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...
11. UEA Pirates (4-0)
Following their trip to the Plate Playoffs last season, the Pirates ended 2012 undefeated and still on course for a trip to the Championship Playoffs if they can overcome the Kent Falcons or Hertfordshire Hurricanes. With victories over three teams currently residing in the bottom half of the SEC (the other victory was against Imperial), it’ll be interesting to see how the Pirates matchup against the bigger teams in 2013.
Mid-season grade – B – So far, so good for the East Anglia team. The only thing from preventing the team from getting an A is their strength of schedule. If the team can carry on to perform as well as they are at the moment, they should be on course for a spot in the Championship Playoffs and that elusive A grade. Feb 24th will be a big day for the Pirates!
12. Portsmouth Destroyers (3-0)
There may be a new Head Coach leading the Destroyers, but that hasn’t affected the team as they end 2012 with a 3-0 record. Granted, one win was courtesy of a Surrey forfeit, but there’s no doubt in our mind that the Destroyers would’ve taken the Sting out of Surrey and comfortably defeated them. With three teams with winning records left on their schedule (Brighton, Soton and Solent), Portsmouth will need to find the form of their 2010/11 season if they’re going to advance to the Championship Playoffs this year.
Mid-season grade – B – Two wins over solid teams in the TVC has put the Destroyers in a good position at the end of 2012. With difficult fixtures remaining on their schedule, the Destroyers will be hoping that their offence can improve on their miserable average of 16 points per game (not including the 1-0 win).
13. Kent Falcons (4-0)
Following their dramatic collapse last season, the Falcons have come together once again to end 2012 undefeated. Remember though, they were doing well in the first half of the season last year and then the collapse began. Looking at their remaining schedule, the Falcons could head into their game against Hertfordshire still undefeated. However, with UEA the following week, the Falcons could very well be heading into the post season on a two game losing streak...
Mid-season grade – B – Kent have shown signs of putting the disappointment of last season behind them, but with no victories over teams with a winning record, it’s difficult to see if the Falcons are truly a playoff calibre team this season. We shall be watching their second half of the season with great interest!
14. Plymouth Blitz (3-1)
The 3-1 Blitz earned the number fourteen spot after their impressive 52-15 blowout against the previously unbeaten Bristol Barracuda. After a slow start (four point win against Gloucester and seven point defeat against BKB), the Blitz have been one of the form teams in the SWAC, winning their next two games by a combined total of 73 points. Looking at their schedule, the only team with a winning record is UWE, meaning the Blitz should be on course for a return trip to the post season.
Mid-season grade – B – The Blitz found their form late into 2012 to end the season third in the SWAC standings. With their offence currently averaging 33 points per game, the Blitz should be confident that they can win out their remaining schedule.
15. Kingston Cougars (4-1)
Rookie blues? Not for this TVC team! PDM, Cherry and co are currently taking the league by storm as they’ve raced out to a 4-1 record in the first half of the season, and are looking like they’re on course for a 7-1 record with Surrey, OBU and Brighton left on the schedule. Had the team been able to score one more TD against the Destroyers and convert the PAT, they’d currently be sitting with a 5-0 record and joint top in the TVC! Expect this rookie team to be taking part in the post season.
Mid-season grade – A – Could it really be any other grade? The first year team showed potential in their scrimmages last season and it’s rolled over into their inaugural Uni season. Barring a catastrophic collapse, we see the Cougars remaining in our rankings for the rest of the season.
16. NTU Renegades (3-1)
The ‘other’ top team from the MAC ended the season with a 3-1 record after a 46-0 victory over the winless DMU Falcons. With a loss to the Birmingham Lions as the only blemish on their record so far, the Renegades have found themselves in a battle with the Warwick Wolves for the Plate Playoff spot from the MAC. If Miller and co are hoping to make the post season, they may need to beat the Loughborough Aces due to Warwick’s easier remaining schedule. However, if the Renegades can somehow defeat the Aces, the top of the MAC will be thrown into chaos!
Mid-season grade – B – The record most people would’ve expected the Renegades to end 2012 with after their game against the Wolverhampton Wildcats was postponed. No doubt the rest of the teams in the league are hoping that the Renegades don’t recruit a D1 Wide Receiver for the second half of the season again.
17. Leeds Carnegie (3-1)
The two seed in the NEC end 2012 as the number seventeen seed following their 3-1 start to the season. Despite the fact that they’ve already faced Hull, Carnegie can’t relax in the second half of the season as they’re still scheduled to take on Leeds Celtics, Newcastle Raiders and Bradford Bears. With the league changing its playoff rules and seedings, a loss to any of those teams could result in Carnegie missing out on playoff football for the second straight season.
Mid-season grade – C –As expected, Carnegie have won their games against weaker opponents whilst losing their game against the conference leading Hull Sharks. With fixtures against tough opponents in the second half of the season, Carnegie will be hoping their D can continue to keep their opposition out of the endzone as their offence only averages just under 16 points per game.
18. Solent Redhawks (3-2)
Solent just about survived in our power rankings following their defeat to the Kingston Cougars in their final game of 2012. With four teams ahead of them in the TVC and Portsmouth, Southampton and BNU left on their schedule, we doubt the chance of post season football coming to Solent. If they do manage to win their remaining games, they still might not make the Championship Playoffs due to the new playoff format...wouldn’t that be a smack in the teeth!
Mid-season grade – C – Solent will be disappointed with the loss to the 1-3 OBU Panthers earlier in the season. With victories over Brunel, Oxford and Surrey (combined 1-9 record), maybe we’re overrating the Redhawks as they’ve been unable to defeat a big team so far.
19. Brighton Tsunami (3-0)
Maybe the surprise team in the TVC so far is the Brighton Tsunami. Currently undefeated, the Tsunami also have the best defence (statistically) in the TVC, and as we head into the second half of the season, Brighton are currently sitting comfortably in the Championship Playoff seedings. Now, whilst the Tsunami have done well this season, we would like to point out that their victories have game against teams with zero wins to their name (Oxford, RHUL and Surrey).
Mid-season grade – A – Yes, they team has faced poor opposition, but you can only beat the teams put against you and that’s exactly what Brighton have done. Will they finish the season with a winning record and in the playoff spots? Who knows? But for the time being, the team can enjoy their current success.
20. Glasgow Tigers (3-1)
After suffering a 100-7 loss against the Stirling Clansmen in their first game, the Tigers have gone on a three game winning streak to hold the advantage in the race for the second Saltire playoff spot as we head into 2013. With their return leg against Stirling scheduled to be their final game of the season, the Tigers may head into their final game of the season with post season football already guaranteed.
Mid-season grade – C – The only reason they’re getting a C is because of the 100 burger against Stirling. Seriously, how do you let a team score 100 points on you in 48 minutes? That’s shocking! Good job they’ve been able to save their season since that game.