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

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dean33

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 10, 2007
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melb
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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)
Keep it up Dan, don’t listen to the naysayers. I’m just excited to see where you rank the tigers next year after we win our 4th in 5. Hoping to crack the top 50.
 

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TheRealComptroller

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Jul 27, 2006
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Essendon 2000 is utterly undeniable at #1 IMO. One H&A loss by sweet FA. They were never seriously challenged in any of their finals. Why is there any controversy here?

Is Hawthorn 1989 at #4 too high considering they only won the GF by beating a 3rd placed Geelong, that was devoid of any GF experience, by just six points? One key bounce of the ball goes in a different direction ...

Is Geelong 2007 at #6 too high with their measly six point win against 6th placed Collingwood in the PF? One key bounce of the ball goes in a different direction ...
 

TP86

Club Legend
Apr 16, 2010
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Essendon 2000 is utterly undeniable at #1 IMO. One H&A loss by sweet FA. They were never seriously challenged in any of their finals. Why is there any controversy here?
The season got moved due to the Olympics. Essendon had a sweetheart deal with Docklands for its first season. This was Death Valley Docklands too. People talk about “cheat grounds” there’s never been a bigger unfair home ground advantage in the history of AFL than Essendon in year 1 at Docklands.

It was collectively the weakest field from 1997-2010 when the comp had 16 teams. You’ll never find a more underwhelming top 4 / top 8 / full comp.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
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Essendon 2000 is utterly undeniable at #1 IMO. One H&A loss by sweet FA. They were never seriously challenged in any of their finals. Why is there any controversy here?

Is Hawthorn 1989 at #4 too high considering they only won the GF by beating a 3rd placed Geelong, that was devoid of any GF experience, by just six points? One key bounce of the ball goes in a different direction ...

Is Geelong 2007 at #6 too high with their measly six point win against 6th placed Collingwood in the PF? One key bounce of the ball goes in a different direction ...
Because it was the beginning of a dynasty.

Then Brisbane went and won the next 3 and Essendon has barely put up a whimper since then.

I dont think the issue is 2000 at #1, its where 1999 and 2001 are put. And why all the Essendon ones are all ranked far higher than very similar other years from other clubs.

Also, its funny watching a guy every year have to look back 1 more year to when his team mattered.
 

Dan26

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 23, 2000
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Because it was the beginning of a dynasty.

Then Brisbane went and won the next 3 and Essendon has barely put up a whimper since then.

I dont think the issue is 2000 at #1, its where 1999 and 2001 are put. And why all the Essendon ones are all ranked far higher than very similar other years from other clubs.

Also, its funny watching a guy every year have to look back 1 more year to when his team mattered
This is rubbish. There are 7 Essendon teams ranked 85 or worse. This is almost half of that clubs premierships.

There is far too much of what I call "BigFooty identity politics" in this thread and on this site in general. In real life, this would manifest itself by someone making a well-rounded, thoughtful merit-based argument and someone else then dismissing it by saying, "You're white", or. "you're a male" therefore your argument doesn't count. Basically using some sort of identity trait and dismissing someone's argument (no matter how good it is) based on nothing more than than those identity traits.

The BigFooty equivalent is dismissing someone's argument, (or is some cases failing to even listen to the argument) based on nothing more than the person's chosen footy team. This is actually really toxic, and leads to a terrible culture on here. It has done for years. It goes against everything that we should be standing for on here - merit-based arguments, quality of content, quality of analysis etc.

Everything on this list is based absolutely objectively.
 

BF Tiger

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 5, 2007
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This is rubbish. There are 7 Essendon teams ranked 85 or worse. This is almost half of that clubs premierships.

There is far too much of what I call "BigFooty identity politics" in this thread and on this site in general. In real life, this would manifest itself by someone making a well-rounded, thoughtful merit-based argument and someone else then dismissing it by saying, "You're white", or. "you're a male" therefore your argument doesn't count. Basically using some sort of identity trait and dismissing someone's argument (no matter how good it is) based on nothing more than than those identity traits.

The BigFooty equivalent is dismissing someone's argument, (or is some cases failing to even listen to the argument) based on nothing more than the person's chosen footy team. This is actually really toxic, and leads to a terrible culture on here. It has done for years. It goes against everything that we should be standing for on here - merit-based arguments, quality of content, quality of analysis etc.

Everything on this list is based absolutely objectively.
Really...


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)
 

Elton Johns Wig

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I actually have no issue with where the 2017 side is ranked. It's not until you have the body of work that follows that you can see that it was the start of something. So in isolation, even though they obliterated everyone in the finals series, the fact their W/L record wasn't all time combined with the fact they only got it together in the second half of the season, it all makes sense.

But the ranking of the 19, but particularly the 20 side, are rubbish.


Now, when I say this, I'm not saying "huur de hurr, Richmond side, all time best". I comfortable with them being top 50 but not top 20.



But when Dan26 says he takes into account the record, but also the vibe and the aura, he's missed the mark here.

ANY Vic side (yes, even Geelong if they won) gets a bonus ranking this year due to the away rule.


On top of this, Richmond may have "only" finished 3rd in 19/20, but the extenuating circumstances have clearly not been taken into account.


In 2019, the best defender in the league went down after Round 1. Richmond then went through an adjustment period, refining their system, during which they lost Riewoldt for half a season, Cotchin for half a season 3 hamstrings, Nankervis out 9 weeks, Short dislocated elbow 8 weeks, Vlastuin, Houli, Edwards, Lambert, Astbury all out..

Despite these injuries they managed to qualify top 4, an amazing achievement.


In 2020, you'd think that missing major players in such large numbers couldn't happen again, but it did. Nank, Prestia, Astbury most of the season. Edwards and Houli personal, only back just before or for finals, again, most of the season. Soldo out for the season (and next year) just before finals.

Then, you win a Prelim on the road.



Again, not top 20, but they deserve to be ranked higher IMO. The adversity, which is clear and fresh, compared to sides like Brisbane, Port and Geelong which had little or no MAJOR players missing for any length of time, plus the home advantages of Port and Bris, make this a truly worthy flag.
 

Fire

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118. Carlton 1945 (percentage of only 106% and came from 4th, as war ended.)
...
120. Kangaroos 1999 (Worst defence of the top-10 teams. Percentage of 115%)


This order does not fit the stated rationale lol.
Someone's still bitter.
 

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RichLeMonde

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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.
Dont' Richmond 2017 have the highest percentage of any finals series ever?
 

HairyO

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I actually have no issue with where the 2017 side is ranked. It's not until you have the body of work that follows that you can see that it was the start of something. So in isolation, even though they obliterated everyone in the finals series, the fact their W/L record wasn't all time combined with the fact they only got it together in the second half of the season, it all makes sense.

But the ranking of the 19, but particularly the 20 side, are rubbish.


Now, when I say this, I'm not saying "huur de hurr, Richmond side, all time best". I comfortable with them being top 50 but not top 20.



But when Dan26 says he takes into account the record, but also the vibe and the aura, he's missed the mark here.

ANY Vic side (yes, even Geelong if they won) gets a bonus ranking this year due to the away rule.


On top of this, Richmond may have "only" finished 3rd in 19/20, but the extenuating circumstances have clearly not been taken into account.


In 2019, the best defender in the league went down after Round 1. Richmond then went through an adjustment period, refining their system, during which they lost Riewoldt for half a season, Cotchin for half a season 3 hamstrings, Nankervis out 9 weeks, Short dislocated elbow 8 weeks, Vlastuin, Houli, Edwards, Lambert, Astbury all out..

Despite these injuries they managed to qualify top 4, an amazing achievement.


In 2020, you'd think that missing major players in such large numbers couldn't happen again, but it did. Nank, Prestia, Astbury most of the season. Edwards and Houli personal, only back just before or for finals, again, most of the season. Soldo out for the season (and next year) just before finals.

Then, you win a Prelim on the road.



Again, not top 20, but they deserve to be ranked higher IMO. The adversity, which is clear and fresh, compared to sides like Brisbane, Port and Geelong which had little or no MAJOR players missing for any length of time, plus the home advantages of Port and Bris, make this a truly worthy flag.
2014 Hawks had 5 top players miss 6 weeks or more and the coach missed 5 weeks.

Id say that is some hardship.
 

Elton Johns Wig

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2014 Hawks had 5 top players miss 6 weeks or more and the coach missed 5 weeks.

Id say that is some hardship.
Absolutely it is. Not to the levels of the Tiges, but bloody commendable. And stuff like this should be taken into account.

On the other hand, we were blessed in 17 compared to most. Sure, we had injuries, but the top level players were untouched. When you get a run like that, you have to make the most of it.
 

kid_a

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might be a bit much to ask, but I wouldnt mind seeing a similar list but with all the runners up....or as many as can be properly critiqued.
 

scarecrow2k1

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Hey Dan26, love the effort you put in and look forward each year to see where the premiers will fall.

I suppose I disagree with the significance of a finals loss, given teams under the current final 8 model are more likely to have them. Teams now start their finals vs another top 4 team, compared to McIntyre top 8 system giving teams an easier task of starting off vs a 5-8th ranked team, or other models like the final five giving the top ranked side a week off. I also feel that if you manage to win a flag after losing a final, you've generally managed some impressive results, including a road prelim win.

Even if I disagree with this, I understand your rationale and I hope you keep ranking premiers. Please continue to ignore the vitriol from people not appreciating the effort you're putting in.

I'm curious as to a couple of factors that went into your decision this year.

- Did the shortened season due to the Covid-19 pandemic factor in to a reduced rating? If so, do you have a rough idea how much of a factor it was?

- Roughly what effect did losing the first final have on Richmond's ranking?

- If Brisbane made it through to the grand final instead of Geelong, and Richmond redemeed their finals loss with a GF win over Brisbane, would you have considered that loss less damaging?
 

HG Pennypacker

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The most glaring flaw for me in the list is that 1999-01 stretch where Essendon could/should have had 3 premierships.

instead they got one - the 2000 team that is at the top of the list (justifiably so - you can’t dispute that the team has an argument for the best team ever)

1999 and 2001 is when it gets dicey. 15 of the 22 from the 2000 GF team played in the 1999 PF and the 2001 GF. So you have 70% of the team playing in all 3 and 19 of the 22 played in both 2000 and 2001.

so essentially the bestest team of all time was largely the same in 1999 and 2001 so logically to win the premiership in those years would represent a huge accomplishment given the quality of opposition.

Yet we find the 1999 Roos at 120th and the 2001 Lions at 61st..

now I am not claiming the 1999 Roos were one of the best teams ever (the lions is clearly a different story) but explain that logic old list maker Dan?
 

Jukesy85

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might be a bit much to ask, but I wouldnt mind seeing a similar list but with all the runners up....or as many as can be properly critiqued.
Mine from the AFL era that I've just put together quickly taking into account season record, finals performance, and to a lesser extent the players and success in surrounding seasons:
2008 Geelong
2001 Essendon
2009 St Kilda
2011 Collingwood
1991 West Coast
2004 Brisbane
2012 Hawthorn
2010 St Kilda
1998 North Melbourne
1990 Essendon
1992 Geelong
2017 Adelaide
1995 Geelong
2002 Collingwood
2014 Sydney
2016 Sydney
2013 Fremantle
1997 St Kilda
2005 West Coast
2018 Collingwood
2015 West Coast
1994 Geelong
1996 Sydney
2006 Sydney
2003 Collingwood
2020 Geelong
1993 Carlton
2000 Melbourne
2007 Port Adelaide
2019 GWS
1999 Carlton
 

kid_a

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Mine from the AFL era that I've just put together quickly taking into account season record, finals performance, and to a lesser extent the players and success in surrounding seasons:
2008 Geelong
2001 Essendon
2009 St Kilda
2011 Collingwood
1991 West Coast
2004 Brisbane
2012 Hawthorn
2010 St Kilda
1998 North Melbourne
1990 Essendon
1992 Geelong
2017 Adelaide
1995 Geelong
2002 Collingwood
2014 Sydney
2016 Sydney
2013 Fremantle
1997 St Kilda
2005 West Coast
2018 Collingwood
2015 West Coast
1994 Geelong
1996 Sydney
2006 Sydney
2003 Collingwood
2020 Geelong
1993 Carlton
2000 Melbourne
2007 Port Adelaide
2019 GWS
1999 Carlton
Not bad, seems very close to how I'd have them
 

HairyO

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Absolutely it is. Not to the levels of the Tiges, but bloody commendable. And stuff like this should be taken into account.

On the other hand, we were blessed in 17 compared to most. Sure, we had injuries, but the top level players were untouched. When you get a run like that, you have to make the most of it.
I think the Swans in 2005 or 2006 played 23 or 24 players all year.

18 of them played all the games.
 

boncer34

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Let's do a worst performance in a grand final thread I'll start us off absolute worst James Hird 2001
You've either forgotten Leon Davis or are trolling.
 

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