There's been a pleasing neatness to the results of the finals so far, depicted below.
Close inspection will reveal that Week 1 saw the teams from ladder positions 7 and 8 knocked out and Week 2 left those fans of the teams from positions 5 and 6 with other things to do for the rest of September. Which, of course, leaves the teams from ladder spots 1 through 4 to contest for a ticket to the Granny. All very much as it should be.
The phenomenon of the top 4 teams playing off in the Prelims has been witnessed in every season since we've had the current finals system, bar 2001 and 2007 when, in both cases, the team from 6th took the place of the team from 3rd.
The Week 2 Semi-Finals have been footballing graveyards for the teams in the bottom half of the eight, as shown in the table below.
Teams from 5th have won only 4 of 10 Elimination Finals, while teams from 8th have won the other 6. None of the winning teams have proceeded beyond the Semis.
Teams from 7th have only survived into the second week once, and this victor proceeded no further than the second week, while teams from 6th have reached the Semis on 9 occasions, losing 7 and winning just 2.
The summary of performance by ladder position across all weeks of the finals now looks like this:
Overall, teams finishing 7th have the worst finals record, winning only 1 from 11 (9%). Teams from 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th all also have sub-50% records.
Teams finishing 6th have an 11 and 10 record, though 9 of those 11 wins have come in the Elimination Final.
And, as you might expect, teams from 1st and 2nd have the best records. Teams from 1st position have an overall 20 and 9 (69%) record, and a 10 and 5 (67%) record for the last 2 weeks of the finals. Teams from 2nd position have a slightly better overall record of 20 and 7 (74%) but a slightly worse record of 10 and 6 (63%) across the last two weeks of the finals.
Looking ahead to Week 3 of the finals I can tell you that teams from 1st have a perfect 2-0 record against teams from 3rd, and teams from 2nd have an equally perfect 4-0 record against teams from 4th.