Impact of the AFL fixture
Now that the 2012 AFL home and away season has finished, it’s worth checking whether the uneven draw (fixture) has impacted on where teams have finished on the ladder.
For non-AFL followers, the competition is made up of 18 teams with each team playing 22 games during the season. Each team plays 12 teams once and 5 teams twice. In essence, the AFL has stated that they endeavour to create an “equitable draw which maximises attendances and television audiences”. Read: money. Integrity? Not so much.
A method of adjusting the ladder for this compromised draw is to remove the impact of teams who play each other twice. To do this, I have taken the average of results where teams have played each other twice. Example 1: West Coast played Collingwood twice, lost the first game by 3 points but then won the second game by 47 points. In the adjusted ladder, West Coast is awarded the win for the these matchups (using the average scores from both encounters). Example 2: Adelaide defeated GWS on two occassions (by 46 points and then by 119 points). Adelaide is only awarded one win for these matchups (again, using the average scores - i.e. 137 vs 55).
The adjusted ladder summarised below shows no teams missed out on the finals due to the fixture, BUT some key differences:
- Sydney should have finished 2nd instead of Adelaide (who should finish 4th instead).
- North Melbourne should have finished 7th instead of Fremantle (who should finish 8th instead).
- Richmond should have actually finished in their rightful 9th place instead of 12th.
Hence, the first week of finals should have been:
- Hawthorn v Adelaide with the loser then hosting the winner of West Coast v Fremantle; and
- Sydney v Collingwood with the loser then hosting the winner of Geelong v North Melbourne.
Although the best team still needs to be able to defeat all other teams, Sydney has missed on a critical advantage of a potential home preliminary final due to the lopsided fixture.
The AFL fixture lacks integrity.
If the AFL is interested, I have a solution. Email me: philspeak4 [at] gmail [dot] com.
Potential ladder movement from Gold Coast axe
So, if the head of the A-League, Lyall Gorman, reports back to Ben Buckley at FFA that there are serious concerns that Gold Coast will not be able to compete in final four games with integrity, it is possible that Gold Coast’s results for the season will be expunged.
If so, this is what the new ladder would look like today:
Such a change would leave Perth clinging to a top 4 ladder position, whilst Melbourne Victory gains 2 points on both Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC.