Crows Finish Summer Number 1 Despite Pressure

EDITOR’S NOTE: So as you can probably tell, things have been mighty busy over the past month or so, with the International Cup, and the end of the USAFL season coming faster than a spooked herd of cows. The USAFL Top 20 votes for July and August were tabulated but were locked away somewhere in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall’s porch.  Now that there is finally a few minutes to breathe and actually write something, we can catch you up on the polls as USAFL season 2017 comes towards its thrilling conclusion.

Speaking of conclusions, I was wondering when you were going to end your “note”.  That thing was longer than a Peter Jackson movie.  I almost fell asleep.

Hey, you stick to coming up with terrible puns, and I’ll fill them in on why your lazy butt didn’t get the poll results up on time.

Wait, why are we fighting?  Aren’t we the same person?

Who said that?

I don’t know.  Maybe we should get on with this thing.

Okay.  And remember: no Game of Thrones spoilers.

No promises.

EDITORS NOTE 2: One last thing.  Please keep in mind that these polls don’t include the games that were played this past Saturday.  They’ll be included in September’s poll.

So, let’s start with July’s poll.  With Austin and New York both getting runners up honors in their respective regional tournaments, all the Golden Gate Roos had to do, one figured, was run the table at the Western Regionals in Denver on July 8th, and they would be the new number one team in the country.

And that’s exactly what they did.  They knocked off Orange County and Los Angeles before erasing a halftime deficit in the final game to overcome the hometown Bulldogs.  Surely that would be enough to sway the panel and give them number one honors, right?

Nope.

USAFL TOP 20 Poll – JULY

Chg

Rnk

Team (1st Place Votes)

Points

--

1

Austin Crows (7)

178

--

2

Golden Gate Roos (2)

171

--

3

Los Angeles Dragons

148

+ 1

4

New York Magpies

148

- 1

5

Dallas Magpies

144

--

6

Denver Bulldogs

144

--

7

Calgary Kangaroos

114

--

8

Orange County Bombers

112

+ 2

9

Baltimore-Washington Eagles

102

--

10

Houston Lonestars

95

- 2

11

Quebec Saints

86

+ 1

12

Boston Demons

86

--

13

Minnesota Freeze

67

--

14

Columbus Jackroos

65

--

15

Chicago Swans

60

--

16

Sacramento Suns

55

--

17

North Carolina Tigers

27

--

18

Portland Steelheads

24

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19

Seattle Grizzlies

22

- 1

20

Ohio Valley River Rats

13

Also receiving votes: Nashville Kangaroos 11, San Diego Lions 10, Tulsa Buffaloes 7, Arizona Hawks 1.

Austin remained the #1 team in the land, with Golden Gate second.  LA, despite going 0-3 in Denver, ended up in third on a head-to-head tiebreaker with New York, who ended up switching spots with Dallas, who they vanquished at home in mid-month.  Dallas’s fifth place spot was on a tiebreaker also, keeping Denver in sixth despite a strong tournament from them on their scenic home ground.

Calgary and OC remained in 7th and 8th, then came Baltimore-Washington and Quebec leapfrogging each other into 9th and 11th respectively.  The Eagles are quietly making a case for them to possibly make the move up into Division 1 or, at the very least, be a strong contender to take out Division 2.  There will be other teams that will have a say in that, but a big road win at Columbus helped the push.

The only other change in July was at the bottom, with Seattle jumping in at #19, pushing Ohio Valley down to 20th and the Nashville Kangaroos off the table.  The Grizzlies 3-0 record and Division II triumph at Western regionals was a huge bit of redemption after coming up just short at the 2016 WRTs, and they put their names in as a threat in Division 3, at the very least.

August was a limited month in terms of games, as many teams were missing players who were away representing the USA Revolution in Melbourne.  Thus, movement on the poll was minimal.  Austin and Golden Gate were both idle in USAFL play during that time, and thus they remained at the top.  For the Crows this wasn’t totally planned, as the effects of Hurricane Harvey wiped out their hosting of the Texas Cup. 

Six places changed hands, mostly in the middle of the grouping.

USAFL TOP 20 POLL - AUGUST

Chg

Rnk

Team (1st Place Votes)

Points

--

1

Austin Crows (7)

178

--

2

Golden Gate Roos (2)

171

+ 1

3

New York Magpies

151

- 1

4

Los Angeles Dragons

144

--

5

Dallas Magpies

144

--

6

Denver Bulldogs

143

--

7

Calgary Kangaroos

114

--

8

Orange County Bombers

113

--

9

Baltimore-Washington Eagles

105

--

10

Houston Lonestars

94

+ 1

11

Boston Demons

86

- 1

12

Quebec Saints

85

+ 1

13

Columbus Jackaroos

68

- 1

14

Minnesota Freeze

67

--

15

Chicago Swans

56

--

16

Sacramento Suns

55

--

17

North Carolina Tigers

30

--

18

Portland Steelheads

25

--

19

Seattle Grizzlies

22

--

20

Ohio Valley River Rats

12

Also receiving votes: Nashville Kangaroos 9, San Diego Lions 8, Tulsa Buffaloes 7, Arizona Hawks 2, Philadelphia Hawks 1.

Three swaps occurred after the votes were tabulated in August.  New York moved up into third over LA.  The Dragons didn’t have a terrible August, going 3-1 in SoCal Cup matches, but the panelists gave the inconsistent Magpies a bit of a nod which moved them up.  The Dragons held onto fourth thanks to a tiebreaker over Dallas.

The other two switcheroos were outside the top ten, with Boston moving up over Quebec and into 11th.  The Demons notched a big home win against Chicago, which gave them a leg up over the Saints.  Columbus rebounded from their loss at home against Baltimore-Washington to turn aside Ohio Valley and move up one over the idle Freeze.

WHAT’S ON TAP: SEPTEMBER

Action for the final full month of the regular season ramped up with a full slate of games last weekend.   Among the notable matches, #8 Orange County staved off difficult San Diego, #10 Houston went to Baton Rouge and came home with wins over the Tigers and Nashville, and #9 Baltimore-Washington accounted for traveling Boston, ranked 11th.

The annual horse race down the stretch, seeing teams getting their last tune ups ahead of San Diego, is already underway, as teams prepare for whatever gauntlet the tournament committee decides to throw at them.

This coming weekend will be another loaded one. #2 Golden Gate will come down to Los Angeles to face the 4th ranked Dragons and #8 Orange County, in the hopes that two wins will finally convince some more on the panel that they’re the best team in the country.  They’re hoping to get some help from #6 Denver, who entertain the top-of-the-heap Crows.  #15 Chicago hosts both #14 Minnesota and #13 Columbus, and at least one of these matches will be renewed in San Diego, one would think.

After hosting OC and GG, the Dragons go to Dallas the following weekend to face #5 Dallas and #10 Houston, and I wish I could make it out to Dallas to see that one because it will be three really intriguing games, and possibly a good tell as to how those sides will do at Nationals.

There are no matches Grand Final weekend, and it’s expected that the draw for Nationals should be out midweek ahead of the big one at the MCG.   There are a ton of rivalry matches on October 7th, however, including the final leg of the Texas Cup in Houston, Seattle-Portland, and Boston-New York.

That’s it.  Sorry again for the late catchup, but we here and ready for San Diego.  Hope to see you there.

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