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Welcome back to the latest installment of the power rankings. Each week I look at a bunch of power rankings, and amalgamate the results here. Typically I look at six reports, but this week its only 5 (ESPN, Bleacher Report, Sporting News, MLS, and The Oregonian), as Soccer By Ives hasn’t yet published any rankings for week 12 (which is understandable with all the news coming out yesterday about Manchester Yankees City Football Club).
When I look at the rankings I take an average to see how teams stack up overall, and then also look at points in the past 5 games as another measure of form. Additionally I look at the average movement in the rankings week over week for each team. Finally I use standard deviation (which is a way of looking at the variation in a set of numbers) to see how much agreement there is between ‘the experts’ (a low standard deviation indicates a high level of agreement, a higher standard deviation could indicate a high level of disagreement).
Here are this weeks raw numbers:
So, as you can see we have a new number one. The surging New York Red Bulls have benefitted from a very nice run of form plus some late game heroics from Tim Cahill that took down the the Galaxy to move past FC Dallas (who were torn asunder by Fishing Village FC this week). The Timbers fell a spot (from 2nd to a tie for 3rd), but there is a wide variety of opinions on where they should be ranked (more on that in a few paragraphs). And while some things have changed at the top, things at the bottom are pretty much the same as they ever were – with D.C. United bringing up the rear once again.
If you look at points through the past 5 games (PP5G), it’s pretty consistent. Most teams are with in 4 spots in the rankings of where they can be found in the PP5G. The relationship between ranking and PP5G is much less volatile than it has been in the past few weeks (I’ve only been doing these rankings since Week 9)
In terms of winners and losers – this week’s big winner (again) are Fishing Village FC (you do remember this is being hosted on ta Timbers Army website right). After scoring 4 goals for a 2nd week in a row, and taking down the consensus best team in the league they jump an average of 3.8 spots (adding to the 5.3 spots from last week). In other news, New York picked up a respectable 2.4 spots. This week’s big loser was the Dynamo. They dropped a whopping 3.6 spots after dropping 3 points at home in convincing fashion to New England.
As far as standar deviation goes, this is the first week were there was no team that we ranked the same across the board (in previous weeks DC United and FC Dallas were ranked the consensus worst and best respectively). In terms of both rankings and movement Portland is the team the ‘experts’ least agree on. If you look at their individual rankings 3 of the 5 ‘experts’ have them at #2 but the other two have them at #5 and #6 – that’s a pretty huge disparity. Additionally in movement one ‘expert’ kept them at #2, two others moved them from #3 to #2, and the other two experts dropped them from #4 to #6 (MLS) and #3 to #5 (Bleacher Report). FC Dallas is in a similar boat as Portland – being the 2nd most debated team in both movement and rankings. In their case they rank anywhere from #1 (MLS) to #5 (Oregon Live) (they also have two rankings at #3 and one at #2). Clearly folks didn’t know how much to read into what happened up north.
For folks who want to see trends over time, here are the average rankings for each team form Week 1 – Week 12 and a graph that is painful to look at and virtually worthless
Well that’s it for this week, if you have question, comments or concerns – let me know.