After a two-week hiatus our power rankings are back – ready to ruffle a few feathers and strike more vigorous debate than John McDonnell’s Little Red Book speech. So pitchforks and torches at the ready as we reveal the best-of-the-best in the BUCS third tier…
Honourable mentions: York, Bristol – and maybe Northampton at an absolute stretch…
10. Greenwich Mariners 3-0 *New entry*
To be fair to the Mariners, they are 3-0. They beat the Jacksonville Jaguars of britball by a soccer scoreline last weekend and LSBU and City University by an average margin of a whole ten points – educational institutions with the collective student body of your local primary school. So congratulations Greenwich, you get to crack our top ten! When all is said and done, Greenwich are likely to be the unfortunate victims of a playoff-mauling in February, but hopefully the season will be a great learning experience for a team that hasn’t seen a perfect regular season record in many a year.
9. Edinburgh Predators 3-0 *No change*
Edinburgh maintain their place in our top ten thanks to their perfect record in yet another paltry assemblage of the worst teams a region has to offer. Their comprehensive victory against UWS on Sunday keeps the Predators relatively steady in our top ten. This weekend sees them face the other unbeaten team in Napier in the game which may ultimately decide the Scottish/Northern 2A. If they come out on top of their city rivals, expect to see the Predators rise up our rankings as the team to beat way up north – but expect another switcheroo with Napier should they come up on short on Sunday.
8. Gloucestershire Gladiators 2-1 *Down four*
With a narrow defeat to Plymouth on Sunday, the Gladiators slide slightly down our rankings. With the opportunity to turn things around on the return leg however, the Glads still hold their playoff fate in their own hands. You’ve got to think whichever team emerges into the postseason from the top of the competitive South Western 2A to be among the favourites for promotion from the South.
7. Manchester Tyrants 3-0 *Down one*
The Tyrants dominating shut-out of Bradford on the road at the weekend continues to give us confidence that Manchester could go the distance in a competitive division. Next up they face York, and the result of that game could end up being pivotal in the race for the Northern pennant. If they beat York, having comprehensively seen off their city rivals, the Eagles, expect the Tyrants to have fortified their place at the top of the division by the turn of the new year.
6. Liverpool John Moore Fury 2-0 *Up four*
In another downright horrendous division, LJMU did what they had to do both at home and on the road – doing the double over a surprisingly feisty upstart in the form of Edge Hill. In the first installment, the Fury showed they could outlast their opposition, and demonstrated their a resilient defence in the second. This division is the Fury’s to lose…
5. Oxford Lancers 3-0 *Up three*
Oxford sailed to their third win of the season against Canterbury on Sunday, but that win was trivial in comparison with the news that their main challenger, cross-town rivals the OBU Panthers, will forfeit their last three games before Christmas – effectively handing the Lancers the only playoff berth. Though Oxford will win their division for certain, the narrow winning margins they have produced against OBU and Essex lead us to believe they will be largely ineffectual in the postseason. Their regular season dominance however forces us to elevate the Lancers to fifth place.
4. Coventry Jets 2-0 *Up three*
Coventry rise up to fourth in the power rankings courtesy of a solid shut-out victory against a DMU outfit which at least appears to have righted the ship since last season’s debacle. Their only real challenge for the top spot in the Midlands 2A are Northampton Nemesis, who have scored a grand total of 20 points against poor opposition. Our ‘dismissal’ of the Nemesis won;t be properly disproved until they face the Jets on January 31st, so we’re placing all our chips on the Jets until then.