Opinion & Analysis

Uniball Preseason Power Rankings: Every Team By Division!

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Chris TebbuttOpinion & Analysis
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This took a hot second to put together, now how did I calculate these?

I looked at wins, playoff performance, point differentials and whether or not I feel the team above would be at the teams below

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ = One of the best teams in the country in their division ⭐⭐⭐⭐= Expected to make playoffs from a decent regular season ⭐⭐⭐= A playoff wildcard or barely missing out on a postseason berth ⭐⭐= Finishing at .500 or slightly worse. ⭐= A team who is begging for a good recruitment drive/ risking relegation

Anyway, watch The Rundown at 8pm on Mondays, season two starts October 24th.

Premiership

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – UWE Bullets – Premiership South

Of course, the reigning national champions are getting 5 stars, going undefeated and not allowing a single point in the regular season and beating Nottingham Gold in the finals.

Though some key players have left the Bullets such as their QB, Ivan. The Bullets have reloaded and are looking to make another push for a championship.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Nottingham Gold – Premiership North

You look at the Gold’s social media and tell me that they aren’t serious about taking home the national title this year, signing heavy hitters ready to push to the finals.

They finished last year with one blemish on their regular season record with a loss to Leeds Beckett Carnegie, I doubt the Gold will let that slide in the 2022/23 season and want to go back to back.

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 Leeds Beckett Carnegie – Premiership North

The Brotherhood came in and put up two shocking stories last year, beating the Gold and being the first team to put points on the Bullets.

Finishing with a 6-2 record, losing their first meeting to the Gold and losing to the emerging Durham Saints 47-26.

Leeds Beckett have a good foundation to work on and with the signing of Matt Mariota, younger brother of Atlanta Falcons Quarterback, Marcus Mariota, and Carnegie are putting their foot down to make a splash in the Prem this year.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Birmingham Lions – Premiership South

Oh, the Lions.

I personally like the Birmingham Lions but their losses to the Bullets last year whilst defeating all the other teams in the Prem South is somewhat worrying.

I can’t imagine Birmingham enjoy being the bridesmaid and never the bride but what will take for them to sniff the top of the Prem South, maybe the coaching change they have undergone can breathe new life into the Lions and they can take the top spot.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Durham Saints – Premiership North

The Saints are a solid prem side as far as I’m concerned and could upset most teams, a very “any given Sunday” squad.

Finishing 5-3, the Saints started heating up after their first two games last year as they suffered losses against Nottingham Gold and Leeds Beckett.

The Saints didn’t take that lying down, winning 5 of their next 6 games. With that loss having a close score line of 21-52 against the Gold and also the Saints then came back in the reverse fixture with Leeds Beckett and beat them 47-26.

The Saints just need to turn on the jets from the off and they can make an impact in the Prem this year.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – SGS Pride – Premiership South

The menace of Division One last year has, to the surprise of no one ended up in the Prem.

I can’t give them any more stars just due to how well some of the teams above played last year at the Premiership level, but don’t mistake this. I think the Pride are going to do great things.

Going undefeated throughout their whole Div 1 campaign, the Pride are looking to show that they are the real McCoy, with a state-of-the-art facility and purpose-built field for American Football.

SGS are putting all the pieces in place to come for the top spot in the Premiership, their first big test is going to come in the second week of the 2022 season as they take on the Birmingham Lions and that game will show if the Pride have the mettle to hang with the big boys.

Obviously, the hype is going to surround the first meeting of the Bullets and Pride on the 11th of December, which could be a harbinger of change for the Prem South.

⭐⭐⭐ – Newcastle Raiders – Premiership North

Though they didn’t come away with the Division One championship, the Raiders find themselves promoted into to the very tasty Prem North.

Going undefeated in the regular season en route to a match with Filton Pride in the finals, the Raiders are going to be coming in fresh to a very difficult division, their first game of the season against Leeds Beckett will be a big test to see if the Raiders can hang in one of the best divisions in all of Uniball.

⭐⭐1/2 – Cardiff Cobras – Premiership South

Now it starts getting tricky, I never like giving people low stars. I do hope it motivates them to put the Burners on.

Cardiff finished the season with a 3-5 record, beating their Welsh rivals and freshly relegated Swansea Titans twice and picking up one victory over the UEA Pirates.

Though they are a consistently scoring team, the Cobras are going to need to strike hard this year as they have to contend with the Lions, Bullets and now the Pride. But one victory over one of those teams are going to add some more stars next to their name.

⭐⭐ – Stirling Clansmen – Premiership North

Last season didn’t go the Clansmen’s way last season only beating now Division 1 Leeds Gryphons twice and ending up awarding a walkover victory to the Bullets in the Playoffs, twinned with the sudden departure of their Head Coach, the Clansmen are going to have a steep hill to climb.

But given the past years, the Clansmen are a team you can never count out, ready to go on a winning streak at any time, I don’t think the Clansmen are going to treat this year as a building year, but an opportunity to pounce on teams who don’t think they have minerals.

⭐- UEA Pirates – Premiership South

Don’t get me wrong, the Pirates beating the Cobras is impressive but the Pirate’s Week One loss to the Swansea Titans last year puts them here, just losing to a team that now isn’t in the Prem is enough to get them down at #10.

Winning 30-6 against the Cobras and beating the Titans in the return fixture shows that the Pirates can turn it on, but they need that extra je ne sais quoi to put them over the edge.

Much like everyone, they went scoreless against the Bullets losing 69-0 & 62-0, losing by the second highest margin to the Bullets, but it’s more so the games against the Lions where UEA managed to score 8 points in both games that need to be a bigger point of contention.

I do believe that the Pride aren’t going to suffer from a championship hangover, so I can’t see them going back down to Div 1 so quickly, but the Pirates need to insure they bring it, especially against Cardiff if they want to maintain their premiership status.


Division One

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Brunel Burners – Division One South Eastern

I think the 2022/23 season really could belong to the Burners, though they didn’t win their division last year due to their rivals over at the Imperial Immortals besting them twice in the regular season, Brunel took their momentum to the playoffs and showed the world that the Burners are a contender.

The Burners went over to the Filton Pride and made them look almost human as they held them to 15 points in a shutout loss, again doesn’t sound impressive but considering the Pride’s average score was 50 for their regular season matches, it makes the Burners look like a tasty championship prospect.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Sheffield Hallam Warriors – Division One Northern

Coming in second the squad out of Sheffield Hallam, having a point differential of +199 and going 6-2 in the regular season with both their losses coming at the hands of the Manchester Tyrants in two very close games.

The Warriors went all the way to the semi-finals against the Newcastle Raiders where they lost a 21-12 game.

Hallam are one of three teams in the North I believe will contend for the title: with the others, I’m sure coming close by on this list.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – NTU Renegades – Division One Midlands

Another contender for the North here, the NTU Renegades finished with a similar record to the Warriors going 6-2 and a diff of 142, with their two losses coming at the hands of Loughborough and a shock loss to the Warwick Wolves.

Their playoff run started impressively handing the Edinburgh Predators a 54-0 loss before meeting the Newcastle Raiders and suffering their season-ending loss.

NTU are on the cusp of the Prem, but the North is a tough nut to crack, but they have the minerals to add another Nottingham team to the Prem.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Loughborough – Division One Midlands

Rounding out my trio of Div 1 North contenders, Loughborough are in the running to make a playoff push this year.

Finishing the prior season 6-1 only suffering a regular-season loss to the NTU Renegades, the amount of talent at Loughborough is immense and given the size of their roster last season, they could have many players returning with experience on the field.

Making the playoffs and beating the Warwick Wolves for a third time, they matched up against the Sheffield Hallam Warriors where a 23-15 loss ended their championship dreams.

But with the NFL academy now moving to Loughborough to say there is a buzz around this team is an understatement.

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Imperial Immortals – Division South Eastern

The team with the best record who didn’t get promoted and the winners of the Div 1 South East with a record of 7-1, the Imperial Immortals.

Though I am sure the squad over at Imperial won’t be happy being ranked below Brunel, the reason is simply the Burners playoff run and the new players they have brought in.

Imperial seems to be the bogeyman team for the Burners, defeating them twice in the regular season only suffering a loss to the QMBL Vipers in their first game of last season.

Imperial’s squad is small, but they’ve packed it out with athletes who have a shutdown defence as despite having a +44-point differential, they won the Southeast with the largest score in their games being 24 against the Essex Blades.

Though their playoff dreams were snuffed out by the Portsmouth Destroyers in an amazing game losing 7-6, Imperial will be looking to prove me wrong and go back-to-back in the Southeast.

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Exeter Demons – Division One South Western

Not only do they have one of the best social media accounts in the game, but they are a damn good team as well.

They suffered from the same plight as everyone else in the Southwest last year, having the Filton Pride in their division. Finishing 5-3 with two losses coming against Filton and a surprising loss against the Southampton Stags.

The Demons found themselves in the playoffs and were able to shut out both the RHUL Bears and Portsmouth Destroyers before matching themselves up against the Pride once more and losing 51-0.

Their record against everyone not called the Pride and their playoff dominance shows that Exeter have the tools to put a great season together and make a bigger push with a Pride-less division now in their sights.

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Portsmouth Destroyers – Division One Southern

A team that was written off by me at the start of the season last year after losing their first three games last year.

The Destroyers then went on a five-game win streak which contained three shutout victories over Sussex, Surry and Hertfordshire which propelled them into the playoffs.

Despite being the third team from the Division One Southern to make the playoffs they were the only one to score a playoff victory defeating the 7-1 Imperial Immortals 7-6 before meeting the Exeter Demons and losing 6-0.

The Div 1 Southern is a defensive division and if the Destroyers can add some offensive weapons like their new QB Will Lacey, we could be looking at a dark horse here.

⭐⭐⭐⭐- Manchester Tyrants – Division One Northern

I have just got a feeling there is something special cooking up in Manchester this season.

Beating the Sheffield Hallam Warriors twice in the regular season 44-46 and 44-42 and finishing 4-1-1 after a loss to the Derby Braves via walkover to the Derby Braves and 34-34 draw with the Sheffield Sabres.

What stands out as Manchester’s biggest score line is a 14-12 loss to the Newcastle Raiders in the playoffs, giving the Raiders the closest game of their entire season and almost stopping their promotion season.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Royal Holloway Bears – Division One Southern

The Bears season was one of the strangest records in Uniball, finishing 5-1-2 and that was enough to give them the Southern championship.

Their 2021/22 campaign featured two shutout victories over the Sussex Saxons, a 14-14 draw with the Surrey Stingers and amazingly a 0-0 draw with the Hertfordshire Hurricanes.

The RHUL Bears need a little more fire to push them over the edge to becoming championship threats, as they ran head-on into the Exeter Demons in their playoff game last year where they were defeated 12-0.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Hertfordshire Hurricanes – Division One Southern

The last of the five-win teams from the Southern division, the Hurricanes went 5-2-1 coming second in the Division One Southern, shutting out the Destroyers 6-0 in their first meeting.

Why they are ranked below the Destroyers is due to the playoff performance from both squads, as the Hurricanes met the Brunel Burners in the first round and ended up losing 23-7.

Another defensive standout from the Southern Division, if the Hurricanes can excel this season, they can find themselves back in the Prem in no time.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Swansea Titans – Division One South Western

The first of the squads coming down from the Prem with eyes to climb the ladder straight back up, the Swansea Titans.

Going 1-7 in their Prem season last year, picking up one victory against the UEA Pirates.

Just because they have dropped down doesn’t mean they are a bad team, but the Titans are going to be looking towards the Prem once again but having to contend with Exeter could prove a bridge too far.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Warwick Wolves – Division One Midlands

The Wolves may have gone .500 finishing 4-4 last season, but you have to look a bit deeper to show how that shouldn’t go down as a major loss for the Wolves.

Some of the games they lost prove a point about how close the Wolves are to greatness, in their first meeting with NTU they lost by four points, their first meeting with Loughborough losing by one point as well as a victory against the Renegades shows that the Wolves can turn the dial up when needed, they made the playoffs but weren’t able to get past Loughborough for the third time.

Where they slip down the list is a 6-2 loss to the struggling Coventry Jets, if the Jets are able to refuel for this season, then the Wolves could be staring the bottom of the Division in the face.

⭐⭐⭐1/2- QMBL Vipers – Division South Eastern

QMBL could end up being a silent killer in the Southeast, finishing 4-3 in the 2021/22 season with their most impressive being the only regular season loss for the Imperial Immortals, but don’t let that one accomplishment fool you.

The Vipers had two shutout victories over ARU Rhinos and Essex Blades along with a 6-7 loss to the Brunel Burners.

Where questions arise for the QMBL Vipers is in the playoffs as they successfully made the playoffs but didn’t go ahead with the game against Filton Pride, I am unsure of the reason, but it doesn’t reflect well on what a good season for the Vipers.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Leeds Gryphons – Division One Borders

Leeds are coming off a horrific stint in the Prem, losing every game and only scoring ten points all season.

But cast your mind back to 2019, Leeds went undefeated that season on their journey to the Prem and they are going into a division that is very much up for grabs and they are looking to prove that last season isn’t reflective of the programme as a whole.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Bournemouth Uni Bobcats – Division One South West

 Now, this is one that will annoy people, but I am going to stand by it.

The first of the new kids on the block, the Bournemouth Uni Bobcats didn’t lose a single game on their way to the Division Two South title.

They are plonked in a division where their biggest test is going to be the Exeter Demons and Swansea Titans.

But with All-Star QB Alfie Birks under center and a more experienced team, the Bobcats could be a heavy hitter in this division.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Glasgow Uni Tigers – Division One Borders

Another team coming out from Division Two here, the Glasgow Uni Tigers are entering a wide-open division where the majority of the teams in the Division One Borders had a losing season last year, being the Northumbria Mustangs, Hull Sharks and Leeds Gryphons.

Glasgow Uni Tigers come off an undefeated regular season (despite never playing the Edinburgh Napier Knights) with their only loss coming against the Liverpool Raptors in the Div 2 North Championship.

The Tigers can take advantage of an open division, with their eyes peeled for the Edinburgh Predators who finished 4-3 last year and the Leeds Gryphons who are going to channelling 2019 when they ran through Div 1 Yorkshire & Lancashire.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – MMU Eagles – Division One Northern

MMU come off a big season last year, going 7-0 and earning themselves a spot in the Division One North. Though not as open as the Div One Borders it gives the Eagles a chance to prove themselves against some stiff competition.

The Eagles highlights of last season are holding the explosive UCLAN Rams to 2 points in their matchup and defeating the eventual Div 2 North champions, the Liverpool Raptors giving them their only loss that season and booting them from getting the promotion and the championship.

With a Manchester derby with the Tyrants as their first opponents this year, it’s going to be a jump straight in the deep end for the Eagles, though playoffs could be in their future as a Div One side. It isn’t going to be easy for them.

⭐⭐⭐ – Oxford Lancers – Division One Southern

The last team coming up from Division Two with an undefeated regular season, the Lancers trounced the rest of their division last year giving them the Div 2 Southern title and a chance to contend in Division One, finishing with a +96-point differential.

Though I don’t think the Lancers will be competing for a spot in the Prem just yet, I don’t believe that they will be down in Division 2 anytime soon, just a very good consistent team who will be in Division One long enough to find out what is needed to push further into Uniball.

⭐⭐⭐ – Edinburgh Predators – Division One Borders

The Predators are heading into this year I imagine with a chip on their shoulder, knowing that the new threats from Glasgow Uni and Leeds could kill their playoff dreams.

Finishing 4-3 with a +64-point differential with three shutout victories, the Edinburgh Predators are looking like a mid-tier threat, but without the Newcastle Raiders in their division it could be the Predators’ year to make a bigger playoff push, as last year they met the NTU Renegades in the first round and lost 54-0.

Edinburgh will be looking to avenge that playoff battering this year and claim Borders as their own against fresh blood.

⭐⭐1/2 – Sheffield Sabres – Division One Northern

I don’t think the Sabres are going down to Division Two this year, but I can’t see them making headway into the Prem given their Sheffield Derby rivalry with Hallam went in favour of the Warriors and the Tyrants looking to strike back, I think the Sabres are looking to play spoiler if they have the pieces together.

Going .500 last season with a 3-3-1 record, the Sabres beat Derby Braves twice and LJMU once, though their biggest result of the season was their draw, keeping up with the Tyrants in a 34-34 game.

If the Sabres can push into a higher gear against Manchester, LJMU and the newly Division One MMU Eagles, it could be a banner year for the Sabres would look to spoil the Warriors’ promotion dreams.

⭐⭐1/2 – Bristol Barracuda – Division One South Western

Finishing 4-4 on the season the Barracuda were swimming in a division populated with the sharks known as the Filton Pride and Exeter Demons, the Barracuda were going to struggle against them.

Not coming out to a tremendous start the Barracuda lost to the now relegated Bath Killer Bees 6-2, with their losses against the Pride as well maxing out at 56-0.

The Barracuda have an opportunity to bully their way to a playoff spot as they can prove themselves to be a real Division one side with Southampton and Bournemouth being key targets in their sights.

The Bristol Barracuda are looking to not be left behind in Bristol’s dominance in the Britball space.

⭐⭐1/2 – Southampton Stags – Division One South Western

It was hard to decide where to put the Stags and Barracuda, but the Stags 43-14 loss to the Barracuda trumps their shock victory over the Exeter Demons.

Another 4-4 team in the Southwest who survived the double relegation brought on by the Filton Prides addition to the Southwest last year with two wins over Bath Killer Bees and one victory over the Reading Knights.

The Stags have very much the same story as the Barracuda. Their continued presence in Division One is going to rely on if Bournemouth can handle the smoke, whether Bristol can bring in key pieces and if Swansea can prevent a descent into Division 2.

⭐⭐1/2 – Coventry Uni Jets – Division One Midlands

The Jets have been in freefall recently (yes, I know I use that joke a lot), but could this be the year they turn it around?

Going 3-5 last year, the Jets dominated the struggling Leicester Longhorns 33-14 in both meetings and then pulled off a surprise victory against the playoff-bound Warwick Wolves beating them 6-2.

Though they are a division with three tough opponents in Loughborough, NTU and Warwick. In the past Coventry have shown they are a winning programme through their years of dominance, and they are going to look to get back to that this year.

Now with the Stallions joining the division, the Jets are going to be looking to impose their will on the new boys and catapult themselves up the leaderboard and into the stratosphere of the Division One Midlands.

⭐⭐1/2 – Kent Falcons – Division South Eastern

Another one of the new recruits to Division One, the Kent Falcons join arguably the toughest division in the South as they have to contend with QMBL, Imperial and Brunel in their question for the Prem.

Kent finished 5-1 last year with their sole loss coming against the Cambridge Pythons, also shutting out the City Wolfpack and OBU Panthers, twinned with a close loss to the Div 2 South Champion Bournemouth Uni Bobcats 6-8.

The Falcons have the ability to stay in Division One for a while whilst they collect weapons to make a push to the playoffs, but if they can get by the Essex Blades the Falcons can make Div 1 their home.

⭐ – LJMU Fury – Division One Northern

The LJMU Fury stay up even though their season last year wasn’t as impressive as they would have liked, going 2-4-1 with the highlight of their season being a victory over the Sheffield Sabres then a walkover victory against the Derby Braves, twinned with an 18-18 draw with the now relegated Derby Braves.

With the MMU Eagles coming in off a fantastic Division Two campaign last year, it is going to be difficult for the Fury to keep their head above water, they will be looking to capitalize on the Sheffield Sabres if LJMU wishes to keep their Division One Status.

⭐ – Hull Sharks – Division One Borders

Another team from the Borders division who haven’t come away smiling over the 2021/22 season, the Hull Sharks narrowly missed getting relegated as they finished with the same score line as the now relegated Division 2 York Centurions but due to the points difference, the Sharks stayed up.

Now that the Centurions have been sent to Division Two, it’s a battle for the bottom between the Sharks and Mustangs and both teams will be looking to save themselves from the fate of going down to Division Two.

⭐ – Northumbria Mustangs – Division One Borders

Not a season adorned in glory for the Mustangs, going 3-5 and losing both matchups to the now Division 2 York Centurions.

Though the Northumbria Mustangs beat the Hull Sharks twice and the Edinburgh Predators in their first meeting, the Northumbria Mustangs now have to contend with the Glasgow Uni Tigers and Leeds Gryphons in their division, which will make their journey up the division a lot harder.

But if they can secure wins against Edinburgh Predators again, the Mustangs can get themselves out of relegation hell.

⭐ – Staffordshire Stallions – Division One Midlands

The final team on this list to be promoted up to Division One but the only one who I don’t think will stay up there.

The Stallions ended the 21/22 season with the same record as both the Lincoln Colonials and Nottingham Green at 5-1, however, the Stallions ended up getting promoted.

Though due to the DMU ineligible players situation last year, the losses Lincoln, Nottingham and Staffordshire suffered were overturned.

They are entering into a tough division in the Midlands 2, with two championship contenders, a solid squad in the Warwick Wolves and if the Coventry Jets can sort themselves out this year, it could be a short trip for the Stallions in Division One.

⭐ – Sussex Saxons – Division One Southern

The Saxons are coming of a 2-6 record, where they beat the now division two Surrey Stingers. Though they are at risk of relegation, their stat lines from last year aren’t horrific holding the Hertfordshire Hurricanes to one-point games in both of their encounters last year.

Due to the Saxons being in the most defensive-led division, if they add some key pieces, they can really shock the Southern Division One, but with the addition of the Oxford Lancers into the division, the Saxons could be hard pressed to make it out of this season with their division one status intact.

⭐ – Essex Blades – Division One South Eastern

The Essex Blades are another team with a real problem given their division is so strong, featuring QMBL, Imperial and Brunel breathing down their neck.

The Blades finished with a 2-5 record beating the now Div 2 Midlands-bound ARU Rhinos twice in their relegation prevention season including a 10-0 walkover.

But now that Kent Falcons have entered the division, I don’t believe that the Essex Blades are going to be long for Division One.

Division Two

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Liverpool Raptors – Division Two Northern

Oh, Liverpool Raptors, what such sweet sorrow.

Your 2021/22 Division Two North champions still dwell in Div 2 but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

But you can’t question that the Raptors are going to transform a championship season last year into a promotion season this year.

The Raptors went 6-1 in the regular season last year, but that loss to the MMU Eagles would confine them to Div 2.

Liverpool’s playoff performance however was amazing, beating the Edinburgh Napier Knights 54-8 in the first round which was incredible as the Napier Knights hadn’t conceded a point during all of the regular season, then getting their win back against the MMU Eagles and then beating the undefeated Glasgow Uni Tigers in the final.

Liverpool have the firepower and I imagine the desire to take their skills up a Division this year.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- Edinburgh Napier Knights – Division Two Borders

Only two teams went into the 2021/21 postseason without having a single point scored on them, the National Championship-winning UWE Bullets and the Edinburgh Napier Knights.

Despite situations depriving us of the historic clash between the Knight and the Glasgow Uni Tigers last year, if the Napier Knights can capitalize on the division again it could be their chance to get that promotion up to Div 1.

Their playoff hopes on the other hand are strange, losing in the first round to the eventual champions in the Liverpool Raptors, but this is where Div 2 is strange, should this list be based on promotion or championship aspirations.

It’s promotion, it’s always promotion and the Napier Knights will be knocking on the door this coming season.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – KCL Regents – Division Two South East

The Regents finished on the same record as Div 1 bound Kent Falcons but through the head-to-head, the Regents’ 5-1 season doesn’t propel them to the next level.

Despite being a division containing the Greenwich Mariners, the Regents’ regular season is just more impressive than the Mariners despite beating them in their first meeting and losing to them via a 20-0 shutout in the playoffs.

They have new faces in the South East this year as the UCL Emperors and the Kingston Cougars join the division to substitute out for the Kent Falcons going to Div 1 and the Cambridge Pythons moving to the Midlands 2.

If KCL can capitalize on their great regular season record last year, now that Kent has left and they haven’t got any teams coming down from Div 1 in the Southeast, if they can tame the Mariners, this could be KCL’s year.

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Greenwich Mariners – Division Two South Eastern

Another championship-contending team who never got the promotion, though this story is slightly different.

Greenwich made it to the Southern championships in a losing effort against the newly promoted Bournemouth Uni Bobcats, but it came off a 4-2 regular season for the Mariners, a true 2007 New York Giants Story.

Beating Oxford Lancers & KCL Regents in the playoffs as well as winning their last four games in a row (two were walkovers mind you).

If the Mariners haven’t lost too much firepower it could be another case of a getting over a championship contention hangover very quickly.

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 – UCLAN Rams – Division Two Northern

The squad over at UCLAN put up an impressive 2021/22 season going 5-2, with three shutout victories and another finishing 28-2.

When the UCLAN Rams are on, they can dominate with their scoring potential. However, on the flip side when they can’t impose their will they struggle to score points, though a positive to take away from their regular season losses, their loss against the MMU Eagles 2-9 and a tight victory against the Lancaster Bombers 8-6 show that their defence isn’t one to be looked over either.

Their promotion dreams may be hindered due to Liverpool Raptors being in their division, but to say the Rams aren’t contenders would be a disservice to the programme.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Lancaster Bombers – Division Two Northern

The Bombers finished 4-3 last season but that doesn’t show just how dominant they were in those victories and even in their losses Lancaster have set themselves up for an impressive next year.

Claiming three shutout victories 80-0 vs Bangor, 40-0 vs Bradford and 30-0 vs Edge Hill, along with a 50-8 victory over Aberystwyth.

Even their losses paint a picture of a team on the cusp of promotion contention, losing to UCLAN 8-6, Liverpool 18-6 and MMU 6-10.

The Bombers are truly a dark horse for this division and if they can finally conquer the Raptors and Rams along with maintaining their offensive prowess, the Bomber could find themselves in Division One sooner rather than later.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – OBU Panthers – Division Two Southern

The OBU panthers had a good 21/22 season finishing at 4-1-1 and a +64 differential, they didn’t lose a game until their last game against the winners of the Div 2 Southern in the Oxford Lancers.

Drawing their first game with the Brighton Panthers and then proceeding to win their next 4 until their meeting with the Lancers, OBUs also made the playoffs where they came against the Kent Falcons where they ended up losing 0-9.

OBU have a bright future ahead of them in the Southern Division and if they can continue their dominance of everyone and snag a victory over Brighton then OBU could prove they are the one, unless the Stingers, Redhawks and Knights have something to say about that.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Lincoln Colonials- Division Two Midlands

The Colonials are entering into a Midlands Two Division that has been thoroughly shaken up with two teams joining from other divisions and two coming down from division one, the stalwarts of the Div Two Midlands will be salivating at the chance to feast on fresh blood.

The Colonials finished with a 5-1 record, the best in club history and a playoff berth which contained two walkovers and two shutouts with the largest of which being a 49-0 defeat of the Huddersfield Hawks.

It seems the Colonials’ success lies in their defence only allowing 25 points against them in the regular season, if they can add some offensive weapons it could be time for the Colonials to get promoted.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Nottingham Green – Division Two Midlands

Another squad from the rejigged Midlands Two, the Green are going to be looking to outdo their Prem teams rivals by being the first secondary team to reach division one over the UWE Bullets 2’s.

Being the only team to defeat the now division one Staffordshire Stallions in the regular season, though the Green had two walkover victories over Huddersfield and DMU, with their only loss at the hands of the Lincoln Colonials 20-7.

With how stacked the Nottingham Gold is I’m expecting the experience given by the impressive signings to drip down to the Green and aid them in developing the tools needed to make a division one push.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – DMU Lions – Division Two Midlands

Before the ineligible player scandal last year, you can’t say that the DMU Lions weren’t tearing that division apart, beating the three Midlands teams who made the playoffs last year in the Green, Colonials and thrashing the now Division One Staffordshire Stallion 50-6 until after the ineligible player was made aware to BUCS and of those DMU wins were turned to walkover victories for the other teams.

The DMU Lions now have to dust themselves off and forget about the year that has just passed and regain focus as four teams have entered the Midlands Two who weren’t there last year, if they can keep their nose clean the DMU Lions could be in for another stint in Division One.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – UWE Bullets 2s – Division Two South West

Though they are divisions apart, I imagine the feud between the UWE Bullets and the Nottingham Gold is spilling over into Division Two and both teams will be looking to be the inaugural second’s team to make it into Division One and both the Green and the Bullets 2’s have the chance to accomplish that this season.

The 2’s made the playoff last year and fell to the winners of the Div Two South Western and the eventual Div 2 South champions, the now-promoted Bournemouth Uni Bobcats 31-6.

They finished 3-2 in the regular season, losing to Bournemouth and the Plymouth Blitz but beating the rest of the field in Solent, Gloucestershire and Bath Spa.

The Bullets 2’s biggest threat this season comes from the Plymouth Blitz and newly relegated Bath Killer Bees with those three teams potentially being locked in a promotion battle for the South West if another South-Western team doesn’t put on a surprising performance.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Brighton Panthers – Division Two Southern

Brighton finished with a 4-1-1 record much like their rivals OBU however Brighton’s point differential was less than the squad over at OBU finishing at +22.

Suffering the same fate as OBU, drawing their first game and losing to the Oxford Lancers and those being the only blemishes on their record shows that the game between the two Panthers squads is likely to end up being for promotion in the 2022/23 season, unless one of the new teams in the Southern division have something to say about the Panthers bid for Div 1

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Cambridge Pythons – Division Two Midlands

The Pythons have slithered north to join the Midlands, leaving behind Div 2 South East and old rivals to forge new feuds.

The Pythons finished 4-2 and narrowly missing out on a positive point differential at -3, with a season highlight of being the only team to defeat the now Division One Kent Falcons in the regular season.

In regards to their losses, one was a walkover to the City Wolfpack and the other was a close 34-30 defeat to the KCL Regents, the Pythons have shown they have the firepower but in a brand new division are they going to be wishing for the devils they know instead.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Heriot-Watt Wolverines – Division Two Borders

The Wolverines finished 3-4 in a difficult Borders Two division and will be looking to finish higher on the leaderboard in a division with no new teams coming into it and hopefully play some more games as three of their games last year were decided via walkover

Two of the wins for Heriot-Watt came by way of walkover from YSJ and UWS whilst the other one was a 23-0 shutout victory of the Teesside Cougars.

Their losses on the other hand paint a much better picture of just how good the Heriot-Watt Wolverines are poised to be. With a 12-14 loss to the newly promoted Glasgow Uni Tigers, a 7-8 loss to the Sunderland Spartans and a walkover loss to the Aberdeen Bulls, though they couldn’t stop the Napier Knights who defeated them 38-0, which is still the lowest amount scored by Edinburgh Napier Knights in the regular season, if you want to count it as a win.

You can only imagine what their scores would have been like if they were able to play all their games, but this season could be a breakout season for Heriot-Watt.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Solent Redhawks – Division Southern

Solent are coming in fresh off a 3-2 season in the Div 2 South Western looking to cause havoc in a new division.

It wasn’t a bad go of it last year from the Redhawks having some close games with the playoff teams from Division Two South Western, losing 14-18 against the UWE Bullets 2’s and giving the Bournemouth Uni Bobcats to the closest game of their season in a 20-21 loss.

Also winning their games against Gloucestershire, Plymouth and Bath Spa put the Redhawks on the edge of playoff contention but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

The Redhawks are in the conversation for a playoff berth and a potential promotion as well and will look to match up with some of the heavy hitters in the Southern Division, but it’s looking like the new squad on the scene is going to cause some havoc for the South.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Aberdeen Bulls – Division Two Borders

Aberdeen came through last year, making their return to the Uniball scene and finished with a commendable 4-3 record in a tough division.

The Bulls’ two wins came via two walkovers from Heriot-Watt and YSJ and then a shutout against the UWS Pyros and a 32-8 victory against the Sunderland Spartans, but on the flip side they fell against the two titans of the Borders in Edinburgh Napier 46-0 and the now promoted Glasgow Uni Tigers 34-6 as well as the emerging Teesside Cougars 16-6.

With them being a new/returning squad if they can continue their momentum from their first season back in the league, the Bulls could make a splash in the division.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Sunderland Spartans – Division Two Borders

Sunderland are in with a chance of winning this Division if they can slay the Napier Knights as they had an impressive 21/22 season but didn’t end up facing the Napier Knights so there is anticipation for their 2022/23 season meeting in the Spartan’s first game this season.

Their four wins came against the UWS Pyros, YSJ Jaguars via Walkover, Heriot-Watt and Teesside but they fell to the Glasgow Uni Tigers 6-0 and their biggest loss came against the Aberdeen Bulls 32-8.

The close game the Spartans had with the tigers along with their other wins paints Sunderland as a team to watch out for in the Borders but, their loss to Aberdeen could raise questions about their dominance, but with a new Glasgow-less Borders Two it really could be anyone’s game…

⭐⭐⭐1/2- York Centurions – Division Two Northern

They may have one of the best social media accounts in Uniball, but that couldn’t save them from relegation last year.

The York Centurions were the only team to be relegated with more than one win in their 2021/22 season, beating the Northumbria Mustangs in both of their encounters last year but unfortunately still falling to Division 2.

The Centurions are going into a tough division with reigning Div 2 North champions, Liverpool Raptors along with the UCLAN Rams and Lancaster Bombers, but York are going to be looking to spend as little time as possible in Division Two and bounce straight back up.

Despite going 1-8-1 last year, their score lines at the start of the season weren’t horrific drawing 18-18 with the LJMU Fury, losing 26-27 to the Sheffield Sabres and holding Sheffield Hallam to a 20-14 loss shows that the Braves haven’t lost all the pizazz that made them a Prem side a few years ago.

⭐⭐⭐1/2 – Plymouth Blitz – Division Two South West

Though they narrowly missed the playoffs last year that isn’t a feat the Blitz will be looking to replicate in the 2022/23 season.

Much like the Bullets 2’s, the Blitz went 3-2 with their losses coming at the hands of the Bournemouth Uni Bobcats and the Solent Redhawks who have now departed the South West for the Southern Division.

The South-West is truly up for grabs and the Blitz and Bullets are looking to stake their promotion claims first, but with the relegated Bath Killer Bees and with Aberystwyth moving to the South West there are questions that have to be asked of the Blitz before the South Western title is given to them, but their week six matchup with the Bullets 2’s could answer all those questions.

⭐⭐⭐ – Derby Braves – Division Two Midlands

The Braves have fallen hard from their last stint in the Prem in 2018, they survived one year in Division One in 2019 but just couldn’t hang on in 2021 and now find themselves in Division 2 this coming season.

Going 1-6-1 last season with their only win coming by way of a walkover from the Manchester Tyrants and their draw coming against the LJMU Fury 18-18, their losses fluctuate from impressive to harrowing, losing a game 27-26 against the Sheffield Sabres and 20-14 to Sheffield Hallam Warriors paint a picture of a team where all hope isn’t lost, however, in the second half of the season it is a different story losing 25-60 to Hallam and 12-54 to the Tyrants.

The Braves have the opportunity to lead a comeback story for the ages, but the new look Midlands 2 isn’t going to cower over the past glories of the Derby Braves.

⭐⭐⭐ – Bath Killer Bees – Division Two South West

Another casualty of the Filton Pride joining the Division One South Western, both the Killer Bees and Reading Knights were relegated last year.

The Killer Bees went 1-6 last year picking up a week two victory against the Bristol Barracuda 6-2, showing that there is still a sting in the tail of the Killer Bees, but they will have to contend with the Bullets 2’s and the Plymouth Blitz at the top of the Division Two South Western if they wish to make their jaunt back to Division Two a short one.

⭐⭐⭐ – Surrey Stingers – Division Two Southern

Coming to Div Two Southern from the Div One Southern the Surrey Stingers will be looking to have a short journey down in Division Two and earn their Div 1 wings back.

Finishing 1-6-1 in a very tough division last year, the Stingers gained their sole loss and draw in their first two games having a 14-14 draw with the RHUL Bears and then beating the Sussex Saxons 6-0, after that the season went off the rails for Surrey losing every game including a close 7-6 loss to the Hertfordshire Hurricanes.

Keeping it close with two Div 1 playoff sides shows that the Stingers aren’t going down to Div 2 to be walkovers, but seeing them match up with the top dogs in Div 2 Southern will give a better look at the Surrey Stingers, especially with their week three match up with the OBU Panthers.

⭐⭐1/2 – Teesside Cougars – Division Two Borders

Going 3-4 last season the victories were great for the Cougars but their losses tell a different story, beating the returning Aberdeen Bulls in their game and then going on to score victories against YSJ and an 8-0 shutout victory of the UWS Pyros shows that Teesside are capable of turning the jets on.

The losses on the other hand aren’t fantastic, with all their losses coming by way of a shutout against Glasgow Uni 56-0, Heriot-Watt 23-0 and their games with Sunderland and Edinburgh Napier finishing at 46-0.

It is going to be an interesting year for the Cougars, as no new teams have joined the Div 2 Borders and the Glasgow Uni Tigers have been promoted, it could be a big season for Teesside as if they can push through they can finish towards the top of the table.

⭐⭐1/2 – Bradford Bears – Division Two Northern

The Bradford Bears’ 3-4 record paints the picture of a solid team within the mid-levels of the Northern division as they were able to secure wins against the Edge Hill Vikings and Aberystwyth and a walkover win over Bangor due to them forfeiting part of the season.

The North is a very tough division, and the Bears will be looking to break through the upper levels but they will be hard-pressed to make a push for promotion in the 2022/23 season.

⭐⭐1/2 – UCL Emperors – Division Two South Eastern

The Emperors are taking their skills from the Div Two South to the Div Two South Eastern to test themselves in another division.

UCL ended up with a 2-3-1 record last season defeating Chichester and Kingston both in shutout victories and drawing 14-14 with the Winchester Silverbacks, with their losses coming against Brighton, OBU and Oxford who were the three strongest teams in the division.

The Southeast will provide new challenges but it seems like UCL are on the rise and if they can compete with KCL and Greenwich, UCL might be another dark horse to finish high in a new division.

⭐⭐ – Reading Knights – Division Two Southern

One of two former Div One teams coming down into the Southern Division Two.

The Knight’s last stint at Division One last year wasn’t a great time for them, being in the same division as Filton Pride didn’t help but it also led to two teams getting relegated from that division which affected the Knights personally.

Finishing 1-6-1 with the third worst point differential in all of Uniball at -211, the draw coming against the other Division One South Western team to be relegated in the Bath Killer Bees and a shocking win over the Southampton Stags.

Their win over Southampton and draw with Bath came in their last two games showing that there was a spark that started to heat up in Reading, if they can harness that at the start of the 22/23 season it could be a short stint in Div 2 for the Knights.

⭐⭐ – ARU Rhinos – Division Two Midlands

Another team coming down from Div one into the Midlands, the ARU join their fellow Cambridge-based side on their journey into the Midlands 2.

The ARU Rhinos come into the 2022/23 season off an 0-8 season with half of those losses coming by way of a walkover and three of the other four being shutout losses with the Rhinos’ first game with the Essex Blades being the only game in which they scored any points.

This one might not be as ambiguous as the Derby Braves but the ARU Rhinos are going to have to prove themselves in Division Two before any hope of returning to Division One.

⭐⭐ – Aberystwyth Tarannau – Division Two South Western

Moving from Div Two Northern to the South West Aberystwyth will be looking to stake their claim against teams that are new to them.

Finishing 2-5 last year with one win via a walkover against Bangor Muddogs and a 7-6 victory over the Edge Hill Vikings, Aberyswyth will be looking towards their new division which comes new opportunities to exploit teams who don’t know your game plan.

⭐⭐ – Leicester Longhorns – Division Two Midlands

The last of the teams coming down from Division One with into the Midlands, the Longhorns story is very much like the ARU Rhinos.

Leicester lost every game last season and finished with the worst point differential in the league at  -242, with three shutout losses and not finishing a game with their closest game being a 14-33 loss to the Coventry Uni Jets, it shows just how bad the season went for the Longhorns last year.

It really is going to be interesting to see how the Longhorns bounce back from last year or if they even can, with all the new blood in the Div Two Midlands it could be a bridge to far to suggest the Longhorns will be sniffing Division One again for a few years.

⭐⭐ – Winchester Silverbacks – Division Two Southern

The Silverbacks finished 2-3-1 last year with their victories coming one by way of a walkover from the Chichester Spitfires and a 6-0 victory over the Kingston Cougars.

With the influx of new teams into the Southern division with two coming fresh from Div 1, it could be a difficult run of things for the Silverbacks, but if they can pull out a statement victory in their week one match with the relegated Reading Knights it could start putting the Silverbacks in the back of the mind of opposing coaches and players.

⭐1/2 – City Wolfpack – Division Two South Eastern

The City Wolfpack know that the South East is a tough division but are going to be looking to break through their 2-4 record last year.

City came away with two wins one via a walkover from the UEL Phoenix and also defeating the Canterbury Christchurch Chargers.

With the Kingston Cougars and UCL Emperors joining the South East it could be a chance for the Wolfpack to prove themselves against the new squads and given their first two matches are against Canterbury and Kingston, it could give the Wolfpack the opportunity to build momentum going forward into the season.

⭐1/2 – Keele Crusaders – Division Two Midlands

Keele finished last year 2-4 with a walkover victory of the now defunct Chester Legion and a 21-0 shutout of the Huddersfield Hawks.

Given the amount of talent that has entered the Midlands 2 along with the longstanding teams, it is going to be a hard season for the Crusaders to gain any momentum.

With the addition of three teams that have come down from division one and the top half of Midlands 2, I think Keele will be finding themselves towards the bottom of the leaderboard this coming season.

⭐1/2 – Canterbury Christ Church Chargers – Division Two South Eastern

Despite having one of the best team nicknames in the league, it wasn’t a successful season last year for the C4.

Canterbury went 1-6 last season picking up a 36-12 victory over the UEL Phoenix, hopefully, the C4 can prove to be explosive this year and work their way up the rankings with the fresh blood now entering the division.

⭐1/2 – Kingston Cougars – Division Two South Eastern

Joining the South-Eastern Division from the Southern division this year, the Kingston Cougars will be looking to turn their fortunes around and pounce on an unsuspecting new division.

Kingston went 1-6 last season winning their first game against the Chichester Spitfires 14-0 before losing their other six, three of which were a shutout.

One of which being a 10-0 loss to the UCL Emperors who will also be joining Kingston in the Southeast from the South, this new scenery hopefully lends itself to the Cougars for more success.

⭐1/2 – Bath Spa Bulldogs – Division Two South Western

The Bath Spa Bulldogs don’t have the same track record as their Killer Bee cousins, but they will be looking to take a bite out of the Div Two South Western this year.

Finishing 1-4 last season the Bulldogs were able to defeat the Gloucestershire Gladiators in their second game 8-2 before being within a score of beating the Plymouth Blitz in their third game going 8-14, suffering losses against the Bullets, Redhawks and Bobcats show that the Bulldogs have a way to go before they head up the South Western table but they are most certainly on the right track.

⭐ – Edge Hill Vikings – Division Two Northern

Edge Hill are coming off a struggling season, going 1-6 with their sole win coming via a walkover to the Bangor Muddogs.

The Northern division is one of the toughest in Div 2 but with the introduction of the Huddersfield Hawks and YSJ Jaguars into that division the Edge Hill Vikings might come away with more than one win this season.

⭐ – Huddersfield Hawks – Division Two Northern

Trading the Midlands for the Northern division the Huddersfield Hawks will be hoping a change of scenery will lead to them to more wins this season as their campaign last season saw them only have one match in which they scored points in a 60-12 loss to the Staffordshire Stallions.

Going 1-6 with their victory coming due to the Chester Legion dropping out of the 21/22 season, the Hawks will be leaving the Midlands in the rear view mirror as they look to reverse fortunes in the Northern Division.

⭐- UWS Pyros – Division Two Borders

The Pyros have struggled to gain momentum for the last few years, but with no new faces coming into the Borders Two division, it could be the time for UWS to get at least a couple of wins.

Going one better than their 2019 record by getting at least one win the Pyros’ 2022/23 season finished 1-6 playing 5 of their 7 games with one being a walkover loss to the Heriot-Watt Wolverines and the other being a walkover win against the YSJ Jaguars.

I do hope that the Pyros finish in better stead than the last few years but with YSJ moving divisions and Div 2 Borders having some tough teams in it, this season may end up being a case of history repeating itself for the Pyros.

⭐ – Gloucestershire Gladiators – Division Two South Western

The Gladiators season 2021/22 campaign wasn’t an overwhelming success being one of the few teams in Div Two to go completely winless, Gloucestershire however did it without calling off the season or conceding a walkover.

Two of their losses were shutouts against the Plymouth Blitz 47-0 & UWE Bullets 2’s 44-0 with their closest game being against the Bath Spa Bulldogs losing 2-8.

With the return of the Worcester Royals and the additions of the Bath Killer Bees and Aberystwyth Tarannau along with the heaving hitting Bullets 2’s and Plymouth Blitz, it is looking like an uphill climb for the Gladiators but once you’ve gone winless for a whole season, the only way is up.

⭐ – Chichester Spitfires – Division Two Southern

The only way is up for the Spitfires given their campaign last season, going 0-6 conceding two walkovers and two shutout victories.

Though their shutout losses both ended on a score line of 14-0 showing that Chichester does have a decent defence.

What doesn’t help the Spitfires is the addition of the Surrey Stingers, Reading Knights and Solent Redhawks along with the strong squads from Brighton and OBU, but right now the Spitfires need to pick their nose up and head for altitude because it can only get better for Chichester.

Non-Ranked Teams

UEL Phoenix – Division Two South Eastern

The UEL Phoenix only played one game last season in a losing effort to Canterbury before withdrawing from the season but with the state of the South-eastern division and the new teams coming in, it could be the perfect season for the Phoenix to rise from the ashes and score some victories this year.

YSJ Jaguars – Division Two Northern

Another squad that is on the move in the 22/23 season, the YSJ Jaguars are coming down from the Borders division into the Northern with the hope to find more success against new teams.

YSJ only played a couple of games last year in losing efforts to Glasgow and Teesside before electing not to play the rest of their games, I hope the YSJ can dust themselves off and make an impression in their new division.

Worcester Royals – Division Two South Western

Dropped out before the 2021/22 season started but are back in the line-up for the 2022/23 season.

Bangor Muddogs – Division Two Northern

Not a great last season for the Muddogs, but I think they knew that and hopefully, they can get the personnel required to make a real run of it this year.

Only playing three games last season and all of them were shutout losses, the worst of which being against Lancaster Bombers in which they lost 80-0.

The Muddogs pulled out of the season at the Christmas break, the only way is up for the Muddogs and this season is the one to prove it.



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