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

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)

There is obviously some concerns this year that uneven schedules between conferences can play a significant role here. While the majority of conferences have an six or seven-game schedule, others vary – eight in the 2A South, a mere five in the 2A Midlands. We have contacted BUCS for confirmation as to how this will work.

Bearing all this in mind,

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

#1 – Manchester Titans (5-0, 3.0 papg)
#2 – Newcastle Raiders (5-0, 4.0 papg)
#3 – Coventry Jets (3-0, 2.0 papg) *
#4 – Edinburgh Predators (5-1, 5.0 papg)
#5 – Bangor Muddogs (5-1, 9.0 papg)
#6 – MMU Eagles (3-1, 8.0 papg)
#7 – Liverpool Raptors (4-1, 10.2 papg)
#8 – Teesside Cougars (3-1, 12.0 papg) *

*Again, we’re not sure how differing schedule length is going to affect things. Coventry have the lowest papg of the #1 placed teams, but only three wins and thus six BUCS points. Even were they to win out, it’s possible they’d amass on ten BUCS points and potentially could be seeded below a 6-1 #1 ranked team from another conference should the situation arise.

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Locked in:*
  • Manchester Titans
  • Newcastle Raiders
  • Edinburgh Predators
  • Bangor Muddogs

As it currently stands in the North, we believe the following teams have guaranteed themselves playoff football – though this is somewhat dependent on how uneven scheduling will factor into determining third-place berths. Currently, the teams listed can finish no worse than third in their respective conference, and there are not three teams in the 2A Midlands capable of finishing the year with five wins, thus guaranteeing postseason action to the following:

Out of the race:
  • Edge Hill Vikings
  • Bradford Bears
  • Lincoln Colonials

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

#1 – QMBL Vipers (6-1, 15.28 papg) *
#2 – Brighton Panthers (5-0, 2.8 papg)
#3 – Southampton Stags (4-0, 5.0 papg) †
#4 – OBU Panthers (4-0, 5.0 papg)*
#5 – UEL Phoenix (4-2, 14.0 papg)
#6 – UCL Emperors (3-2, 8.5 papg)
#7 – Gloucestershire Gladiators (2-1, 8.0 papg)
#8 – KCL Regents (2-1, 10.67 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.

† Despite tying on BUCS points and Points conceded, Southampton currently edge out OBU to #1 in 2A South West owing to more points scored (BUCS REG 9.9.7).

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When determining teams locked into/out of the postseason, again we have to assume uneven scheduling is not going to be compensated for.

Locked in:
  • Brighton Panthers*
  • QMBL Vipers †

* At 5-0 the Panthers are uncatchable and have won the 2A South

† QMBL can finish no lower than 2nd in the 2A South East

Out of the race:
  • BNU Buccaneers*

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

 

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 play off berths in the Division One northern conferences are as follows:

#1 – Nottingham (5-0, 4.2 papg)
#2 – Glasgow Tigers  (4-1, 7.9 papg)
#3 – Sheffield Hallam Warriors (4-2, 9.3 papg)
#4 – Edinburgh Napier Knights (4-2, 8.16 papg)
#5 – NTU Renegades (4-1, 9.2 papg)
#6 – UCLAN Rams (4-2, 20.0 papg)
#7 – Leicester Longhorns (3-3, 17.5 papg)
#8 – LJMU Fury (3-3, 26.16 papg)

Best as we can tell, no team has yet guaranteed themselves postseason balling in the northern half of Division One.

Out of the race:
  • Staffordshire Stallions*

* Stallions can finish no better than 4th in the 1A Midlands.

 

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

#1 – UEA Pirates (6-1, 4.57 papg)
#2 – Plymouth Blitz (5-1, 14.67 papg)
#3 – Kingston Cougars (4-1, 6.8 papg)
#4 – Kent Falcons (5-0, 4.8 papg)
#5 – UWE Bullets (4-1, 10.2 papg)
#6 – Brunel Burners (3-1, 8.5 papg)
#7 – Surrey Stingers (2-3, 10.8 papg)
#8 – Exeter Demons (2-3, 13.6 papg)*

*Despite having a ‘worse’ record than the Cardiff Cobras in the 1A South West, Exeter have equal BUCS points and currently hold the head-to-head over Cardiff. Canterbury currently miss out on a berth owing to points conceded.

Locked in
  • UEA Pirates*

*The Pirates can finish no worse than second in the 1A South East

Out of the race:

N/A – no teams are completely out of the running for the postseason in the southern half of Division One… Yet.

 

Premiership

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 (6-0, 9.5 papg) vs Portsmouth Destroyers (2-3, 19.4 papg)
B: South #1 vs North #4
Birmingham Lions (4-1, 21.4 papg)  vs Leeds Beckett Carnegie (2-4, 24.5 papg)
C: North #2 vs South #3
Stirling Clansmen (3-2, 18.6 papg) vs  Swansea Titans (2-2, 17.75 papg)
D: South #2 vs North #3
Hertfordshire Hurricanes (4-1, 11.0 papg)  vs Derby Braves (2-4, 18.67 papg)

Missing out and currently in the relegation positions are the Loughborough Students and the Bath Killer Bees.

Locked in:
  • Durham Saints*

* At 6-0 the Durham Saints can currently finish no worse than second in the Premiership North

Out of the race:

N/A – no teams are currently out of the race for the postseason in the top tier.

 


 

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Nick

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