For now at least, MARS seems to have made its non-existent mind up.
It's hard to find fault though in a Ratings system that finds little to change its opinion when six out of six favourites take home the chocolates.
On the back of Round 12 results in fact, only the Dogs and Freo found their respective rankings altered, the Dogs' 38-point win over Port Adelaide proving sufficient to elevate them into 12th spot with MARS, relegating the non-playing Dockers to 13th. When 12th and 13th swap spots though it's hardly the changing of the guard.
It was wall-to-wall stasis elsewhere on the MARS ladder, though the Hawks did take the opportunity to extend their lead over the Pies at the head of the ladder, a lead which now stands at 3.5 Ratings Points.
The other Ratings systems have come to very different conclusions about the implications of the round, Colley and ODM seeing fit to re-rank half the teams and Massey seeing fit to re-rank seven.
Colley's top four is now Adelaide, Collingwood, West Coast and Hawthorn, while Massey's is Hawthorn, Sydney, Collingwood and Adelaide, and ODM's is Hawthorn, Sydney, Adelaide and West Coast. All three of these Rating Systems have Adelaide and Hawthorn trending upwards, while their opinions differ about the trends for Sydney, Collingwood and West Coast.
Colley continues to rate Adelaide generally much higher than the other Rating Systems, as it does Fremantle, though at nowhere near the same level. Hawthorn, St Kilda and Sydney are three teams it rates significantly lower than other Rating Systems.
Massey rates no team significantly higher than other Rating Systems, but it rates Collingwood and Geelong significantly lower; ODM broadly shares these opinions. MARS, meantime, is alone in its ranking of Geelong, which it rates higher than other Rating Systems, and in its rankings of Adelaide and Sydney, which it rates lower than other Rating Systems.
Overall, the average ranking of just three teams differ substantially from their ladder positions:
- Adelaide, ranked 5th based on an average of the Rating Systems' rankings, but 2nd on the ladder
- Fremantle, ranked 11th based on an average of the Rating Systems' rankings, but 8th on the ladder
- Hawthorn, ranked 6th based on an average of the Rating Systems' rankings, but 6th on the ladder
ODM, you might recall, provides an offensive and a defensive rating and ranking for each team, along with an overall rating and ranking.
Teams for which these component rankings are quite different are Collingwood, ranked 3rd on defence and 9th on offence (5th overall); Fremantle, ranked 2nd on defence but only 14th on offence (11th overall); Hawthorn, ranked 7th on defence and 1st on offence (1st overall); Richmond, ranked 12th on defence and 2nd on offence (9th overall); St Kilda, ranked 9th on offence and 3rd on defence (7th overall); Sydney, ranked 1st on offence and 8th on defence (2nd overall); and the Dogs, ranked 8th on offence and 15th on defence (14th overall).
A quick check of the statistics shows that the rank correlation between ODM's defensive and overall rankings is identical to that between its offensive and overall rankings, suggesting that, to this point in the season, both aspects have been about equally important as far as ODM is concerned.