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.
Some clutch performances in a Week Twelve crammed with crucial clashes galore!
Sixteen teams have earned the right to extend their seasons… but which will close out their regular campaigns with a spot in the top ten teams in the tier?
QMBL Vipers – The Vipers have put together a strong season in a hard-fought 1A South East, but the Pirates have proven to have their number this year taking take two big wins away from the Vipers.
For an outfit this young to be seeing Division One postseason football is incredibly impressive… But you still can’t get drilled 6-47 in the final week of the season and expect to be Power Ranked afterwards!
Of the six unranked programmes that find themselves heading to the postseason, most ended up a fair way behind the top ten teams in our polls with only the NTU Renegades earning themselves a shoutout this week, courtesy of their impressive-looking win over Loughborough – the 21-0 victory sealing the deal on postseason balling for the Renegades after a clear dip in form through the latter part of the season.
10. Exeter Demons (5-3) – Down One
Not great to head into the playoffs on the back of a loss, but the Demons can at least boast they were one of only two teams to emerge from the war-torn 1A South West with a winning record!
They’ll hit the road in the postseason, taking a trip to the Kent Falcons in what could well be one of the more interesting first round fixtures if the Demons can play to their potential.
It’s worth noting offensive stand-out Chris Robson-Close was absent from the Demons’ offence on Thursday evening.
9. Kent Falcons (6-2) – Down Two
A frustrating end to the regular season for the Falcons as the UEA Pirates finally find a way to get the better of them and follow it up with a win over the Vipers to cost Kent the 1A South East crown!
The key for Kent from here will be short memories – their 6-2 record was still enough to secure a first-round home berth, hosting Exeter this weekend.
9. UCLan Rams (5-3) – Re-Entry
The UCLan Rams re-enter the rankings courtesy of a playoff-securing win over the Sabres!
The confident-looking 38-14 victory certainly gets the metaphorical monkey off the Rams back following the Sabres being the team to rout the Rams in the postseason in 17/18, and they’ll head into the playoffs with great momentum, even if their 5-3 record will see them hitting the road this weekend – taking a trip to the Coventry Jets.
7. Southampton Stags (7-1) – Up One
They may well have given their coaches and fans hernias while doing so, but the Southampton Stags simply found a way to get it done this year – cramming five fixtures into sixteen days, and just as crucially, 17 unanswered points into just 1 minute and 22 seconds!
6-7 down to the Cobras, there was a very real possibility of closing their regular season with a loss – but clutch plays saw the Stags wrap up their regular season on a massive high!
They’ll look to ride that high right into the postseason as they host the Stingers, this Sunday.
6. Loughborough Students (6-2) – Down Two
If you’re looking to boost our pollster’s confidence in your programme ahead of the postseason, losing 21-0 in your final regular season outing is not the way to go about it.
Do we assume, given their comfortable win over the Renegades earlier in the season and the fact their 1A Midlands title was already locked up, that Loughborough had pulled some starters?
It was a bold move if so, as they essentially gave up the prospect of home advantage any deeper than the first round of playoffs.
We’ll learn more when Loughborough host the Napier Knights this weekend.
5. Coventry Jets (6-2) – Hold
Coventry continue their impressive D1 debut into the playoffs, wrapping up the regular season with a comfortable-looking win over Leicester.
It’s enough to secure them a home berth for their first postseason game, hosting the UCLan Rams.
A couple scores here and there across the year, and there’s a very real possibility this Coventry outfit could have been wearing a crown for a second straight season.
4. UEA Pirates (7-1) – Up Two
Heading into Week Twelve and things had the potential to get real messy in the 1A South East:
The Pirates were primed to wrap up a first conference title in possibly something like 30 years, but to do so would need to get the better of a dangerous-looking QMBL Vipers side…
As was, this didn’t seem too much trouble for the Pirates – they made short work of QMBL, and sail into the postseason with great momentum and the #2 seed in the south!
3. Newcastle Raiders (7-0) – Up One
Early in the season it was possible to dismiss the Raiders’ undefeated start to their campaign as simply a matter of opening their season fairly late, and against some of the weaker sides in their conference.
Now, however, it’s incontrovertible – the Raiders are the real deal, having bested each of their conference rivals (if only once in the case of Northumbria and Edinburgh)!
Key to their impressive second-straight undefeated conference title has been a stalwart defence, that closed out the season with a shutout.
They’ll host the NTU Renegades in the first round of postseason action.
2. Brunel Burners (7-0) – Hold
What’s more, their undefeated campaign is enough to secure the #1 seed in the south, even despite their missing Reading fixture being voided from the slate leaving Brunel a game short on their season.
1. Sheffield Hallam Warriors (8-0) – Hold
Hallam wrap up the regular season apparent favourites to be playing Premiership football next year!
Certainly, closing out their regular campaign with a fifty burger is a great way to build momentum. They allowed a spirited Tyrants outfit to put up more points of their own than we’d typically expect, but don’t be surprised to learn the Warriors had a few of their key players warming the bench and just did what they needed to secure the #1 seed in the North.
They’ll host a Northumbria Mustangs side that, on paper at least, are heading into the playoffs off the back of a three-game losing streak.