USAFL Top 20 Poll III: Top Five Stay, Calgary Gains

After a volatile second poll that saw teams bounce around the rankings like a three-year-old child on a moon bounce, the third USAFL poll saw was much more lucid.  Top five teams stayed intact, the Orange County Bombers garnered more support from the panel in their claim to be the best team in the country, while several other clubs made small, but important moves up the ladder.

After being anointed #1 despite not having a plurality of number one votes, the Bombers collected seven nods from the panelists and gained 177 of a possible 180 poll points.  The two remaining panelists thought New York and Austin deserved top team honors, and both clubs remained steadfastly in 2nd and 3rd place.  The Denver Bulldogs’ victory in the Midwest Regional 10s was the reason for the shifting around of votes at the top, but they remained in a solid 4th, and Minnesota remained in fifth.

Last Rank Club (First Place Votes) Points
1 1 Orange County Bombers (7) 177
2 2 New York Magpies (1) 165
3 3 Austin Crows (1) 160
4 4 Denver Bulldogs 154
5 5 Minnesota Freeze 136
8 6 Calgary Kangaroos 135
6 7 Los Angeles Dragons 129
7 8 Golden Gate Roos 119
t-9 9 Columbus Jackaroos 103
11 10 Dallas Magpies 99
t-9 11 Houston Lonestars 98
t-12 12 Nashville Kangaroos 76
t-12 13 Chicago Swans 67
14 14 Baltimore/Washington Eagles 59
16 15 Sacramento Suns 46
15 16 Boston Demons 45
17 17 Philadelphia Hawks 35
18 18 Quebec Saints 34
19 19 Ft. Lauderdale Fighting Squids 27
20 20 Des Moines Roosters 14

Also receiving votes: Ohio Valley River Rats 6, Atlanta Kookaburras 3, North Carolina Tigers 1, Portland Steelheads 1, Seattle Grizzlies 1.

But if the Freeze are feeling a bit of a thaw, it would be due to the hot breath of Canadian Kangaroos breathing down their necks.  Calgary’s win over Banff last weekend, convincing as it was, had them move up the list of a couple of our pollsters.  It was enough for team to leapfrog L.A. and Golden Gate and plant themselves into 6th, just one point behind Minnesota.

After tying Houston for 9th last poll, Columbus used a handsome victory at the John Harrell Cup in Louisville to wrench that spot away from the Lonestars and into their own grubby hands.  The Jacks’ wrangling of the spot was so dramatic that it dropped the ‘Stars behind their Texan rival, Dallas, and into 11th.  Nashville, who also had a solid day out at the Harrell Cup, moved into 12th by themselves ahead of Chicago, with whom they had tied previously.

Finally, Boston, who lost to Quebec up in Montreal a couple of weeks ago, were punished by the panel for their defeat, dropping one spot and flip-flopping with Sacramento.  The Demons defeat dropped them down to 16th place with the Suns moving up one.  The Saints, however, couldn’t muster enough support, and remained in 18th place, a single point behind the idle Philadelphia Hawks.


Texas Toast: With the Texas Cup triad postponed until June 27th, the focus for all three Lone Star clubs will be on difficult opponents and a chance to assert themselves with early victories.  #3 Austin welcome in #11 Houston on May 30th; a win for Houston on the road would be huge, and maybe even put thoughts of Division I into a few peoples’ minds.

A Double Order of Hot Pie: Nearly two months after losing to Ft. Lauderdale at the Eastern Regionals, the #2 New York Magpies will have a chance to take out some of their frustrations on their namesakes from Dallas, who are trying to move up from the 10th spot.  The game will be June 6th; Mike Murphy’s NYC boys will want to claim the top spot again, while Brenn Miller’s Dallas crew will want to prove to everyone that they are still a Divvy I side.

Midway Madness: Minnesota, Hanging on to #5 by the hair of their-chinny-chin-chin, meet 13th ranked Chicago in the middle, as they play in Madison, Wisconsin.  Jason Wilhelm’s Swans will try to badger an upset from Andrew Warner and the Freeze, and move into the top ten for the first time.  The Freeze will welcome in #20 Des Moines two weeks later, with the Roosters hoping there is some confidence left over from their scare against Denver.  That same day, the Swans will head down to Elmington Park in Nashville for a duel with their rival, the #12 Kangaroos.

The Bird Is the Word: Longtime rivals from the EAFL open their season in Philly, as the Hawks and Baltimore-Washington renew pleasantries.  This is going to be a difficult road for the 14th ranked Eagles this year, but Jay Levesque’s men have had Philadelphia’s number before and are looking to get it back.

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