Saturday, September 8, 2007

Power Rankings -- Week 2

These are my power rankings for Week 2. Beginning this week (and in future weeks), I will also include what I believe to be each team’s probability of winning their division and of making the playoffs (which will be a rough estimate based on their current record, future opponents, and how tough their division is overall).

1st: Boston Blitz (2 – 0) (+1 from last week). Another impressive win by the Blitz against a tough Queens team, and they seem to be the only choice for the top spot. While they do have some more tough opponents coming up, they’ve no doubt shown an ability to weather any opponent, and in my eyes are the definite favorites to win the East. (Win Division: 34%, Make Playoffs: 80%)

2nd: San Francisco Mechanics (1.5 – 0.5) (-1). The Mechanics nearly had their long unbeaten streak come to an end this past week, and it seems likely they may be put in that situation again this week facing a somewhat desperate New York team which absolutely cannot afford another loss. I still feel the Mechanics are the best team in the West for sure, but it seems clear they are not invincible either. (36%, 85%)

3rd: Dallas Destiny (1.5 – 0.5) (+0). Dallas continues to demonstrate why I believe them to be a very strong team in nearly knocking off the “unbeatable” San Francisco team, and it should be clear at this point that their best lineups are capable of beating any team in the league. Should they continue to submit rosters with Stopa on board three, it seems they will be a very tough team to hold back. (28%, 73%)

4th: Philadelphia Inventors (2 – 0) (+3). The Inventors have certainly managed to prove me as likely being wrong on two counts, both on them finishing last in their division in my preseason predictions and them not having beaten a strong team in my first week’s power rankings. While it’s clear that I underestimated them to some degree, before I move them to the very top echelons of these rankings, I’ll want them to overcome at least one or two more challenges, and this week’s showdown with Boston could be one of them. (26%, 65%)

5th: Baltimore Kingfishers (1 – 1) (-1). The Kingfishers unfortunately couldn’t manage to pull off another upset in their second week, but despite that, I really do like their overall chances this season as especially with Enkbhat playing as well as he has the first two weeks. Once they get their GMs into the mix, their strong lineups with him on board two seem very dangerous. (15%, 53%)

6th: Seattle Sluggers (1 – 1) (+3). When I questioned how two of the preseason favorites, Seattle and New York would respond to the early setback they each suffered in the first week, the Sluggers definitely responded in a positive way with their resounding victory. Seattle’s season definitely seems to be looking very up after this win along with the fact that two of their next three opponents, Tennessee and Carolina, they completely dominated last season. However, Seattle hasn’t fared all that well against the other top teams based on their results against San Francisco and New York last season as well as their loss to Boston this season so it remains to see if they can solve that problem. (23%, 64%)

7th: Queens Pioneers (0.5 – 1.5) (-1). Though Queens suffered a tough defeat to Boston perhaps in some part to an unfortunate mouse slip, it’s clear they’ve faced two very tough opponents and so far luck has not been on their side. Add to that the fact that their two big guns have had Black both weeks against two of the most formidable players in the league, I still see Queens as being a strong contender overall in all regards. (12%, 41%)

8th: New Jersey Knockouts (1 – 1) (+0). The Knockouts have definitely showed themselves to be a team of miracle draws, having managed narrow escapes into drawing both of their matches. However, having held a significant rating edge in both matches, they definitely cannot look at those matches as overall positive results, and if they don’t step up their play, I don’t seem them being in the playoffs. (8%, 34%)

9th: Carolina Cobras (1 – 1) (+2). Carolina did have an impressive victory this week against a somewhat weakened Baltimore lineup, and so far have not really showed the holes at the top that were so costly to them last season. It still remains to be seen though if the lineup they used this week can score consistently against the best teams using their best lineups. (8%, 41%)

10th: New York Knights (0 – 2) (-5). If ever I had to eat crow over a preseason pick, this might be it as without a drastic turn around right away, this is one team which isn’t going to win their division or even make the playoffs. If Mr. Anonymous from last week wants to blast me again for dropping them down this far, well go right ahead as it seems I’m far from alone in this current belief. If any team has the tools to make this miraculous turn around a reality, I do think feel it is New York, but the scheduling gods aren’t doing them any favors either as they are facing San Francisco and Boston in the next two weeks. (5%, 27%)

11th: Miami Sharks (0 – 2) (-1). Another internal problem unfortunately forced the Sharks into yet another match where they were fairly out gunned on paper. Though it may be that this instance didn’t affect the overall result (given the lopsided result which did happen), and was certainly well beyond their control if they cannot begin to submit their best lineups and play their best matches, I don’t see them turning their season around. (4%, 32%)

12th: Tennessee Tempo (0.5 – 1.5) (+0). As I mentioned last week, I don’t feel I can move Tennessee out of the bottom spot until they show me an ability to stop shooting themselves in the foot near the end of their matches, and they really didn’t manage to satisfy that condition this week. So even though it happened to be in a drawing effort this time, I feel they must keep this position. Overall, given the rating disadvantage they are likely to have in nearly all of their matches, adding a constant inability to convert winning positions isn’t going to do them any favors or put them in the playoffs. (1%, 5%)

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