Friday, September 19, 2008

Power Rankings -- Week 4

As always, several surprising results have kept everything in fair chaos in the East as none of the three playoff teams from last year is even above 0.500 right now, and the Pioneers continue to pull away. In the West, things are more orderly with not nearly the amount of surprises as in the East, but certainly no less amount of chaos in the Standings as teams continue to jockey for position.

1st: San Francisco Mechanics (3.5 – 0.5) (+0 from last week). Not a whole lot to say here as the Mechanics keep performing in the way that made me think they were (and still are), the best team in the league. This week's showdown against a reeling Boston team (a match I predicted to happen in this year's Finals) should be a very interesting test for them. (Win Division: 37%, Make Playoffs: 95%)

2nd: Queens Pioneers (4.0 – 0.0) (+0). Once again, I can't give Queens the top spot until they actually go 10
0 (ok, ok maybe I'll change that to when they clinch a playoff spot). Of course, that "when" might well be next week, only halfway through the season as a 5 – 5 record is more than likely to make the post-season and even a 4.5 – 5.5 might do so. But I'm sure that matters little to the Pioneers whose sights have to be firmly set on the division crown and having a massive 1.5 match lead this early in the season, it's sure hard not to like their chances in that regard. (57%, 98%)

3rd: Dallas Destiny (3.0 – 1.0) (+2). Once again, the Destiny continue to defy everyone's expectations with few picking them to win this week again (especially with the last minute replacement and time penalty), and yet they continue to do just that over and over. Having weathered two very tough challengers in the past two weeks, the Destiny now get matched up against three teams, none of whom are currently over 0.500, and if they can take advantage of that potential opportunity, it will be interesting to see if they can give the Mechanics a serious challenge for the division title. (29%, 84%)

4th: New Jersey Knockouts (2.5 – 1.5) (+3). I always had trouble envisioning the Knockouts as being division champs or going especially far in the playoffs as they've never really seemed to have the firepower to pull off a long string of consecutive victories, especially against the top opponents. They definitely put a chink in that assessment this week, with a nice win over their Blitz adversaries to give them clear control of second place in the division. Being matched in the next couple of weeks with two struggling adversaries, the Inventors and Kingfishers, scoring well will be paramount to them maintaining their position before their rematch in Week 7 with the red hot Pioneers. (23%, 72%)

5th: Miami Sharks (2.0 – 2.0) (-2). After two such dominating victories, two razor close losses for the Sharks have to be a fair let down as their overall game results really seem to indicate them to be much better than a 0.500 team. But despite that potential letdown, the Sharks really have exhibited a tremendous amount of consistency this season both in their lineups and in the way they're playing, something that they definitely have had issues with at various times in the previous two seasons. Though they might have a bit more ground to make up than they'd like, I still seem them likely to be a dangerous foe in the playoffs. (10%, 59%)

6th: Boston Blitz (2.0 – 2.0) (-2). A very unfamiliar position for the Blitz who undoubtedly had grown accustomed to jumping out to a huge division lead, but currently sit in the middle of the pack almost midway through the season. Although Queens, especially in their current form, may be much farther out of reach than they'd like, Boston is still a very good team as especially with Esserman's recent play, having him as a Board 3 or 4 is an indisputable edge. If Boston can settle down and regain their usual form, expect to see them quite a bit above 0.500 as usual quite soon. (15%, 64%)

7th: Arizona Scorpions (2.0 – 2.0) (+4). Although the Scorpions couldn't have been pleased to see Ehlvest making his debut against them, the fact that they managed to still win the match, against what was obviously a very tough lineup should be a huge confidence boost after two disappointing losses. This week's showdown with the Cobras who had a similarly encouraging (but even more so!) result this week should be very telling for both teams. (9%, 56%)

8th: Seattle Sluggers (2.0 – 2.0) (+2). So Seattle brings out the big guns which is their double GM lineup, and it doesn't disappoint, notching them their first victory of the season. The question naturally is, if this can be a constant thing to occur. If so, this week's tough matchup with the surging Destiny obviously would be another good time to showcase it. (9%, 55%)

9th: Chicago Blaze (1.5 – 2.5) (-3). A close loss to a very tough Sluggers lineup is hardly a reason to be very down as Chicago continues to look quite strong despite their early season difficulties. If they just continue to do what they've been doing and have a little luck on their side, there's no reason they shouldn't be in the playoffs. (5%, 45%)

10th: Carolina Cobras (2.0 – 2.0) (+3). After chastising the Cobras for being unable to play consistently last week, they definitely sent a dogcatcher to put a muzzle on me. It's never a surprise when someone pulls an "upset" in the ultra balanced league, but a 4
– 0 shellacking of the Knights was a bit more than I think anyone would have anticipated. If the Cobras can put together more performances like that one, we'll see a completely different team, but it's definitely not going to get any easier for them as they still must face Queens twice this season. (2%, 45%)

11th: Baltimore Kingfishers (1.0 – 3.0) (-3). A fairly dominating loss to the red hot Pioneers isn't the end of the world, and Baltimore definitely has to like the way their GMs are performing up top, but their lower boards need to add a bit more to the cart if they want to have any real chance. Like most teams, they obviously have it inside of them to do that, they just need to find a way to do so sooner rather than later, before the situation becomes irreparable. (1%, 42%)

12th: Philadelphia Inventors (1.0 – 3.0) (-3). The Inventors are having a much harder time finding the groove that served them so well last year, seeming unable to really perform consistently as a team so far. Like the Kingfishers, they've demonstrated on many an occasion that they are capable of doing so, but have to find a way to do so fairly soon as the second place Knockouts loom on the horizon for next week and then the Blitz, a team who they've had little success against throughout the league, come up the week after. (1%, 40%)

13th: New York Knights (1.0 – 3.0) (-1). I mentioned last week that New York could breathe a sigh of relief after scoring their first win, but unfortunately they seemed to have breathed in and not let it out as they didn't show up to play this week at all. Any team can of course have such an off match, but this really is their second this season, not something they can afford to keep doing, especially given their next week's big showdown with Pioneers. (1%, 39%)

14th: Tennessee Tempo (0.5 – 3.5) (+0). Well Ehlvest did make his long awaited debut and had the result the team was clearly hoping for, but unfortunately the rest of the team couldn't quite deliver, and the Tempo suffered a tough defeat in a match they clearly had to feel they had very good chances to win or at least draw. Even when they manage to play with their best lineup, the league's balance never promises a victory to any team so one can only hope that they can continue to play at full strength and have some results go their way very soon before the situation becomes untenable. (1%, 6%)


Anonymous said...

hey einstein, if four teams in each division make the playoffs, the %s of the teams in that division can't add up to more than 400. nice job pretending to be scientifically inclined though

Greg Shahade said...

I find your post hilarious considering that all of them do add up to 400. I rarely defend Arun, but if you are going to insult him at least insult him when he's wrong.

Anonymous said...

the mature thing for me to do is apologize, or just not respond at all, but being a cowardly loser who hides behind a computer screen, i'll blame greg shahade for putting miama in the western conference, messing up my calculations. curses!

Greg Shahade said...

We have 8 teams in the eastern conference, gotta put one of em in the west.

Anonymous said...

some might be inclined to say that you have 9 or 10 teams in the east. :-P