As we enter the late stages of the regular season, certain matches start to lose their spice and become more or less foregone conclusions. Those teams destined for finals still have very much to play for, while those a little further down, even if they were competitive early on in the season, have now started to pack in their season.
The FFSS rating system understands this. In the final 5 rounds of the season, ratings changes for matches involving a team already out of the finals race are only 1/5th of what they would be had both teams been still harboring dreams of September.1, has hushed those suggestions. We are much surer now than we were a fortnight ago, that North really are a class level above those teams below them and as such, their rating has been raised 17 pts this week.
Compare this now to the result in the GWS v Richmond game. The Giants were comprehensive in their dismantling of the Tigers. If this result had come earlier in the season, perhaps after Richmond's win against Sydney, we would take this as a clear sign of GWS's class, and would increase their ratings by a fair bit to reflect this newfound confidence in the Giants.
However, this result came now, after Richmond have packed in their season completely, and the Giants are in a fight for percentage against four or five other teams. We recognise the fact this result was good, but also keep in mind that Richmond are unlikely playing to their best this late in an ultimately disappointing season. As such, the Giants only rise 2 pts in our estimation.
Elsewhere on the ladder:
Geelong have overtaken Adelaide in the ratings for much the same reason. Their win showed us more about their chops then Adelaide's did.2.
West Coast now look very much like a bottom of the 8 team.
Essendon and Brisbane are both still awful.
- I consider a team that is given worse than 1 in 500 odds by the bookies as being "out of the race".
Updating the ratings after each round reflects the fact that we know a little bit more about each team after they play. Take the North v St Kilda game from last weekend as an example. People had been questioning where exactly North sat. A string of losses to higher ranked teams had seen them fall dramatically down the ladder and there was some suggestion that their early season form may have been more luck than skill. Beating the Saints this week[note]as well as the Power last week
- Or even possibly could have