Eight teams changed places on the MARS Ladder this week, though none from amongst the prevailing Top 3 or Bottom 5.
Two teams climbed multiple places this week, each climbing two spots - the Dons on the basis of the relative unlikelihood of their victory, and the Roos on the basis of the unexpected size of theirs. Only one team fell more than one place, however: the Pies who fell three places after capitulating to Port Adelaide, their ears ringing with the enthusiastic applause of MAFL Investors.
That loss dropped the Pies back into 9th and made them one of eight teams to occupy the same MARS Ladder position as they did six weeks ago, the others being Hawthorn, Carlton and the five teams ranked 14th to 18th.
Over that same six-week period Richmond have been the standout performers, climbing seven places to assume 4th on the MARS Ladder, while Adelaide and West Coast have been the teams most on the slide, falling six places (to 11th) and four places (to 10th) respectively.
Two teams are ranked very differently by MARS than they are on the Competition Ladder: the Roos who are ranked 8th by MARS but sit 12th on the Competition Ladder, and Port Adelaide, ranked 12th by MARS but who sit 7th on the Competition Ladder.
For the most part, the other Ratings Systems tend to agree with MARS' rankings, even for the Roos and Port Adelaide. If anything it's Colley that's out of step with the consensus view - and more in line with the Competition Ladder - mainly because it ignores game margins and focusses solely on game outcomes.
It's informative still to inspect ODM's separate opinions about teams' Offensive and Defensive capabilities. Fremantle remains the Team Without An Offence as far as ODM is concerned or, more kindly perhaps, the Team With A Defence So Good That An Offence Isn't Required. Other teams with a non-trivial difference between their Offensive and Defensive ODM rankings are Geelong, the Roos, Port Adelaide and West Coast.
Simple predictions based on ODM's opinions about which of the teams in a contest is the stronger have been quite accurate in predicting winners this year, though less so than predictions based on the MARS or Massey Systems. ODM's score of 86 from 117 would place it 12th on the MAFL Head-to-Head Tipster Leaderboard, but MARS' total of 90 would put it 1st, half a tip ahead of Combo_NN2, while Massey's score of 88 would place it 2nd behind only Combo_NN2.
Predictions based solely on ODM's Offensive rankings or solely on its Defensive rankings have proven next most accurate (83 from 117), and remain more accurate than those based solely on Colley rankings (80 from 117). Colley's performance is similar to that of the Consult The Ladder heuristic, which has managed a score of just 83.5 from 117 and which, like Colley, is more closely attuned to game outcomes rather than game margins.
It's interesting to see how many teams are displaying broad Rating trends this year, rather than whip-sawing between periods of strength and periods of weakness.