for us. He is spending this semester at the University of Tennessee and will be writing up his experiences for us. First of all the luck sod went to the NFC Championship game this weekend past...

Everything you have ever heard about tailgating is true, the fans really are there all day before the game, they really do consume unreal quantities of food, and the whole area is thriving with a buzzing atmosphere with people playing games, sharing food, and discussing the upcoming game.

BAFA Uni Football Week Seven Predictions


With the Winter break all but done, it's time to take a look at this weeks upcoming fixtures. As per usual, our team of minions have crossed the t's and dotted the i's before picking the winner out of a hat.

Also we're now including the team's rankings into our predictions.

Saltire

No games!

Big North Western

Bangor Muddogs (0-3) v Hallam Warriors #24 (1-1)
Sunday marks the first ever meeting between these two sides, as the Warriors travel to deepest darkest North Wales, that’s if the weather doesn’t have the final say… again.

Bangor’s struggle with the elements have been well documented this season, it took until Week 3 to play their first fixture against Huddersfield. As a result the Muddogs now have an extremely congested schedule and are still searching for their first win of the season.

Meanwhile, Hallam have only won once this season, but  believe they can challenge for a spot in the playoffs with five games still to play. Postponed fixtures have allowed the squad time to gel and a win in Wales is essential if they are to feature in the postseason.
The Muddogs may have to wait another week to secure their first win of the season… Hallam by three scores

Daryl “Moose” Johnston finishes NFL Q and A road show in London.




A large majestic room in the famous Landmark Hotel in Marylebone was the setting for the final of four Q and A sessions that the NFLUK has been showcasing recently. For the other three events, (Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham) Neil Reynolds was the main host alongside his Sky sports pundit partner, Jeff Reinbold, but for this last event of the tour, the NFL fans got to ask questions to three time Super bowl winning champion and legendary broadcaster, Daryl “Moose” Johnston.

Friday, 18 January 2013

NFL Conference Championship Predictions


A decent week with 3/4 of the wins, but it's a shame the Broncos failed so miserably on their final stand or my unbeaten post-season run would have continued.

As it stands we don't have the Conference show-downs many people expected, but that's all part of the beauty of the post-season! Let's hope both this weekend's games are as hard fought as most of the Divisional round's were.

Divisional Round = 3-1

Post-Season = 7-1

Regular Season = 166-91 (65%)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

BUCS Predictions


Could these be the most pointless predictions we've ever done? With snow covering much of the country and more to come on Friday, it seems likely that most of this weekend's four games will fall by the wayside, adding to the already mangled fixture list.

No matter - we have made a promise to our readers, and we shall deliver. Here our our writers' picks and predictions for this weekend's games, starting North of the Wall...


Big North Western Conference

Staffordshire Stallions (1-2) v #8 Sheffield Sabres (4-0)

Sunday marks the first game back since the Christmas break in the Big North Western, as the undefeated Sheffield Sabres travel south to play their re-arranged match against the Staffordshire Stallions at the Stables.

The Stallions are yet to win at home this season and entered the festive period with a 1-2 record, losing to the Manchester Tyrants and conference leaders, the Derby Braves. Their sole victory came on the road after recording a 28-13 win over the Liverpool Fury.

Historically, the Stallions have the edge in this fixture winning the previous four meetings; however the only previous encounters came back in the 04/05 and 05/06 seasons, with Staffordshire claiming victory on all four occasions.

The Sabres have had little to complain about in terms of getting the results in the first half of the season, but with the league rescheduling this game during their exam period, followed by two games against local rivals and division leaders Derby in quick succession, they will have a lot on their plate in the coming weeks.

The Sabres could hand a start to quarterback David Saul in this fixture, after undergoing a shoulder reconstruction on his throwing arm in December. According to reports he was back throwing at training last week, but Head Coach Tim Mullinar says it will be a game day decision whether he plays;    

“He's recovering well and it will likely be a game day decision. I would be very surprised if he didn't kit up. Even if he is out, I have a lot of faith in Jacob Hardy at QB and we have a lot of physical players and athletes on the offense to complement either of them.”

Historically, the Stallions have always dominated this fixture, but the Sabres are now a very different prospect compared with that 05/06 team and even without the services of David Saul under centre should be too much for their opponents.

Sabres by three scores  


MAC

Nottingham Trent University Renegades vs Wolverhampton Wildcats

Is this prediction even worth writing? With two games forfeited (including one this weekend just passed) and five still to play, the story of the Wildcats in 2012/13 is reminiscent of Britball in the 1980s, when teams would spring up, enter leagues, run out of players and fold - all within a matter of months.

If Wolverhampton can muster the league minimum players, they can expect a heavy defeat as NTU look to cement their position as the MAC's third best team ahead of their Varsity game in early February.

The weather may well come the the Wildcats' rescue, potentially prolonging the drawn-out saga.

NTU by 40

SWAC

Gloucestershire Gladiators vs Worcester Royals

The game that used to be a local wooden spoon bowl has turned into quite a different monster this year, with Gloucestershire exceeding all expectations whilst Worcester carry on much as they have done previously.

Worcester and Cheltenham (yes, they don’t play in Gloucester) are only separated by 25 miles of the M5, but the gulf between these two teams is much wider than that.

Worcester will up their game for Varsity, but I still see Gloucestershire coming away with a handsome victory.

Gloucestershire by 25.

Tarannau Aberystwyth vs Bristol Barracuda

A battle of 2-1 teams sees Cuda make the long trip across the Valleys to meet Tarannau.

Aberystwyth went into Christmas riding high on the crest of the Welsh Bowl wave, with a thrilling exhibition of passing football leading to a 2-0 victory over their bitter rivals. Bristol looked less than impressive in their last game before Christmas, getting eviscerated 52-15 by a resurgent Plymouth Blitz side.

Expect Aber to ride their momentum into this matchup, but I still see the big fish coming back across the Severn with a narrow victory under their belts.

Bristol by 7

TVC

Portsmouth Destroyers Vs Brunel Burners

This is a rearranged game that was cancelled at the end of last year due to a flooded pitch. If we had had predicted this game back then, we’d have given less kudos to Portsmouth and more to Brunel, however the tables are turned slightly.

Portsmouth have had time to adjust to being without Head Coach Russ Hewitt, and also scraped a one point win over OBU. Brunel however, have struggled after their first game.

Portsmouth by a score.

SEC


SEC Canterbury Chargers vs Imperial Immortals

One of the unknown factors post-Christmas is whether teams have lost or gained any key players, thus making the first week after Christmas hard to predict accurately.

Imperial have a chance of making the plate playoffs this season, their first in the SEC, but they have to play well down the stretch and win out. Canterbury might have buried any chance they had of improving on last year’s performance by not being able to win the close games.

Imperial by 3 scores.

SEC Kent Falcons vs KCL Regents

Kings are another team that haven’t been able to pull it out of the bag in close games, and they will undoubtedly struggle against Kent who have been scoring points for fun prior to Christmas. I think this game will be closer than expected but Kent will still prove to be the better side.

Kent by 2 scores.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

FBU Statement


Top European athletes were invited to attend the U.S. Army All-American Bowl events in San Antonio,
Texas this past January. The Bowl features the top 90 high school football players in the United States.
For 12 years, the Bowl has been the biggest showcase of U18 football talent in the world. The game is
televised nationally and in 80 countries and is attended by more than 40,000 fans. More than 1,500 top
athletes attend this annual showcase from various age groups. Alumni of the Bowl include Mark Sanchez
(Jets), Adrian Peterson (Vikings) Tim Tebow (Jets), Andrew Luck (Colts), Reggie Bush (Dolphins),
Ndamukong Suh (Lions) and Demarco Murray (Cowboys).

For the last two years, we have invited some of the best athletes from the world including Canadian
athletes and top European athletes to play and compete in related all-star games or compete in our
combine events for underclassmen. These athletes compete before hundreds of scouts. Several
international athletes have received scholarships or scholarship interest from major universities.
This year, we added an entire European team to participate in international competition in Texas. These
athletes were hand-selected through our FBU international division, which features former NFL coaches
who traveled to Europe to provide clinics and train young football athletes in Germany, Austria,
Netherlands, England, Scotland and Belgium.

Several of the governing bodies that currently belong to IFAF were initially supportive of our overall
efforts. Several requested to work with us as a “development partner” to help train their football coaches
and train their top players for international competition.

Until this year, there has never been any objection by the International Federation of American Football
(IFAF) in any form. In fact, we have never received any communication of any kind from IFAF directed
at myself, our staff, or our company. In fact, we invited several representatives from governing
provinces/governing bodies to attend our U.S. Army Bowl last year in San Antonio. Many attended and
many expressed interest in supporting our efforts to grow the Bowl internationally.

To say the least, we were surprised and disappointed to hear that IFAF threatened its athletes with
sanctions if their athletes played in our events in San Antonio this year. Unfortunately, our company
never received anything official or unofficial from IFAF or any of the affected governing bodies.
When we contacted an IFAF official about the sanctions, he responded that IFAF passed the policy in the
summer at an executive meeting. He suggested that it was designed to keep lesser reputable companies
from entering the market and not intended to affect high quality events like ours.

There is no doubt that the IFAF is familiar with our Bowl, as USA Football participated in our Bowl a
few years ago. Over the past 12 years, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have also sent
representatives to participate in our Bowl and speak with our athletes. Despite the comment from the
IFAF executive, IFAF denied sanctioning the Bowl but invited us to apply for sanctioning in January after
our Bowl.

Upon request, we were sent the IFAF policy by IFAF and shared such policy with the invited athletes to
explain the option to participate or not to participate. Very few were aware of the policy and several
athletes were unaware of the existence of their governing body.

All athletes and parents were sent a waiver so they could fully understand the consequences of
participation in our Bowl events and all were invited to contact their governing body to discuss the matter.
Almost all the athletes expressed a strong interest in participating and signed the waiver. A few chose not
to participate.

We understand that IFAF runs its own international events and has been doing so for several years. Most
of the top athletes in our country who play in our Bowl at the U18 and U15 level typically choose not to
play in their events for variety of reasons. Mainly, it is simply not the biggest platform to showcase their
ability. Although we train close to 9,000 athletes every year including the majority of top U18 and U15
talent, we have never discouraged any athlete from playing in an IFAF event. Those that have participated
in IFAF events have reported positive experiences.

In the spirit of IFAF and most other governing bodies, we believe that international competition is better
for the growth of the athlete and we encourage play in competitive settings, no matter who organizes it,
provided that it is done in a safe, organized and affordable environment.

When FBU started its international play a few years ago, we decided to not charge athletes any
registration fee for participation. We also worked hard to provide free uniforms, helmets, venues and
practice facilities including the Alamodome (an indoor turf facility that seats 60,000 people) for games.
We believe the opportunity to play in San Antonio during Bowl Week allows international athletes the
chance to play against top talent, compete on an exciting stage and experience an incredible week of
football in a very affordable way. All of the international athletes who traveled to San Antonio this
January played in two games, attended seminars by former and current NFL athletes and enjoyed a Bowl
week complete with a private concert with other top athletes.

We were saddened and disappointed to learn about the IFAF policy. We are at a loss as to why IFAF
would prevent its top athletes from competing on the biggest U18 stage in the world, especially when
uniforms, helmets, indoor facilities and lunches are provided to athletes for free and they are not charged
a registration fee for competition.

We take no issue with the IFAF executive who stated that this policy was not intended to stop first class
events like ours but to protect athletes from low quality events. Despite that statement, IFAF still chose to
not sanction this event. Thus, they placed their athletes in a difficult position.
After reading the IFAF web site and mission statement, which promotes high level international
competition, the education of coaches and the development and growth of American football, we believed
we were supporting that very mission and its core values.

Thus, we are at a loss at IFAF’s actions and decision. I do appreciate the governing bodies connected to
IFAF who promised their athletes that they would not impose any sanctions for participation. I also
appreciate IFAF expressly allowing international athletes to compete in our combine activities in San
Antonio. It also appears that USA Football has approached several of the same athletes who participated
in our events in San Antonio to play for Team USA. Given those efforts, I hope that indicates a change of
heart and policy for the rest of the IFAF countries in relation to their players.

Lastly, although we are disappointed with IFAF’s policy, no one within our company is at odds with its
overall mission to grow and promote American football around the world. This statement should not
serve as a general critique of football’s governing bodies around the world. We work with many of them
and have official and unofficial relationships with several. In every country, they are a well needed
organization which promotes football and good standards. They are led by passionate people who love
football just like we do.

Sincerely,
Rich McGuinness
President, All-American Games

North Eastern Mid-Season Review


It’s been an interesting first half of the season in the newly formed North Eastern Conference. Newcastle and Northumbria, who were 8-0 and 6-2 last season respectively, now sit at 1-3 and 2-3. Joined by 4 teams with winning records last season, it’s becoming hard to tell who’ll join the Hull Sharks in the playoffs. Here, we look at some of the results, the table and whether a team can enter the post-season.

Halfway through the season, not many people would bet on the Hull Sharks to end the season without the inaugural North Eastern Conference title. Sitting at 4-0, they have all but guaranteed themselves champions of the new division and another year of post-season football. After already seeing off potential threats Carnegie, Leeds Celtics & Bradford; ther e seems little to stand in their way. Quarterback Seb Gogerly is playing well, and wide receiver Johnny Ley looks to be hitting his stride nicely. The question remains though; once the Sharks reach the playoffs do they have the firepower to overcome the big teams?

Sitting in second place at the moment is the ever unpredictable Leeds Carnegie. With a 3-1 record, their post-season fate lies entirely in their hands. If they win their final four games, they’ll clinch second spot. However, these games include two 3-2 teams in Bradford and Celtics, the latter being played on Superbowl Sunday – perfect for a varsity rivalry. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Mid-Season Big Board Power Rankings Part 7, Rankings 1-10


We didn't know how to celebrate the end of the big board articles, so we called the perfect man for the job...

Finally, we have reached the end of our big board rankings! Our writer can go back to doing different articles (until next week when the regular season returns...) and can finally go to bed at a decent time.

At the end of 2012, we introduced our new Power Rankings that were decided by 12 voters from around the league. In 2013, we will continue to use these rankings as the official rankings for BUAFL (similar to the BCS), whilst Rich will continue to release his own rankings which will be similar to the AP rankings in the States.

All that means is double the rankings, double the controversy, double the procrastination. What’s not to love?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

IFAF Leads, BAFA Follows



This evening, BAFA released a statement with regards to individuals taking part in third party football activities. This is in reaction to the four team tournament in San Antonio last weekend hosted by FBU featuring teams from Canada (British Columbia), USA, Mexico and Europe.

The statement can be found here: http://bit.ly/13pwOUT

IFAF had sent a statement with regards to this tournament out on September 13th. That statement can be found here - http://bit.ly/10pSRMs

In this statement, it says “Per IFAF Sanctioning Rules, all players and/or coaches participating in the event will be subject to disciplinary action from IFAF and their respective National Federation.”

Friday, 11 January 2013

Mid Season Review: Big North Western


Derby Braves were labelled as one of the biggest underachievers of last season and that may be due to the high expectations we had for the club. They finished the 2011-12 regular season with a 6-2 record behind the dominant Lions and Aces, but despite holding the #1 seed, couldn’t go deep into the Challenge Trophy competition.

This season with the restructuring of the conferences the Braves have come into the Big North Western and utterly dominated, finishing the year with a 5-0 record and a points difference of 171. That’s despite conceding 54 points in three games against Staffordshire, Hallam and Lancaster.

With only three games in February against the Hawks, Sabres and Rams, the club look in good shape to secure the conference title, with their only real challenge coming from Sheffield Sabres. How far they can go into playoffs remains to be seen, but we certainly have high hopes again this year!

Hot on the heels of the Braves are the Sheffield Sabres, they are the second of our top three teams to take an unbeaten record into the winter break and sit just one game behind the league leaders.

After securing the Challenge Trophy last season, Sheffield have showed dominance on both sides of the ball early on, blowing away all those standing before them,  scoring more than 23 points in each of their four games and conceding just 14 points in those games, including two shutouts.

But despite being 4-0, the Sabres do have a tougher run in that Derby, with games against local rivals Hallam Warriors and then Derby the week after, in a game which could ultimately decide the conference.
UCLan Rams have only managed to get two games played thus far, but currently occupy third spot in the Big North Western. They are undefeated, with a 2-0 record, after they were awarded a 1-0 win over Manchester Tyrants and defeated the Eagles 12-0.

Much has been expected from the Rams in their debut season in the league, but without seeing more games it is difficult to make an assessment. Personally I believe we won’t know how the Rams fit in with the teams around them until they face the likes of Derby and the Sabres.  A rescheduled game against Hallam will leave the Rams with six games to play in the New Year, but do they have the fitness to sustain a good run and will they have enough left in the tank if they do reach the playoffs? Only time will tell.

The Manchester Tyrants began with that awarded game against the Rams and since then have gone from strength to strength; despite losing 23-8 against the Sabres the team competed well for large periods of the game. Convincing wins over Huddersfield 19-8 and Staffordshire 20-0 show the side’s pedigree, but game of the season thus far for the Tyrants, has to be the single point win over Liverpool Fury 14-13.

Manchester came from behind in that game to defeat their local rivals with two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. Liverpool did score with less than 30 seconds to go and tried to win the game with a 2 point conversion, but it failed.

The Tyrants are currently without a Head Coach after the departure of Hugh English, but could finish with a 6-2 record and a playoff appearance in the Challenge Trophy! Not bad for a team last season that struggled to field a team at points. Standing in between the club and the playoffs are local rivals MMU, Lancaster and Bangor.

Even at the half-way point in the season, this has already been one of the most successful seasons to date for Liverpool Fury. From a team that finished winless last season (0-5), they currently sit mid-table with a 2-2 record and have two very winnable games against Bangor and Lancaster to come in the New Year.

The club admits that massive financial problems last season were an unhealthy distraction for the players and that simply keeping the team going was a huge achievement. The question is can they sustain their good start, well I believe they can… but it’s all about how hard the squad are willing to train, both on and off the pitch.

Indeed if the Fury can finish 4-4 or better this should create a solid foundation for the club moving forward, especially with returning players and also with a view to recruitment.

Hallam Warriors (1-1) are a team in transition this season, but that doesn’t mean they should be written off. Their squad consists largely of rookies (80%) this year and although they have only played two games against Derby and Lancaster, that may have served as an advantage to give the squad more time to gel.

Speaking to the club they still believe that they can challenge for a spot in the playoffs and with potentially five games ahead of them between now and March and why not! The big game for Hallam comes against the Sabres on Sat 2nd February in the Steel Bowl, a game which could define both seasons for the clubs involved. Last season, the fixture was won Hallam by a single point (29-28) I’m sure the fixture won’t disappoint again this year!

Staffordshire Stallions opened their 20th anniversary season with a disappointing loss to the Derby Braves at The Stables, in fact the Stallions are yet to win at home so far this season, but are undefeated on the road after recording a 28-13 win over Liverpool Fury. That performance was followed by a 20-0 loss to Manchester Tyrants.
The Stallions were due to play the Sabres but lost that game due to the severe weather conditions in December, that game has be rescheduled  and adds an extra game to an already congested four game schedule with fixtures against UCLan Rams, Bangor, Hallam and MMU. With the start to the year and considering the teams that are to come I believe Staffordshire should be aiming for a 4-4 finish, which would by no means, be a bad building block moving forward.

Huddersfield Hawks are still a team in transition, but have been one of the most interesting to watch from my point of view. The Hawks under the tutelage of second year Head Coach Greg Boyland have come on leaps and bounds. They come complete with their newly installed double-wing offence, after running a half i-form / spread offence last season, a system which seems to be working.

After  a devastating 54-0 defeat away to the Sabres, the Hawks have improved week on week, holding the Tyrants to a 19-8 victory, before recording their first win of the season against Bangor in Week 3. Their final game of 2012 saw them lose by just two points to Liverpool Fury in a high-scoring 32-34 loss. This side should be doing better than their 1-3 record, but with the amount of rookies in the squad it should create a good platform moving forward.  

Unfortunately Manchester Met’s season thus far peaked too soon, they opened the season with a slim 12-2 victory over Lancaster and since then have been unable to replicate that performance, losing to the league leaders Derby, UCLan Rams and Liverpool Fury.

Thus far, the Eagles have scored only 18 points in four games and conceded 111 points, not a formula for success and something which needs addressing. For the Eagles their big game comes on 3rd February as they face local rivals Manchester Tyrants, where the Eagles will be keen to avenge their 36-8 loss last season.

It took Bangor Muddogs until Week 3 to get up and running after a series of waterlogged pitches held up their season. Those postponed fixtures and losses against Huddersfield, Derby and Sheffield Sabres leave the Muddogs with a 0-3 record and work to do after the winter break if they are to avoid the conference’s wooden spoon.

Those rescheduled fixtures leave Bangor with five matches between now and March including some tough match-ups against the Warriors, Fury, Stallions, Tyrants and the Rams.
Finally Lancaster Bombers entered the winter break bottom of the Big North Western Conference with a 0-4 record, having scored 8 points in three games against the Eagles, Sabres and Hallam. That was before they faced league leaders Derby. That game finished Lancaster 36-68 Derby, in a scintillating high-scoring affair, which despite the loss Lancaster will take heart from.

Looking at the second half of the season, the tough games keep coming for Darren Carr’s side; as the Bombers begin with two away trips to the Rams ad Tyrants, before entertaining Huddersfield and this season surprise conference package the Liverpool Fury. Tough to see where that first win of the season will come for Lancaster.  

Mid-season Big Board Power Rankings Part Six, Rankings 11-20


The end is near...for the mid-season power rankings as we take a look at the penultimate article in what’s been a long week of procrastination for everyone with Uni work to complete.

Today, we take a look at the teams in the teens of our official Double Coverage Power Rankings.

I’ve kind of run out of things to say (it’s been a long week...) so read, enjoy, hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife, etc, etc...

Double Coverage - Meet the Team


We have many leather bound books and our offices smell like rich mahogany.

Jon Goddard, Co-Founder and Co-Owner
Co-Founder of Double Coverage. Jon started his American Football life at the University of Worcester, where he founded the Worcester Royals BUAFL team. After graduating from UoW with a degree in Digital Film production Jon has gone on to play and coach at the London Blitz and is now the Head Coach of the Brunel Burners BUAFL team. Jon is a massive New England Patriots fan and also follows the Ohio State Buckeyes in college football.

Richard Penwright, Co-Founder and Co-Owner
Richard is the other Co-Founder of Double Coverage. Cursed with an unnatural skill of quick mathematics, he is the one who is behind the scenes doing all of the boring work for DC. Richard began his playing career in 2007 when he joined the Birmingham Bulls youth, and he was a member of the team who went 8-0 during the 2009 season. After a year out due to injuries, Richard began playing senior ball in 2011.

During his time away from BAFANL, he attended the University of Worcester where he played for the Royals. Richard also has the honour of being the Head Coach of Worcester in their first game, a 40-30 victory over BNU in an associate game.

Often mocked for his thick Wolverhampton accent, Richard let’s his writing and dropping of knowledge bombs do the talking most of the talking. Richard’s goal in life is teach Southerners that Birmingham and Wolverhampton are two separate cities, not the same place.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Mid Season Review: SEC

The Hurricanes have had somewhat of a dream start to the season. They aren’t going to end up with the top scoring offence (I would imagine that accolade will belong to Stirling), and are looking a little leakier than usual on the defensive side. One big pro for the Canes is that they have played 5 games before Christmas. Given the previous year’s weather problems, this could be a massive benefit for the team in fulfilling all their fixtures and also keeping them fresh into their undoubted playoff run.

Believe it or not the second half of the season could be described as the hard part. With Greenwich likely to be a walkover, the other two games are against the other two undefeated teams in the division UEA and Kent. With UEA most likely giving them the toughest test in week 9. The Canes are looking on course to enter the playoffs as one of the top two seeds in the south, and making a deep playoff run, hopefully culminating (for them at least) in a repeat.

January 13th MAC Prediction.

FOOTBALL IS BACK (kind of)!!!

This weekend the 0-4 Falcons face off with the 0-2 Wildcats in an encounter both sides will be viewing as their best (and possibly only) chance of grabbing a W this season.

Early January games often suffer from a lack of players due to people not being back at Uni (not to mention the threat of exams looming for some students), so should both squads boast enough number to get this game played it should be an intriguing matchup between two of the lowliest teams in the BUAFL spectrum.

Despite having 3 more losses than their counterparts De Montfort are slight favourites, having played Loughborough and NTU in predicatable defeats plus two games against the distinctly average Coventry Jets. Wolverhampton meanwhile have been much maligned for a multitude of postponements (with only a single 20-0 loss to Lincoln on record) so it’s good to see them making efforts to get their games rearranged. Despite that we can’t see them managing a result against the more experienced DMU side, and it will likely be a low-scoring slug-fest throughout with neither side managing to get their offences going .

Dbl Coverage prediction – DMU 12-0 Wolverhampton.

GB Junior Open Practice dates announced


Yesterday, BAFA announced the details for the GB Junior trials:

GB Lions Juniors announcing the first of a series of open practices for 2013.

There will be 4 one day practices that are open to all.

These will be called ‘Open Practices’ and essential a combination of ‘tryout’ and ‘practices’ for an international match later in the year.  Players with a serious interest in making the squad should attempt to attend all camps.  The Open Practices will be used to determine the list for invites to the GB Camps at the end of the year, in preparation for the friendly game and 2014 competition.

Lions Head Coach Damian Anderson, explained “The benefit of the open practice sessions is twofold – The GB staff get to see as many players as possible in game situations..” “…whilst the players get to compete alongside the best players in the country and take advantage of a strong coaching staff, looking to improve grassroots football skills…”.

The practices will be spread throughout the country to give as many young players as possible access to international quality coaching, we highly recommend that Junior players attend even if they don't have intentions of representing their country quite yet as it will be a great opportunity to get on the radar for future years and improve football skills.

Big Board Power Rankings Part Five, Rankings 21-30


It doesn't matter who we are...what matters is our plan. No one cared who we were until we put the rankings up.

After a day break, our rankings are back and ready to cause debates from the BAFA offices all the way to drunken students arguing that their team is better than the kebab they’re about to destroy after a night out.

We’re now moving into the 20’s where we meet the bottom five teams of the official Double Coverage power rankings, the most unbiased rankings in the world...We also meet the five teams who just missed out on the official rankings.

Now loyal readers, it’s time for you to procrastinate from the exam revision and read our rankings! It’s back to the Uni work as soon as you’re done though!

Rapid growth of football in Poland continues in 2013

74 teams in 5 classes of play set to take the field

Author: Alex Zarganis, a.zarganis@plfa.pl, PLFA Press Bureau

The results of the December meetings of each of the five divisions of the Polish League of American Football (PLFA) were recently announced, with further expansion emerging as their main focus. Among the major announcements was the formation of a new junior league, PLFA J.

The eighth season of American football in Poland will begin during the weekend of March 23-24, 2013 and the PLFA SuperFinal VIII is scheduled for the weekend of July 13-14.

A trio of clubs, the Wrocław Giants, Warsaw Spartans and the Zagłębie Steelers Interpromex, will join the elite Topliga this year, bringing the total number of teams in Poland's top division to eight. The teams will be divided into two groups according to location, while the regular season schedule for each team will be made up of 10 games. The two best teams from each group will play in the semifinals, while the winners of those two games will meet in PLFA SuperFinal VIII.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Divisional Round Predictions and Rankings

A clean sweep in the wild card round means I'm perfect in the post-season so far. The divisional round throws up some tougher decisions though, so I'm not confident I can keep my record blemish free...

Wildcard Round:

4-0

Regular Season

165-92 (65%)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Mid Season Review: SWAC


Bath have followed up on last season’s deep Challenge Trophy run with an undefeated start to the 2012 season. Wins over Aberystwyth, Plymouth, Swansea and UWE leave Bath in command of the SWAC, but with Exeter, Cardiff, Bristol and Bath Spa left on the schedule, 8-0 is far from given. The addition of Blitz RB Deji Alli and a small graduating class of 2012 have certainly helped Bath out, and with a monster graduation looming in the summer, Bath need to get it done this season. The question is if they do take the SWAC title, how far can they go in the championship playoffs?

Cardiff have been incredibly disappointing thus far, with a win against Exeter being their only positive result in a 1-3 record. Coaching changes and a mostly rookie O-line could well explain their poor form, and we’re sure this season will just be a short blip for the perennially strong Cobras. Their first Welsh Bowl loss in eons is indicative just how bad a year this is for Cardiff – with remaining games against Bath, Plymouth, Worcester and Bath Spa, a 0.500 record is still possible but the playoffs look a long way away.

Mid-season Big Board Rankings Part Four, Rankings 31-40.




Another day, another ranking. Everyone reading this should be really grateful. I had to prioritise and write this article and watch the BCS game on my computer instead of enjoying the game in my living room. The things we do for you loyal followers!

Anyways, time to get back to the football, so...the list!

Monday, 7 January 2013

IFAF World Team: Coaches Diary

It may have flown under the radar a little, but a couple of weeks ago it was announced that Ryan Baker and Tony Athersmith were following in the footsteps of fellow Birmingham Lion and GB Uni Coach Wayne Hill and joining the IFAF World team coaching staff. 

Coach Baker agreed to write a short diary and take some pictures to share the experience and this is his first entry!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just wanted to ramble about some of the experiences so far from my trip to coach the World Development Team. But first I'd like to thank IFAF and BAFA for my selection. I was extremely excited and proud to represent British football.

Coach Baker (left) with fellow IFAF World Coach Tony Athersmith
Not really much to report for day one, pretty much straight to bed ready for day 2 after a 10 hour flight and nearly 45 minute road connection to the villa complex the team is staying at. Although a limo from the airport was pretty cool. Starting to think this could be a good trip! lol

BUAFL Big Board Rankings Part Three




Part three of our big board takes a look at the teams ranked 41-50.

If this were a person’s age, they’d be called ‘the golden forties’ (don’t understand why, no one actually gives you any gold), but in football terms, it know as the period when a team is in limbo and settled with being a completely average team.

Enjoy the list!

41. Staffordshire Stallions (1-2)
It’s been an up and down season for the Stallions in their new conference. Looking at their recent history, the Stallions will most likely be happy with the fact they’re 1-2 at the Winter break. What the team should be worried about is their combined total for their two losses. 12 points scored to 62 conceded isn’t going to convince anyone that the Stallions will be improving any time soon.

Mid-season grade – D – New conference, same results. If their D can shore up in 2013, the Stallions could end up playing the spoiler role in many teams play-off hopes. If their D can’t shore up, it will be off to the ‘powerless rankings’ for the Stallions!

BUAFL Academic Rankings


Below the two rankings side by side can be seen. The top 25 football rankings as decided by a panel of 12 coaches, players and journalists on the left and the top 25 if we ranked by academic prowess (stats from the complete university guide)


1.       Birmingham Lions (5-0)
2.       Hertfordshire Hurricanes (5-0)
3.       Loughborough (4-0)
4.       Southampton Stags (5-0)
5.       Stirling Clansmen (4-0)
6.       Derby Braves (5-0)
7.       Hull Sharks (4-0)
8.       Sheffield Sabres (4-0)
9.       Bath Killer Bees (4-0)
10.   UWE Bullets (4-1)
11.   UEA Pirates (4-0)
12.   Portsmouth Destroyers (3-0)
13.   Kent Falcons (4-0)
14.   Plymouth Blitz (3-1)
15.   Kingston Cougars (4-1)
16.   NTU Renegades (3-1)
17.   Leeds Carnegie (3-1)
18.   Solent Redhawks (3-2)
19.   Brighton Tsunami (3-0)
20.   Glasgow Tigers (3-1)
21.   UCLan Rams  (2-0)
22.   Warwick Wolves (2-1)
23.   Bradford Bears (3-2)
24.   Hallam Warriors (1-1)
25.   Northampton Nemesis (2-2)

87 - 14
1.       Cambridge (2-1)
2.       Oxford (0-3)
3.       Imperial College London (2-2)
4.       Durham (1-1)
5.       St. Andrews (N/A)
6.       #22 - Warwick (2-1)
7.       Lancaster (0-4)
8.       #9 - Bath (4-0)
9.       Bristol (2-1)
10.   York (1-2)
11.   Exeter (1-2)
12.   #3 - Loughborough (4-0)
13.   #4 – Southampton (5-0)
14.   Edinburgh (1-3)
15.   #20 - Glasgow (3-1)
16.   King's College London (1-3)
17.   Nottingham (1-3)
18.   Leicester (1-4)
19.   Surrey (0-4)
20.   #1 - Birmingham (5-0)
21.   Newcastle (1-3)
22.   Royal Holloway (0-4)
23.   #11 - UEA (4-0)
24.   #8 - Sheffield (4-0)
25.   Manchester (3-2)

48 – 44

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