MARS continues to be a fan of the Preliminary Finalists of 2011, ranking these four teams highest of all despite only two of them occupying any of the top 4 places on the competition ladder.
Sydney were the big movers this week on MARS, up 3 places to 5th after annihilating the Dogs on Sunday. Only one other team, Fremantle, climbed based on Round 10 results, and they did so by a far more modest single spot into 12th, supplanting the annihilees in the Swans v Dogs clash.
Three teams fell on MARS rankings, the Dogs and the Dons dropping single places, and the Blues dropping two spots to 7th on the back of a surprising and sizeable loss to Port Adelaide.
The Blues' points giveaway was not just a Round 10 phenomenon. They've released 12.5 Rating Points (RPs) to their opponents over the past 5 rounds, surpassed only by the Gold Coast who've donated almost 13 RPs.
Other teams whose generosity can surely only be motivated by a belief that RP donations in excess of 2 are tax-deductible have been the Roos, Dees, Freo, Lions, Dogs, Cats and Saints.
Amongst the net RP gainers, Adelaide and Richmond stand alone having accumulated over 13 RPs each over the past 5 rounds, though the Dons and the Hawks have done well too, both snatching between 9 and 10 RPs in that same period.
Port Adelaide and Sydney are the only other teams that have been net acquisitive over these rounds, with Port accumulating almost 6 RPs, and the Swans almost 2.5.
The remaining, as yet unmentioned teams, the Eagles and the Giants, are both perhaps surprising omissions from earlier discussions if for different reasons, each having virtually stood still over the past 5 weeks.
All told, these movements have left us now, for the second week running (and for the only times this season) with 10 teams rated over 1,000. The interquartile gap between the teams ranked 4th and 15th now stands at just 40.7 RPs, the lowest it's been since the end of Round 1, reflecting a narrowing of the apparent ability gap between finals aspirants.
Reinforcing this fact, the RP difference between the teams ranked 4th and 8th now stands at just 9.6 RPs which, though higher than it was at the end of Rounds 8 and 9, remains at an historically low level.
MARS continues to be most at odds with other Rating Systems in its ranking Geelong (3rd) and St Kilda (6th) more highly than the all-Rater average, and in its ranking Adelaide (9th) and Port Adelaide (15th) less highly.
Between Rounds 9 and 10 MARS re-ranked only 5 teams. In contrast, Massey and Colley each re-ranked 14 teams and ODM re-ranked 12.
ODM most significantly lifted the rankings of Adelaide (7th to 3rd), Collingwood (8th to 4th), and Sydney (5th to 2nd), and dropped the rankings of Carlton (4th to 9th), Essendon (2nd to 7th), and West Coast (1st to 6th). ODM's not someone you'd want empanelled in your manslaughter trial.
Massey also re-ranked four of those same teams, lifting the rank of Collingwood (8th to 5th) and lowering its estimation of the Roos (10th to 13th), the Blues (5th to 9th), and the Dons (2nd to 7th). The even-handed Colley meantime, despite re-ranking all but four teams, re-ranked none of them by more than 2 places.
- Hawthorn is ranked 1st overall by the Raters but lies 6th on the ladder
- Richmond is ranked 7th overall by the Raters but lies 10th on the ladder
- Essendon is ranked 6th overall by the Raters but lies 2nd on the ladder
- West Coast is ranked 4th overall by the Raters but lies 1st on the ladder
I note that none of these differences can be laid at the feet of MARS' nostalgic tendencies.