Opinion & Analysis

Uniball Power Rankings Week 15: Divison 2

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Chris TebbuttOpinion & Analysis
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Say a prayer for the 2021/22 season, it’s nearly over and the playoffs hopes of the few are shaping up whilst the teams at the bottom are just happy you can’t be relegated from Div 2.

1 – Edinburgh Napier Knights – Borders 2

Teams like the top two make me love football, two undefeated teams with multiple shutouts to their name. But one stands taller with a single impressive stat.

No points allowed against them is the stat that has placed Edinburgh Napier Knights at number one for this week, with the only other team to achieve that this season being the number one ranked premiership team, the UWE Bullets.

Napier are in rarified air, with all their lowest score of the season being 38-0; I believe that they are going to beat Glasgow on the 13th of February and the 3-2 Sunderland Spartans on the 20th and finish out the year undefeated.

The Knights have shown why they were a division 1 team in the 2019/20 season, and with their seemingly unstoppable run in division 2, they have put their 3-5 season behind them and hopefully have found the answers to the division 1 puzzle.

2 – Glasgow Uni Tigers – Borders 2

How have I given the top of the Borders 2 division second place? Because Uniball is amazing, and this is the second most anticipated game of the weekend, and if it isn’t, it really should be.

This SuperBowl weekend, the Glasgow Uni Tigers face the Edinburgh Napier Knights; I’ve waxed poetic about the Knights; now it’s the turn o the Tigers.

They are boasting a perfect record with a differential of +166, only four off Napier’s 170 and having four shutouts to their name.

The Tigers aren’t a team to sneeze at but unless they can do what no team has done so far, score a single point on Napier, they are going to have to settle for second best.

Compared to their 19/20 season, the Tigers have been keeping the same pace of excellence even with a break due to Covid in between as they came second in their division with a record of 5-1 and a differential of +109 in the last season.

The Tigers have already made the playoffs, so their postseason dreams are secured, but will they have an automatic promotion or fight for it?

We will know on Sunday.

3 – MMU Eagles – Northern 2

Undefeated teams are hard to come by nowadays, but there are a few left; with one taking the 0 from the Liverpool Raptors last week and their Week 16 being a walkover victory against the Bradford Bears, the MMU Eagles have claimed the Northern 1 division crown and promotion to Div 1.

Now on 6-0 with a +65 differential, which might not sound as impressive as other teams, but MMU has only had 8 points scored against them.

It seems we’ve got a defensive showcase happening at MMU, allowing two points from the UCLAN Rams and six from the Lancaster Bombers.

The MMU Eagles have had one of the best turnarounds from the 2019/20 season, from being second to last with a record of 1-6 to winning the division; this MMU side has picked themselves by the bootstraps right into Division 1.

4 – Bournemouth Uni Bobcats – South Eastern 2

They’ve won their division, they’ve not played for a while, but the Bournemouth Bobcats have enough time to rest up to make a splash in the playoffs.

Sitting on a perfect 5-0 record, a +95 point differential, and one walkover victory, the Bobcats are looking to keep their train rolling into division 1; they’ve made playoffs and are getting promoted.

Another team where having a year off didn’t affect very much, as, in the 2019/20 campaign, the Bobcats had a 5-1 record and a +116 differential.

They’ve had the same amount of wins but, this season doesn’t end in second place to the Bristol Barracuda. Instead, they are probably going to meet the Barracuda next year.

5 – Brighton Panthers/OBU Panthers/Oxford Lancers – Southern 2

Three teams in the Southern Divison 2 have all got a shot at the playoffs and automatic promotion.

The leaders of this band of merry teams are the Brighton Panthers, currently sporting a 5-0 record with a differential of +42 with one shutout; their record has been bolstered with two walkover victories of Kingston Cougars and Chichester Spitfires. They are currently in first place with one game left against the Oxford Lancers.

The OBU Panthers currently sit at 4-1, with that loss being in dispute as their first game of the season with the Brighton Panthers going down as an overtime loss, but uniball doesn’t have overtime, so it should be a draw. But we will go with the information we have for now.

OBU has been on a tear since their game with Brighton, winning their last four games, one of which being a walkover of the Winchester Silverbacks.

OBU has only allowed 6 points over their last three games from the Chichester Spitfires in a 6-23 victory, whilst their two other games have both been shutout victories over UCL Emperors and Kingston Cougars.

The Oxford Lancers, much like the Brighton Panthers, are undefeated. Still, unlike the Panthers, none are due to walkovers, beating Winchester, UCL, Kingston and Chichester, who have a combined record of 2-9-2.

The Lancers haven’t matched up with the two teams at the top of the division, and given they have a Cavalier cup game with OBU on Saturday 12th February; it’s their chance to show they aren’t just can crushers.

The winner of OBU vs Oxford on Saturday will find themselves in good stead to earn a playoff berth, and if OBU wins, they will be hoping the Lancers can beat Brighton on the 20th as they will launch them into first place. (If the loss gets overturned to a draw).

6 – Lincoln Colonials – Midlands 2

The sheer amount of joy I get writing this; the Lincoln Colonials are playoff-bound.

Whether they get automatically promoted is down to the result of the 4-1 Staffordshire Stallions vs the 3-2 Nottingham Green on Superbowl Sunday, as if Staffordshire win, they claim the top spot. However, Lincoln still make the playoffs with second place.

Lincoln finished with a 5-1 record, with two walkovers over Chester Legion and DMU Lions and closed out the season with a 49-0 shutout of the Huddersfield Hawks.

This is the best Colonials record ever, even the year they made the playoffs when I played for them; in the 2019/20 season, Lincoln went 2-3-1 and have improved dramatically over the covid year.

I have been transparent in my love for my alma mater, so this team and record makes me very pleased.

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