Ray Bentley, Christian Christiansen, Hunter Jones, Kenny Gossett, Harish Prasad, Ramos Lynn

Hello all! A brief apology from the editor’s desk. I was getting ready to put the Power Rankings up this past Friday night when a strange, wet sound caught my ears. And eyes, and entire head, because a pipe had burst in the upstairs bathroom cabinet, flooding it and the rooms below it, as well as the occupants (read: a very, very wet Ray Bentley). Fortunately, as most of my work is stored on the cloud, I only needed to return to a working computer in order to upload the rankings! Unfortunately, I am still banned from most area libraries, schools, and my mom’s house. So once again, my deepest apologies for the belated rankings, as well as the loss of the original banner image (word around town is it will be arriving, fresh and dry, during tonight’s games). Otherwise, without any further squishy delay, your Week Nine Power Rankings!

RankTeamRecord (Movement)Recap
1Baltimore Vultures
8 - 1 (+1)The Vultures take the top spot this week from the Nightwings, as each team played a bottom-half ranked team, but Baltimore blew the Renegades away 48-17 while Denver eked out a single score victory. Baltimore has been clicking all season, and save for one wonky loss to a back-and-forth Sioux Falls, has all the pieces in place to take the crown from Alaska with their now-clinched postseason ticket. Their final weeks see the Vultures take on the Storm, Wildcats, and Corsairs - all teams with their own designs on the postseason. If Baltimore can pull it off and win out, the path to the Championship will lie directly through them.
2Denver Nightwings
8 - 1 (-1)Twice this season now, Denver has won a game and has fallen in ranking. What the heck!? The first time, we felt the need to acknowledge the only undefeated team in the league with the top spot on the power rankings; this time, we feel that their win should have been more impressive against a struggling Skyhawks outfit. Ultimately, it shouldn't hurt the Nightwings too much, as they clinched a playoff berth with this victory, but they can't rest on their laurels - Carolina almost snatched a victory, as well as the Unofficial Championship Title, away from them. They'll need to tighten up in the last chunk of the season if they want to make it back to the big dance.
3Seattle Tyrants
8 - 1 (0)Seattle went down to San Francisco
Lookin for a W to steal
They were in a bind, cause they were way behind, and... wait a second. No, no they weren't.

Seattle confidently dashed the hopes of the Sharks with a 33-14 win, improving their record to 7-1 and clinching (at the very least) a postseason berth. The Tyrants are looking strong heading into the last few games, with the diciest game on their schedule at home against the Atlanta Swarm in Week 13. Seattle controls their destiny at the moment, but can they hold on for 3 more weeks?
4Tallahassee Pride
7 - 2 (0)Apparently there's only room for one purple-clad team in this league. Unfortunately for New Orleans, they played host to the territorial Pride, who made a mess of things in the Pharaohs own home 26-7. Christian Christiansen's team is looking as strong as they ever have, and have quite the slate of games to round out their push for the postseason - they travel to Houston before returning home to take on the Corsairs and the Aztecs in the last two weeks. It's very possible that, with a bit of luck, the Pride find themselves exactly where they were in Season 10: in the driver's seat for playoffs. If that's the case, then perhaps Tallahassee can finally get over that last hump and claim the championship trophy as finally, finally theirs.
5Mexico City Aztecs
7 - 2 (+1)The Sharks shut the Gladiators out. The Aztecs did not. This alone should have Mexico City riding the rails with the bottom-third of teams in the league, but the Power Rankings folks have deigned to "let it slide," as it were. On a more serious note, the Aztecs are a scary-good squad coming into the last stretch of the season, with 100 (!) more points scored than the next highest team (TAL). They hope to extend that scoring streak, as Mexico City hosts playoff-hopeful Sioux Falls for their final home game. The Aztecs face a bye and then Houston before going to spend Week 13 with Tallahassee, in what is shaping up to be a playoffs-lite match.
6Alaska Storm
6 - 3 (-1)What's going on in Alaska? A 6-3 record is nothing to thumb your nose at for most teams in the Simulation Football League, but when it's the defending back-to-back-to-back champions, eyebrows are raised. To be fair to the champs, they've only lost to teams with winning records (TAL, MXC, and now QCC). On the other hand, each of these losses has been by a double-digit score. The last time Alaska lost three regular-season games (checks notes) oh, wait, that was last season, which they won it all in. Gotcha. It's hard to drop the Storm too much further than 6th considering their pedigree, but with their last games against some upper-echelon contenders, Mighty Max Paul's team will have to post some better differentials if they want to move up before the season's end.
7Chicago Wildcats
6 - 2 (0)Chicago's win against Vancouver propels them into a break-even season at absolute worst. While still possible, though not probable, to miss the postseason, their confident 34-24 victory over the Vancouver Legion helps add momentum to a late-season push that the Wildcats need every victory they can get from. While Vancouver put up a valiant fight, Shann Varner's team had their number from the get-go. The Wildcats travel to another Great Lakes unit this week to take on another postseason hopeful in the Queen City Corsairs - the winner of which, more than likely, will be playing football past Week 13.
8Queen City Corsairs
5 - 3 (+2)One would think a tilt between the two winningest (in terms of SFL Championships) teams in the league would be a barnburner, or a thrilling defensive contest. In the end... it was just another ballgame, with the Corsairs confidently and handily defeating the visiting Alaska Storm 13-28. Queen City has been a tale of two teams this season, but it looks as if Erik Barkley's squad has finally gelled after their tough loss to Vancouver 2 weeks ago. Their biggest tests are upcoming, as they host Chicago and Baltimore while striking out on the road to take on Tallahassee and Sioux Falls. It's time to batten down the hatches, ye mateys, and hope that the man in the crow's nest spots land soon.
9Atlanta Swarm
5 - 4 (-2)Atlanta is surely buzzing after this one. While opposing back Reggie Streeter is still balling out, the Swarm were able to prevent the rest of London from capitalizing on their all-world rusher, sealing a thrilling two point victory with a walk-off field goal. Now sitting at an even 4-4 in record, the Swarm are looking to the postseason for the first time in a few seasons, and they're hungry. If Marcus Dunhill can keep up his stratospheric throwing while cutting down on the amount of teams he's lobbing the ball to, the Swarm look like they'll finally be able to break the streak of missing out. Everyone's starting to hear it - soon, the buzz will be unmistakable.
10London Knights
4 - 5 (0)Keep calm and (have Reggie Streeter) carry on. These words seem to be the backbone of the London Knights this season, as without the insane play of their halfback, their win-loss record doesn't look nearly as impressive. It's very possible that the Knights finish out their remaining three games with a 2-1 record, putting them in the melting pot of teams seeking the final postseason seeds - at which point, were the antics of Reggie enough to earn the team a berth, or just him an MVP nod? London has a bye this upcoming week, so don't expect any answers... yet.
11Sioux Falls Sparrows
4 - 4 (+1)Things were looking so good for Sioux Falls, too! Having just toppled a top-three team, perhaps the hubris of their accomplishment had gotten to the Sparrows. One thing is for sure - while normally a 3 point loss would be written off as "onto Mexico City," this was a 3-point loss to a team that, like the Sparrows, is very much in the melee for the final postseason spots. Sioux Falls now has an uphill battle as they travel to Estadio Azteca to take on Mexico City for the second time this season. The first time, the Aztecs were able to squeak out a 3 point victory; can Sioux Falls return the favor, and return themselves to favorable positioning? Stay tuned in Week 10 to find out.
12Las Vegas Fury
4 - 5 (-1)First there was the sound. Enter the Fury, in a thrilling 3 point win over Sioux Falls. Coming into a game that had a wildly-uneven Who Ya Got score (98 for SXF against only 28 for LVF) where a win would do more than just add to their ratio, the Fury made sure that people would start putting some respec on their name. Robert Redford's name was missing most of the night as Thomas Ramen hoisted the Fury offense on his shoulders, helping engineer a 4th quarter comeback that put them over the top by three points. Now that the Fury have proven themselves at home, they face an unquestionably strong opponent in the Nightwings next week - will they be able to carry their momentum?
13Charleston Predators
3 - 5 (+3)It is not how you start, it is how you finish. The Predators looked absolutely lost as they had a hard time in the first half against Tulsa. It took them 21 minutes to get their first points of the game, but in the second half they were absolutely clutch, including a 2-pt conversion in the third quarter to tie the game at 14. That gave Charleston the whole momentum of the game as they survived to keep their playoff hopes alive at 3-5. Next up: Seattle. Can they keep up this momentum and knock off the 7-1 Tyrants on the road?
14Tulsa Desperadoes
3 - 5 (+3)That hurt. After leading 14-0 at home, the Desperados let the visiting Predators score 21 of the last 24 points in the game as they fell 21-17. Sonzo Robinson really struggled on the ground as he only ran for 19 yards on 17 attempts. Ashley "Action" Jackson threw the ball 52 times due to the poor rushing performance. Tulsa desperately needed this win to keep pace on the wild card race; instead, the now 3-5 Tulsa Desperados will most likely have to win out if they want a chance to participate in Wild Card Wednesday. To get there, they will need to find more balance.
15Vancouver Legion
3 - 6 (-2)Two former Carolina coaches enter - one leaves. Well, two left, but only one with the W, and it was not to be for Vancouver. The Legion only have three games remaining, so the best they can hope for is an even 0.500, but with several teams eyeing that finish, the golden ticket to the playoffs will need more than just a half-and-half season. Offensively, things are clicking for Tom Pepper and his receivers, but to truly move into the upper echelons we'll need to see more consistent play from freshman back Sudo Nakai. With the season winding down, the Legion needs to win out to hope to be in the massive scrum for the final seeds.
16San Francisco Sharks
3 - 6 (-2)Can the Sharks catch a break? After last week's ignoble loss to the Aztecs 10-56, San Francisco went home to prepare to take on another top-five team, Seattle. While the Sharks were more effective on offense and defense, it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the Tyrants, who were firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. San Francisco has some soul-searching to do, as suddenly their playoff window has gotten much smaller - with games against the Pharaohs, Gladiators, and Legion, they could very well break even. The question is where they'll be once all the cards have fallen.
17Carolina Skyhawks
1 - 7 (+1)Who woulda thunk it! A game that pitted opposite ends of the standings against each other ended up being exactly that - one hell of a game! While the Nightwings escaped the Atlantic coast with a win, the Skyhawks made sure that it was not the easy victory everyone predicted. Sully Richardson was near perfect with 3 passes and 0 interceptions, and the Skyhawks might have risen even higher if they had been able to stop McChesney from entering the endzone. Carolina more than likely will miss the postseason, but they have some nice looking building blocks going into Season 14 that could see them re-take their playoff positioning from seasons past.
18New Orleans Pharaohs
2 - 6 (-1)New Orleans just can't seem to get something started this season, and that proved true once again as they hosted the Tallahassee Pride. Xander Gold continues to try to find footing in his sophomore season, as the former Offensive Rookie of the Year only found the promised land once, and Tallahassee defenders twice. The Pharaohs defense has all the pieces in place to take the team to the next level - as long as they can get off the field and get some rest.
19Houston Hyenas
2 - 6 (+1)There's something to be said about the inability to keep a good dog down, but in this case, it's hard to prop this dawg up. Houston's anemic season stalled this week with a bye, which would normally be welcomed this late in the season. The Hyenas, on the other hand, face an absolute mountainous uphill climb once they return to the field, playing four playoff-bound teams in Tallahassee, Chicago, Mexico City and Alaska. Eddie Gauge and D.R. Sim have never said never, though, so it's possible that, with some luck and elbow grease, we could be hearing the last laugh of the Hyenas as the season closes out.
20Oklahoma City Renegades
2 - 6 (-1)Pour one out for Oklahoma City. Their bid to reach over 0.500 was quashed with a stultifying loss to the Batlimore Vultures at home, 48-17. While the Renegades playoff hopes have dimmed considerably, they can hope for a break-even season with the tables run against interstate rivals Tulsa (twice), Atlanta, and Carolina. Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, to do so at this point would require inward reflection about what went so wrong against Baltimore, and how to prevent that from happening for the next several weeks.
21St. Louis Gladiators
0 - 8 (0)The see-saw is in full swing with St. Louis, who saw themselves limp out of Estadio Azteca with only three points to their names in a 41-point loss. The Gladiators started off strong, with their defense holding the high-powered Aztecs offense to only three points in the first quarter, but things quickly unraveled for the Gateway City team. With postseason hopes all-but-gone from their table, St. Louis will be playing for honor in their final four match-ups, hosting Vancouver and then the Sharks before traveling to London and New Orleans.