Same as it Ever Was; No Major Changes to Poll

Shh… can you hear it?

Silence.

Well, maybe not complete silence, save the fluttering of Eagles’ wings and Tigers’ paws, but other than the shuffling of several teams, an eerily quiet Top 20 Poll, the next to last one before Nationals’ seedings are announced at the end of the month, saw 17 teams stand pat.

Though the two weeks that made up the 7th Polling round (not counting Labor Day, of course) were packed to the gills with USAFL matches, there wasn’t enough in any of the results to signifigantly shift around where the teams stood in the eyes of the poll experts as come down to the final weeks of season 2016.

Chg

Rnk

Club (1st Place Votes)

Points

--

1

Austin Crows (9)

180

--

2

New York Magpies

168

--

3

Golden Gate Roos

159

--

4

Los Angeles Dragons

151

--

5

Denver Bulldogs

147

--

6

Dallas Magpies

126

--

7

Calgary Kangaroos

119

--

8

Orange County Bombers

115

--

9

Sacramento Suns

98

--

10

Boston Demons

95

--

11

Columbus Jackaroos

90

--

12

Houston Lonestars

83

--

13

Quebec Saints

76

--

14

Chicago Swans

64

--

15

Minnesota Freeze

61

--

16

Ohio Valley River Rats

45

+ 1

17

Baltimore/Washington Eagles

27

- 1

18

Portland Steelheads

23

in

19

North Carolina Tigers

15

--

20

Seattle Grizzlies

13

Also receiving votes: San Diego Lions 12, Philadelphia Hawks 8, Ft. Lauderdale Fighting Squids 8, Nashville Kangaroos 4, Tulsa Buffaloes 3.

This poll set a record for having the fewest movement of teams, as only four teams shifted.  This wasn’t too much of a surprise, considering there weren’t too many results out of the ordinary at the top.  All together, the top 16 teams remained untouched.  Austin defeated Denver and Los Angeles beat Dallas, both at home.  The only game that could affected the middle of the back was Sacramento beating defending D3 champion Portland, and Minnesota nearly getting upset on the road at Des Moines.

The four teams that did shimmy around were all at the bottom of the poll.  Baltimore/Washington’s win over hapless Philadelphia and Portland’s loss at Sacramento was enough to get them to flip-flop 17th and 18th positions.  The Eagles, who for the past two years had been relegated to the purgatory of rebuilding status, seem to be in line for a resurgence in Division 3 this year.  They have two more games, at home against North Carolina and then the winless Hawks, to continue to assert their status.

Speaking of the Tar Heel Tigers, they too moved up, moving into 19th spot, displacing the San Diego Lions out of the poll completely.  This marks the Tiges’ first ever appearance in the USAFL Top 20 Poll, an amazing feat considering that they have received at least one vote in each of the 16 polls that has been held since its inauguration last spring.  North Carolina beat Atlanta before Labor Day, and head into this weekend looking to seek revenge on Baltimore-Washington for two losses this season. 

North Carolina jumped over, and San Diego spun backwards past, the Seattle Grizzlies, who were idle ahead of their final rivalry encounter against Portland next weekend.

What’s on Tap: FINAL POLL 9/28/16

With the weather turning cooler (supposedly, anyway) and with teams making their plans for Sarasota and Nationals, the importance of the final weeks of the season cannot be overstressed.  Key encounters against good sides will require top notch performances, and the trainings leading up to that final weekend in October will be crucial in the ultimate preparation.

The two biggest rivalry tournament series, the Texas Cup and the SoCal Cup, each wrap up this month.  In the Lone Star classic, #1 Austin and #6 Dallas head to #12 Houston.  Christian Merritt and the Crows will try and finish out a perfect season, both in the W-L column and in the poll, as they have collected all of the possible 1st place votes so far.  Out West, the #4th ranked L.A. Dragons host #8 Orange County and now-unranked San Diego.  Justin Hall’s team has looked solid all season, and with a favorable draw could perform very well in their second crack at D1.

2nd ranked New York finishes up their season with two home games against regional foes, as Mike Murphy and crew entertain Jon Loring and Philadelphia this weekend before welcoming in #10 Boston, led by the acrobatic Jeremy Humm.  #9 Sacramento will face a stiff test against the Dragons, and #16 Ohio Valley will try and make their case for a D2 berth against Tulsa.

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