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.
The dust settles on an epic year in the bottom tier!
We now know which teams have earned perhaps the more prestigious prize of Division One football for next season, but that doesn’t mean any of the sixteen outfits headed to the playoffs are likely to take their foot off the gas heading into the postseason!
With only one team from each conference able to climb up to Division One football, it’s very possible some of the strongest teams in the tier will be staying put for yet another year!
KCL Regents – Oof. The Regents have sat atop the 2A South for the vast majority of the season, and then at the final hurdle see all their dreams of D1 balling come crashing down around them.
Something of a saving grace for KCL? With the Bears’ awarded win meaning it was only a three-way tie for second place in the 2A South, rather than four-way for first, they were spared a mini-league that saw them miss out on the prospect of postseason action by the smallest of margins – there were only 2 points separating themselves and the Saxons in the four-team mini league should it have been enforced… Given the Regents conceded a safety against the Emperors on Sunday courtesy of a holding in the endzone, that would have been a gut punch for this team that has otherwise impressed this year.
MMU Eagles – Rough week for the Eagles, especially considering they weren’t even in action at the weekend! Sunday they lost their hold on the 2A Midlands crown, and today they find they’ve slid just outside the top ten in our polls!
The Falcons’ double-overtime win over the Stallions nudges MMU out of the top spot in their conference, and all of a sudden they find themselves hitting the road – a classic sporting clash between Manchester and Liverpool awaits as the Eagles travel to the Raptors.
Sussex Saxons – it was a panicky couple of days for the Saxons as they waited for the dust to settle following a hectic Week Twelve, but big picture their walkover win over BNU, combined with a strong defensive performance throughout the season, sees them snag postseason action! They don’t, however, cling onto a rankings spot, as we see other teams’ strong final weekend performances rocket them into the top tan!
The Sunderland Spartans are appearing in more and more Pollsters’ Power Rankings. They made short work of the Cougars at the weekend and have been riding a high since their disappointing season-opening performance. They could yet make a splash in the playoffs, but will need to find a way either through or around a tough DMU defence this weekend.
10. UCL Emperors (5-2) – NEW ENTRY
You know what? The Emperors haven’t been given enough credit this season.
They’ve quietly put together a strong campaign, and cemented their place as a true contender in the south with a statement 8-22 victory over the Regents.
Were the Bears-Spitfires game to be voided rather than awarded, the victory would have been enough to actually see the Emperors come out on top of the four-way tie and earn themselves some Division One football for next season.
As is, however, they’ll have to settle with the fifth seed and a debut appearance in our Power Rankings in the final week of the regular season!
9. Royal Holloway Bears (6-1) – Re-Entry
The Bears slipped out of the top ten last week, but after a flurry of notches in the W column in Week Twelve find themselves bouncing right back in to round out the regular season!
With a 6-1 record and uncontested 2A South title, we might’ve actually expected them to climb a little higher – but two awarded victories and a more narrow-than-expected win over the Mariners looks like it’s still left some of our Pollsters with concerns about the newly-crowned conference champs.
Roaring into the #3 seed in the south, they can allay those fears when they face the Cambridge Pythons on Sunday.
8. Liverpool Raptors (5-1) – Up One
As other team’s dreams crumble, the Raptors rise a spot in the rankings. They’ve locked up the #4 seed in the north which is good for a home berth in the first round – playing hosts to the recently dethroned MMU Eagles in the Northern Quarter Finals.
7. Staffordshire Stallions (4-2) – Down Three
Close, but not close enough for the Stallions, as their double-overtime loss to the Falcons sees them fall out of the top half of the rankings.
Still, the team probably most disappointed by this outcome might well be the MMU Eagles as the Stallions were never in with a shot at swiping the top spot in the Midlands, but are still in the running to snag a D2 Northern Championship.
A daunting trip north of the wall to face the Predators beckons.
6. DMU Falcons (5-1) – NEW ENTRY
The Falcons finally make their long-anticipated Power Rankings debut at the final time of asking – their double-overtime win over the Stallions massively shook things up in the 2A Midlands, and after staying under the radar for much of the season, DMU will find themselves swapping places with local rivals, the Longhorns, to play Division One football next year!
From risking no postseason action at all, the Falcons rocket up into the #3 seed in the North and will play host to the on-form looking Sunderland Spartans on Sunday.
5. Edinburgh Predators (5-1) – Hold
Despite some concerns from the Preds themselves, they hold firm in the #2 seed in the North.
They host the Staffordshire Stallions on Sunday in what’s probably one of the best-looking games in the tier.
4. Bournemouth Bobcats (6-1) – Up Three
A couple of teams crash down the rankings, while the Bobcats finally show some teeth on offence once again, bouncing them back up into the top five!
We’ve had a number of coaches tell us they might well have the best D in the south, and so even coming in as the fourth seed should not be discounted from the possibility of hoisting some silverware should their offence continue to move the ball well.
They’ll host the Emperors this weekend.
3. Essex Blades (6-0) – Hold
They’ll host the Sussex Saxons on Sunday.
2. Worcester Royals (7-0) – Hold
They’ve won themselves the #2 seed in the South, which should mean at least a couple of fixtures of home balling – kicking off with a game against the UEL Phoenix.
1. Leeds Gryphons (6-0) – Hold
The Gryphons will trade places with the Tyrants… again. But first things they have their sights firmly set on a D2 Northern title.
They’re clear favourites after an impressive campaign where they looked a cut above the competition.
They play host to the Heriot-Watt Wolverines and early signs from our Britball Nation Pick’em Polls sees them considered strong favourites in this matchup