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!
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Week Ten in the Premiership taught us a lot!
We learned the Lions still have teeth. We learned Leeds Carnegie are the real deal… and we now know one of the teams that’ll be leaving the top tier at the end of the season.
But how has all this impacted our Week Ten Power Rankings?
10. Derby Braves (0-7) – Hold
Derby’s 0-27 loss to the Clan wrapped up their time in the top tier… for now at least.
They’ll close out their campaign against Carnegie in Week Eleven, but with their new scholarship programme should already be considered among the favourites for promotion in 2019/2020.
9. Portsmouth Destroyers (0-6) – Hold
The Destroyers once again looked like they held their own on their home turf, losing out 8-18 to the table-topping UWE Bullets.
Their season now comes down to their ability to fit in their two postponed fixtures… and win them both – by a significant margin in the case of the Hurricanes!
They take to the field Saturday against Birmingham with their top tier credentials on the line. Even should they win, it’s questionable whether Pompey will get the opportunity to fight for their top tier status against Herts – there simply doesn’t seem to be enough time left in the season, with Herts already scheduled to play two games in Week Twelve.
8. Hertfordshire Hurricanes (2-3) – Down One
With just two weeks to play three fixtures, another issue might be whether Herts can actually complete their schedule in the time remaining them – currently slated for two fixtures in Week Twelve alone.
7. Birmingham Lions (3-3) – Up One
And yet, they’re only rewarded with a one-place rise up the rankings, our pollsters perhaps wanting to see more of the new-look Lions before shifting them back into the top half of the rankings.
6. Swansea Titans (4-1) – Down Three
Swansea take a hefty tumble down the rankings following their first loss of the season. They’re locked into playoffs, but their defeat to the Lions, on their home turf nonetheless, has removed the shine from Swansea’s season and made them look vulnerable for the first time this year.
The Titans head to the Bullets this weekend in a top-of-the-table clash that could well determine the Prem South title.
5. Durham Saints (2-4) – Hold
The Saints once again stay locked in the #5 spot, despite their loss to Leeds at the weekend. What I think we’re really looking at here is the unwillingness of our pollsters to place the defending National Champs lower than the vast majority of the Prem South.
The Saints kick off Week Eleven early with their second fixture in five days against Carnegie.
4. Stirling Clansmen (3-3) – Up Two
They’ll face a tougher test this weekend when they travel to Notts – with two wins since midseason, can they close the 7 point gap that separated the teams back in Week Five?
3. UWE Bullets (5-1) – Up One
Sitting pretty atop the Prem South, the Bullets will have been paying close attention to the Birmingham/Swansea clash last weekend – the Titans loss opening an opportunity for the Bullets to potentially swoop in and secure the conference crown without necessarily needing to win out.
Saturday kicks off a pair of back to back fixtures for the Bullets against the Titans that’ll likely decide the title… though notably, the Titans themselves will also have a Wednesday in between as well.
2. Leeds Beckett Carnegie (4-1) – Hold
Carnegie took a good-looking win away from Durham in Week Ten, and have proven their true contenders for the crown this season.
Now, however, begins perhaps their toughest test, as they seek to complete the remaining three fixtures of their schedule in just eleven days – kicking off with a valentines day date with the Saints on Thursday evening, before a trip to the Braves at the weekend.
1. University of Nottingham (6-0) – Hold
They host the Clansmen this week, before wrapping up their inaugural top tier campaign in what could be a crucial crown decider against Carnegie one the final Sunday of the season.