Rate the best performing clubs of the AFL era (1990-). Looking beyond number of premierships and at overall performance

cryptor

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Interesting how some value GF appearances as a measure of success.

Question then, how would the same view multiple appearances like Coll (6) and Syd (6) for 2 flags as a success to say richmond who have played 2 but won 2. Which scenario is more successful then?
If Richmond make and lose the 2020 GF does their record of 2 from 3 (66.6% success rate) make them less successful than the Bulldogs going 1 from 1 (100% success rate)?

I'd also ask the question: What were Richmond doing when Collingwood and Sydney were making but not winning those GFs?

Someone has to lose the GF each year and while it undoubtedly hurts more than simply missing finals, it's certainly more impressive than continually finishing 9th.
 

juss

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Interesting how some value GF appearances as a measure of success.

Question then, how would the same view multiple appearances like Coll (6) and Syd (6) for 2 flags as a success to say richmond who have played 2 but won 2. Which scenario is more successful then?
I put together a post earlier that theorized giving points for measures of performing well. I would say that 2 flags and making multiple GFs is a better performing club over 20 years than Richmond who have been great for a short period but rubbish for a lot of the time.

"Success" is different though. 2 from 2 is probably better. Performance is how well a club has performed, and making grand finals is certainly a good indicator of a club that has performed well.
 

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Freomaniac

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If Richmond make and lose the 2020 GF does their record of 2 from 3 (66.6% success rate) make them less successful than the Bulldogs going 1 from 1 (100% success rate)?

I'd also ask the question: What were Richmond doing when Collingwood and Sydney were making but not winning those GFs?

Someone has to lose the GF each year and while it undoubtedly hurts more than simply missing finals, it's certainly more impressive than continually finishing 9th.
9th is probably the worst possible place to finish. I rather finish 16th or 17th. Hell finishing 14th with pick 5 is better than finishing 9th.

At least getting 14th you got various ways to trade that pick 5. You can do what saints did in 2019 and trade it to GWS for 2 mid 1st rounders. Or the Freo method, trade pick 5 and 41 for a mid 1st, mid 2nd and mid 3rd
 

harrythetiger

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Interesting how some value GF appearances as a measure of success.

Question then, how would the same view multiple appearances like Coll (6) and Syd (6) for 2 flags as a success to say richmond who have played 2 but won 2. Which scenario is more successful then?
I think it’s premierships as first priority. Then a range of criteria beyond that. So Sydney and Collingwood have definitely had a more successful AFL era than Richmond so far. But I don’t think GF appearances are their own ranking category in the same way as flags - 2 losing GFs, 0 losing PFs is probably a bit below 1 losing GF and 3 losing PFs for example.

FWIW my rankings would be something like this
Haw - 5 flags
WCE - 4 flags
Geel - 3 flags - always been thereabouts
Bris - 3 flags - uncompetitive for a decade
Syd - 2 flags - similar to Geelong
Coll - 2 flags - mostly thereabouts with occasional down periods
Adel - 2 flags - Kinda similar to Collingwood but less successful in prelims
North - 2 flags - made finals a lot but not often a great contender
Essendon - 2 flags - pretty uncompetitive since early 2000s
Richmond - 2 flags - uncompetitive for much of the time
Port/Bulldogs - 1 flag - find them hard to split, both made finals a fair bit, come close multiple times
Carlton - 1 flag - uncompetitive mostly since the turn of the millenium
St Kilda - 0 flags - very close to having one or two, multiple prelims and many finals series.
Fremantle - 0 flags - been in and around finals, could arguably have won 2013 with better kicking and a bit of luck.
Melbourne - 0 flags - made a GF, lost comfortably to a clearly superior side

No ranking for GC and GWS who haven’t been around long enough for a close to fair comparison.

My secondary rankings are all kind of gut-feel so feel free to bring up things I may have forgotten as a lot of the rankings are very close.
 

cryptor

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9th is probably the worst possible place to finish. I rather finish 16th or 17th. Hell finishing 14th with pick 5 is better than finishing 9th.

At least getting 14th you got various ways to trade that pick 5. You can do what saints did in 2019 and trade it to GWS for 2 mid 1st rounders. Or the Freo method, trade pick 5 and 41 for a mid 1st, mid 2nd and mid 3rd
Sure, from a longer term, list management perspective if you're not going to make finals then you're probably better off finishing closer to the bottom for higher draft picks (though there are valid arguments for the impacts finishing low on the ladder has to a clubs finances, membership, culture, and player satisfaction).

But from a pure success measurement perspective the consensus in this thread seems to be 'flags matter most'. And otherwise the closer to a flag you got the better. ie. Premiers > How deep into finals you got > How often you got into finals > How close you were to making finals.
 

Carringbush2010

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If Richmond make and lose the 2020 GF does their record of 2 from 3 (66.6% success rate) make them less successful than the Bulldogs going 1 from 1 (100% success rate)?

I'd also ask the question: What were Richmond doing when Collingwood and Sydney were making but not winning those GFs?

Someone has to lose the GF each year and while it undoubtedly hurts more than simply missing finals, it's certainly more impressive than continually finishing 9th.
Fair enough, how deep do we analyse? Just flags? Flags & GF's? Finals? Finals won? Where do we draw the line? Is it just to suit whoever club you support? You could make an argument for any club that has just 1 flag in that period, hell some are even in discussion around the saints 4 GF's v dogs 1 flag.

I really could put the Pies high on the list if that's the case, but in reality they've disappointed their fan base more than all clubs in my view, Syd the same boat. Nothing like forever teasin rarely pleasin.
 

Carringbush2010

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I put together a post earlier that theorized giving points for measures of performing well. I would say that 2 flags and making multiple GFs is a better performing club over 20 years than Richmond who have been great for a short period but rubbish for a lot of the time.

"Success" is different though. 2 from 2 is probably better. Performance is how well a club has performed, and making grand finals is certainly a good indicator of a club that has performed well.
Blurred lines, success and performance while different are easily linked.................. know which I'd rather.
 

juss

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Blurred lines, success and performance while different are easily linked.................. know which I'd rather.
4 flags and sixteen years of spoons or 3 flags and 17 years of finals.
I'm happy with the second, at least footy wouldn't be shit every year. Extreme example, but it's good to see your team playing well.
 

Forward Press

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4 flags and sixteen years of spoons or 3 flags and 17 years of finals.
I'm happy with the second, at least footy wouldn't be shit every year. Extreme example, but it's good to see your team playing well.
I honestly would prefer the former over the latter. Sure I'd probably develop an alcohol problem but it's 4 instances of ultimate joy over 3.

Think nothing sports-wise for me can top watching Simmo and Bunga lifting the cup that Saturday afternoon in 2018, having that happen more often would make up for the 16 years.
 

juss

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I honestly would prefer the former over the latter. Sure I'd probably develop an alcohol problem but it's 4 instances of ultimate joy over 3.

Think nothing sports-wise for me can top watching Simmo and Bunga lifting the cup that Saturday afternoon in 2018...
Yeh nah, I think you're underestimating how much you'd even still be watching footy after 16 years of spoons. It's hard enough watching your team struggle in one season let alone 16. 1 extra flag isn't enough for me in that scenario. I get joy from watching my team win. There's still joy in winning games and playing finals.
 

Forward Press

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Yeh nah, I think you're underestimating how much you'd even still be watching footy after 16 years of spoons. It's hard enough watching your team struggle in one season let alone 16. 1 extra flag isn't enough for me in that scenario. I get joy from watching my team win. There's still joy in winning games and playing finals.
Maybe you're right, although it is an extreme scenario, I suspect after a couple of spoons it'd be wearing thin.
 

Carringbush2010

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4 flags and sixteen years of spoons or 3 flags and 17 years of finals.
I'm happy with the second, at least footy wouldn't be shit every year. Extreme example, but it's good to see your team playing well.
Pies:

16 Finals.
2 Flags.

That's worse than your analogy, so I'd be happy with your analogy over what is reality and happier still with 4 flags and 16 spoons.
 

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cryptor

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Fair enough, how deep do we analyse? Just flags? Flags & GF's? Finals? Finals won? Where do we draw the line? Is it just to suit whoever club you support? You could make an argument for any club that has just 1 flag in that period, hell some are even in discussion around the saints 4 GF's v dogs 1 flag.

I really could put the Pies high on the list if that's the case, but in reality they've disappointed their fan base more than all clubs in my view, Syd the same boat. Nothing like forever teasin rarely pleasin.
I look at it this way... What is every club trying to accomplish each season? They're trying to win the flag. They're not trying to get top spot or top 4 on the ladder for the sake of those things. That's just a result of trying to best position themselves for a chance at the ultimate goal of winning the flag.

So I think the only thing we can really consider indisputable is the flag count as the primary measure of success. Everything that comes after that to tie-break is up for debate. Personally I think how deep a club gets into finals is more important than a H&A ladder finish, but others will think differently. Was GWS making the GF (despite their poor performance once in it) from 6th on the ladder more or less a sign of success than Geelong sitting top of the ladder practically all season but then not even making the GF?

As for clubs making GFs but not winning them counting against them, it just doesn't make sense logically. I understand the emotion of the stance of "I'd rather not make it at all than watch us lose", but it is just emotion. If the 2018 GF was replayed 30 times there would be many instances where Collingwood actually wins the flag. While if you replayed the 2019 GF 30 times there would never be an instance where Collingwood wins the flag - hence making the GF is always better as it's the closest you'll otherwise get to that one thing every club is trying to get.

So while Collingwood making a bunch of GFs and losing is really painful for Collingwood supporters it still makes them a more successful club than a club who has won the same amount of flags but spent most of their time not contending at all. At least they are in my opinion. Others will think differently based on what they hold as important.
 

juss

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I look at it this way... What is every club trying to accomplish each season? They're trying to win the flag. They're not trying to get top spot or top 4 on the ladder for the sake of those things. That's just a result of trying to best position themselves for a chance at the ultimate goal of winning the flag.

So I think the only thing we can really consider indisputable is the flag count as the primary measure of success. Everything that comes after that to tie-break is up for debate. Personally I think how deep a club gets into finals is more important than a H&A ladder finish, but others will think differently. Was GWS making the GF (despite their poor performance once in it) from 6th on the ladder more or less a sign of success than Geelong sitting top of the ladder practically all season but then not even making the GF?

As for clubs making GFs but not winning them counting against them, it just doesn't make sense logically. I understand the emotion of the stance of "I'd rather not make it at all than watch us lose", but it is just emotion. If the 2018 GF was replayed 30 times there would be many instances where Collingwood actually wins the flag. While if you replayed the 2019 GF 30 times there would never be an instance where Collingwood wins the flag - hence making the GF is always better as it's the closest you'll otherwise get to that one thing every club is trying to get.

So while Collingwood making a bunch of GFs and losing is really painful for Collingwood supporters it still makes them a more successful club than a club who has won the same amount of flags but spent most of their time not contending at all. At least they are in my opinion. Others will think differently based on what they hold as important.
The thread is specifically asking to consider more than just flags won. Otherwise, we may as well just use Wikipedia and close thread.
I think performance is more than just the ultimate success/prize. Despite that being the aim of course, a team can perform well without winning the flag. There are more than 1 well performed team in any given year. Brisbane performed well in 2019 despite not winning, as did the Giants despite one horrible GF.
If we extend that to two decades, clubs can perform well over that period without it only being about flags.

I think flags certainly need to be given the most weight, but well performing teams also make Grand Finals, and win finals, and make finals, and win H&A games. They do this as well as winning flags, and it's still indications of a high performing team.
 

Farang83150

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It's the Hawks and everyone knows, ridiculous to argue otherwise, OP moved the goal posts after he'd started the thread, our games all about winning the grand final, they've done than more than anyone else since 1990.
 

harrythetiger

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It's the Hawks and everyone knows, ridiculous to argue otherwise, OP moved the goal posts after he'd started the thread, our games all about winning the grand final, they've done than more than anyone else since 1990.
OP was looking for pats on the back for the cats and it didn't work.
 

darcytiger

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How about a ladder of pre-lim appearances? I think being realistic as a supporter, you’ve had a pretty good season and you’re not just making up the numbers in the finals if you make a pre-lim. You’ve probably watched your team win 15+ games for the year. Not everyone can win the big show and a little more recognition for a good season is required in our comp I think.
 
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Hard to go past Sydney

Admittedly their success is completely manafactured. Cannot think of many sports clubs around the world that have been fed a league endorsed and paid for advantage like Sydney has

Their rather quick demise since the removal of COLA only proves the point
 

Carringbush2010

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So while Collingwood making a bunch of GFs and losing is really painful for Collingwood supporters it still makes them a more successful club than a club who has won the same amount of flags but spent most of their time not contending at all
While technically that is true whichever way you boil it down and dissect it it's still 1st last. Can't escape that. This whole thread was op'd in what seems a desperate grab at relativity of "well my club has actually outperformed the other club with more flags in that period".

Pffft. And others are using too - as for the Pies sure they're not the worst but just because they're usually contending doesn't justify the reverence.
 

Yojimbo

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How about a ladder of pre-lim appearances?
Yes, how about it.

Prelim Appearances (1990 to 2019) *1990 to 1994 only one prelim:

Geelong: 14
North Melbourne: 10
Collingwood: 9
West Coast: 8
Sydney: 8
Adelaide: 8
Hawthorn: 7
Western Bulldogs: 7
Essendon: 6
Brisbane: 6
St Kilda: 6
Richmond: 5
Port Adelaide: 5
Melbourne: 4
GWS Giants: 3
Fremantle: 3
Carlton: 3

There it is, warped proof that we are Geelong the greatest team of all, may just be true. :eek:
 
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RichLeMonde

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Yes, how about it.

Prelim Appearances (1990 to 2019) *1990 to 1994 only one prelim:

Geelong: 14
North Melbourne: 10
West Coast: 9
Collingwood: 9
Sydney: 8
Adelaide: 8
Hawthorn: 7
Western Bulldogs: 7
Essendon: 6
Brisbane: 6
St Kilda: 6
Richmond: 5
Port Adelaide: 5
Melbourne: 4
GWS Giants: 3
Fremantle: 3
Carlton: 2

There it is, warped proof that we are Geelong the greatest team of all, may just be true. :eek:
I was actually thinking of this metric while reading this thread, and hoping someone would go to the effort of putting it together lol. I don't think there's any one single correct way to rate teams. I personally don't think premierships is the only measure. Things like not finishing bottom 4 (Geelong, since '85 or something) and making prelims matter. Even though teams put everything in to winning flags, at the same team they preach a focus on process, not outcome. Luck is a part of sports, so results don't always go to the better team on the day, but good processes yield consistency over longer periods than a single game. Geelong are miles ahead on the measure of prelim appearances, and overall winning percentage, and I think that counts for something, just like it counts for a lot that Lebron James played in the Finals (Grand Final series) 8 years in a row, even though he 'only' won 3 rings.
 

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