Whenever I think of PBL teams and games I automatically rank teams in my head and I’ve decided to fomalize this process and put out weekly (or less often if I feel like it) power rankings. I am not John Hollinger so there is no complicated mathematical formula going on – these are subjective, non-scientific and 100% up for debate. I am not good with advanced basketball statistics and don’t have a lot of faith in them, so this is based on opinion not math. If you think I’m wrong say so in the comment section. If you want a strictly mathematical ranking system them head over to the Massey Ratings. They haven’t been updated for the new season, but once Kenneth Massey gets enough data for his computer program they produce Hollinger-esque results. With all of that said here are the basics:
- These rankings are based on who is playing the best basketball in the PBL right now. How you played last season, in the pre-season, or how you might play in two months doesn’t mean that much to me. If your team looks good on paper but are winless then you’re still going to find yourself at the bottom of the heap.
- Strength of schedule matters (and that includes homecourt advantage)
- Win-Loss is most important, but margin of victory also matters.
- Recent results matter more than older results but both count. A team’s last five regular season games are weighted heavier than older results.
- Two other things worth noting: Champlain Cup games and exhibition games are not taken into account. The sample size is very small since it is only week three so expect these rankings to be very different in two weeks when the sample size gets bigger and teams start separating from the pack on the top and bottom. A number of teams have played a pretty limited number of opponents so that also limits the ability to properly compare teams.
With all of that out of the way, see the week three rankings after the jump.
#1 Battle Creek Knights (5-0) A surprise 5-0 start for the Central Division leaders. Battle Creek are the only undefeated team in the PBL after two weeks so I don’t see how I can put anyone else on the top of the rankings. They’ve also proven that they can beat a quality team like Augusta in addition to thrashing the bottom feeders.
#2 Augusta Groove (3-2) Shocked the league with a solid winner over the defending champs on opening night, power forward AJ Millien is the early leader in the MVP race. Although one of their wins was against the defenseless Destroyers, they absolutely thrashed them on the road.
#3 Wilmington Sea Dogs Dawgs (3-2) After stumbling to a bad Buffalo team in week one and the very good Knights in week two the Dawgs have reeled off wins against Rochester, Augusta and a revenge win over Buffalo to win three straight.
#4 Manchester Millrats (3-2) After a shockingly slow start the Millrats pulled out a win against Vermont, as they always do and beat Halifax in Manchester. They’ve won three in a row against good teams and look like they’re finally getting some production out of Desmond Ferguson.
#5 Vermont Frost Heaves (3-2) Vermont made use of their formidable homecourt advantage to blow out Montreal before losing to Manchester twice. Who knows if that says something about the team’s ability to play or if it just says something about the team’s ability to play Manchester? They had a good weekend beating Halifax and then snapping Rochester 48 game home winning streak.
#6 Montreal Sasquatch (2-2) Their two wins have been against at least decent opponents. They’ve been the surprise team in the Atlantic Division early in the season but until they get some more games under their belts I don’t know how good they actually are.
#7 Halifax Rainmen (3-3) After starting off hot Halifax have come crashing back to earth in a bad way. A close home loss to Montreal led to the team unraveling. Silverhorn is back in the roster this weekend, but Halifax have to prove they can play without the suspended Eric Crookshank.
#8 Chicago Throwbacks (3-2) The committee (i.e. me) has them ranked behind Halifax not because of homerism but because they still do not have a win against a quality opponent.
#9 Detroit Panthers (2-3) Congratulations Detroit, you’ve beaten Mid-Michigan and no one else. Feel proud motor city, feel proud.
#10 Buffalo Stampede (1-3) A close home win over Wilmington is not enough for to wash of the stench of their loss to the Razor Sharks in Rochester.
#11 Rochester Razor Sharks (1-3) It’s probably inappropriate to call it a slow start now that they’ve played 20% of the season. I believe “woeful” is the appropriate term.
#12 Quebec Kebs (1-3) Tied for the second worst record in the PBL the Kebs need to turn it around before they dig a hole they can’t get out of in a tough Atlantic Division.
#13 The Mid-Michigan Destroyer (0-3) Who would have thought that a team based in rural Michigan and relying mostly on local talent would suck? The Destroyers are the PBL’s only team without a win and there isn’t much hope in sight. Their next seven games are against Chicago (three games), Rochester (two games), Augusta and Battle Creek. It will be shocking if they’re better than 2-8 by the season’s halfway point.