Certified Legendary Thread Race for the flag, in squiggly lines

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Final Siren

Mr Squiggle
Aug 18, 2009
4,201
17,268
AFL Club
Richmond
[Edit! 2015 squiggles start here. Interactive squiggle (with tips, predictor & FAQ) is here. 2014 squiggles started here.]

I like to chart things for no good reason, so I decided to make a scatterplot of teams from their scores for and against over the course of the 2013 season. It looks like this:

After Round 18



Each team's flag represents its current position, with the line tracking their journey since Round 1.

I added premiers from the last 20 years, too, since they mostly wind up in the same area.

The middle is an unreadable mess, but there are interesting results, too.

Sydney is currently sitting right where they were when they won the Cup last year. Hawthorn has tracked in a very small area all year, with an exceptionally strong attack but a weaker defense than any premiership-winning team of the last two decades. Geelong is making a late run. Freo look exactly like a Ross Lyon team.

There's a bunch of teams all around the same area, then a fairly large gap to Port Adelaide, Brisbane, St. Kilda, Gold Coast, and the Western Bulldogs. Then GWS and Melbourne sit a long way behind.

I also decided to plot the Top 4 teams of the last 20 years who failed to win the premiership and see where they wound up. So in this bunch we have many strong teams. I was interested in seeing whether there was a noticeable difference between flag winners and their closest competition:
Premiers vs Top 4 Also-Rans



And there does seem to be. In fact, it's possible to draw a "premiership curve" that encompasses 13 of the 20 flags, and 75% of the time over the last 20 years, the team closest to or farthest beyond that curve has won the flag. (The five exceptions: according to this theory, Hawthorn should have won in 2012, Geelong should have won in 2008, St Kilda should have won in 2005, Brisbane should have won in 1999, and St Kilda should have won in 1997.)

Model Stuff: Each data point is calculated by taking a team's offensive rating and dividing it by the other team's defensive rating. For example, in a match between Hawthorn (OFF: 74.23%) and Essendon (DEF: 54.55%), Hawthorn is expected to produce a score 1.36 times higher than average. Each data point is a weighted average, representing 9% of the most recent round, 8.1% of the round before that (91% of 9%), then 7.45%, and so on. Aside from scores for and against, the only adjustment the model makes is for interstate games, where it assumes a 12-point advantage to the home team. This model has correctly tipped 117 winners this year (72.2%).​

Update! Play with Dynamic Squiggles here.
 
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Bosk

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 22, 2009
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LOL @ Norf
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GeeLOL sucks, so does $hitney
That first chart is amazingly good. Much obliged for your efforts!

Focusing on the top 4 clubs (Essendon excluded for obvious reasons) the chart tells me 3 things:

- Fremantle's defense is amazing, but they can't score easily enough to win the flag unless there is a MAJOR upset
- Geelong & Sydney are both similarly poised to their 2009 & 2012 premierships. Both are valid premiership candidates.
- Hawthorn's offense is amazing, though not as amazing as some of the premiers of the past. It's defense is below almost all recent premiers however.
 

Final Siren

Mr Squiggle
Aug 18, 2009
4,201
17,268
AFL Club
Richmond
That first chart is amazingly good. Much obliged for your efforts!

Focusing on the top 4 clubs (Essendon excluded for obvious reasons) the chart tells me 3 things:

- Fremantle's defense is amazing, but they can't score easily enough to win the flag unless there is a MAJOR upset
- Geelong & Sydney are both similarly poised to their 2009 & 2012 premierships. Both are valid premiership candidates.
- Hawthorn's offense is amazing, though not as amazing as some of the premiers of the past. It's defense is below almost all recent premiers however.
Thanks!

I'm not sure what the chart says about Hawthorn's flag hopes... on the one hand, they are farther left than any premier of the last 20 years (just). But it's also uncharted territory, because very few teams have ever charted there.

I have a squiggle chart like this for every year since 1993, and on many the eventual premier is clearly in front of everyone else. But this year isn't like that... yet.

Geelong is close to its flag-winning position of '09, yep, but more teams in that area missed the flag than won it. '09 is unusual in that all teams charted quite low & left (suggesting a relatively even year). Also, they've only just entered that area. So I'm not convinced yet.

Sydney is pretty ominous given that they still seem to have upside with players returning from injury.
 

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Conundrum

Team Captain
Jul 7, 2013
390
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AFL Club
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Good work, first look can be confusing but its easy to work out afterwards. Shows a good trend towards improving defence in the roos, even if our offense is not at its highest, balance looks pretty good considering our disappointing year
 

SBD Gonzalez

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 5, 2012
16,128
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Kidding, right?
Sydney is pretty ominous given that they still seem to have upside with players returning from injury.
The big question mark is how many, if any, we'll get back from injury this year.

The 22 we're fielding right now might be pretty much the squad we take into September, most likely exceptions being Ben McGlynn and Rhyce Shaw as I understand it.
 

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