Just four teams' MARS ranking changed on the strength of the most recent results, Essendon snatching 7th from the bye-becalmed Blues, and Fremantle being gifted 12th by the Lion-tamed Dogs.
So, we end the mid-season short-round sojourn with nine teams carrying Ratings in excess of 1,000, and four enjoying a Rating exceeding 1,020. The Ratings gap between the teams ranked 4th and 15th now stands at 46.6 Rating Points (RPs), the highest it's been since Round 9, but still far lower than it stood at its peak of 53.7 at the end of Round 7.
This week I've returned to reviewing team MARS Rating form, since each team has now played 12 games and has had its bye sometime in the last 3 weeks. For this review I've spanned the period from the end of Round 7 to the end of the most recent round as that period includes 5 playing rounds and the bye for each team.
Within that timeframe, the Swans and the Hawks have been the most RP acquisitive, banking about 8 RPs each. The Pies, Lions and Power have also fared well during this period, each accumulating 6 to 7 RPs.
Other net acquirers have been the Eagles, Crows, Tigers, Saints, Cats and Dons, each squirreling between about 1 and 5 RPs.
MARS Ratings being the zero-sum game that they are, RP accumulation by some teams has meant RP donation by others. In recent times donations have come most notably from Carlton, Gold Coast, Fremantle, the Dogs and GWS; somebody should probably break the news to these teams - the Blues and the Suns in particular - that MARS RP donations are not tax-deductible, even with a receipt.
The Roos and the Dees have been the other teams making generous, if smaller contributions.
What's particularly interesting about this table of MARS Rating form is that of all the teams currently sitting in the top 8 places on MARS Ratings, only Carlton has net surrendered RPs since the end of Round 7. The last 6 weeks feels as though its been the time that the contenders for spots in the final eight have made their statements.
Based on the latest results, as noted MARS saw fit to change the rankings of only four teams, and none by more than a single position.
Colley, in contrast, re-ranked 11 teams, three of them by two spots and one, Adelaide, by three spots.
Massey, meantime, re-ranked seven teams, though only two by more than one spot. It moved Essendon up two spots to 4th and Adelaide down three spots to 7th. ODM, for which I'm now reporting unaveraged rankings (see this blog for why), re-ranked eight teams, but also moved only two by multiple places. Essendon it elevated by two spots into 4th and Adelaide it shunted down 4 spots to 7th.
So, every Rating System bar MARS, who'd already ranked them 9th, significantly re-ranked the Crows on the basis of this week's loss to the Roos.
Even after these various re-rankings the Crows remain as one of the most contentious to rank looking across the Rating Systems. Colley still has the Crows ranked 4th, even after the three-spot slide this week, while MARS steadfastly retains the ranking of 9th for the Crows that it's assigned them ever since the end of Round 7.
Other teams generating wildly divergent rankings are Geelong, ranked 10th by Massey and ODM, but 3rd by MARS; and St Kilda, ranked 11th by Colley but 5th by ODM and 6th by Massey and MARS.
As a test each Rating System's predictive power in the current season, this week I calculated the proportion of matches that each would have correctly predicted had it made its selection based solely on the team that it Rated higher at the time, regardless of whether or not it was at home or away. To give each System a chance to adjust to current-season team form, I ignored the first 4 rounds of the season. That yielded the following:
- MARS : 70.8%
- Colley : 69.4%
- ODM : 68.1%
- Massey : 66.7%
By way of comparison, the best Head-to-Head Tipster on the MAFL Leaderboard over this same period is H2H_Unadj_10, which has tipped at 75% since Round 4. MARS' 70.8% record would place it equal 16th amongst the Tipsters, though no doubt all Ratings Systems would benefit from a judicious adjustment to their Ratings to account for home team status - a topic for a future blog perhaps.