2016 - Team Ratings After Round 26 (Finals Week 3)

Neither ChiPS nor MARS predicted either of the weekend's upsets, with the result that both of the underdog victors gained Rating Points (RPs) on the two Systems.

Sydney's win, however, was much less surprising to ChiPS than to MARS, so the Swans gained only 0.1 RPs in that System while picking up 3.2 RPs under MARS.

From the other game, the Dogs earned 1.6 RPs on both Systems.

None of those changes altered the teams' rankings under either System - details of which you can see in the chart at right - and it now seems virtually certain that, whatever the result in the Grand Final, Sydney will finish the season ranked 1st by both ChiPS and MARS. Unusually large margins aside, on MARS they'll likely wind up rated about an 8-12 RP better team than the Crows, while on ChiPS they'll end rated about a 6-10 RP better team than GWS.

Currently, the gap between 1st and last on MARS stands at 107 RPs, and on ChiPS at 68 RPs, while that between 1st and 8th stands at 41 RPs on MARS and 26 RPs on ChiPS. As one measure of the relatively greater competitiveness of teams this season, all of those figures were larger as at the end of the 2015 season (1st vs 18th: MARS 109 RPs; ChiPS 74 RPs. 1st vs 8th: MARS 48 RPs; ChiPS 36 RPs).

I should note that, in interpreting those numbers, we should remember that ChiPS was amended for the start of season 2016, albeit that the intent remained that the difference between any two teams' ratings should reflect the expected margin for a game played between them played on a neutral venue.


MoSSBODS also rewarded the Swans and the Dogs, though in its case the rewards to each team, at least on Combined Ratings, were roughly the same.

The +0.55 SS reward for Sydney and the -0.6 SS penalty for GWS were enough, together, to elevate Sydney to 2nd on Combined Ratings and draw them close enough to the Crows that they might reasonably hold hopes of finishing 1st on all three MoS Team Rating Systems this year.

Our Grand Final then pits a team 3rd on Offence and 2nd on Defence against a team 7th on Offence and 1st on Defence - but, playing in its home state. In Scoring Shot terms, the difference between Sydney and the Western Bulldogs is only about 1.7 SS, so the 3 SS Travel Penalty is likely to prove decisive.

We can, as usual, get an historical perspective on the ratings of the 2016 Finalists by plotting their current ratings against the backdrop of all previous Grand Finalists.

One of the things that this chart highlights to me - if it wasn't already otherwise apparent to us all - is that next week's Grand Final will pit teams that are, in historical terms, much weaker offensively than they are defensively. A high-scoring game seems very unlikely, and that always helps the underdog, whoever that might be.