Bren O'Brien: Is this the true AFL Ladder?

Sportal May 16, 2012, 1:34 pm

Have a look at the table below. It is a list of what the AFL Ladder would look like after Round 7 if we discard the matches involving the three teams which have proven themselves as the clear bottom three of the competition, Greater Western Sydney, Gold Coast and Melbourne.

Due to the uneven amount of matches played among the remaining 15 teams, positions on the ladder are decided on match ratio, followed by percentage.

Pos, Team, Matches Played, Matches Won, Match Ratio, Percentage
1. Essendon, Pl 6, W5, 83.3, 139.91%
2. Adelaide, Pl 5, W4, 80, 107.81%
3. West Coast, Pl 5, W4, 80, 105.93%
4. Collingwood, Pl 7, W5, 71.4, 107.05%
5. Carlton, Pl 6, W4, 66.6, 130.16%
6. Fremantle, Pl 6, W4, 66.6, 115.44%
7. Sydney, Pl 6, W4, 66.6, 114.80%
8. Hawthorn, Pl 6, W3, 50, 112.87%
9. Geelong, Pl 6, W3, 50, 96.21%
10. St Kilda, Pl 5, W2, 40, 107.92%
11. Richmond, Pl 6, W2, 33.3. 96.26%
12. North Melbourne, Pl 5, W1, 20, 88.04%
13. Western Bulldogs, Pl 5, W1, 20, 59.63%
14. Port Adelaide, Pl 7, W1, 14, 76.24%
15. Brisbane Pl 5, W 0, 0, 47.79 %

There are two remarkable features of this ladder when compared to the actual Round 7 ladder.

The first involves percentages, in particular around West Coast Eagles and Adelaide, who have both had two games - and two healthy wins - against bottom three placed sides so far this year.

West Coast are currently top of the ladder thanks to their percentage advantage over Essendon and Adelaide, but when the Eagles' massive wins over Melbourne and GWS are discounted from the equation, their percentage falls from 138.4 to a less-impressive 105.93.

It's a similar story for Adelaide, who have enjoyed easy wins over GWS and Gold Coast to date, with their 'real' percentage slipping from 126 to 107.81.

It proves that the concerns teams who enjoy playing the bottom three on two occasions are handed a considerable advantage are well founded.

The 'real' ladder also reveals just how poor Brisbane Lions have been in the first seven rounds of the competition. Without their two wins over Melbourne and Gold Coast, Brisbane have failed to win a game and have a terrible percentage of 47.79. They have averaged less than 52 points in those games.

Lo-and-behold, the Lions get another chance to pad their record out when they face GWS at the Gabba this week. They may well be the worst 3-5 side in the history of the competition.

The Bombers top the ladder having only lost one game to a 'top 15' team this year, that to Collingwood by one point on Anzac Day, while their only match against one of the bottom three came against Gold Coast, a match they actually struggled to win.

There are only two teams, Collingwood and Port Adelaide, who are yet to meet one of the bottom three. That tells us that at 1-6, Power aren't as bad as they seem, while the Pies have three matches against the bottom three, including successive matches against Gold Coast and Melbourne at the MCG in June, to bolster their current percentage of 107.05.

North Melbourne and St Kilda's current records are flattered by their comfortable early season draw but both are benefitted by the fact they still have three matches to come against the bottom three in 2012.

It will be interesting to see what the ladder will look like after Round 23.

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  1. Craig07:51am Thursday 17th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What about last year? We had teams playing each other twice BEFORE they'd played other teams ONCE. The AFL has NO idea. And then they go & move games from the SCG out to an empty & souless ANZ stadium? Why? The AFL don't understand what the football going public - especially in Sydney- want. They would much rather prefer to go to a packed & full of atmosphere SCG to watch the Swans play Essendon, Carlton, Collingwood. Yet the AFL put those games out at ANZ stadium?

  2. Richard04:31am Thursday 17th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What a ridiculous hypothetical idea. What about if you discard teams with he colour black in their jerseys, not count players with blue eyes or those with coloured boots, then what does the ladder look like? Please, there is so much useful stuff to write about.

  3. jason09:15pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What about teams that don't have to travel every second week? it all evens out you peanut, take a look at the second half of the year, let me guess your a Victorian who supports the Bombers.

  4. CRAIG09:00pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Reality, you can only beat who you have played, what a silly article!

  5. Mitchell D08:53pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    How about next year to make it fair, the top 6 from this year play each other twice and then play the next 6 or mid finishing teams once and the same with the bottom 6 play them once that's 22 games, The mid finishing 6 play each other twice, top6 teams once and bottom 6 teams once that's 22 games. and then the bottom 6 play each other twice top 6 teams once and the mid finishing 6 teams once, wait for it that's 22 games, that's the only way it will work out fair, and you can keep doing it that way year after year, totally fair.

  6. psyklopz07:59pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Statistics mean sh@t. Why not take into acount teams playing on differently configured fields, short term injuries, teams lifting for particular derbies/rivalries, and the varying levels of fitness that coaches like to go into the early part of the seaason with. Why would anybody put forward this rubbish let alone publish it.

  7. riga05:52pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    all teams should play each other home and away and get rid of the pre season games, it is the only way it will be fair, go the hawks

  8. Lucian04:53pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Go Eagles, GO Dockers!!!!! W A !!! Yeeeeeeeeew!!!

  9. David04:37pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I am tired of hearing about the draw and how certain teams ie. Carlton, are getting an arm chair ride. This is absolute bollocks as you can only beat the team you face and it evens out over the season. Also so called easy teams ie. the Crows, Freo, Essendon and St Kilda are not proving to be easy beats at all. It all evens out over the season and over following seasons as the teams played twice change (except Essendon Richmond (great win on weekend) and Collingwood who Carlton seem to play twice every year - hardly easybeats). And interstate teams playing the local derby twice a year do not get an easy match no matter the ladder positions. Lets focus the analysis after round 17. Yes it would be nice to play the bottom 3 each week to get 4 points - but it would not really prepare a team for finals football and a shot at a flag.

  10. Peter03:44pm Wednesday 16th May 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Obviously this writer was hard pressed to find something to write was probably Monday morning and every other journalist had rehashed the weekends games over and over.Maybe he/she should have done a degree in applied mathematics instead of journalism. Aboslute rubbish at the writer above states.