If The Season Ended Today… BUCS 17/18 Week Eleven

We’re past the point of no return in the 2017/18 season and so it’s time to start talking about who’s ready to book their place in the postseason!

If the powers that be at BUCS were to call an end to the season this very day? Let’s take a look at who’d be in or out when it comes to the postseason culls in each tier.

Division Two

We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up.

Division Two has the smallest number of teams headed to a potential postseason, by proportion to the number of teams involved at least, with 16 berths for the 41 teams that began the season in that tier to compete for – eight for the three northern conferences (2A Borders, 2A North and 2A Midlands), eight for the three southern (2A South, 2A South East, 2A South West). Playoffs are regional.

What’s more, this season in Division Two we’ll once again see the postseason fixtures only determining BUCS points. Promotion is determined beforehand, with conferences winners from each of the six conferences switching place with the six fifth-place finishers from the respective Division One conference above them.

The eight playoff berths for each region (north/south) are determined and seeded as follows.

  • Teams placed first in each conference are seeded #1, #2, #3.
  • Teams placed second in each conference are seeded #4, #5, #6.
  • The two third-place teams with the best record from across the three conferences are seeded #7, #8.

In previous seasons, in cases where teams have the same number of BUCS points (two per win), tiebreakers were as follows:

  • Teams that have conceded walkovers will always be placed below those of equal points that have not. (BUCS REG 9.9.1)
  • Head to head record. Where this is split, the aggregate score will determine the higher placed team.  (BUCS REG 9.9.3)
  • Points conceded (BUCS AMF 11.4). It’s not specified, but we assume this is average points conceded over games played (walkover wins are discounted)
  • Points scored (BUCS REG 9.9.7)
  • Coin Toss (BUCS REG 9.9.9)

Having spoken with the BUCS Sports Advisory Group we can confirm that there is no special consideration for schedule length.

Bearing all this in mind,

The teams currently sat in playoff berths in the Division Two northern conferences are as follows:

#1 – Manchester Tyrants (6-0, 2.5 papg)
#2 – Newcastle Raiders (6-0, 4.0 papg)
#3 – Coventry Jets (4-0, 1.5 papg)
#4 – Bangor Muddogs (6-1, 10.0 papg)
#5 – Teesside Cougars (5-1, 22.5 papg)
#6 – Huddersfield Hawks (3-1, 15.25 papg)
#7 – Edinburgh Predators (5-2, 8.6 papg)
#8 – Liverpool Raptors (5-1, 10.0 papg)


Locked into Playoffs:
  • Coventry Jets*
  • Liverpool Raptors
  • Teesside Cougars
  • Manchester Titans
  • Newcastle Raiders*
  • Edinburgh Predators
  • Bangor MudDogs

* Conference Champion

Out of the race:
  • DMU Falcons
  • Lancaster Bombers
  • York Centurions
  • YSJ Jaguars
  • UWS Pyros
  • HWU American Football
  • Chester Legion
  • Keele Crusaders
  • Tarannau Aberystwyth
  • Worcester Royals
  • Edge Hill Vikings
  • Bradford Bears
  • Lincoln Colonials

There is now essentially only one playoff spot up for grabs, in the northern half of Division Two, and this will be decided in the meeting between the MMU Eagles (3-1, 18.0 papg) and Huddersfield Hawks (3-1, 15.25 papg) this weekend – deciding the #2 spot in the 2A Midlands.

Key games:
  • Manchester Tyrants v Liverpool Raptors (Crown decider)
  • MMU Eagles v Huddersfield Hawks (2nd Place decider)
  • Newcastle Raiders vs Heriot-Watt (Playing for seeding)


The teams currently sat in playoff berths in the Division Two southern conferences are as follows:

#1 – QMBL Vipers (7-1, 15.0 papg) *
#2 – Brighton Panthers (5-0, 3.5 papg)
#3 – OBU Panthers (5-0, 5.2 papg)
#4 – Southampton Stags (5-0, 8.0 papg)
#5 – UEL Phoenix (4-3, 10.57 papg)
#6 – KCL Regents (3-1-1, 8.0 papg)
#7 – UCL Emperors (3-2, 8.5 papg)
#8 – Gloucestershire Gladiators (3-2, 8.8 papg)

*Thanks to their lengthier schedule, eight games versus six, the QMBL Vipers currently have more BUCS points than the undefeated #1 seeds in others conferences.


Locked into Playoffs:
  • UEL Phoenix†
  • Brighton Panthers*
  • QMBL Vipers*
  • Southampton Stags
  • OBU Panthers

* Conference Champion

† At four wins and only two teams capable of four or more wins in the 2A South, the UEL Phoenix are guaranteed at least the 8th seed.

Out of the race:
  • Greenwich Mariners
  • Oxford Lancers
  • Bristol Barracuda
  • Bournemouth Bobcats
  • Bath Spa Bulldogs
  • BNU Buccaneers†

†The Buccaneers have withdrawn from the 17/18 BUCS season.

It’s a much messier situation in the South, with a number of teams either on, or capable of, three or four wins.

The 2A South, in particular, could be very complicated depending on results, due to numerous overlapping head-to-heads.

This’ll come down to the final weekend’s fixtures and most likely average points conceded to determine who’s where in the postseason!

Key fixtures:
  • Southampton Stags v OBU Panthers (Crown decider)
  • UCL Emperors v KCL Regents (likely 2nd place decider)
  • And also impacting postseason berths:
    • Brighton Panthers v City Wolfpack
    • Gloucestershire Gladiators v Bath Spa Bulldogs
    • ARU Rhinos v Essex Blades
    • Greenwich Mariners v UEL Phoenix


Division One

To all intents and purposes, the rules and regulations concerning playoff qualification in Division One are the same as those of Division Two.

Sixteen teams, eight from each regional group of three conferences, qualify for the postseason. Seedings and tiebreakers are determined as per Division Two. Playoffs are regional.

However, in this instance teams are still competing for promotion via the postseason, and the two regional champions will receive promotion to the top tier, before competing against one another in a Division One National Title game.

Based on these factors,

The teams currently sat in playoff berths in the Division One northern conferences are as follows:

#1 – Nottingham (7-0, 5.57 papg)
#2 -Edinburgh Napier Knights (5-2, 7.0 papg)
#3 -UCLAN Rams  (5-2, 13.86 papg)
#4 – NTU Renegades (5-2, 9.57 papg)
#5 – Sheffield Hallam Warriors (4-4, 12.0 papg)
#6 – Northumbria Mustangs (4-3, 14.28)
#7 – Glasgow Tigers (4-3, 11.85 papg)
#8 – Sheffield Sabres (4-3, 18.57)


Locked in:
  • UCLan Rams†
  • NTU Renegades
  • Edinburgh Napier Knights 
  • Nottingham*

*Conference Champion

† Following Hallam’s loss at the weekend, the Rams can finish no worse than second in the 1A Yorkshire and thus are locked into postseason action.

Out of the race:
  • Leeds Gryphons
  • Warwick Wolves
  • Sunderland Spartans*
  • Staffordshire Stallions*

* Can finish no better than 5th in their respective conference and are relegated.

The North is a mess. In 1A North and 1A Yorkshire four of the five teams in each conference are still in with a shot, and in the Midlands, Leicester still has a slim shot of squeezing into playoffs.

Key Fixtures:
  • All four remaining fixtures in the 1ANorth and 1AYorkshire are hugely impactful, each having repercussions upon one another… But if we had to pick?
    • Leeds Gryphons v UCLAN Rams (Rams win = Crown)
    • Northumbria Mustangs v Edinburgh Napier Knights (Napier win = Crown)



The teams currently sat in playoff berths in the Division One southern conferences are as follows:

#1 – Kent Falcons (7-0, 4.86 papg)
#2 – Kingston Cougars (6-1, 8.66 papg)
#3 -Plymouth Blitz (6-2, 18.0 papg)
#4 – UEA Pirates (6-2, 6.0 papg)
#5 – Brunel Burners (5-2, 7.0 papg)
#6 – UWE Bullets (5-1, 8.5 papg)
#7 – Reading Knights (3-3, 15.5 papg)
#8 – Canterbury Chargers (3-4,15.58 papg)


Locked in
  • UWE Bullets†
  • Brunel Burners†
  • Kingston Cougars*
  • Kent Falcons*
  • Plymouth Blitz
  • UEA Pirates

*Conference Champions

† At five wins the worst these teams can finish is third in their respective conferences, and with a better record than the best-possible third-place finish in 1A South East, thus guaranteeing postseason action.

Out of the race:
  • Imperial Immortals
  • Sussex Saxons*
  • Southampton Solent Redhawks*

* Can finish no better than 5th in their respective conference and are relegated.

The South is a little simpler. Essentially there are two spots up for grabs between Cardiff or Exeter from the South West, Canterbury from the South East and Reading from the South. Reading and Cardiff are each yet capable of finishing 2nd in their respective conferences.

Key Fixtures:

  • Both UWE fixtures (Weds/Sun) are crucial – win either and take the top spot.
    • Cardiff Cobras v UWE Bullets
    • Exeter Demons v UWE Bullets
  • Cardiff need at least one win from their two games
    • Solent Redhawks v Cardiff Cobras
  • Reading need to beat Sussex, and also schedule and play their missing Kingston fixture
    • Reading Knights v Sussex Saxons
  • Brunel Burners v Surrey Stingers (Brunel win = #2 in 1ASouth)



The 17/18 Premiership postseason sees eight of the ten teams secure berths to the postseason, with only fifth-place finishers not seeing at least one game of postseason Uniball, and instead automatically relegated.

Seeding is determined by placement of each team in their respective conference.

  • Teams placed first in each conference are seeded #1 and #2.
  • Teams placed second in each conference are seeded #3 and #4.
  • Teams in third place in each conference are seeded #5 and #6
  • And teams placed fourth are seeded #7 and #8.

The tiebreakers noted above will determine seedings between inter-conference opposition with the first round of postseason balling always featuring inter-conference fixtures.

Therefore, as things currently stand the playoff seedings would look as follows:

A: North #1 vs South #4
Durham Saints (7-0, 9.0 papg) vs Portsmouth Destroyers (2-4, 21.17 papg)
B: South #1 vs North #4
Birmingham Lions (6-1, 18.42 papg)  vs Leeds Beckett Carnegie (3-4, 23.42 papg)
C: North #2 vs South #3
Stirling Clansmen (4-3, 16.71 papg) vs  Swansea Titans (3-3, 20.17 papg)
D: South #2 vs North #3
Hertfordshire Hurricanes (6-1, 14.14 papg)  vs Derby Braves (3-5, 17.38 papg)


Locked in:
  • Derby Braves
  • Leeds Beckett Carnegie
  • Swansea Titans
  • Portsmouth Destroyers
  • Durham Saints*
  • Stirling Clansmen
  • Birmingham Lions
  • Hertfordshire Hurricanes

*Conference Champions

Out of the race:
  • Loughborough Students*
  • Bath Killer Bees*

* Can finish no better than 5th in their respective conference and are relegated.

We now know which teams will be playing postseason balling, but there’s still some room for shifting around.

We’re yet to see Swansea and Pompey go head to head a single time this season, and either one could displace the other for equally daunting trips to Durham/Stirling. As is often the way, Birmingham and Herts will showdown for the top spot in the South on Sunday.

In the North, the only question left to ask is whether Leeds can move to .500 on the year and steal the #3 spot from Derby, with a win over Loughborough?



Spot any mistakes or have any queries? Just shout!

Comment down below or get in touch over Facebook or Twitter!




Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1