Sure, any win's a good win in a Final, but the opinion of ELO-style team rating systems is influenced more by margins than results.
Which is why both MARS and ChiPS lowered their ratings for the Cats this weekend despite their narrow victory over the Hawks. Put simply, they both thought that the Cats were more than a 3-point better team than the Hawks.
In the three other games, the victors all enjoyed rating increases, ranging from 3.9 to 5.4 Rating Points (RPs) on MARS, and from 1.0 to 3.4 RPs on ChiPS.
Looking only at the six teams that remain, we now have the following rankings:
- MARS: Sydney/Adelaide/GWS/Geelong/Hawthorn/Western Bulldogs
- ChiPS: Sydney/GWS/Adelaide/Geelong/Hawthorn/Western Bulldogs
Identical then, except for Adelaide and GWS.
Those six teams are separated by 26.7 RPs on MARS and 24.1 RPs on ChiPS. That's about a 4-goal difference at a neutral venue according to ChiPS. If we exclude the Western Bulldogs though, the rating gaps - now between Sydney and Hawthorn - drop to 13.1 RPs on MARS and 14.5 RPs on ChiPS.
Any result seems plausible then for the rest of the Finals series.
MoSSBODS TEAM RATINGS
The Western Bulldogs' ratings improved most this weekend, MoSSBODS granting them a 1.1 Scoring Shot (SS) increase on Offensive Rating and an 0.5 SS increase on Defensive Rating - an overall 1.6 SS increase on Combined Rating, enough to move them into 5th above the Hawks.
GWS and Adelaide also saw their Offensive and Defensive Ratings increase. That left Adelaide in 1st place on Combined Rating and ratcheted GWS into 2nd place. Amongst the other finalists, Sydney, West Coast and the Kangaroos all saw their Offensive and Defensive Ratings decline, while Geelong's Offensive Rating increased and Defensive Rating fell, and Hawthorn's did the opposite.
So, for the six remaining teams, MoSSBODS now has the following rankings:
- Offensive: Adelaide/GWS/Sydney/Geelong/Hawthorn/Western Bulldogs
- Defensive: Western Bulldogs/Geelong/Sydney/GWS/Adelaide/Hawthorn
- Combined: Adelaide/GWS/Sydney/Geelong/Western Bulldogs/Hawthorn
For some historical context, this week we'll first compare the current MoSSBODS Ratings of all 18 teams from 2016 with those of every other team from V/AFL history as at the end of their respective seasons.
We can see that the 18 teams of this year span a very broad range of Offensive and Defensive Ratings in historical terms, an imaginary box around their Ratings covering, perhaps, 80% to 90% of the Rating combinations ever recorded at the end of a season.
Lastly, we'll focus solely on this year's finalists and the Grand Finalists from previous seasons.
Here too we see an extensive spread of Ratings, with Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs spanning almost a 6.5 SS range on Offensive Ratings, and the Western Bulldogs and the Kangaroos spanning more than a 5 SS range on Defensive Ratings.
Should they make it, it's conceivable that the Crows will finish the season as one of the 10 highest-rated Grand Finalists on Offence in history.