2016 - Team Ratings After Round 6

Some bigger-than-expected wins have again this week been converted into multi-spot ranking changes by MoS' three Rating Systems.

MARS moved fewest teams, re-ranking only six, and just four by more than a single place. West Coast rose two places into 1st, Geelong two places into 3rd, while the Dogs and Hawks each fell two places into 7th and 4th respectively.

Hawthorn have now dropped Rating Points (RPs) in five of the first six rounds to lower their rating from 1,029 to 1,020. That's actually still quite a high MARS rating, however, especially for a team ranked 4th, and places them only about 1 RP behind the 3rd-placed Geelong. The Cats, in contrast with the Hawks, have gained RPs in five of their first six games to lift them from a barely-above-average rating of 1,003.6 at the start of the season to their current lofty rating of 1,020.9.

Since the start of the season, the average team has seen its MARS rating change by 10 RPs, nine of those changes being increases and the other nine, decreases.

ChiPS has again been very much more active this week, altering the ranking of 13 teams, nine by two places or more. Of the nine teams moving by more than one spot, five fell and four rose.

The most dramatic of those rises was that of Geelong, which climbed five places into 3rd where it now sits 0.4 RPs ahead of GWS and 0.5 RPs behind West Coast. As that suggests, it's quite congested at the top of ChiPS ratings at the moment, with the top eight teams separated by just 13.5 RPs. After them, however, there's a 16.7 RP gap back to Richmond in 9th spot. You can get a better sense of the areas of congestion and space in ChiPS and MARS ratings by looking at the chart on the right.

Also rising multiple places on ChiPS were Port Adelaide, up three places into 10th, St Kilda, up two places into 12th, and the Brisbane Lions, up two places into 15th. Hawthorn was the team falling furthest, dropping four spots to move into 6th, while Collingwood, Melbourne, Adelaide and the Gold Coast rounded out the list of teams falling by two places or more.

That leaves four teams ranked more than two places differently on MARS and ChiPS (and only one from the eight highest-ranked teams by either System):

  • GWS, ranked 8th on MARS and 4th on ChiPS
  • St Kilda, ranked 15th on MARS and 12th on ChiPS
  • Brisbane Lions, ranked 18th on MARS and 15th on ChiPS
  • Gold Coast, ranked 14th on MARS and 17th on ChiPS

MoSSBODS was keen to juggle the team ordering after the week just finished too, moving 14 teams, 10 of them by two spots or more. Like ChiPS, MoSSBODS elevated the Cats furthest, lifting them five places into 2nd, though it also elevated the Saints four places into 10th. 

Three other teams were promoted two places, most dramatically GWS, which MoSSBODS now rates at the best team in the competition, about 0.7 Scoring Shots ahead of the Cats in 2nd. West Coast, which rose by one spot, now lies in 3rd, about 0.2 Scoring Shots behind Geelong.

It's fascinating how differently the three MoS Rating Systems currently evaluate the Giants. MARS, which has shown an historical tendency to acknowledge previous-season performances for longer, ranks them 8th; ChiPS, which tends to strike more of a balance between previous- and current-season performances, ranks them 4th; and MoSSBODS, which is showing itself to be far more responsive to recent results, ranks the, 1st. My own view is that ChiPS is probably nearer the mark, but it's hard to argue with MoSSBODS' demonstrated predictive abilities so far this season.

The Gold Coast were the team falling furthest on MoSSBODS, dropping five places into 17th after their Offensive rating fell by 1.1 Scoring Shots and their Defensive rating fell by 2 Scoring Shots - which is what happens when you register only 13 Scoring Shots and concede 43 Scoring Shots.

Other teams to fall were the Swans, down three places into 4th, the Bulldogs, also down three places but into 5th, the Dockers, down two spots into 12th, and the Pies, down two places into 13th.

The chart below arrays the 18 teams in terms of Offensive and Defensive abilities and shows just how close the four highest-rated teams are in terms of Combined Ratings. It also shows how distant are the Dons from the 17 other teams.

The obvious marsupial in the room is the Kangaroos, who sit only 8th on Combined Rating and with a below-average Defensive Rating. Even MARS only ranks them 6th and ChiPS 5th. At this point, the teams they've beaten and the margins by which they've won - in terms of points or Scoring Shots - hasn't been enough to impress any of the MoS Rating Systems.

Some good news for fans - as shown in the chart below - was the improvement in that Roos Defensive Rating this week, bolstered by their restricting the Dogs to just 15 Scoring Shots. That was tempered though by a decline in the Roos' Offensive Rating as they managed just 16 Scoring Shots of their own.

Six teams saw both their Offensive and Defensive Ratings improve this week: Brisbane Lions, Port Adelaide, Fremantle, St Kilda, Geelong and West Coast. Their opponents - Sydney, Richmond, Adelaide, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Collingwood - all saw their Offensive and Defensive Ratings deteriorate.

Just three teams then are ranked significantly differently by the three Systems:

  • GWS, ranked 8th by MARS, 4th by ChiPS, and 1st by MoSSBODS (as already noted)
  • Brisbane Lions, ranked 18th by MARS, 15th by ChiPS, and 11th by MoSSBODS
  • Richmond, ranked 10th by MARS, 9th by ChiPS, and 15th by MoSSBODS

For no other team is the ranking on one System more than two places higher or lower than the ranking on the two other Systems.

To finish, a reminder that the multiplier ChiPS uses to convert the difference between actual and expected margins into rating changes reduces significantly this week, so we should expect far smaller movements in team ratings from it. MoSSBODS will also be using a smaller multiplier this week, but the reduction relative to that used by it in Rounds 1 to 6 is smaller in percentage terms than the reduction for ChiPS. Nonethess, it too should be a little more circumspect. 

We'll see ...