Club Power Rankings [9/5/23]

Pro Champs action!

Each week, we’ll post an updated edition of our Power Rankings here on the front page to facilitate discussion in the comments and help us share each week’s rankings via social media. The most up-to-date version can always be found on our permanent rankings page.

Women’s Discussion

  • Raleigh Phoenix have entered the fray! Playing in just their second tournament of the 2023 season, Phoenix took on all comers – including reigning national champs Molly Brown and former #1 Washington DC Scandal – and emerged without a lick of red on their ledger. Their only loss on the season is to Scandal back at PEC East, but after beating them twice this past weekend, there’s little doubt who’s currently on top.
  • #2 Washington DC Scandal slide a spot after taking their first two losses on the season by one and two points to the aforementioned Phoenix.
  • #3 Denver Molly Brown beat out #4 San Francisco Fury for the third spot in our rankings, just as they did at Pro Champs, but it was the most debated ranking in the women’s division this week. The pair split their two games on the weekend, both of which ended with a 15-12 score line. The edge was ultimately given to Molly Brown for coming out on top in the most recent matchup, Pro Champs’ third place final.
  • #14 Seattle Riot fall four spots after winning just two games at Pro Champs, both over #15 Washington DC Grit. The Seattle team played a competitive pool play game in the first round, coming up just one goal shy of beating Molly Brown, but it was mostly downhill from there, losing in the fifth place quarterfinals to find themselves in the ninth place game.

Men’s Discussion

  • #1 Truck Stop continue their stellar season with an undefeated showing at Pro Champs, facing a gauntlet of teams all within our top 10 and emerging victorious. Their 15-7 dismantling of (an admittedly shorthanded) PoNY in the semifinal cemented their position at number one.
  • Rename #2 Atlanta Chain Lightning to Grease Lightning with the way they slid seven spots up the rankings. After seeming to lack a statement win on the season, Chain went out and scored wins over PoNY, Johnny Bravo, and Machine, while flipping the script on Revolver in the bracket after dropping a pool play game and taking Truck Stop to universe point, the champs’ closest game of the tournament.
  • There was debate about whether dropping New York PoNY to #3 was too harsh considering their absences – Jeff Babbitt, Ben Jagt, Jack Williams, Sean Keegan, Allan Laviolette, and Anthony Poletto, among others – but PoNY lost to Chain Lightning in pool play, and dropping a game 15-7 to Truck in semis is still quite the loss. Ultimately, these rankings are a reaction to the most recent available data points, and Chain are rewarded for taking Truck Stop to universe, while PoNY drop to #3.
  • A 3-3 record doesn’t sound like the most impressive weekend, but consider that #4 San Francisco Revolver’s three losses all came to Pro Champs semifinalists, with one of those losses coming in the semis! Revolver entered the tournament seeded third and quickly proved its accuracy, beating the reigning national champs Johnny Bravo in the first round, losing by two to PoNY, and finishing atop the pool with a 15-10 win over Chain Lightning. Scheduling quirks meant their very next game in the semis was again against Chain Lightning, and that time Chain came out on top, 15-14. Revolver dropped to the third place game where they fell to PoNY 15-11, but it’s still a weekend they can hang their hats on and moves them up to #4 in our rankings.
  • Another tale of two Machines. After a strong 3-1 pool play round, notching wins over Rhino Slam!, Doublewide, and Ring of Fire and only losing to eventual-Pro Champs champs Truck Stop, #5 Chicago Machine lost by two in pre-semis to Chain Lightning and from there couldn’t stop the bleeding. Though close, they lost by one to Ring of Fire and by two to Doublewide in placement play, dropping them two spots to #5.
  • #7 Denver Johnny Bravo and #8 Raleigh Ring of Fire found themselves facing off in the fifth-place final after both going 1-3 in pool play, with Johnny Bravo emerging victorious on universe point. Johnny Bravo easily took care of the lower seeds in pool A in placement play, Rhino Slam! and Doublewide, while Ring scored a two-point win over Vault and avenged a pool play loss to Chicago Machine by one point, 12-11. Despite better back-halves of Pro Champs, the pair fall three spots each, with Bravo maintaining the higher spot with their head-to-head win.
  • #9 Austin Doublewide felt like a relative unknown prior to Pro Champs, having only played two games against top 25 teams so far this season, but it seems we had them pegged about right. They assembled a nice tournament sandwich, beating Ring of Fire by three in the first round of pool play and losing the next five games before topping Chicago Machine in the seventh place final, 15-13.
  • The backslide continues for #10 Portland Rhino Slam! They were another team to start the tournament strong, losing by only one to Machine in the first round and beating Doublewide by one the next, before a rocky back half against Truck Stop, Ring of Fire, and Johnny Bravo landed them in the game for last place. They pulled out a 15-12 win over #13 Virginia Vault, but the lack of more wins sees them drop two spots.

Mixed Discussion

  • Mixed is often said to be the most chaotic division, and Pro Champs certainly didn’t disappoint, with bottom seed Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust winning their pool and then winning the whole dang tournament. They dropped one game to New York XIST, 14-10, but otherwise did a 360 from US Open, beating Polar Bears, Love Tractor, NOISE, and BFG (twice!), including a dominant 15-9 victory in the final. They rise eight spots to #3, the biggest jump in any division.
  • The Pro Champs no.1 seed, Philadelphia AMP, meanwhile, slide a spot after losing on universe to BFG in the semifinal. Seems tough, especially when they still have a head-to-head win over #1 Fort Collins shame., but when you’re at the top, the only place you can go is down.
  • Early drafts of the rankings had #5 Madison NOISE claiming the #4 spot over BFG, in part due to BFG dropping a pool play game to #16 Denver Love Tractor, 11-10. But despite the same score line against Drag’n Thrust – both NOISE and BFG lost 15-9 – BFG are rewarded for making the final and beating AMP, whom NOISE have yet to play within four or fewer goals.
  • Similarly, there was debate about the ordering of #6 New York XIST and #7 Huntsville Space Force. Certainly, when compared to preseason expectations, XIST have underperformed comparatively and lost to #12 San Francisco Polar Bears 13-10 in the last round of pool play. But XIST were also the only team to hand Drag’n a defeat at Pro Champs and their only losses on the season are to BFG and Polar Bears, while Space Force are dragged down by earlier season losses to #14 Washington DC Rally and #23 Chicago Ramp.
  • #11 Ann Arbor Hybrid overtake #12 San Francisco Polar Bears courtesy of winning the seventh place game between the two. Hopefully a 13-10 win over XIST in the last round of pool play is consolation enough for Polar Bears.
  • #16 Denver Love Tractor’s seven-spot leap is powered by an 11-10 victory over BFG in pool play. While Love Tractor lost badly to Polar Bears in pool play, 15-6, they turned it around in the fifth-place bracket, beating #17 Boston Slow and avenging their loss to Polar Bears before falling to XIST. Of Love Tractor’s four losses on the weekend, three came at the hands of XIST and Drag’n Thrust, significantly improving the look of their 3-4 record.
  • Welcome back to the rankings, #25 Denver Flight Club! A tough Pro Champs for Durham Toro saw them go winless and consequently drop out of the rankings. While Toro played close with good teams (15-13 loss to NOISE, 14-13 loss to Hybrid), the best win of their 4-12 season is a win over Public Enemy back at PEC East. Flight Club’s win over #20 Montana MOONDOG aft SFI East and split with #24 Oregon Scorch back at PEC West is enough to buoy them into the last spot.

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