Welcome back! Today we’re happy to present our first new data analysis of 2012 as we release the DNN March 2012 Power Rankings.
Alas, there’s not much to report this early in the year, as almost all of the big hitters appear to be waiting until the spring to really get their season underway. There was no action in January and only 4 games in February involving at least one Power Ranked team (for the purposes of this exercise, we’re disregarding #14 Naptown’s January win over the ad-hoc Midwest Mega Team, as it’s pretty hard to draw any defensible conclusions from it).
The big surprise of the year so far looks to be Columbia’s 99-88 win over previous #21 Carolina; that result drops Carolina out of the top 25 for the time being and brings on Columbia as the new #25 (and also quickly blows our yearly pipe dream of a perfectly predicted season, putting us at 75% accuracy for 2012 so far).
Columbia is the first team to debut in our Power Rankings since May 2011, when Maine made a one-month appearance, and the second WFTDA Apprentice league to appear on the list before becoming a full member (London first appeared in May 2010, one month before gaining full WFTDA membership). Update: Columbia was announced as one of 14 new full WFTDA members today. The only other team to appear on the Power Rankings without being a part of WFTDA proper was San Diego, who dropped off at the beginning of 2011 and has not returned.
#18 Montreal and #20 Boston stay in their respective spots after Montreal’s 172-83 pummeling of Boston two weeks ago. This was a slightly larger-than-expected win going by how the teams were performing the last time we saw them play at the East Playoffs. Though Boston appears to be going through continued roster turnover, we’re waiting on a bit more bout data before moving Montreal up or Boston down.
On the Bubble
These teams have upcoming bouts that have the potential to put them in next month’s Power Rankings.
Ohio. They’ve been on a upward swing since the middle of last year, during which they split two games with current #24 Cincinnati. Last weekend, they solidly beat Northstar by 48 and then smashed Sioux Falls by 222. A March 11 matchup with current #23 Arch Rival could very well be a statement game, and will provide a very useful data point as Arch Rival plays Cincinnati the night previous.
Grand Raggidy. Much like Ohio, Grand Raggidy recently played a competitive game with #24 Cincinnati (losing 140-116) and has a March shot at a similarly ranked team when they play #22 Chicago Outfit on March 24.
Madison. Formerly dominating Madison had an extremely rough 2011, going 1-9, but they have a chance for some early-season redemption when they play #23 Arch Rival on March 3. If they pull out a win in that matchup and neither Ohio or Cincinnati can do so on the following weekend, Madison ends up looks pretty good.
Teams We’re Watching
While these teams aren’t quite on the verge of going top 25, they’ve had recent results that makes them potential developing threats.
Silicon Valley. A streak of narrow wins at The Big O — they defeated Jet City and Emerald City by 2 points each and DC by 23 — means that Silicon Valley is a definite threat to break into the hotly contested top 10 in the West.
Tallahassee. Like Silicon Valley, Tallahassee doesn’t appear to be quite at the point where they are ready to compete at the top 25 level, but they’re definitely about to shake up their region. Currently officially #15 in the SC, they beat #7SC Green Country 215-178 on February 11th. Tallahassee does not have any more games currently scheduled against regional top-10 teams, though, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can ride that result all the way into the postseason.
Omaha. Though they went winless and finished last at last year’s South Central playoffs, they had a significant turnaround last weekend when they beat No Coast 154-151; the last time they matched up, No Coast won 159-45. Time will tell whether that’s an early-season fluke or whether Omaha is toughening up for 2012.
As always, robust and courteous discussion is always welcome over on the Power Rankings thread. Have at it!