2011 MARS Ratings After Round 23

This week, four pairs of teams swapped ladder positions on the MARS Ratings Leaderboard, half of them teams from MARS' top 8.

St Kilda and West Coast traded 5th and 6th as the Saints comprehensively dealt with the Roos and the Eagles struggled to get past the lowly Lions, and Sydney climbed over the Roos into 7th spot having upset the much more highly-rated Cats, at Kardinia, by 13 points (and let us not talk about that game any further).

Down the ladder a bit, Fremantle fell further than the Crows after being touched up by the Pies by 80 points, gifting the Crows 11th spot in so doing, while Richmond snatched 14th from the Lions by knocking those Crows off their home perch.

Meantime the Gold Coast shed yet more Ratings Points in their quest to establish a benchmark Rating that only they'll have a chance of breaking in years to come.

Generous though the Suns have been in donating their Ratings Points to opponents, they've not quite matched the efforts of Fremantle over the past 5 rounds. The Dockers have dropped over 13 Ratings Points over Rounds 19 to 23, enough to drop them two ranking spots from 10th to 12th.

The Suns have shed next-most Ratings Points - just under 13 - ahead of Port Adelaide and Melbourne who've shed just under 8 Points each. The Dogs, Cats and Swans are the only other teams to have shed Ratings Points over this period, each of them doing so from just 4 games on the park.

Teams that have accumulated Ratings Points to the largest extent have been the Eagles, Lions (from just 4 games), Hawks, Tigers (also from just 4 games), and Saints. Each of these teams has gained more than 5 Ratings Points across the most recent 5 rounds.

Despite their large gains none of these teams moved by more than one spot on the MARS ladder. In fact, only one of them moved at all - the Eagles moving from 7th to 6th during this period.

So, at this point in the season we now have 8 teams rated above 1,000, and 9 teams rated below 1,000. The gap from 4th to 14th shrank a little this week, back to about 57 Ratings Points, while that from 4th to 8th grew to over 30 Ratings Points.

A comparison of MARS, Colley and Massey rankings for the week shows that, if anything, the different Systems have become more entrenched in their differing opinions, especially MARS.

MARS is now more certain that the Crows deserve a ranking far higher than 14th, that the Dons don't deserve a spot in the top 8, that Fremantle should be ranked no better than 12th, that the Roos should be in the top 8 if only just, that Richmond are only the 14th-best team, that the Eagles are only the 6th-best, and that the Dogs should be ranked as high as 9th.

None of the Systems disagree on which teams are the top 3, however, and in what order.