Firstly, I thought I would see what this year’s AFL ladder would look like if each team played each other once (in reality with 17 teams playing 22 games each, a team plays six others twice and the other ten once). To do this I simply halved the results (scores and premiership points) of those games between teams that played each other twice during the home and away season. Here is that “normalised” ladder in the final two columns compared with the actual one. It is as though each team played every other once, so that the maximum possible number of points is 16*4 = 64.
|#||TEAM||Played||Wins||Losses||Draws||%||PTS||Norm Pts||Norm %|
We see that the top 8 would be unchanged, and only Richmond-Melbourne and Gold Coast-Port Adelaide would have been swapped. This year, no team can really complain about having an unfortunate draw.
Secondly, after reading that Geelong has compiled a 105-20 (84%) win-loss record in their past 5 years (in fact winning 103 of their last 120 games including streaks of 15, 15, 13, 13, 12!), I thought I would compare it with a few other top team sports results over a five year period. We are not necessarily looking at teams that won championships in every year of that period, more winning percentage. Games with many draws such as test cricket, ice hockey and soccer had to be excluded since they give lower winning percentages. Note that a draw or no result counts as half a win in the percentages below. It can be seen that Geelong’s winning percentage compares favourably with those of many great sporting teams of the past.
- The New England patriots compiled a 77-17 (81.9%) record from 2003-2007 [ref].
- The Australian one-day cricket team had a 107-26 win-loss record plus 2 ties and 5 no results (78.9%) between 2001 and 2005 [ref].
- Between 1981 and 1986 the Boston Celtics had a 363-128 record (73.9%) including playoff games. As far as I can tell this exceeds any five-year period during their dynasty of the 1950s and 60s, as well as any best 5-year period of the LA Lakers or Chicago Bulls.
- The St George Dragons had a 87-1-13 win-draw-loss record (86.6%) in Australian Rugby League between 1957 and 1961 (they won 11 consecutive premierships from 1956 to 1966!)
- Worth a mention, tennis doubles “team” Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver had a mind-boggling 217-5 (97.7%) record from 1983 to 1987. This included 109 consecutive wins between April 1983 and Wimbledon 1985 in which they only lost 14 sets! (Data taken manually from the WTA website, do correct me if I am wrong!)