Welcome back to Winter League, we saw some huge wins on the scoreboard, we saw wins that could define the season already, we saw perplexing plays and sack dances. We saw long touchdowns and fast interceptions; the best thing was that you got to see them too courtesy of the live stream. Remember, a power ranking isn’t analysis of the way the league looks right now or how we think it will end up. It’s loosely based on how we feel the teams performed in the season so far, if we were stuck between two teams that haven’t played yet the tie breaker was who we think would win a playoff game if they were tomorrow. Now, in a bid to light up team chats across the land, let the dissent begin!
Games lost: 0. Points allowed: 0. This section probably doesn’t need to much detail, if this squad stays the same week in and week out Winter League might already be over, they took down the second placed team in the preseason rankings (RMR) with ease and never looked in trouble all day. Is it a battle for second already?
Off the back of a 4-0 day and sporting a team who almost entirely played for other clubs in the BAFA leagues last year, Carnegie have moved up to take the second spot. Under centre Scott McKenzie looked calm and assured as he commanded the offence while the defence made stops when they had to. One common question mark has been their strength of schedule in week one, week 2 certainly looks harder so will they be able to maintain their high ranking?
Other than a loss to the undefeated Top Gun the new additions to Winter League took care of business as most probably expected, even if they didn’t always look hugely convincing doing so. The upcoming game against Carnegie has surely been circled on the calendar as a crunch tie in which a win would set down a marker moving forward.
A narrow loss to Carnegie saw the Raptors head back west with a 3-1 record to be proud of and well on their way to their target of 10 wins. A 1point win over the Outlaws was the key result on the day while their other two wins were in line with the predictions of many around the league. How the Raptors deal with the two “select” clubs above them could be a clue to how the rest of their season pans out.
A group of new players combined with the experience at QB in Liam Clutterbuck was always going to be an interesting proposition and the Edinburgh squad certainly came to play. Shutout wins over the Chargers and Killer Bees were impressive, as was holding the Colts to 7 points in that victory however it was an offensive explosion over the course of 5 games that put the league on notice. The only teams above them have either beaten the Outlaws or have better records, watch out for a run up both the rankings and the league table if Edinburgh stay hot.
The late entrants into Winter League hold the 6th spot in our rankings and in the league in what is almost a like for like swap for as we also had the Sabers in 6th prior to them dropping out. After an up and down day the Blackhawks are within touching distance of the top of the table at 2-3. Losses to high flying Carnegie and a lively Raptors team were perhaps expected but a 1 point loss to the Silvercats is a cause for concern as was a fight to the end for a narrow win over the Chargers. It’s hard to get a read on the Blackhawks after 5 relatively tight games however matchups with Top Gun and Rexy’s Midnight Runners in Week 2 could have them inching towards “must win” territory in their other fixtures.
The Colts are the first team on the outside looking in after the first round after a tough schedule that included 3 teams currently ranked in the top 5. Their win against the Chargers means they head up the 1 win teams in our rankings and the league table. Despite a tough start they are only 1 win out of a playoff spot and will look to ensure they are right in the mix come the halfway mark. With a marginally easier schedule up next, look for Andy Brown to get this offence moving in the right direction.
The winless Glasgow Killerbees come in at number 8, which maybe be a shock to some, not least those below them. Could it be that the 2018/19 runners up are getting a reputation bonus this time round? The Killerbees were clearly a different team than the one which took HNC Division 1 by storm in 2019 but the core of the “Bee-fence” remains, look for them to push teams over the next few weeks and become a more dangerous opponent should their offence find a rhythm.
The final BAFA development team and defending champions had a rough week 1, losing 3 of 4 games. Perhaps Week 1 is an unfair assessment of them given they played Top Gun and Rexy’s Midnight Runners in back to back games, a tough out for many teams yet it may be their loss to the West Lothian Chargers that stings the most. As they were driving with the ball to win the game in the closing moments the Silvers will feel that this is one that while the Chargers may have deserved a win, they could have stolen it. They should great fortitude to fight back in the very next game to pluck a win from the Blackhawks and prove they won’t be a walkover.
What do you have to do to get a little respect around here? The West Lothian Chargers are off the mark, they have their first win in league competition against another BAFA side and they seem full of confidence. This will not be the only win of the season, the refreshments are out of the fridge and you can’t stop them. Let’s Go Chargers!