SFL Week 12 Top 11*
Written by Hunter Norwood
Edited by Jacob Clear
Images by Johnny Law
*Based on an aggregation of our 3 main Elo sheets.
Hunter Norwood (HN): The regular season has come to an end and this will be the last Top 11 of Season 15 so we are rolling it back and seeing how we got here. Enjoy!
Jack Wall is absent this week as he has come down with “seasonal allergies” befitting a northeast Jewish man such as himself
(-)1. Denver Nightwings (1655.51 // Preseason #7)
HN: Elo loves winning and Denver has done just that this season. Despite only playing two teams that have reached the playoffs this season, a win over #8 Atlanta and a loss to #2 Baltimore, they have consistently won all the way to an 11-1 record and top overall seed. The Nightwings have flipped their struggles from last season on their head, and after starting 7th in the preseason rankings they have moved firmly into the top spot here in our rankings as well as in other Power Rankings. Look for Denver to make a good push at another title this season, but also be aware that they are 0-1 against teams above .500 which is most of the field in the postseason.
(-)2. Baltimore Vultures (1634.46 // Preseason #3)
HN: Baltimore hasn’t moved around too much since the start of this season. Starting off at #3 and finishing off here at #2 along with the schedule they were given leaves the Vultures with high hopes as they enter the postseason. Baltimore is 4-3 against other playoff teams this season and has already beaten #9 Mexico City once this season as they look ahead to their quarterfinal matchup against the Aztecs to exact some revenge from the Season 11 quarters.
(+1)3. Sioux Falls Sparrows (1609.53 // Preseason #5)
HN: Sioux Falls has moved up one spot this week to finish right where they are in this edition of the playoffs. After starting out in the top 5 they have been able to finish just inside the top 3 and will be hoping to avenge their loss in the finals last season with a win in the first round. The Sparrows are 4-0 against playoff teams this season and will look to use their high seed and home-field to complete the sweep in these next few weeks.
(-1)4. Louisiana Revolution (1608.83 // Preseason #13)
HN: Louisiana has dropped another game, albeit this one didn’t matter much to the standings. Louisiana finishes this season in the top 5 after starting in the middle as a “new” franchise. Going into the playoffs with a #2 seed in hand will definitely help their chances at getting a title in their first season. These coaches have gone 4-2 versus playoff teams which gives them a decent shot in the Season 16 playoffs.
(-)5. Jacksonville Kings (1605.55 // Preseason #1)
HN: Oh Jacksonville. After starting off at the top of this list, to the ire of some, they finish in the top 5 and one spot above their true seed in these playoffs. In a season of streaks, the Kings were able to rip off some big wins en route to an 8-4 record and were 3-2 against playoff teams. In the upcoming Wildcard matchup, they are playing the one team that did not make this list despite making it to the postseason, #14 Houston Hyenas. These two haven’t played in the playoffs since a 37-20 drubbing in the semis that the then Tallahassee Pride won before falling to the Storm in the finals. This time around they meet a bit earlier and should shape up to be an exciting matchup.
(+2)6. Vancouver Legion (1590.24 // Preseason #10)
HN: Vancouver had one helluva romp this past week after embarrassing the Houston Hyenas 76-13 and using that to skip up to #6 here on this final ranking article. After starting just inside the top 10 and staying in around that area all season, the Legion have been able to push a bit higher at the end here and roll with some good momentum into the playoffs as they face off against the defending champions, #8 Atlanta Swarm. The Legion enter the playoffs with the downside of being 3-5 against other teams but will hope for a similar run as they did the previous season and will hope to at least get back to the semifinals.
(-)7. Florida Storm (1571.28 // Preseason #4)
HN: After a rough start to their season the Florida Storm have climbed out of a 0-3 pit and reached the playoffs again. The Storm are always an intimidating team to play leaving the #10 Glory with their hands full on the road in this one. Florida started this season off in the top 5 of our rankings due to their successful history of ending up top but weren’t able to quite live up to those expectations this season. The Storm should be proud of going 4-2 against playoffs teams including the aforementioned Lone Star.
(-2)8. Atlanta Swarm (1554.44 // Preseason #2)
HN: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The defending champs started at # 2 in our ranking and were projected for a repeat despite losing their franchise QB to retirement, but it is not looking good for the Swarm. Entering the postseason as the #10 seed and finishing here at number #8 after falling two spots this past week, Atlanta has their hands full as they travel to the #6 Vancouver Legion in the Wildcard this week. The Swarm ends the season 1-3 against playoff teams and would have to get through Denver to have a chance at playing the one team they beat, Baltimore. The odds are stacked against them but expect them to go down swinging at the very least.
(-)9. Mexico City Aztecs (1552.46 / Preseason #8)
HN: Mexico City ends here on the list just below where they started in our rankings. My oh my, it has been a topsy turvy ranking for them. They have gone from #8 to #6 to #9 to #6 to #9 and back around again. These Aztecs have finished here but are sitting pretty with a #5 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs before they face off against the #2 Baltimore Vultures. This season Mexico is 2-3 against playoff teams and has already lost once to Baltimore, so the run back should be interesting.
(-)10. Lone Star Glory (1552.26 // Preseason #12)
HN: The Lone Star Glory started middle of the pack as a “new” franchise and have moved up a few spots into #10 here in these rankings and are #9 in the SFL standings, entering the playoffs. They open their campaign against a league stalwart with the #7 Florida Storm and will be hoping to have a slightly different outcome this time around as opposed to their OT loss from earlier this season. Lone Star is 1-4 versus playoff teams this season, and their lone win was against a Mexico City team that wouldn’t see them until potentially a semi-finals appearance. All this assuming the Glory could pull off a win against a strong Denver Nightwings team.
(-)11. Charleston Predators (1505.56 // Preseason #11)
HN: The Predators finish the season right where they started at #11. Unfortunately for them, this does not mean playoffs are on the menu. The Predators are the lone team here that made the top half of the rankings but were unable to secure a playoff berth. Charleston will hope to build on this season and get back to the playoffs with a potentially “easier” schedule than what they were handed this season. The Predators were 2-5 against playoff teams this season which is not the worst we’ve seen out of some of the other teams on this list, but, unlike the other teams, they were not able to get it done versus the other teams that ended below .500. Due to this, they miss out.
Team(s) that have fallen out: N/A
The bottom half teams are as follows: #12 Queen City Corsairs, #13 Fort Worth Toros, #14 Houston Hyenas, #15 Las Vegas Fury, #16 Arizona Scorpions, #17 Chicago Wildcats, #18 St. Louis Gladiators, #19 Carolina Skyhawks, #20 Tulsa Desperados, #21 Portland Fleet, #22 London Knights
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