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Derby News Network Power Rankings - September 2012

For more background on the methodology and reasoning behind our Power Rankings, please see this month's intro article and the original DNN Power Rankings FAQ.

DNN WFTDA W/L Next Notes
1 Gotham
 
1 E 2012 9-0
2011 14-0
9/28 @ [TBA] No August action for the still dominant Gotham crew, but they're looking as close to untouchable as any flat-track team has ever looked -- their last loss was in November 2010, and of their 23 wins since then, 17 have been by over 100 points. They'll be overwhelming favorites to take the East for the third year in a row, putting them in position to become the first team to ever repeat as WFTDA champions.
2 Oly
(+3)
4 W 2012 7-0
2011 14-1
9/21 @ Rocky Mountain The stunning news that Oly was re-acquiring Atomatrix and Hockey Honey -- and adding Joy Collision -- just in time for a playoff run somewhat drowned out the other big Oly story of the month: they were able to solidly defeat tough Texas (95 points) and Minnesota (60 points) without them. Two weeks from now we'll see if the additions are enough to put them atop the West region once again.
3 Denver
(-1)
2 W 2012 8-2
2011 13-3
9/21 @ [TBA] A very strong season for Denver ended with a surprisingly tight 9-point win over Windy City; the Denver defense appears to be feeling the loss of Gabrielle Begeman a bit, and they'll come into their playoffs looking slightly less dominant than they did after their crushing wins over Minnesota and Rose City at Rollercon.
4 Rose City
(+8)
1 W 2012 8-3
2011 9-6
9/21 @ [TBA] After their harrowing losses to Denver and Philly in July, Rose City got back key jammer personnel and effectively bounced back against Minnesota in August, handing them a 73-point loss. The big question for Rose City is whether their best games of 2012 are ahead or behind them -- they hold the top seed in the region and are pretty much a lock to reach the final four in the West Playoffs, but will have to play at the top of their game to finish top-three.
5 Bay Area
(-2)
3 W 2012 5-2
2011 14-5
9/21 @ Rat City No sanctioned action for Bay Area since a strong 2-1 run at Star of Texas. Their first-round matchup with Rat City at the West Playoffs looks like a quintessential tossup -- when the teams met in June, Bay Area won by 5 points on the last jam.
6 Rat City
 
6 W 2012 9-3
2011 11-9
9/21 @ Bay Area Rat City is right on Bay Area's tail based on their 152-147 game in June and stays a step in front of Windy City based on results against shared opponents Texas, Minnesota and Charm City. For the last couple of years, Rat City has been at or near the rear in the region's Big Six, but they currently look to have their best shot since 2008 at breaking out of the group and making Championships -- if they can get past Bay Area to start.
7 Windy City
(+2)
1 NC 2012 5-6
2011 16-3
9/14 @ [TBA] A volatile and occasionally surreal regular season for the Chicagoans ended with one of their best-ever performances in an August game against Denver, where they led for much of the game before falling by 9 points in the end. They'll be heading into this weekend's North Central Playoffs as a considerably stronger favorite than they seemed after the notorious June tie against regional #2 Minnesota.
8 Philly
(-4)
2 E 2012 8-4
2011 12-9
9/16 vs Bear City Last month's #4 Philly drops mostly on strong August performances from Rose City, Windy City and Rat City, particularly Rat City's slightly better performance against shared opponent Minnesota. Philly, for their part, didn't seem to have much trouble squashing overmatched DC in August and Columbia last weekend. Chances look good for Philly to be well on their way to a traditional Gotham / Philly East final -- if that does happen, it'll be four straight years of that matchup.
5 W 2012 7-3
2011 9-3
9/21 @ Oly Still dangerous RMRG did not play any games in August and is currently pretty well dialed in between Philly and Minnesota after losing by 56 to Philly and beating Minnesota by 25 at Rollercon. They will, however, be in the unenviable position of having to beat the pumped-up Oly roster in their first game at the West Playoffs if they want to return to Championships for a fourth straight year.
10 Minnesota
 
2 NC 2012 6-9
2011 11-4
9/14 @ [TBA] Minnesota punched up the challenge level considerably in the second half of their season -- and it's been reflected in their win-loss record. They opened the season 6-1 before tying Windy City, and since that game Minnesota has dropped 7 in a row. The most recent one, a unsanctioned 240-148 loss to Kansas City, looks like an outlier due to nonstandard rosters, but still leaves MNRG winless for three months going into this weekend's North Central battles in Niagara Falls.
11 Texas
 
1 SC 2012 7-6
2011 14-9
10/5 @ [TBA] As has been the case in 2010 and 2011, the late summer continues to not smile upon Texas; a 195-100 loss to Oly capped a 0-5 slide in their final games before the playoffs. However, it currently doesn't look like anybody in their South Central region is going to be able to knock them out of the top spot at the playoffs in Lincoln.
12 Charm City
(-5)
4 E 2012 6-3
2011 9-8
9/28 @ Steel City The Baltimore crew has been particularly hot and cold this year, narrowly being upset by Montreal, narrowly upsetting Minnesota and Windy City, and getting steamrolled in a 281-126 game against Rat City that looked like it'd be much closer on paper. They're going to be missing the services of key veteran Holly Go Hardly (broken collarbone) and potentially Just Carol, who returned from hiatus against Rat City but is currently questionable on a meniscus tear. Charm City's proven they can play a very strong game on a light roster and remains DNN narrow favorites to get out of the playoff in the top three -- but the competition from Montreal, London and Steel City has never been more dangerous than it looks this year.
13 Montreal
(+1)
3 E 2012 10-5
2011 17-7
9/15 @ Rideau Valley No action for Montreal since the last DNN ranking, but they pick up a slot as Kansas City drops. Montreal remains one of the most unpredictable teams in derby, and will match up against possibly the biggest unknown factor in derby when they play London in the first round at the East Playoffs.
14 London
(+2)
6 E 2012 3-1
2011 4-6
9/28 @ Montreal It's all but impossible to confidently rank London at this point, as it's been almost exactly a year since they played anybody at their skill level … which, as fate would have it, is Montreal, exactly who they're playing as their first opponent at the East Playoffs. Montreal looks like a slightly better team than the one that lost by 2 points in that game; the question is how the intervening year has treated the Londoners.
15 Steel City
(+4)
5 E 2012 9-6
2011 11-7
9/28 @ Charm City The Pittsburgh team acquitted themselves quite well against Rat City with an 80 point loss in August; measured against Charm City's 155 point loss to the same team the previous night, it's definitely conceivable that Steel could eliminate Charm City in the first game of the East playoffs. (Also notable -- Montreal defeated Charm City and Steel City by almost the exact same margins in June.)
16 Arch Rival
(+4)
4 NC 2012 10-2
2011 10-6
9/14 @ Ohio Arch Rival's been building a strong case for Most Improved so far this season, and buttressed it considerably with a 16-point win over Naptown on August 4. It was too late in the year to improve their seeding for the NC Playoffs, but if they bring that same level of play this weekend in Niagara Falls, they'll likely punch their first-ever ticket to WFTDA Championships.
17 Naptown
(-2)
3 NC 2012 9-5
2011 14-4
9/14 @ Detroit Whiplash results for the Indianapolis crew, who were stunned by ARRG on August 4 and then turned around two weeks later to land a surprising victory on Kansas City, 147-144. They start their playoff tournament in a must-win game against a very motivated opponent in Detroit; NRG defeated Detroit in the 3rd place game last year to deny them a trip to Championships.
18 Detroit
 
6 NC 2012 4-3
2011 8-13
9/14 @ Naptown Detroit's been scrambling to make up for lost time since starting their season late and losing big in their first few games, but it looks like they've gotten back on track just barely in time to make a serious run for Championships; their 3 point win over Kansas City on September 1 was exactly the size of Naptown's. Detroit's on a 3-game winning streak after opening the season 1-4 and return to the Power Rankings for the first time since their rough season opener in June.
19 Kansas City
(-6)
2 SC 2012 6-5
2011 12-4
10/5 @ [TBA] It's very difficult to quantify KCRW's three most recent results; they're pinned behind Naptown and Detroit based on those narrow losses, but they also solidly defeated much-higher-ranked Minnesota in an unsanctioned full-charter exhibition last weekend. We're treating that one as an outlier for now and will have to wait until the South Central Playoffs for any more data on where they stand.
20 Boston
(-3)
7 E 2012 6-3
2011 7-10
9/28 @ DC Rollergirls Boston appears to be stuck in a difficult position in their region, looking a few steps ahead of those just behind them (Boston defeated shared opponent Cincinnati considerably more thoroughly than Carolina or DC could) but also not within striking distance of those just above them (they lost to Charm City by 98 and Montreal by 57). A seeding upset in either direction for Boston at the East Playoffs would be more surprising than most.
21 Atlanta
 
6 SC 2012 13-3
2011 8-8
10/5 @ Houston A 152-121 win over Carolina gets Atlanta back into the Power Rankings after a long absence -- they also picked up 150+ point wins over Tallahassee and Jacksonville, teams who will be the lowest seeds in their South Central playoffs.
22 Carolina
(-1)
8 E 2012 8-3
2011 17-3
9/28 @ Dutchland Carolina stubbornly hangs on near the edge, with narrow losses to Boston and Atlanta and a narrow win over Ohio keeping them more or less stable. They lose a spot on the return of Detroit.
23 Tampa
 
4 SC 2012 9-6
2011 6-9
10/5 @ Nashville Although Tampa crushed Atlanta early on in the season, 201-73, the teams' respective results against recent shared opponent Tallahassee strongly suggest that Atlanta has improved considerably since then (ATL put 90 extra points of margin in between them). It's possible that the 3rd place game of the South Central playoffs will see a rematch.
24 Ohio
 
5 NC 2012 20-1
2011 13-8
9/14 @ Arch Rival Ohio finished off a 20-1 season by defeating Chicago Outfit and Hard Knox in August, but only scored one WFTDA-rankings upset all year. Conveniently, that came against Arch Rival, who will have the opportunity to get revenge at the NC Playoffs this weekend.
25 Houston
 
3 SC 2012 9-4
2011 14-9
10/5 @ Atlanta Houston came back from two months off to soundly defeat Sacred City and Santa Cruz on a late-August California trip, and are somewhat hard to figure out overall as they've got confusingly close results against both teams that seemed likely to rout them (Arch Rival, Texas) and teams they seemed likely to rout (Chicago Outfit, Madison). They look to be in a four-way shootout with Atlanta, Tampa and Nashville for third place at the SC playoffs next month.
Key:
E WFTDA East region
W WFTDA West region
NC WFTDA North Central region
SC WFTDA South Central region

Comments

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WHAT??? IT'S AN OUTRAGE I

WHAT??? IT'S AN OUTRAGE I TELL YOU, AND I'M PUTTING YOU ALL OUT OF BUSINESS!!!

BONERZ

That is all.

Take It To The Streets [of Lincoln] Atlanta!

I'm ready.

Still no love for Wasatch?

I'm excited to see what they show all of us at Westerns. =)

Who is Wasatch?

;)

It's a mystery ...

Never heard of 'em.

I'm excited to see Wasatch...

...just to see what Megatron's been going on and on about all year! :)

Does your bracket have them beating Rose?!? (I'm assuming you have them beating ACDG.)

Wasatch

I'm also interested to see them for the first time at Westerns - I've heard a lot of good things. That said, it's tough to make a objective statistical case for Wasatch over our #25 Houston right now -- they both played Santa Cruz in their most recent weekends, and Houston won by 197 while Wasatch won by 89. (All the usual caveats about triangulation not being an exact science apply, of course, but in the absence of having seen them play live yet, we gotta go with the data we know.)

Additionally, Houston's got a lot more games against tournament-level competition this year -- of the 8 teams that Wasatch played this year, only 1 is going to a tournament. For Houston, it's 7 of 13. That depth of experience is also something we take into account in working out the Power Rankings.

I personally will be quite surprised if Wasatch repeats the upset over Angel City at Westerns. We'll see.

I gotta go with Angel too

They picked up some pretty strong transfers recently and I think the earlier loss to Wasatch was a bit of an anomaly.

KC vs Minnesota

I know that game was just this past weekend (and not "sanctioned"), but how do you think the rankings would have shaped up had it been a week earlier?

the same

Given that DNN's saying that they are "treating that one as an outlier for now" what makes you think it would be any different if it was a week earlier?

I must have missed that.

ToddBradley wrote:

Given that DNN's saying that they are "treating that one as an outlier for now" what makes you think it would be any different if it was a week earlier?

I was under the impression that this was written before that game took place, given the disparity between 10 & 19.

(edit to add...)

Yeah, I totally missed that when I was reading the entries... Whooooops.

Logical error

This is just one of those situations where a linear ranking system can't mathematically reflect all results. It doesn't seem right to put Kansas City in front of Naptown and Detroit, given the fact that they just lost to them. However, it also doesn't seem quite right to drop Minnesota to #20, considering their recent very competitive games against the likes of Rat City, Rocky Mountain and Philly. We had to pick some result to be ignored here, or it's mathematically impossible to order them; it seemed like the unsanctioned, full-roster game was the most likely one to not be indicative of future performance.

Logical error?

It seems strange to me that "unsanctioned, full-roster game" would even be considered. I called such games, scrimmages. And to my experience, they really don't even pretend to be anything other than practice, often fielding skaters that don't have a chance at making the "fourteen" of a sanctioned game.

The numbers

The idea was that both teams would bring 18 skaters, but only play 14 per half. On Friday, we found out that KCRW brought only 15 skaters, and asked to play all 15. We said sure, but we kept to the 18/14 original idea.

So yeah, not exactly regulation. :)

why not play for reals?

Any scoop on why this wasn't just scheduled as a real game from the start? Why spend all that money on travel for a scrimmage??? Seems really weird to me (but what do I know?).

Because it wouldn't matter.

I mean, why does anyone play sanctioned bouts after June 30?

It's a week before the first of the Big Five. We wanted to have some more high-end play to give players and strategies a once-over before this weekend.

agreed

John_Maddening wrote:

I mean, why does anyone play sanctioned bouts after June 30?

It's a week before the first of the Big Five. We wanted to have some more high-end play to give players and strategies a once-over before this weekend.

Yeah, that's the right answer. I don't understand why there are ANY sanctioned bouts between regional top-10 teams in Q3 (pre-regionals).

I retract my earlier befuddlement. :)

Plateauing games

I think you've hit on something, DNN. I can think of two reasons for the number of games leveling off.

One, out here in the west travel is expensive. If one team wants to play another one of them is looking at a 5 digit travel cost (plane fare, hotel and rental cars). Teams can only afford less than a handful of such trips, many can only afford one, perhaps two road trips a year. Other regions are in a similar position, although North Central is perhaps the only region compact enough that teams can afford more. (If you're London double the costs, or is it triple ...)

The other is the constant refrain I hear from coaches insisting on there being a real off-season, so that skaters can re-energize from a long season of training. Many leagues don't revive their travel team until after the 1st quarter. Thus leaving a shorten time to play games and raise travel resources.

15 or 16?

You've got ARRG at 15th in the power ranking article, but at 16th on this page.

It's an outrage, I tell you!

Inquiring minds want to know...

...when do the playoff previews drop?

sooooooooon.

Prepare to be buried in words. WORDS!

San Diego Starlets

I thought we might see San Diego in here after Spudtown. No?