The rankings (from best to worst) of the 124 VFL-AFL premiership teams.

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Dan26

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 23, 2000
24,587
5,437
Werribee
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
post count: 38,986
Thanks to everyone for their continued support. This exercise is now in its 19th consecutive year.

Time to see where the latest premiership team fits in to to the list. I use my own knowledge from the time of have spent watching football combined with anecdotal, statistical, and written accounts from the early years to rank the 123 premiership teams. I use relativity, taking into account the standard of the competition at the time, so as to not disadvantage teams from the past who were not competing in a national competition, with the resources and professionalism of modern day clubs.

Richmond won the 2020 premiership. That clubs 13th flag and their 8th in the last 54 years. They had

- a 15-5-1 season.
- a percentage from 21 games of 129.11%
- a finals loss by 15 points, and three finals wins by 31, 6, and 31 points
- 3rd on the ladder at end of H&A season
- The 5th best attack
- The 2nd best defence

This year ranks as the most difficult in my 19 years doing this exercise. Richmond, the consumate team, had to contend with months living away from home and prevailed with a team that was relentless. Their discipline and adherance to their defensive game plan, and their self-mastery of continuing to move the ball forward to create scoring chances was the best in the competition. However they did lose a finals match. Despite this I ranked them marginally higher than their previous two premiership teams due to their extra obstacles they faced and the fact they were a a bit more mature and developed. I rank them the 73rd best premiership team of all time, marginally behind the Brisbane Lions 2003 team at 72 and ahead of the Richmond 1969 premiership team at number 74.

1.) Essendon 2000. This team earnt the right to be called the greatest in VFL-AFL history with a 24-1 record, a percentage of 163.9 from 25 games, winning three finals by an equal-record combined 230 points with margins of 125, 45 and 60 and a percentage versus the finalists of 160% - 20% higher than any other team in the modern era has managed. At no stage did they look like losing, with even their one loss being narrow, after having 27 more inside 50's, with the Bulldogs having to tactically change the way the sport was played. The Essendon team of 2000 did everything that you could ask, in order for them to be called the best ever. As close to being unbeatable as a team has ever been in VFL-AFL history, with the closest challenge being.....

2.) Collingwood 1929. This team went 19-1 over 20 matches with a percentage of 159.5. They had champions on every line, and were regarded as the greatest combination to have played to that point. The ONLY team to ever be unbeaten in the H&A season. Collingwood fans may label them the best ever VFL-AFL side – I put them at number 2 out of 124. A 62 point loss to Richmond in the finals costs them the number one position on my list. Gordon Coventry was the first to person to kick 100 goals (124) and the Pies completed the treble with Albert Collier winning the Brownlow.

3.) Melbourne 1956. The Dees were at their zenith this year with an 18-2 record and a percentage of 149.4%. Coached by the VFL-AFL coach of the century, Norm Smith and with champion players such as Barassi, Adams, Cordner and Beckwith leading the way, the 1956 Melbourne side was their best side in the most dominant era by one club in VFL-AFL history. A side that could turn it on at will. Many old-timers suggest this was the type of team who could have gone undefeated if they really wanted to.

4.) Hawthorn 1989. The Hawthorn side of ’89 was their best in one of the most powerful eras in history. The Hawks reached their zenith in ’89. They went 21-3, with a percentage of 149.5, had champions everywhere and at their best, were simply unstoppable. I rate them the 4th best of 123 premierships sides. However, unlike Essendon of 2000, or Collingwood of 1929, they didn’t quite have the aura of being totally invincible. Their loss to the Bears holds them back a spot.

5.) Essendon 1950. Tempted to put them higher, but number 5 is fair enough. Here was a team that was near invincible. Just look at their record: 19-1, with a percentage of 159.2. With Coleman at his peak, Dick Reynolds and Hutchison lurking, this was the best Essendon side in their golden era. At the time, many rated this side alongside the 1929 Magpies team as the best of all time.

6.)Geelong 2007. A fantastically dominant team in '07, winning the Grand Final be a record margin, having a percentage for the year over 160% from 25 games. Only great teams can do that. A team, who used skillful, attacking "corridor" midfield play, complimented with a group of players in the mid 20's who have played over 100 games giving them the perfect mix of youth and experience. 21-4, a percentage over 160% and three finals wins by a total of 230 points.

7.) Geelong 2011 A dominant team who didn't have any flat-spots finishing 22-3 with a percentage of 157%. The second oldest premiership side in history meant a wealth of mature bodies and experience. 3 easy finals wins, and a tough defence. More of a long kicking game plan with a defensive edge to it than the flags sides of 2007 and 2009, but perhaps a little less dominant overall than the 2007 side which is ranked one spot higher

8.) Carlton 1908. Carlton’s first golden era produced three great sides, the best of which was the 1908 side. Jack Worrall became the first ever coach, and propelled the Blues to 19-1, with a percentage of 173.7%. Old timers still hold this side as the greatest, and if modern coaching techniques were applied, no doubt they would still be hard to beat in the present day.

9.) Melbourne 1955. Marginally behind the 1956 side, this Melbourne side went 17-3 with a percentage of 150.3%, and showed the makings of a team that would continue to dominate for years to come. The 1955 Melbourne side was heralded as one of the all time greats. A great even spread of talent with no reliance on individuals - a hallmark of the Melbourne teams of this era

10.) Hawthorn 1988. Only behind their ‘89 team due to their inferior defence which conceded 200 points more than the ’89 model. This great team was ruthless, skilled and efficient, and amassed a 21-3 record. Many believe they peaked in ’88, but I believe the Hawks reached their absolute zenith in 1989. Deserve their ranking as the 9th best out of 124.

11.) Collingwood 1927. After losing the Grand Final in 1925 and 1926, this side was ready to peak. They amassed a 17-3 record, with many superstars, proving they could be a champion team and a team of champions. With Coventry kicking 97 goals, and his brother winning the Brownlow, the 1927 side featured the Magpies greats close to their best.

12.) Geelong 1952. Although other teams have amassed superior records, this Geelong side was still one of the greatest in history. They won the premiership in the middle of an unbeaten run that would stretch to 26 consecutive games into the following season, and their attacking, free-flowing style of play became a Geelong tradition. Their 18-2-1 record (140.2%) was a testament to their greatness. Geelong’s best ever side until 2007.

13.) Carlton 1995. This great side had it all - experience, hardness, skill, and a willingness to win. Amassing a 23-2 record with a percentage of 140.6% they played with a professionalism that no club had previously matched. Incredibly, did not lose to a finalist all year. They didn’t quite have the same aura of invincibility as some of the sides in the top 10, but their almost unbeatable record alone ensures them a high ranking.

14.) Carlton 1979. With a 21-3 record and a percentage of 138.9%, and three narrow, spaced losses, this team didn’t have any obvious weaknesses. They nearly blew it in the Grand Final, but their performances through the year were worthy of one of the all time great sides. A rampant mosquito fleet, with a bevy of big name stars all over the field.

15.) Essendon 1985. Sheedy's team peaked to such an extent that they blew away the opposition with a 21-3 record, and were hailed as one of the great sides of all time. With no apparent weaknesses, a top ruckman, onballers, options everywhere in attack, and a solid defence, this side ranks as one of the greats. Their three losses were all substantial which takes a little away from them, but I still rate them at number 15 out of 124.

16.) Collingwood 1928 Slightly behind their 1929, and 1927 sides the '28 side was one of the greats but perhaps not that far ahead of the other contenders that year. Finished with a 17-3-1 record, and a percentage of 132.5%. Right smack-bang in the middle of the Magpies most famous era. Won the Grand Final by 33 points. Gordon Coventry kicked 89 goals.

17.) Melbourne 1960 This Melbourne side amassed a 16-4 record but with the players at their disposal, that record arguably didn’t do them justice. This was a side that could have easily gone through the season losing only one or two games. In their 7th consecutive Grand Final, they kept Collingwood to only 2.2.14.

18.) Essendon 1911 Under the guidance of the first super-coach, Jack Worrall, who previously led the Blues to three consecutive premierships, the Same Old's as they were known at the time amassed a 17-2-1 record with a percentage (including finals) of 173.3%! The two losses were by 3 and 8 points. Unlucky not to be higher.

19.) Melbourne 1959 Another Demons super-side from their golden era. Not talked about in the same breath as 1955, 56, but this side, along with 1960, were at roughly the same level. The team has a 15-4-1 record from 20 games, winning two finals by 44 and 37 points

20.) Carlton 1907 A great side that would become even better one year later. This side topped the ladder with a percentage of 155.7%. Coached by the first VFL coach, the great Jack Worrall, the Carlton 2007 side was one of the greats.

21.) Hawthorn 1986 Just when it seemed the era was coming to and end in 1985, the experienced ruthless Hawks bounced back in 1986 to finish minor-premiers with 18 wins, and crushed Carlton by 42 points in the Grand Final. The difference between a young Jason Dunstall kicking 77 goals from 22 games in 1986, compared to his 132 in 1988 and 138 in 1989, is essentially the difference between the rankings of where those teams sit compared to this one.
________________________________________________________
22. Essendon 1962
23. Geelong 1937
24. Fitzroy 1913
25. Fitzroy 1899
26. South Melbourne 1933
27. Collingwood 2010
28. Hawthorn 2015
29. Essendon 1901
30. Geelong 1925
31. Port Adelaide 2004
32. West Coast 1992
33. Richmond 1974
34. Hawthorn 1971
35. Fitzroy 1898
36. Carlton 1906
37. Collingwood 1902
38. South Melbourne 1909
39. South Melbourne 1918
40. Essendon 1984
41. Richmond 1967
42. West Coast 1994
43. North Melbourne 1996
44. Hawthorn 2013
45. Geelong 2009
46. Brisbane 2002
47. Richmond 1932
48. Collingwood 1930
49. Hawthorn 2014
50. Melbourne 1957
51. Melbourne 1964
52. Essendon 1946
53. Geelong 1951
54. Collingwood 1936
55. Geelong 1931
56. Collingwood 1903
57. Carlton 1914
58. Collingwood 1919
59. Carlton 1915
60. Hawthorn 2008
61. Brisbane 2001
62. Richmond 1980
63. Carlton 1981
64. Carlton 1972
65. Essendon 1949
66. Carlton 1982
67. Geelong 1963
68. Hawthorn 1961
69. Hawthorn 1983
70. Carlton 1987
71. Richmond 1934
72. Brisbane 2003
73. Richmond 2020
74. Richmond 1969
75. Melbourne 1939
76. St.Kilda 1966
77. Collingwood 1953
78. Carlton 1968
79. Hawthorn 1991
80. Sydney 2012
81. Richmond 2017
82. Carlton 1947
83. Richmond 2019
84. Richmond 1920
85. Essendon 1923
86. West Coast 2018
87. Essendon 1942
88. Melbourne 1926
89. Richmond 1973
90. Essendon 1965
91. West Coast 2006
92. Melbourne 1941
93. Fitzroy 1905
94. Fitzroy 1944
95. Carlton 1970
96. Carlton 1938
97. Richmond 1943
98. Collingwood 1935
99. Collingwood 1990
100. Collingwood 1958
101. Essendon 1924
102. Melbourne 1940
103. Hawthorn 1978
104. North Melbourne 1975
105. Hawthorn 1976
106. Western Bulldogs 2016
107. North Melbourne 1977
108. Essendon 1993
109. Collingwood 1910
110. Essendon 1897
111. Adelaide 1998
112. Fitzroy 1904
113. Fitzroy 1922
114. Adelaide 1997 (like any flag side they were good, but there were many better)
115. Sydney 2005 (workmanlike, needed everything to go right)
116. Essendon 1912 (stole it off South Melbourne)
117. Melbourne 1948 (stole if off Essendon)
118. Carlton 1945 (percentage of only 106% and came from 4th, as war ended.)
119. Footscray 1954 (a modest win-loss record in a very even year)
120. Kangaroos 1999 (Worst defence of the top-10 teams. Percentage of 115%)
121. Richmond 1921 (stole it off Carlton)
122. Collingwood 1917 (war years)
123. Melbourne 1900 (came from 6th and helped by finals system)
124. Fitzroy 1916 (war years. Won wooden spoon and flag)
 

PetterdHoisted

Premiership Player
Apr 27, 2014
4,674
6,657
AFL Club
Richmond
Thanks to everyone for their continued support. This exercise is now in its 19th consecutive year.

Time to see where the latest premiership team fits in to to the list. I use my own knowledge from the time of have spent watching football combined with anecdotal, statistical, and written accounts from the early years to rank the 123 premiership teams. I use relativity, taking into account the standard of the competition at the time, so as to not disadvantage teams from the past who were not competing in a national competition, with the resources and professionalism of modern day clubs.

Richmond won the 2020 premiership. That clubs 13th flag and their 8th in the last 54 years. They had

- a 15-5-1 season.
- a percentage from 21 games of 129.11%
- a finals loss by 15 points, and three finals wins by 31, 6, and 31 points
- 3rd on the ladder at end of H&A season
- The 5th best attack
- The 2nd best defence

This year ranks as the most difficult in my 19 years doing this exercise. Richmond, the consumate team, had to contend with months living away from home and prevailed with a team that was relentless. Their discipline and adherance to their defensive game plan, and their self-mastery of continuing to move the ball forward to create scoring chances was the best in the competition. However they did lose a finals match. Despite this I ranked them marginally higher than their previous two premiership teams due to their extra obstacles they faced and the fact they were a a bit more mature and developed. I rank them the 73rd best premiership team of all time, marginally behind the Brisbane Lions 2003 team at 72 and ahead of the Richmond 1969 premiership team at number 74.

1.) Essendon 2000. This team earnt the right to be called the greatest in VFL-AFL history with a 24-1 record, a percentage of 163.9 from 25 games, winning three finals by an equal-record combined 230 points with margins of 125, 45 and 60 and a percentage versus the finalists of 160% - 20% higher than any other team in the modern era has managed. At no stage did they look like losing, with even their one loss being narrow, after having 27 more inside 50's, with the Bulldogs having to tactically change the way the sport was played. The Essendon team of 2000 did everything that you could ask, in order for them to be called the best ever. As close to being unbeatable as a team has ever been in VFL-AFL history, with the closest challenge being.....

2.) Collingwood 1929. This team went 19-1 over 20 matches with a percentage of 159.5. They had champions on every line, and were regarded as the greatest combination to have played to that point. The ONLY team to ever be unbeaten in the H&A season. Collingwood fans may label them the best ever VFL-AFL side – I put them at number 2 out of 124. A 62 point loss to Richmond in the finals costs them the number one position on my list. Gordon Coventry was the first to person to kick 100 goals (124) and the Pies completed the treble with Albert Collier winning the Brownlow.

3.) Melbourne 1956. The Dees were at their zenith this year with an 18-2 record and a percentage of 149.4%. Coached by the VFL-AFL coach of the century, Norm Smith and with champion players such as Barassi, Adams, Cordner and Beckwith leading the way, the 1956 Melbourne side was their best side in the most dominant era by one club in VFL-AFL history. A side that could turn it on at will. Many old-timers suggest this was the type of team who could have gone undefeated if they really wanted to.

4.) Hawthorn 1989. The Hawthorn side of ’89 was their best in one of the most powerful eras in history. The Hawks reached their zenith in ’89. They went 21-3, with a percentage of 149.5, had champions everywhere and at their best, were simply unstoppable. I rate them the 4th best of 123 premierships sides. However, unlike Essendon of 2000, or Collingwood of 1929, they didn’t quite have the aura of being totally invincible. Their loss to the Bears holds them back a spot.

5.) Essendon 1950. Tempted to put them higher, but number 5 is fair enough. Here was a team that was near invincible. Just look at their record: 19-1, with a percentage of 159.2. With Coleman at his peak, Dick Reynolds and Hutchison lurking, this was the best Essendon side in their golden era. At the time, many rated this side alongside the 1929 Magpies team as the best of all time.

6.)Geelong 2007. A fantastically dominant team in '07, winning the Grand Final be a record margin, having a percentage for the year over 160% from 25 games. Only great teams can do that. A team, who used skillful, attacking "corridor" midfield play, complimented with a group of players in the mid 20's who have played over 100 games giving them the perfect mix of youth and experience. 21-4, a percentage over 160% and three finals wins by a total of 230 points.

7.) Geelong 2011 A dominant team who didn't have any flat-spots finishing 22-3 with a percentage of 157%. The second oldest premiership side in history meant a wealth of mature bodies and experience. 3 easy finals wins, and a tough defence. More of a long kicking game plan with a defensive edge to it than the flags sides of 2007 and 2009, but perhaps a little less dominant overall than the 2007 side which is ranked one spot higher

8.) Carlton 1908. Carlton’s first golden era produced three great sides, the best of which was the 1908 side. Jack Worrall became the first ever coach, and propelled the Blues to 19-1, with a percentage of 173.7%. Old timers still hold this side as the greatest, and if modern coaching techniques were applied, no doubt they would still be hard to beat in the present day.

9.) Melbourne 1955. Marginally behind the 1956 side, this Melbourne side went 17-3 with a percentage of 150.3%, and showed the makings of a team that would continue to dominate for years to come. The 1955 Melbourne side was heralded as one of the all time greats. A great even spread of talent with no reliance on individuals - a hallmark of the Melbourne teams of this era

10.) Hawthorn 1988. Only behind their ‘89 team due to their inferior defence which conceded 200 points more than the ’89 model. This great team was ruthless, skilled and efficient, and amassed a 21-3 record. Many believe they peaked in ’88, but I believe the Hawks reached their absolute zenith in 1989. Deserve their ranking as the 9th best out of 124.

11.) Collingwood 1927. After losing the Grand Final in 1925 and 1926, this side was ready to peak. They amassed a 17-3 record, with many superstars, proving they could be a champion team and a team of champions. With Coventry kicking 97 goals, and his brother winning the Brownlow, the 1927 side featured the Magpies greats close to their best.

12.) Geelong 1952. Although other teams have amassed superior records, this Geelong side was still one of the greatest in history. They won the premiership in the middle of an unbeaten run that would stretch to 26 consecutive games into the following season, and their attacking, free-flowing style of play became a Geelong tradition. Their 18-2-1 record (140.2%) was a testament to their greatness. Geelong’s best ever side until 2007.

13.) Carlton 1995. This great side had it all - experience, hardness, skill, and a willingness to win. Amassing a 23-2 record with a percentage of 140.6% they played with a professionalism that no club had previously matched. Incredibly, did not lose to a finalist all year. They didn’t quite have the same aura of invincibility as some of the sides in the top 10, but their almost unbeatable record alone ensures them a high ranking.

14.) Carlton 1979. With a 21-3 record and a percentage of 138.9%, and three narrow, spaced losses, this team didn’t have any obvious weaknesses. They nearly blew it in the Grand Final, but their performances through the year were worthy of one of the all time great sides. A rampant mosquito fleet, with a bevy of big name stars all over the field.

15.) Essendon 1985. Sheedy's team peaked to such an extent that they blew away the opposition with a 21-3 record, and were hailed as one of the great sides of all time. With no apparent weaknesses, a top ruckman, onballers, options everywhere in attack, and a solid defence, this side ranks as one of the greats. Their three losses were all substantial which takes a little away from them, but I still rate them at number 15 out of 124.

16.) Collingwood 1928 Slightly behind their 1929, and 1927 sides the '28 side was one of the greats but perhaps not that far ahead of the other contenders that year. Finished with a 17-3-1 record, and a percentage of 132.5%. Right smack-bang in the middle of the Magpies most famous era. Won the Grand Final by 33 points. Gordon Coventry kicked 89 goals.

17.) Melbourne 1960 This Melbourne side amassed a 16-4 record but with the players at their disposal, that record arguably didn’t do them justice. This was a side that could have easily gone through the season losing only one or two games. In their 7th consecutive Grand Final, they kept Collingwood to only 2.2.14.

18.) Essendon 1911 Under the guidance of the first super-coach, Jack Worrall, who previously led the Blues to three consecutive premierships, the Same Old's as they were known at the time amassed a 17-2-1 record with a percentage (including finals) of 173.3%! The two losses were by 3 and 8 points. Unlucky not to be higher.

19.) Melbourne 1959 Another Demons super-side from their golden era. Not talked about in the same breath as 1955, 56, but this side, along with 1960, were at roughly the same level. The team has a 15-4-1 record from 20 games, winning two finals by 44 and 37 points

20.) Carlton 1907 A great side that would become even better one year later. This side topped the ladder with a percentage of 155.7%. Coached by the first VFL coach, the great Jack Worrall, the Carlton 2007 side was one of the greats.

21.) Hawthorn 1986 Just when it seemed the era was coming to and end in 1985, the experienced ruthless Hawks bounced back in 1986 to finish minor-premiers with 18 wins, and crushed Carlton by 42 points in the Grand Final. The difference between a young Jason Dunstall kicking 77 goals from 22 games in 1986, compared to his 132 in 1988 and 138 in 1989, is essentially the difference between the rankings of where those teams sit compared to this one.
________________________________________________________
22. Essendon 1962
23. Geelong 1937
24. Fitzroy 1913
25. Fitzroy 1899
26. South Melbourne 1933
27. Collingwood 2010
28. Hawthorn 2015
29. Essendon 1901
30. Geelong 1925
31. Port Adelaide 2004
32. West Coast 1992
33. Richmond 1974
34. Hawthorn 1971
35. Fitzroy 1898
36. Carlton 1906
37. Collingwood 1902
38. South Melbourne 1909
39. South Melbourne 1918
40. Essendon 1984
41. Richmond 1967
42. West Coast 1994
43. North Melbourne 1996
44. Hawthorn 2013
45. Geelong 2009
46. Brisbane 2002
47. Richmond 1932
48. Collingwood 1930
49. Hawthorn 2014
50. Melbourne 1957
51. Melbourne 1964
52. Essendon 1946
53. Geelong 1951
54. Collingwood 1936
55. Geelong 1931
56. Collingwood 1903
57. Carlton 1914
58. Collingwood 1919
59. Carlton 1915
60. Hawthorn 2008
61. Brisbane 2001
62. Richmond 1980
63. Carlton 1981
64. Carlton 1972
65. Essendon 1949
66. Carlton 1982
67. Geelong 1963
68. Hawthorn 1961
69. Hawthorn 1983
70. Carlton 1987
71. Richmond 1934
72. Brisbane 2003
73. Richmond 2020
74. Richmond 1969
75. Melbourne 1939
76. St.Kilda 1966
77. Collingwood 1953
78. Carlton 1968
79. Hawthorn 1991
80. Sydney 2012
81. Richmond 2017
82. Carlton 1947
83. Richmond 2019
84. Richmond 1920
85. Essendon 1923
86. West Coast 2018
87. Essendon 1942
88. Melbourne 1926
89. Richmond 1973
90. Essendon 1965
91. West Coast 2006
92. Melbourne 1941
93. Fitzroy 1905
94. Fitzroy 1944
95. Carlton 1970
96. Carlton 1938
97. Richmond 1943
98. Collingwood 1935
99. Collingwood 1990
100. Collingwood 1958
101. Essendon 1924
102. Melbourne 1940
103. Hawthorn 1978
104. North Melbourne 1975
105. Hawthorn 1976
106. Western Bulldogs 2016
107. North Melbourne 1977
108. Essendon 1993
109. Collingwood 1910
110. Essendon 1897
111. Adelaide 1998
112. Fitzroy 1904
113. Fitzroy 1922
114. Adelaide 1997 (like any flag side they were good, but there were many better)
115. Sydney 2005 (workmanlike, needed everything to go right)
116. Essendon 1912 (stole it off South Melbourne)
117. Melbourne 1948 (stole if off Essendon)
118. Carlton 1945 (percentage of only 106% and came from 4th, as war ended.)
119. Footscray 1954 (a modest win-loss record in a very even year)
120. Kangaroos 1999 (Worst defence of the top-10 teams. Percentage of 115%)
121. Richmond 1921 (stole it off Carlton)
122. Collingwood 1917 (war years)
123. Melbourne 1900 (came from 6th and helped by finals system)
124. Fitzroy 1916 (war years. Won wooden spoon and flag)
thought covid would have kicked us up a bit higher than 73...prelim at Port who had been sleeping in their own beds for weeks...
 

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doyley

Debutant
Oct 24, 2020
55
83
AFL Club
Geelong
Thanks to everyone for their continued support. This exercise is now in its 19th consecutive year.

Time to see where the latest premiership team fits in to to the list. I use my own knowledge from the time of have spent watching football combined with anecdotal, statistical, and written accounts from the early years to rank the 123 premiership teams. I use relativity, taking into account the standard of the competition at the time, so as to not disadvantage teams from the past who were not competing in a national competition, with the resources and professionalism of modern day clubs.

Richmond won the 2020 premiership. That clubs 13th flag and their 8th in the last 54 years. They had

- a 15-5-1 season.
- a percentage from 21 games of 129.11%
- a finals loss by 15 points, and three finals wins by 31, 6, and 31 points
- 3rd on the ladder at end of H&A season
- The 5th best attack
- The 2nd best defence

This year ranks as the most difficult in my 19 years doing this exercise. Richmond, the consumate team, had to contend with months living away from home and prevailed with a team that was relentless. Their discipline and adherance to their defensive game plan, and their self-mastery of continuing to move the ball forward to create scoring chances was the best in the competition. However they did lose a finals match. Despite this I ranked them marginally higher than their previous two premiership teams due to their extra obstacles they faced and the fact they were a a bit more mature and developed. I rank them the 73rd best premiership team of all time, marginally behind the Brisbane Lions 2003 team at 72 and ahead of the Richmond 1969 premiership team at number 74.

1.) Essendon 2000. This team earnt the right to be called the greatest in VFL-AFL history with a 24-1 record, a percentage of 163.9 from 25 games, winning three finals by an equal-record combined 230 points with margins of 125, 45 and 60 and a percentage versus the finalists of 160% - 20% higher than any other team in the modern era has managed. At no stage did they look like losing, with even their one loss being narrow, after having 27 more inside 50's, with the Bulldogs having to tactically change the way the sport was played. The Essendon team of 2000 did everything that you could ask, in order for them to be called the best ever. As close to being unbeatable as a team has ever been in VFL-AFL history, with the closest challenge being.....

2.) Collingwood 1929. This team went 19-1 over 20 matches with a percentage of 159.5. They had champions on every line, and were regarded as the greatest combination to have played to that point. The ONLY team to ever be unbeaten in the H&A season. Collingwood fans may label them the best ever VFL-AFL side – I put them at number 2 out of 124. A 62 point loss to Richmond in the finals costs them the number one position on my list. Gordon Coventry was the first to person to kick 100 goals (124) and the Pies completed the treble with Albert Collier winning the Brownlow.

3.) Melbourne 1956. The Dees were at their zenith this year with an 18-2 record and a percentage of 149.4%. Coached by the VFL-AFL coach of the century, Norm Smith and with champion players such as Barassi, Adams, Cordner and Beckwith leading the way, the 1956 Melbourne side was their best side in the most dominant era by one club in VFL-AFL history. A side that could turn it on at will. Many old-timers suggest this was the type of team who could have gone undefeated if they really wanted to.

4.) Hawthorn 1989. The Hawthorn side of ’89 was their best in one of the most powerful eras in history. The Hawks reached their zenith in ’89. They went 21-3, with a percentage of 149.5, had champions everywhere and at their best, were simply unstoppable. I rate them the 4th best of 123 premierships sides. However, unlike Essendon of 2000, or Collingwood of 1929, they didn’t quite have the aura of being totally invincible. Their loss to the Bears holds them back a spot.

5.) Essendon 1950. Tempted to put them higher, but number 5 is fair enough. Here was a team that was near invincible. Just look at their record: 19-1, with a percentage of 159.2. With Coleman at his peak, Dick Reynolds and Hutchison lurking, this was the best Essendon side in their golden era. At the time, many rated this side alongside the 1929 Magpies team as the best of all time.

6.)Geelong 2007. A fantastically dominant team in '07, winning the Grand Final be a record margin, having a percentage for the year over 160% from 25 games. Only great teams can do that. A team, who used skillful, attacking "corridor" midfield play, complimented with a group of players in the mid 20's who have played over 100 games giving them the perfect mix of youth and experience. 21-4, a percentage over 160% and three finals wins by a total of 230 points.

7.) Geelong 2011 A dominant team who didn't have any flat-spots finishing 22-3 with a percentage of 157%. The second oldest premiership side in history meant a wealth of mature bodies and experience. 3 easy finals wins, and a tough defence. More of a long kicking game plan with a defensive edge to it than the flags sides of 2007 and 2009, but perhaps a little less dominant overall than the 2007 side which is ranked one spot higher

8.) Carlton 1908. Carlton’s first golden era produced three great sides, the best of which was the 1908 side. Jack Worrall became the first ever coach, and propelled the Blues to 19-1, with a percentage of 173.7%. Old timers still hold this side as the greatest, and if modern coaching techniques were applied, no doubt they would still be hard to beat in the present day.

9.) Melbourne 1955. Marginally behind the 1956 side, this Melbourne side went 17-3 with a percentage of 150.3%, and showed the makings of a team that would continue to dominate for years to come. The 1955 Melbourne side was heralded as one of the all time greats. A great even spread of talent with no reliance on individuals - a hallmark of the Melbourne teams of this era

10.) Hawthorn 1988. Only behind their ‘89 team due to their inferior defence which conceded 200 points more than the ’89 model. This great team was ruthless, skilled and efficient, and amassed a 21-3 record. Many believe they peaked in ’88, but I believe the Hawks reached their absolute zenith in 1989. Deserve their ranking as the 9th best out of 124.

11.) Collingwood 1927. After losing the Grand Final in 1925 and 1926, this side was ready to peak. They amassed a 17-3 record, with many superstars, proving they could be a champion team and a team of champions. With Coventry kicking 97 goals, and his brother winning the Brownlow, the 1927 side featured the Magpies greats close to their best.

12.) Geelong 1952. Although other teams have amassed superior records, this Geelong side was still one of the greatest in history. They won the premiership in the middle of an unbeaten run that would stretch to 26 consecutive games into the following season, and their attacking, free-flowing style of play became a Geelong tradition. Their 18-2-1 record (140.2%) was a testament to their greatness. Geelong’s best ever side until 2007.

13.) Carlton 1995. This great side had it all - experience, hardness, skill, and a willingness to win. Amassing a 23-2 record with a percentage of 140.6% they played with a professionalism that no club had previously matched. Incredibly, did not lose to a finalist all year. They didn’t quite have the same aura of invincibility as some of the sides in the top 10, but their almost unbeatable record alone ensures them a high ranking.

14.) Carlton 1979. With a 21-3 record and a percentage of 138.9%, and three narrow, spaced losses, this team didn’t have any obvious weaknesses. They nearly blew it in the Grand Final, but their performances through the year were worthy of one of the all time great sides. A rampant mosquito fleet, with a bevy of big name stars all over the field.

15.) Essendon 1985. Sheedy's team peaked to such an extent that they blew away the opposition with a 21-3 record, and were hailed as one of the great sides of all time. With no apparent weaknesses, a top ruckman, onballers, options everywhere in attack, and a solid defence, this side ranks as one of the greats. Their three losses were all substantial which takes a little away from them, but I still rate them at number 15 out of 124.

16.) Collingwood 1928 Slightly behind their 1929, and 1927 sides the '28 side was one of the greats but perhaps not that far ahead of the other contenders that year. Finished with a 17-3-1 record, and a percentage of 132.5%. Right smack-bang in the middle of the Magpies most famous era. Won the Grand Final by 33 points. Gordon Coventry kicked 89 goals.

17.) Melbourne 1960 This Melbourne side amassed a 16-4 record but with the players at their disposal, that record arguably didn’t do them justice. This was a side that could have easily gone through the season losing only one or two games. In their 7th consecutive Grand Final, they kept Collingwood to only 2.2.14.

18.) Essendon 1911 Under the guidance of the first super-coach, Jack Worrall, who previously led the Blues to three consecutive premierships, the Same Old's as they were known at the time amassed a 17-2-1 record with a percentage (including finals) of 173.3%! The two losses were by 3 and 8 points. Unlucky not to be higher.

19.) Melbourne 1959 Another Demons super-side from their golden era. Not talked about in the same breath as 1955, 56, but this side, along with 1960, were at roughly the same level. The team has a 15-4-1 record from 20 games, winning two finals by 44 and 37 points

20.) Carlton 1907 A great side that would become even better one year later. This side topped the ladder with a percentage of 155.7%. Coached by the first VFL coach, the great Jack Worrall, the Carlton 2007 side was one of the greats.

21.) Hawthorn 1986 Just when it seemed the era was coming to and end in 1985, the experienced ruthless Hawks bounced back in 1986 to finish minor-premiers with 18 wins, and crushed Carlton by 42 points in the Grand Final. The difference between a young Jason Dunstall kicking 77 goals from 22 games in 1986, compared to his 132 in 1988 and 138 in 1989, is essentially the difference between the rankings of where those teams sit compared to this one.
________________________________________________________
22. Essendon 1962
23. Geelong 1937
24. Fitzroy 1913
25. Fitzroy 1899
26. South Melbourne 1933
27. Collingwood 2010
28. Hawthorn 2015
29. Essendon 1901
30. Geelong 1925
31. Port Adelaide 2004
32. West Coast 1992
33. Richmond 1974
34. Hawthorn 1971
35. Fitzroy 1898
36. Carlton 1906
37. Collingwood 1902
38. South Melbourne 1909
39. South Melbourne 1918
40. Essendon 1984
41. Richmond 1967
42. West Coast 1994
43. North Melbourne 1996
44. Hawthorn 2013
45. Geelong 2009
46. Brisbane 2002
47. Richmond 1932
48. Collingwood 1930
49. Hawthorn 2014
50. Melbourne 1957
51. Melbourne 1964
52. Essendon 1946
53. Geelong 1951
54. Collingwood 1936
55. Geelong 1931
56. Collingwood 1903
57. Carlton 1914
58. Collingwood 1919
59. Carlton 1915
60. Hawthorn 2008
61. Brisbane 2001
62. Richmond 1980
63. Carlton 1981
64. Carlton 1972
65. Essendon 1949
66. Carlton 1982
67. Geelong 1963
68. Hawthorn 1961
69. Hawthorn 1983
70. Carlton 1987
71. Richmond 1934
72. Brisbane 2003
73. Richmond 2020
74. Richmond 1969
75. Melbourne 1939
76. St.Kilda 1966
77. Collingwood 1953
78. Carlton 1968
79. Hawthorn 1991
80. Sydney 2012
81. Richmond 2017
82. Carlton 1947
83. Richmond 2019
84. Richmond 1920
85. Essendon 1923
86. West Coast 2018
87. Essendon 1942
88. Melbourne 1926
89. Richmond 1973
90. Essendon 1965
91. West Coast 2006
92. Melbourne 1941
93. Fitzroy 1905
94. Fitzroy 1944
95. Carlton 1970
96. Carlton 1938
97. Richmond 1943
98. Collingwood 1935
99. Collingwood 1990
100. Collingwood 1958
101. Essendon 1924
102. Melbourne 1940
103. Hawthorn 1978
104. North Melbourne 1975
105. Hawthorn 1976
106. Western Bulldogs 2016
107. North Melbourne 1977
108. Essendon 1993
109. Collingwood 1910
110. Essendon 1897
111. Adelaide 1998
112. Fitzroy 1904
113. Fitzroy 1922
114. Adelaide 1997 (like any flag side they were good, but there were many better)
115. Sydney 2005 (workmanlike, needed everything to go right)
116. Essendon 1912 (stole it off South Melbourne)
117. Melbourne 1948 (stole if off Essendon)
118. Carlton 1945 (percentage of only 106% and came from 4th, as war ended.)
119. Footscray 1954 (a modest win-loss record in a very even year)
120. Kangaroos 1999 (Worst defence of the top-10 teams. Percentage of 115%)
121. Richmond 1921 (stole it off Carlton)
122. Collingwood 1917 (war years)
123. Melbourne 1900 (came from 6th and helped by finals system)
124. Fitzroy 1916 (war years. Won wooden spoon and flag)
How is a side that was built off of cheating the salary cap number 1? Same could be said about the position that has been given to Essendon 1993 for the same reason too then.
 

apollo_creed

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How is a side that was built off of cheating the salary cap number 1? Same could be said about the position that has been given to Essendon 1993 for the same reason too then.
And how low he rates the 1999 North Melbourne side... the premiership that Essendon choked. They were 20-5 for the year but apparently the 5th worst Premiership side of all time because they had the 10th best defence 😂

Conveniently ignoring they had the best attack, their 20-5 record, 3 easy finals wins and the fact that Denis Pagan was one of the most attacking coaches in history.

It’s just a comical exercise he undertakes every year to pump up Essendon’s tyres and in the case of 1999 gives him his forum to justify the bitterness he has (without logic).
 

Dan26

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How lucky have Richmond been??? Dan only rates our three premierships in four years at 73, 81 and 83.
Given that all of the three teams in question finished 3rd on the ladder, they are not unreasonable rankings. There are other teams towards the top that were far more dominant in the years they won.

All the teams are ranked fairly, on merit and are ranked according to the available evidence. The whole point is to be as fair and objective as possible.
 
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Dan26

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Do us all a favour and close this trash thread down. Or are we actually allowed an exemption to troll and criticise the op for both this pitiful and ridiculous topic and his ridiculous reasons for ranking the sides in the manner which he does?
You seem to sadly have a problem with freedom of speech. If you dont like the content, use your intellect to argue against it and explain your opinion. If you’re not interested in expressing an opinion at all, don’t open the thread or respond in any way. Shutting down opinions that you don’t like is not an appropriate way to run a forum which only exists for the purpose of expressing opinions.
 

HG Pennypacker

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Given that all of the three teams in question finished 3rd on the ladder, they are not unreasonable rankings. There are other teams towards the top that were far more dominant in the years they won.

All the teams are ranked fairly, on merit and are ranked according to the available evidence. The whole point is to be as fair and objective as possible.
 

Dan26

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Nah dan would say they didn’t have the aura of that 2000 team - it’s really the vibe of it all
You're allowed to actually offer an opinion and argue where you think a particular team should be ranked on this list, you know. Writing "one sentence" responses, in which no actual opinion is offered and posting "funny" memes which someone other than you has created don't exactly indicate that you have the intellect or the football knowledge to post an informed opinion on the list.

Every team on the list is ranked fairly and on merit, and is as objective and fact-based as possible.
 

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