Just one week to go in the BUCS League and where most issues have been sorted in terms of who has qualified for the playoffs, there is still some jostling for position to see who will get home field in their games. The full picture will be realised after Sunday and good luck to all those trying to secure a position as well as those that are trying to keep the relegation trap door from opening.
That being said all the playoff rankings have been sorted in the Premier and this also means that the trap door has already caught two teams. Once more it’s the Stirling and Birmingham brands that have led the way all season, but they may not have it all their way in the coming weeks.
Here is how the Premier playoffs shape up, the North and South divide gets lifted for the playoffs.
STILRING (n1) v BATH (s4)
DURHAM (n2) v KINGSTON (s3)
BIRMINGHAM (s1) v LOUGHBOROUGH (n4)
HERTFORDSHIRE (s2) v DERBY (n3)
This means that the odd teams out from each division are Sheffield Hallam and Imperial, who will be playing Tier 1 ball next season.
Into Tier 1 then and the structure allows the top two teams from each division to reach the playoffs and after the two best records enter as Wild Cards. The system for tiebreakers isn’t complicated (avg points allowed in games played – forfeits not included) but does require a calculator at times, and with this in mind the Wild Card teams are far from settled, whereas the teams currently ranked 1-6 in both the North and South are in but their rank could change.
So if the playoffs were today…
GLASGOW (1) v NOTTINGHAM (wc8)
NTU (2) v SHEFFIELD (wc7)
UCLAN (3) v LEEDS BECKETT (6)
WARWICK (4) v NEWCASTLE (5)
SWANSEA (1) v UEA (wc8)
SURREY (2) v KENT (wc7)
BRIGHTON (3) v SUSSEX (6)
RHUL (4) v CARDIFF (5)
Bear in mind that the North/South divide remains until the final, but then both teams will already be celebrating promotion to the Premier, so in effect the Finals in their respective regions will be the promotion deciders. Relegation threatens for Lancaster and Huddersfield in the North, and Aberystwyth and KCL in the South.
Still with us…good.
Tier 2 has just the top team from each division enter the playoffs and 6 of the 8 are settled with just two titles going down to the final day of the season. Again we have a North/South split with the two finalists gaining promotion.
LJMU (1) v EDINBURGH NAPIER (4)
COVENTRY (2) v MANCHESTER (3)
PORTSMOUTH (1) v PLYMOUTH (4)
GREENWICH (2) v OXFORD (3)
With a full round of games to go it’s still very much all to play for around the country before the postseason begins and the intensity goes up a notch or three!
*We must stipulate that all the above has been worked out by the formula presented to us and therefore unofficial, but were fairly certain this is correct. As soon as we have an official line-up next week we will bring it to you.