Dogs Down (but who goes up?)

Dogs Down – by Penny Dredfell
Added 21 Mar 2017.

There was an article some time ago in Inside Football which said that teams winning a flag “before their time” often underperform the following year.

Looking at the teams to do this in recent times:

Essendon – won in 1993 with the “Baby Bombers”. The Dons finished on top in 1990 but lost the GF; 4th in 1991; they missed the final 6 (as it was then) in 1992 when they were 8th; then they soared from outside the finals to a flag – with a lot of young players that were not there in the 1990 GF.

Admittedly, it was an easy year to win in 1993 – with some teams on the way down and a couple yet to rise to their peak; but they won.  In 1994, they lost 3 out of the first 4 and dropped to 10th; they were back in the finals again in 1995; it took them until 2000 to win another flag.

The Hawks won a flag “before time” in 2008; they were rated as total certs in 2009 to at least make the finals; but they floundered early (losing 3 of the first 4 just like the Dons in 1994) and eventually lost the last round to Essendon to miss the finals.  They were back in the finals in 2010 and eventually won a flag in 2013 (then 2014 & 2015 of course)

Based on this technical lead, one would expect the Dogs to struggle in 2017; of interest is that they finished 7th after the home and away season last year and also had the 7th best percentage; things fell their way in the finals (to a degree) but they were good enough to win all four finals.

They were rated second worst for injuries in 2016 by Champion Data; that bodes well for the Dogs in 2017, but they are also starting the year 5th worst for injuries in 2017; then there is the Luke Beveridge factor; flags follow him wherever he goes.  This fact could be also regarded as a technical lead.

But I tend to favour the tried and tested technical lead and have the Dogs sitting either in the bottom bit of the top 8 – or maybe even out of it; I don’t see them making the top 4; but if they do, I will dips my lid to Bevo.

Who goes up?

Why should anyone rise anyway? The best argument for teams rising (and by that I mean from outside the 8 to top 4 – before finals) is that it happens so often.  Yet every year, virtually nobody tips a team that missed the 8 to make it into the top 4; this year, teams expected to be a chance to come from outside the top 8 to play finals are the Saints, Dees and a couple of others.  As an example, the 18 Herald Sun tipsters tipped the following teams to make the top 4 in 2017:
In order of popularity:
GWS all 18 tipped them to finish top 4
WBD: 14 tipped them…
SYD: 13
ADEL: 10
GEEL: 10
HAW: 4
WCE: 2
STK: 1

Of these tips, only the Saints finished out of the finals in 2016 (and only by percentage); the top 5 all made the prelim last year, bar for the Crows – who were sitting 2nd on the ladder before R23 but a loss saw them drop to 5th and have to face the Swans in Sydney in week 2 of the finals; IE: the almost irresistible temptation is to tip the SAME OLD (not Essendon, in this case).

Let’s see how often teams go from outside the 8 one year to top 4 the following year:
GWS: 11th to 4th
GEEL: 10th to 2nd, but some may say that 10th was an unusual low (and the 2016 fixture gave them 2 games each against the Dons and Lions)

WCE: 9th to 2nd

none (top 4 stayed top 4)


ADEL: 14th to 2nd

WCE: 16th (and spoon) to 4th

none (top 4 stayed top 4)


WBD: 13th to 3rd
STK: 9th to 4th

GEEL: 10th to 1st
PORT: 13th to 2nd
NORTH: 14th to 4th
(you would have to be a genius in March 2007 to tip all three above)

FREO: 10th to 3rd

ADEL: 12th to 1st

STK: 11th to 3rd
GEEL: 12th to 4th

SYD: 11th (yes, really) to 4th

COLL: 9th to 4th

PORT: 14th to 3rd
RICH: 9th to 4th

MELB: 14th to 3rd

I laboured the point a bit, but the “unusual” has happened in 14 of the past 17 years; including twice in 3 of those years and 3 times in one year!
Alas, I have not yet developed a technical chart to predict which teams are more likely to rise; maybe the nature of technical analysis is not suited to this pursuit anyway; but, for what it is worth, my most likely tip would be the Saints (despite a tougher draw this year) – with Melbourne some chance and I would not be totally blown away if the Tigers or Pies make it that high.  But please note that the “who may rise” has no technical logic behind it at this juncture.