Welcome back to the Power Rankings!
DC’s light may not shine all that much longer unless we can figure something out, but dammit let’s see if it can at least shine brightly – with all the goodies and oldies!
Moving on to Division One:
Plymouth Blitz – Sorry guys, but you can’t give up a shutout Burger and expect to stay on these rankings.
It’s the biggest defeat suffered by the Blitz in recent memory, knocking the south coast side off the top spot in the South West and a worrying, demoralising scoreline right before the postseason gets underway.
The most painful part is likely the loss of their homefield berth, as this side seem to shrink the minute they step away from Pilgrim Pitches.
10 – Brunel Burners
(5-2-0) 1A South
Shutout loss to an unranked team? Brunel’s blunder sees them take a big tumble down the rankings.
They’re still locked into postseason action, though they’re at some small risk of the Knights now swiping their #2 spot if Reading can find a way to play two games in… well, probably two days… Though Brunel’s fate is still in their own hands if they can survive their game against the Stingers this Sunday.
9 – Glasgow Tigers
(4-3-0) 1A North
There is a very real possibility that the Glasgow Tigers, our out and out favourite to take the 1A North Crown this preseason, and at times proven to be the most dominant side in the conference? Might not even see postseason action this year.
Luckily for the Tigers, it’s as simple as win-and-in… Unluckily, it means besting a Hull Sharks team that already surprised the pundits with a win over the Tigers earlier in the year, and took apart a Mustangs side last weekend – the same Mustangs who put the Glaswegians in this predicament with their doubleheader win a fortnight ago.
The Tigers better hope they’re feeling Frosties on Sunday and don’t let the pressure get to them. Missing playoffs won’t feel GRRReat.
8 – UCLan Rams
(5-2-0) 1A Yorkshire
Win or lose this weekend, the Rams can finish no lower than second in their conference… though we suspect they’ll appreciate the delicious irony of the University of Central Lancashire team winning the 1A YORKSHIRE conference.
They’ll need to best the Gryphons, who admittedly have shown some clear development through this season, but the Rams offence has been on fine form in recent outings and should see them through.
7 – Edinburgh Napier Knights
Big climb for Napier up the ranks, despite only a modest win over the locked-into-relegation Sunderland.
Their rise is as much to do with others’ falls, though it’s also worth noting that their Week Eleven win was Napier’s fifth shutout victory of the season.
They can lock up a Division One crown in their first year in the tier with a win against Northumbria this weekend.
6 – UEA Pirates
(6-2-0) 1A South East
UEA’s loss, plus strong performances from elsewhere, sees the Pirates take a big tumble down the rankings.
We’d be hyping their offence – and it’s certainly a talented unit as the highlight-reel catch we shared this week showed – but ultimately they couldn’t put up points when it truly mattered.
They were shut out during the second half by the Falcons, missing out on the Crown and it remains to be seen whether they can keep hold of their home berth in the #4 seeding.
5 – UWE Bullets
(6-1-0) 1A South West
The Bullets shoot up the ranks off the back of two wins in four days! While midweek win over Cardiff may have secured the Conference Crown, the 14-6 scoreline will turn few heads… especially compared to the stampede of scores they put up against the previous top dogs in the South West: The Bullets Burgered the Blitz in Bristol, 54 to diddly, and sent alarm bells ringing across the south that a promotion contender was staking its claim.
4 – Kingston Cougars
(6-1-0) 1A South
Brunel’s bungle against Reading has given the Cougars their Conference Crown, and we’re hearing they’ve offered up a date and venue to the Knights to try to wrap up a complete season after initially allowing the Knights to push the game back, pre-Chistmas.
No word on the outcome of that yet, but that missing fixture could yet come back to haunt the Cougars should it allow the likes of UWE to overtake them in the postseason seedings.
3 – NTU Renegades
(5-2-0) 1A Midlands
They know they’ll finish the season #2 in the Midlands, but a win this weekend against Leicester likely secures them the final home-berth for the first round of playoffs, so don’t expect the Renegades to go easy on the Longhorns and allow their conference-mates to potentially slip into the postseason.
2 – Kent Falcons
(7-0-0) 1A South East
We were hoping a UEA win might keep things interesting in the 1A South for one more weeks, but the Falcons took the sensible option and sealed the deal on their conference crown with a week to spare!
Trailing for much of the fixture, they owe a lot to their turnover-tastic defence that utterly stymied the Pirates in the second half – back-to-back-to-back drives ending in turnovers, and two of them converted into points for the Falcons with a score off a short field, and a pick-six to take a lead they refuse to relinquish.
They’ll likely wrap up the regular season with the #1 defence in the tier, and following Sunday’s performance? It’s well deserved.
1 – Nottingham Students
(7-0-0) 1A Midlands
Will anyone stand between Notts and promotion this year? Warwick look unlikely to provide much of a speed bump this weekend, and the other Northern conferences have been tearing one another apart.
Midlands Champs, #1 seed, odds are Notts’ll wrap up a second straight undefeated regular season this Sunday.