Saturday, September 15, 2007

Power Rankings -- Week 3

These are my Week 3 Power Rankings. As always, all comments, suggestions, and flames are welcomed in the comments section.

1st: Boston Blitz (3 – 0) (+0 from last week). After Boston’s crushing victory this week, I don’t think there can be any doubt in anyone’s mind that they are the current best team in the league, and to me it would take a couple of major developments for that to change. While they are the obvious favorites that of course doesn’t mean that they will have an easy road given how tough the league is as a whole and the next few weeks should be very clarifying as to just how dominating a team the Blitz really are as they are facing a semi-desperate yet obviously strong New York team and soon after the previous year’s champions, San Francisco. Right now though, Boston seems to be firing on all cylinders, and I really wouldn’t be inclined to bet against them. (Win Division: 50%, Make Playoffs: 94%)

2nd: San Francisco Mechanics (2.0 – 1.0) (+0). Once again the Mechanics were on the verge of having their long run without a loss come to an end this week as it seemed at one point in their match that they could even be swept! However, in a league were there tend to be so many swings very late in tons of matches, the ability of any team to squeeze the maximum out of their positions when that situation arises is one who will clearly have great long term results, and I think that’s likely one unwritten area where the Mechanics really have excelled since the beginning of last season. (30%, 78%)

3rd: Dallas Destiny (2.5 – 0.5) (+0). Though Dallas defeated a tough Queens team, I’m not sure how positively they can really look on that win in the end given how close they were to losing in all of the boards besides board one. Of course, at the end of the day the result is really what counts and now Dallas is the division leader in the West, but before I promote them to my best team in the West, I’ll want a little more proof than a half game division lead. (30%, 78%)

4th: Seattle Sluggers (2.0 – 1.0) (+2). Seattle continued to hold their lore over Tennessee with a 3.5 – 0.5 rout (though like the lopsided matches between these teams last season, this one was really a lot closer on the board than the end score shows). Seattle continues to demonstrate why they were so successful last season, but as I mentioned last week, it still remains to be seen if they can win against the top teams, and this week’s showdown with the Mechanics could be very telling. (25%, 72%)

5th: Baltimore Kingfishers (1.5 – 1.5) (+0). Though Baltimore’s record at this point is only at par, I still really like their overall chances having played two of their three matches with a severely weakened lineup, and really outplayed their opponents this past week, failing to win only due to an unfortunate swindle. Assuming they can continue to use their best lineups, I’m pretty sure they’re a team which is going to make some noise. (18%, 60%)

6th: Philadelphia Inventors (2.0 – 1.0) (-2). The Inventors suffered a fairly rough defeat this week with the match going downhill early and just getting progressively worse as the night went on. They are certainly a better team than that lopsided score demonstrates, but there are just no free passes in the East, and they still very much have their work cut out for them. (17%, 58%)

7th: Carolina Cobras (2.0 – 1.0) (+2). Carolina definitely seems like they may be a team to keep your eye on now as their bottom boards have kept up their strong performance from last season and so far they are also performing much better at top, basically the exact recipe any team needs to make the playoffs. (12%, 60%)

8th: New Jersey Knockouts (1.5 – 1.5) (+0). The Knockouts once again managed a miracle draw this week and definitely seem to be a team who are especially adept at avoiding the jaws of defeat. However, to make the playoffs is going to require wins at some point, not just draws, and continually getting outplayed over the board as they really have in all three of their matches is something which tends to have a way of catching up to you on the scoreboard sooner or later. Once again, they really must step up their play if they want to be in the playoffs. (8%, 40%)

9th: New York Knights (0.5 – 2.5) (+1). New York finally managed to score this week, but probably can’t be too happy about it as they were really dominating the match at one point and given their start really needed a victory there. They are still a very explosive team, one which is still very capable of turning their season around, but they only have so much time to do so. It seems likely that this week’s big Monday night showdown with Boston will define what direction their season will take after this point. (4%, 26%)

10th: Queens Pioneers (0.5 – 2.5) (-2). Like Week 2 against Boston, Queens suffered another tough defeat this week, one where they could well have gotten a draw or win with just a slight change of fortune. I know, like New York, they are a very good team which is still capable of turning things around, but again they only have so much time to do so. It’s a fair shock that they are 0 – 3 on board one given their firepower up there, but that seems certain to be an anomaly that won’t continue for long and once it ends, Queens could be an entirely new team. Whether everything comes together soon enough for them to turn their current season around is another question entirely though. (3%, 22%)

11th: Miami Sharks (0.0 – 3.0) (+0). The Sharks just cannot seem to get anything to go their way. It’s obvious they are a much better team than their record shows, but the internal problems combined with a lack of luck hasn’t demonstrated it so far. As usual, their rock Becerra seemed to be as on as ever in this week’s performance, but as demonstrated last season, he cannot carry the team by himself. (2%, 10%)

12th: Tennessee Tempo (0.5 – 2.5) (+0). Once again, Tennessee seemed to have a very legitimate chance to score in their match this week when everything fell apart late and ended with them on the wrong side of a lopsided final score. Though they do seem to be playing better than they did last season (especially Andrews), being severely out rated every match combined with the fact that the fortune at the end of the match always seems to go against them doesn’t make for a good combination. (1%, 2%)

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