With two weekends to go, the 2014 playoff picture is becoming increasingly clear … so let’s take a closer look.
A combination of Bay Area’s results at Golden Bowl and Texas’ narrower-than-expected win over Denver in Austin means that BAD and London are both effectively guaranteed top tournament seeding–barring some rather unlikely mathematical contortions–as they look set to be #2 and #3 in the table come July 1.
Texas didn’t take their chance to make their top seeding safe; they will probably be passed by Rose who play Arch Rival at the end of this month. That particular change doesn’t matter hugely, though–as putative 4 and 5 seeds they’d find themselves in the same playoff anyway. Their performance was best described as typical of what we have come to expect from the Texecutioners mid-season at home over the past few years; it lacked some of the coherence and discipline that characterised their play at playoffs last year, and they suffered from plentiful jammer and pack penalties.
Angel City and Victoria might have something to say about that–with three and six games remaining they both have a relatively high degree of mobility. Realistically, the best either can hope for is the final #1 seed spot in the table–and even that is a long shot which would require both teams doing better than can reasonably be expected of them. Angel’s odds on that lengthened this weekend as, while their performances were ahead of expectation, they weren’t far enough ahead to close the gap in the games allotted. Technically they could go above London too–but that would require near shut-outs of their final three opponents.
Victoria are the wildcard; with significantly more games to come than played despite there being 50 of 52 weekends of the season gone, their post-season ranking is entirely up in the air. While they seem quite likely to land in the bottom half of the top ten, they could conceivably land anywhere in the top 20–we just don’t know, though we will have a much better idea this time next week.
Elsewhere, Denver’s 170-132 loss to Texas and 302-63 win over Houston won’t have a dramatic effect on their positioning–they will either be the top #3 seed or bottom #2 seed depending on VRDL’s performance on tour and Rocky’s performance against Tampa at the end of the month.
Denver looked strong in their narrower-than-expected loss and first bout since the loss of Serelson and Rivas–they were playing with a degree of aggression, hunger and freedom not seen of them for a while. Their performance appeared less disciplined and relentlessly grinding than we’re used to from the Mile High Club–but this new-found freedom seemed to suit many of the blockers who got the chance to show a little more flair than was generally allowed with the focus on Demoralising Denver Defence®.
Arch Rival’s travails in 2014 continued on their visit to Atlanta. The 280-67 win for the Dirty South Derby Girls means they should find themselves as a #3 seed, while Arch Rival will almost certainly be seeded #7 and facing a play-in game.
Finally, Minnesota rounded out their 2013/14 regular season with a 318-78 win over Madison. MNRG started off the bout at lightning pace and were on track for a 600-point shutout across the opening minutes, but once Madison got on the board that progress was slowed dramatically. That leaves MNRG practically nailed on for a #2 seed in the postseason, with Madison left ruminating at #7.
The Rest of D1
The bout with MNRG was also relatively good news for the Mad Rollin’ Dolls too; they’ll hang on around the #8 mark.
Finally at Golden Bowl we have Windy City and SoCal. The 1-2 weekend was something of a wash for Windy; they’ll find themselves among the third seeds for playoffs. Their defence against BAD limited practically the same number of points as when the teams met in Milwaukee last year, but their offensive production was down 65%–perhaps attributable to the loss since then of Sandine ‘Francey Pants’ Rangeon. This means that they should make it into the post-season as a #3 seed, though we think they could potentially slip into the #4 slot should other results not go their way over the next couple of weekends.
SoCal’s 0-3 weekend was pretty poor rankings-wise–but whether they stay in D1 for playoffs or are offered the chance of a trip to Kitchener or Duluth early next month depends on two games they have this weekend–Sin City and Sacred City.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mis-stated SoCal’s chances, as their late-scheduled hangover bout against Sacred City had not been taken into account.
Away from Golden Bowl we had a good slice of action a little further down. Franky Panky provided a fillip for a few teams present; Oklahoma Victory Dolls and Columbia both look to have secured D1 playoff berths, while Charm City and Jacksonville look to be have secured a #4 seeding, barring a miraculous ECDX performance from Terminal City or Montreal.
Outside of those, Tri-City’s D1 playoff chances were boosted by their 281-67 win over Bleeding Heartland–but it looks like those chances may well rest much further south than Kitchener. The Denver’s bout against Houston (at Texas) was of a level that should keep them in the top 40–but Houston still needs to find another game against a D1 or D2 team to meet the qualification requirements. This means that as well as things at the playoff border being too close to call points-wise, it’s unclear exactly where the boundary will be–so we shall have to very much wait and see who ends up where.
Finally, Steel City managed to damage their own playoff chances on a trip courtesy of some visitors from Youngstown. They beat the Little Steel Derby Girls by a frankly preposterous 757-3–a result that will damage both teams in the rankings. Steel will be left in among the 8 and 9 seeds–but while this bout did hurt them a little, most of the damage had been done earlier in the year.
For the full update on the D2 playoff picture, stay tuned for The B Roll later this week!