Power Rankings | BUCS 2018/19 Preseason Power Rankings: Division One

The BUCS season is upon us, and so our Power Rankings return along with your opportunity to have your say on how things stack up across the three tiers of the University game!

We’re collating this year’s rankings via the highly successful format used this past summer – polling not only our own team of BUCS correspondents but also giving all of our passionate Patreon supporters the opportunity to determine how these rankings stack up!

Each contributor submitted their own picks of who’s top dogs in each tier, and then we tallied it all up to create these amalgamated rankings!

If you want your say on who’s top dog in each tier? You can join our Patreon for just $1 a month and directly contribute to the growth of the game, and DC’s survival!

Head to https://www.patreon.com/dblcoverage to learn more.

But without further ado, let’s see how our contributors see how our pollsters see the middle tier shaping up coming into the season…

10. Coventry Jets

Despite being among the six additions to the middle tier, it’s worth remembering the Jets haven’t lost a in close to two pull seasons and postseason coming into 2018/19 – perhaps why the newcomers to the 1A Midlands find themselves ranked without so much as a single middle-tier match up to their names!

9. Glasgow Tigers

Something of a surprise inclusion in the preseason rankings considering they didn’t see postseason football last year, the Tigers did at least boast one of the most prolific offences in the North last season.

They fell afoul of a surprise double-header loss to the Mustangs, meaning they missed out on any shot of playoffs, but clearly some of our pollsters are expecting them to make amends this winter.

8. Kent Falcons

One of only two undefeated outfits in the middle tier last year, the Falcons will look to go one step further in 2018/19 as they aspire to fly to the lofty heights of the Premiership.

Expect another strong season jousting with the UEA Pirates in the 1A South East.

7. Sheffield Sabres

The Sabres were pleasantly surprised to find themselves in pole position in the 1A Yorkshire last year, after the voided fixtured debacle cost the UCLan Rams their sixth victory.

To their credit, the Sabres opted to give the Rams home-field advantage when the two squared off in the playoffs, and still soundly defeated them to book their place in the Quarter Finals.

A disappointing walkover loss to the Knights due to the weather wrapped up a head-scratching season for the Sabres, who’ll come into 2018/19 looking to prove themselves worth winners of last year’s conference title.

6. Kingston Cougars

Kingston came close, but not quite close enough, to reclaiming their spot in the Prem South last season – narrowly falling short against a UWE Bullets side that’s now playing top tier football.

A narrow loss to the Burners cost them a perfect regular season – expect the two sides to go toe-to-toe once again this winter – potentially joined by a Reading Knights side that found their form at the close last season?

5. UCLan Rams

With their conference crown pinched away by a technicality, the Rams compounded their woes when they stumbled at the first hurdle in the postseason.

A change at Head Coach followed, and now it’ll be interesting to see how the Lancastrians bounce back this year in their always hotly-contested conference… Now redubbed the 1A Yorkshire/Lancashire.

Certainly it seems our pollsters are expecting big things!

4. NTU Renegades

With the promotion of their cross-city rivals, will 18/19 be an opportunity for the Renegades to emerge from the shadows? They only lost three games in 17/18, each their green and gold cousins, and so will be looking to the upcoming season as a chance to wear a conference crown once more…

Of course, Loughborough might have something to say about that when the pink and purple clash later this year, the two favourites for the title first meeting in Week Five.

3. Bath Killer Bees

The Bees valiantly held on to their top tier standing for season after season, but a winless campaign in 2017/18 finally saw them forced into the drop zone.

Still, the outfit with the longest standing Head Coach in the University game will be more than familiar with most of their opponents this upcoming season from back in the SWAC (South West Atlantic Conference) days!

Former-QB Dom Ferdani coordinates a Bees offence that intends to lead the Bath side right back up into the top tier.

2. Edinburgh Napier Knights

One of the sweet surprises of 2017/18, earning a conference crown in their first season of middle tier football, the Napier Knights edged just ahead of the pack to take the #2 spot in our preseason Power Rankings!

A stingy defence was key to their success last year, and clearly our contributors are expecting more of the same this time around!

1. Loughborough Students

And clear ahead of all other contenders for the top spot in the Division One rankings, the Loughborough Students come into the season favourites to bounce right back up again.

Seriously, while most teams’ ranks could have shifted with just a couple of votes, it’s apparent that our contributors think that any team that can hold their own in the Prem North for so many seasons is more than a match for whatever the middle tier has to offer!

With some nice additions to the coaching staff during the offseason, LugBug enter the year in the #1 spot.

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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