We're coming down the final weeks of the season.
August 4, 2021 by Alex Rubin in Rankings with 0 comments
Our coverage of the 2021 AUDL season is presented by VII Apparel Co., who provides premium performance apparel for the active world, featuring their proprietary GreenLine fabric made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The AUDL Power Rankings can always be found at their permanent home.
The first playoff berths have been locked up, signifying the approach of the postseason. There’s of plenty of season-defining ultimate left to be played, including a top five clash between Raleigh and New York in Week 10.
AUDL Power Rankings:
|3||New York Empire||-||3|
|6||San Diego Growlers||+1||7|
|9||Minnesota Wind Chill||-||9|
|10||Los Angeles Aviators||+1||11|
|18||Tampa Bay Cannons||-||18|
1. Atlanta Hustle (8-1)
The Hustle clinched a playoff spot with their win over Pittsburgh and are the favorite to be the top seed heading into the daunting Atlantic Division playoffs. With Raleigh as their only remaining opponent with more than a single win, expect the Hustle to remain atop the power rankings for the foreseeable future.
2. DC Breeze (6-2)
Having already split a pair of games against Atlanta this season, the DC Breeze are in a similar boat. The Breeze have looked dominant this year and have Raleigh as their only remaining test. After demolishing the Phoenix, DC has four games in three weeks to close out the regular season.
3. New York Empire (5-2)
Sitting third in the standings, the New York Empire have only lost to the two teams above them and have an opportunity to make up ground if Atlanta or DC slip up. With five games in the remaining three weeks, the stamina and depth of the Empire will be tested in a way no other team will face.
4. Chicago Union (8-2)
Chicago has clinched a playoff spot and has two games remaining against Detroit. Sitting at first place in the Central Division, it will take an Act of God to prevent the Union from hosting a playoff game. The real question is: how will the team look at Championship Weekend facing teams tougher than any in the Central?
5. Raleigh Flyers (6-2)
Riding a league-best six game winning streak, the Raleigh Flyers are holding a playoff spot right now. However, finishing at Boston, at New York (doubleheader), vs Atlanta, and at DC leave a lot of wiggle room. A Boston upset could throw the Atlantic standings into chaos. The Flyers are scoring nearly three goals a game more than any other American team and are best in offensive efficiency and second in defensive efficiency. Most of that was against a soft schedule, but the Flyers have the firepower to hold up in the league’s toughest division.
6. San Diego Growlers (7-2)
The Growlers narrowly defeated the Cascades in Week 9, proving that there are no easy games in the West Division. Their next win will clinch the Growlers a spot in the playoffs, and they’re bringing Jonathan Nethercutt aboard to help get it. Back-to-back games against LA and a visit by the Spiders close out the season. If the Growlers were to lose all three (an incredibly unlikely scenario), the west could feature a four way tie at 7-5.
7. Austin Sol (6-5)
Austin soundly beat the Spiders, setting up a potential win-and-in game at home against Dallas. With the win, Austin would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over Dallas and LA, having already beat each twice this season.
8. Dallas Roughnecks (7-4)
The Roughnecks barely scraped by the San Jose Spiders in Week 9, but are still in control of their place in the playoffs. A Week 10 win over Austin will see them advance despite the rash of injuries that beset the team this season.
9. Minnesota Wind Chill (7-2)
With a two game lead in the loss column, the Minnesota Wind Chill are in great shape to make the playoffs. Wins over Detroit and Indianapolis in the coming weeks will make the Week 12 showdown with Madison a formality. Any slip up, though, no matter how unexpected, would bring Madison back into the playoff picture.
10. Los Angeles Aviators (4-5)
Three wins in a row is nothing to joke about. If the Aviators win out, they would have a chance at the playoffs, though they’d need an additional San Diego loss to secure their place. Moving Calvin Brown to the d line has been a revelation for Los Angeles. In the last three games, he’s racked up six blocks and posted two of his best completion percentages of the year. If LA is to run the table, he’ll need to stay at his best.
11. Madison Radicals (7-4)
The Radicals saw a second half lead slip away against Chicago and actually lost the first half of their game against Detroit before recovering for the victory. They’ll need some help from Detroit or Indianapolis ahead of their Week 12 game against Minnesota to have a shot at the playoffs, though this is likely another middling year for the 2018 league champions.
12. Boston Glory (3-4)
After its bye week, Boston still has two games against New York and another against a motivated Raleigh team. While still able to make the playoffs, the expansion team will have to pull off the kinds of upsets it hasn’t shown itself capable of to advance out of the regular season.
13. Seattle Cascades (3-7)
An 0-2 road trip will put a damper on the Cascades season, but Seattle’s fourth quarter comeback in San Diego proves that this team is no slouch. With such a young roster, Seattle will be focused on getting reps for newer players and building for the future.
14. Philadelphia Phoenix (3-6)
A ten-point loss to DC isn’t a great look for a franchise that is on the fringes of playoff contention. Finishing with three home games will be nice if the Phoenix can put on a show for the local fans.
15. San Jose Spiders (2-6)
The Spiders aren’t the first team to drop both games of a Texas roadtrip, nor will they be the last. While San Jose won’t see the playoffs this year, games like their one point loss to Dallas prove that this team will be competitive in the future.
16. Indianapolis AlleyCats (3-8)
The Alleycats nearly pulled off a shocking upset over Minnesota this week and will have one more chance at a non-Detroit win before hanging up the cleats for the season.
17. Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (1-7)
The Thunderbirds weren’t able to beat Raleigh or Atlanta in their games this weekend, but still have the chance to play spoiler with games against New York, Boston, and DC still left on the schedule.
18. Tampa Bay Cannons (1-9)
The Cannons have put together stronger performances as the season has come along, but still have not been able to break through anyone but Pittsburgh for a win. With just two games left, all Tampa Bay can do at this point is upset Atlanta or DC to potentially alter the playoff seeding as the Cannons refocus on next season.
19. Detroit Mechanix (0-9)
If winning a half counted, maybe Detroit would rise above last place in the power rankings. Giving up a 9-2 quarter doesn’t help their case. Detroit has another chance at its elusive first victory this week against a Chicago team missing many of its best players for USA Ultimate’s US Open.